Arriving at a studio to record your own original music is mostly incredibly exciting, but also a little nerve-wracking. Are you properly rehearsed? Will your voice last? Will the sound of a nearby electric gate opening and closing drive you to distraction? Time will tell.
What helps is discovering that every possible bit of preparation has been completed before arrival. Essentially, all you’ll be asked to do is plug in and perform – your lead sheets are in front of you; your warmed-up, carefully calibrated mic cluster is nestled behind a pop screen; and an iPad linked to the main desk allows you to control the levels in your earphones.
You know those 10m-long mixing desks they use in those classic rock documentaries? Those are only in those classic rock documentaries. Reality looks more like this – a Mac and some bits and pieces.
What’s he grinning about? Concentrate, you smarmy so-and-so. And yes, ceiling board manufacturer, this is your opportunity to offer Paul a huge sponsorship.
It’s important than when you book into a studio and step up to sing, you act like you know exactly what you’re doing. When the engineer has set up two microphones – one that’s designed to pick up whatever’s directly in front of it and one arranged all sidey-wise to do peripheral stuff and things – it’s obviously absolutely necessary. So shut up and go with it.
Whole is a song about realising that you – as in everyone; all of us – are pretty damn special and that anyone who thinks otherwise should get a punch in their pretty damn special face. Or something.
Paul Elliott, like most engineer/producers, makes each track a different colour. Firstly, that makes it easier to tell one apart from the other, but also, it makes it look like you’re designing a flag for a country that hasn’t yet been discovered. Which is awesome.
That light above my head makes it look like I’m in an interrogation chamber. Mind you, I’m not actually looking at the light, so these guys aren’t terribly good at their job. Idiots.