Crafting Theatre, Part 12: Soundtrack
I’ll write about merchandise soon, but part of the preparation for performing a new show is to have a relevant CD to sell afterward. I have a lot of CDs to sell already: Knitting CDs, Vera Lynn CDs, the new CD that I spent pretty much the equivalent of a college tuition to record…
But I know that if I tour a show about Deanna Durbin, people will want an album about Deanna Durbin. And even though it costs a fair amount to make one, and at best I’ll just make back the money it’ll cost to put a CD together, it’s still good promotion. And besides, if I can keep touring the show, I can keep selling the CD. And it will make money eventually.
The good thing, at least, was that I already have the instrumental tracks. My backing tracks for the show are well-done, and I’m really pleased with them. So all I had to do was record the voice… Unfortunately (for me), for the past 7 years, I’ve recorded in Benny’s Wash ‘n’ Dry, a really fab studio in Brooklyn. And since I am currently in Edmonton, I needed to find somewhere else to record…
There was one studio – a place I had used in 2011 – that was still open. The webpage looked good, the correspondence went well, and I set up two recording sessions.
And without being mean about it (also, politics – this is being posted publicly, after all) – it was a very different experience. I’m used to working in a certain way, and being about to trust the judgement of the engineer about pitch. I’m not used to a smoker (there is the issue of smoke breaks, as well as the smell of cigarettes which is really hard on the voice). I’m also not used to being told that I’m being too picky when I just want the song to be on bloody pitch. And I shouldn’t need to go over every single crossfade to be sure it’s right, or now be stuck with a few notes that topped out the amp levels and need to be ‘saved’ using a digital program.
Yes. It was a different experience. And I ended up sending the rough tracks to my recording engineer to fix in the end, because that was the only way to have a usable finished product. In about a week I’ll have them back, and I’m already designing a cover based on the show image. Then I’ll put the album up on Amazon and iTunes, make some physical copies, and… there will be a soundtrack! Hurrah!