A nice, long post to catch you up on the goings-on around Eighth Note Acres.
We are back! ...from our Christmas travels to Kansas,
Missouri, and finally, Iowa again. It is good to be home... Not to say that we aren't extremely busy. We are. With our 5th
Johnson Strings CD being recorded this month and next, our practice times have
not decreased at all. On the contrary: they will be happening all the more
News flash: our new website ran into a few snags, so it will
not be released until the end of January. This also means that you don’t get to see our new pictures for a while. :(
This is the first of many posts, striving in a way to bring
you along with us in the long journey through preparing, recording, producing
and finally releasing a new CD. You’ll get the inside scoop
Phase One in the CD making process:
We have decided on the list of songs we will be recording
and have divided those into 3 sets for the 3 days we’ll be at the recording
studio. The songs need to be grouped so that no one has two solos to several of
their hardest numbers to record on the same day. All the singing must be
recorded on the same day, and is done after the instrumental parts are
After we have the list of pieces we would like to include on
our CD, we have to go through the very long and tedious process of tracking
done all the copyrights, owners, composers, and arrangers in order to pay all
the royalties. Some songs change hands so many times that it takes hours or
even days to track down which publishing company administers the royalty rights, who we have to pay, how much,
and anything else we need to do. Whew!!! What a job. It’s probably our least
favorite step of the CD making process. All those royalties add up too.
The three studio recording dates are now set and the deposit
paid. We like to schedule the dates a couple weeks apart so that we don’t have
to get all the songs ready at the same time. That was learned the HARD way!!!
Living close to a state-of-the-art studio is a huge blessing! Very little
traveling, no hotel bills, and all the comforts of home – how can you beat
Basically every evening, we are practicing together as a
group. During the day, we are practicing by ourselves. Soon, we will be having
multiple group practices per day and keep building up until our recording date.
It’s a lot of practicing. And yes, it does get old sometimes, but the result is
worth it. Once we are in studio, we have to get it right - ALL AT THE SAME TIME –
all eight of us. Challenging? Yes. Since we have to communicate visually with each other, we are all
in the same room and each person’s sound bleeds into the next person’s mike. Picture
this: it is the fourth take of a certain song. Five of us do a fantastic job
and are thrilled. We want to keep the take. Then we hear that the other 3 of us
made a mistake and the take isn’t usable. So, we start over. Take 5. Each “take”
is important. It just might be the one to go onto the CD. Because of time
constraints, we can usually only record a song up to about 5 times max. We
better know it well. We better have done all our practicing at home. It is
wonderful to finally listen to a good take and know that we did it. By the end
of 5 hours, we are worn out mentally and physically and have hopefully recorded
1/3 of the songs for our new CD.
Pray for us!
At the Oak Tree Opry
Silas, a few months back when he was still on crutches.
Sightseeing downtown before our concert.
I hope you have a wonderful day, praising the Lord for His goodness to us!
Until next time!