WW SPONSOR: Hemispheres Recording Studio.
Do you remember your first day in middle school? I do. How about your first date, do you remember that? I remember what I wore, practicing what I would say when I first saw her that night, and what I had planned for us to do. I was incredibly nervous and went over what I was going to say a million times in my head. As I stepped out of my folk's car and made my way to her front door my Mom said, "Don't be nervous". Like that was going to help.
For as long as I've been playing guitar and the many times I've stepped up onto a stage to perform for a live audience, nothing compares to the feeling of being in a recording studio. It brings up the nervous feelings you had as a kid for each and every first experience. From sweaty palms to a racing mind, you wonder if you are going to get it right and hopefully not have to play it a thousand times. Although you've practiced it with the band a hundred times and on your own a what seems a million times, once the little red record light comes on it's time to shine - so to speak.
The recording studio is a magical place to be. Creating music and arranging those seemingly incoherent thoughts into a sensible pattern is not as easy as it first might seem. The simpler the better I've always heard. But then again I love bands from Dream Theater to Van Halen, so complexity and simplicity are in wonderful harmony throughout their tunes.
Recently I had the opportunity to record at Hemishperes Recording in North Hollywood. (read about the related press release) I took my time to lay out all my parts and practice them over and over in hopes that I would be prepared and ready to go. I've had a few chances to record throughout the years and have had my fingers on many-a-board but I wasn't prepared to meet James Lugo and be in a real studio with world-class equipment and someone that truly knows how to capture my sound and the sound of the band. I feel a good player should know what they want their instrument/voice to sound like but capturing that is an elusive adventure. Needless to say I've spent thousands and thousands over the years with different bands and different studios but have yet to be really happy with the end product. There is no question that is why I started learning about recording, microphones, editing and mixing, and someday if I'm lucky, mastering. The investment of time and money is staggering. Great studio equipment isn't cheap and the countless hours it takes to understand the subtle differences in sound from one shiny knob to the next, can be very frustrating.
The sign of an experienced professional behind the board is how they make you feel when you enter their domain and how he or she seems to make a fun environment out of what could be a terribly nervous and emotional time. James Lugo handled himself like the seasoned veteran that he is. I can only speak for myself, but I certainly felt at ease and had a great time recording at his facility in North Hollywood.
Patience in a recording environment can actually be measured - really. Setting up drums and checking each mic, hitting each drum over and over as well as turning all the knobs in succession after the mics, really does take patience. Oh, and an exceptional ear. The ear is something you either have or you don't, in my opinion. Practice certainly helps but if you can't hear the subtle, virtually indistinguishable sounds each hardware piece makes then how could you ever expect to come up with a great finished product.
From the original capture of the instruments and the mixing of each piece together, to the countless hours it takes to continue tweaking things into place, most certainly requires a professional with years of experience and loads of talent. James has all of the above.
Thanks for making our recording with you such a great experience,