Like many of my peers I began making records at the very beginning of the “project studio” era… that is to say that in the mid-’90′s changes in technology lowered the financial barrier of entry so that small, affordable studios began springing up all over. I could write pages and pages about the pros and cons of how this explosion of access has affected sonic quality (and sonic expectations) but that would be of very little interest to most people. What really intrigues me is how the arc of technology has now brought us to a place where I can record most things (pretty much everything but drums) at the highest quality, right here in my tiny studio and then shoot the files anywhere around the world.
I know my amazement with this makes me sound old or clueless, but the reality is that my amazement doesn’t come from a lack of understanding or a shortage of experience. I very clearly recall the first time I recorded strings at home and then brought a laptop into a professional studio and, using timecode, synchronized my software to a 2″ tape machine to print my string parts onto analogue tape. This was around the end of the ’90′s when almost all internet access was still dial-up and the idea of uploading a gigabyte of data was un-thinkable. And even if we had somehow transferred the data, the process of sync’ing and getting things onto tape would have posed another tall pile of headaches.
Nowadays, I very rarely need to discuss the process for how files should be formatted or transferred. It’s a beautiful thing!
So, in the last week I’ve had a the pleasure of contributing strings to a new Gustafer Yellowgold song that was recorded in the Hudson Valley of NY… I can’t tell you the title because it would lessen the wonder you’ll feel when you watch the video that will accompany it. It’s just too awesome.
It seems to have been a week of children’s music, as I also arranged and recorded strings for a song on New York City children’s artist Joanie Leeds’ upcoming album. It’s a beautiful track and she left a lot of room for strings!!!
So yes, I’m thrilled that the internet allows us music folk to work with each other wherever we are in the world. It’s an ever-evolving chain of possibilities and opportunities. Of course, the only way to take advantage of this brave new world is to do what I’m about to do: stop writing and go record something!