HomespunMy previous experience with recording was hemmed in by a $40/hr bill at the end of each session. I arrived each day over-prepared with a rigid “to-do” list and a nervous glance at the clock every 15 minutes or so. Restrictive.
Recording at home brings with it the glorious freedom to experiment with sound, released from the restrictions of my “starving artist” budget. On my own terms, I can make mistakes, erase them, make other mistakes, keep them and realize a sort of unpremeditated naturalness in my music. Liberating.
Taking things into my own hands however, has brought a number of challenges. Occasionally, I wish I had a second set of ears the owner of which would speak up to say, “No, that sounds completely ridiculous” or “Yes, that was it!”. A second set of hands to hit the record button would be helpful too.
But by far the most uniquely frustrating challenge has been that of finding a quiet place to record vocals. Needless to say, my humble home recording studio/office/bedroom does not include a vocal isolation booth. But I’ve been told many a tale of singers hanging blankets and pillows in closets and bathrooms to accommodate their art, so I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. However an obstacle presented itself when I realized that simply parting the hangers in my wife’s clothes closet would not suffice. The wire wrack is too low. Sure, I could get in, but if I stood up too straight, I would bump my head. Not conducive to an unencumbered and expressive vocal performance.
The next step would be to empty and remove the entire unit. Not too difficult. But, need I remind you of the emotions connected to a woman and her clothes closet? Because the time allotted to my recording efforts is limited to one day a week when my home is empty and silent, and since having one’s closet dismantled and the floor of one’s normally tidy home “mantled” is the pleasure of no man’s ever-supportive wife, I knew my solution was short lived. The conclusion? For three Wednesdays in a row, while recording vocals, I disassembled and reassembled the clothes closet in time for my wife to return home none-the-wiser at 4:30pm to her peaceful, tidy abode just as she had left it earlier that morning.
Ahh, the challenges of home-recording. But it’s worth it. And my wife hates not the object of my creativity. She and her well-pressed clothes still support the project.