Thursday, October 30, 2014

Taking Music Outside the Walls of the Church

    A few years ago, our worship pastor decided he wanted to record a live album of our praise team of some cover songs we do, but mainly songs the members of the group wrote and arranged themselves.  By this point, the praise team had been doing concerts at the church a couple of times per year and even at our local Chick-fil-a parking lot on one occasion.  Our lead guitar player at the time was huge into recording and was experimenting with his own material.  He was gracious enough to take on the task of recording this album.  At that time, I had only been a part of the team for about 6-8 months and was serving as the rhythm guitar player, so all of this was new to me.  After the concert, he took the recordings and made a great album that did well here and that our members enjoyed.  Here is the cover:

    The subject of music and recording it is something that I have always been passionate about.  I started playing guitar when I was 7, so this coming year will have been 15 years with an instrument.  I have always known that music is what I wanted to be a part of.  Something that I have discovered while being at MPBC is that if God is blessing you as a singer and/or musician, and He is also blessing your congregation with music, then get it outside the walls of your church.  If something blesses people in your church, then it will likely bless others as well.  The best way we can do that is to record albums.

   Since our first album, I have been fortunate enough here at MPBC to have taken on a pretty interesting role.  Early this year, our worship pastor came to me about recording a studio version of a new album, containing new songs and new sounds.  Since this is going to be a "studio version", it means that every vocal and every instrument will be recorded in a studio-like setting, with one track being laid down at a time to be able to add effects or tweak as needed.  Doing it this way provides the best possible quality of sound, something like you would hear on an album coming from Nashville.  For the DAW, (Digital Audio Workstation) I am using a program called Cubase 5.  This is a software that is used by a lot of audio engineers, along with Pro Tools.  Below is a picture of the Cubase interface with one of my completed projects for the album. 

    This particular song has a total of about 20 tracks, which is actually less than others on the album. Some songs like "Victor's Crown", will have 30 plus tracks. One of the cool things about doing a studio version is that I get to use sounds that we don't normally use on stage.  For example, on the song "God, You Are My God", I use several different types of synthesizers to create a spacey sound for the intro.  Also, we have an intro for the album that creates a cinematic feel, much like a music piece in a movie that's leading up to a big event, which is something we don't get to do on stage.

    To be able to do something like this is an amazing opportunity that I think will lead into bigger things for our worship team and our church.  This particular album's release is set for early December, so I'll give you more information when the time comes.  I can't give out too many details at the moment :)  In the meantime, here is a preview of what the album cover will look like:



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