recording studio

Record. Pause. Repeat.

Hello and welcome to another look at the daily life and day-to-day happenings of an aspiring sound engineer and musician. Oh, and did I say struggling? Yes, that too. It's a tough life trying to piece together a career out of music especially a place like Delhi, where competition is quite a bit.

The only time everything seems worth it is when people actually come to you to get their song/album recorded or maybe, give you some work. Srishti is a person I've known for a few years now and has always been supportive and helpful whenever I'm looking for new projects or something interesting that I feel, could challenge me as a musician or a producer.

A friend of Srishti used to play for Soul Reverb, a band I was associated with for a short time. His name was Neeraj Debakshi, and he was playing in another band that went by the name of Serenity Infused. Neeraj came in touch with me and asked me if I could record their song at my home studio. I looked at it as an opportunity and decided to agree.

Now this band wasn't the typical rock band, so I looked upon it as a challenge. They're a fusion band that combines elements of Indian classical music with progressive rock influences. They also had a tabla player, which would mean it would take much longer to record, as tabla is a unique instrument in terms of timbre, mic-positioning required and processing.

We decided to start recording in the evening at about 4 pm as I had other work to take care of, at SoundSpeaks at the time. I came back and we started with Guitars as we had finished programming drums the previous day. It took about four hours to completely sort out the guitars, which was followed by Bass and that took about an hour.

Tabla was special, and we took some time experimenting with several mic positions. Since I didn't have too many mics, just a couple of SM57's, it's not like there was too much room for experimentation either. But I think we finally settled at a certain position. One thing I realised later on though was the error I made of keeping the mics too close to the tabla player's hands. there were a lot of small intervals of time where he would unintentionally end up flicking the mic.

It was basically hell on earth, with processing the tabla. Even with the editing. There were huge errors in come places. If the whole song took 10 units of effort, I would probably say the tabla took about 4. It was that hard. But in the end, somehow managed to make it sound crisp and a little snappy.

The vocals gave me a pretty hard time too. But that's pretty much how your life is supposed to be when you're producing a song. It takes a lot of hardwork to make one sound good. I remember spending entire nights going through tons of forums and googling stuff, not because it was work. But because I found it so interesting.

Time just flies when you're doing things you love.

Opportunity Knocks Twice

Long and eventful year, this has been. I've been working in a recording studio, and I realised there was no dearth in terms of opportunity in the city, if you know and meet the right people. Of course everything has its pro's and con's as well. The upside i meeting all these interesting people who are doing some really cool things. The downside is odd and irregular working hours. Nonetheless, I've come to get accustomed to it.

The good thing about opportunity, is when you go looking for it, sometimes it knocks twice just to make sure you're looking. Something that happened to me. While I've been working at the studio, there are frequent gaps of time where I have nothing to do. While in the beginning I found it fine to roam around and chill out with friends, it had started to get a bit boring now. So I got in touch with a few people who were working on a small film. These were students like me, and I figured it would be nice to work on something.

As if that's not enough, I've also been working with a game studio which approached me to make music for a game, not to mention the constant back-and-forth between the studio, bands I'm jamming with as well as solo projects I keep taking up here and there.

 Essentially sandwiched.