There is an episode of the comedy TV show, 30 Rock, that I find has become quite relevant to me when recording for my album. The finished product of a song is flawless, perfect, smooth. But the road getting to that outcome is a very different story.
In this episode, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), records a business presentation. His staff watches the segment and is impressed with his impeccable deliverance of the lines, his eye contact, and his overall demeanor. They praise him as a "natural" on camera and ask him to make a guest appearance on their live TV show, to which he agrees. However, they get a hold of the outtakes from his recording session and are immediately terrified of how he will do on live TV. Click here for the hilarious clip of before and after.
There are days when I've had to record one word of one lyric a half dozen times or more, just to get the pronunciation right, or the pitch just perfect, or the timing right on. But you'd never know it listening to the final outcome. Oh, the beauty of recorded music! Sorry to all the recording artists out there who want the world to think they sing the song through one time, start to finish, and wa-lah! Perfection! Cat's out of the bag. Truth is, we'd be a mess without the magic of software, the hard work of producers, and the luxury of recording take, after take, after take. (Let's just hope the world doesn't get a hold of my outtakes, yikes!).
Here are posts as I chronicle my album recording with Modern Vintage Recordings: