In Tune

Sheila playing guitar

My usual practice spot for playing guitar and writing memory verse songs is a bit more roomy than my makeshift studio!

I am so happy.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away – oh, wait. Make that:

Once upon a time, in a land a few feet away, I was trying to record songs for my VBS—The Land of Milk & Honey memory verses. I was very excited because I figured out a way to set up my very own fabulous, modern-day, improvised techy recording studio to get some pretty nice sound recordings.

The art of making do 😉

My dear hubby TJ had kindly purchased some recording equipment at a pawn shop for me, probably the most valuable piece of which would prove to be a headset mic.

So armed with my new headset mic, I hauled my laptop computer off to our little bathroom for some awesome acoustics — and a reasonable amount of sound-proofness.

In Tune

Staying in tune seemed a simple enough task…

A simple barstool made a great computer stand, and it just so happened that the power cord would still reach the outlet near the sink if I set the stand up near the Queenly throne seating that came preinstalled in my recording studio. Perhaps someone had that in mind when they decided on the cozy size for this particular room?

Anyway, I found that if I sat at just the right angle, my guitar would fit in my recording studio, too. And if I hung my headset mic in the soundhole, I got some pretty nice sound!

So, one by one, I went through and recorded the music for the memory verse songs. And then I needed to take care of the voice tracks.

It seemed a simple enough task. I did have to do a bit of experimenting to get the mic in a good place (“poofs” and “booms” don’t work very well when you really wanted “p’s” and “d’s”); and the sound settings on my computer took a bit of tweaking, too, but finally I was satisfied.

And then I had to have a way to hear the guitar — without it cluttering the voice track. Hmm….

Ah! Earbuds!

So I ran for my earbuds; played the guitar track in there; and sang into the mic. Worked pretty well! (Never mind that I had to untangle myself from all the cords from time to time….)

So, one by one, I went through and recorded the voice for the memory verse songs. And then I needed to put the tracks together.

Disappointment

Um, I ran into a problem. And it was a pretty depressing one at that. You see, I have always been one to be able to carry a tune pretty well. I can usually even round the other voices back to the right note if I know for sure where we are supposed to be when we sing as a group.

But when I listened to my recordings, my heart sank.

It seemed that every single one was at least a hair off-key. Waa.

I have been having problems with my voice ever since a horrible bout with bronchitis several years back, but I had not realized that my voice was so off. I mentioned this to my children and they said they had not even noticed. But I did. Eek, it was horrible! I could not use these recordings!

So I set the project aside, hoping I would get my voice back one day.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Well, today I wanted to try again. Big brother had taken little brother on his trip to town for errands, just so they could have time together. I figured, perfect opportunity to record!

So I got my nice little, tangly setup ready. (I did not need the guitar this time because the guitar tracks were already good.) Then I started to record.

I checked my first song, just to be sure. Awful. Waa again. But wait!

Success!

Oh, I love the Holy Spirit! I suddenly had this interesting thought: I cannot hear my own voice with the earbuds in! So I took one out and tried again.

Yes! That was all I needed.

So, one by one, I went through and recorded the voice for the memory verse songs. And then I worked with little sister to get the second voice… and now I just need to put the tracks together!

Moral of the story: We can listen better if our ears are open to the sounds around us. And if we are open to our environment, we will be much more in tune!

……

Want to know when the memory verse songs are ready? If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, you can do that right below this post! 🙂


Thank you to Samantha for shooting the photos for this post — it was quite a challenge with a, shall we say, very active little brother hanging out with us! 🙂 Samantha blogs at Musical Mantha.

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