My body shook with shame. The feedback nauseated me. Were my vocals really pitchy? What the hell does “pitchy” even mean? What did he mean that the music wasn’t balanced?
My book was professionally published and edited. My publisher pointed out areas that may have left readers confused had I not tweaked a passage or word. Her mastery enhanced my book.
With my CD, however, I had done everything myself. I was about to be laid off from my job, so I couldn’t afford to spend the tens of thousands of dollars to hire a professional music producer, studio musicians, and a sound engineer.
Instead, I hired a SF rock band to learn and record my music with a single digital recorder in the middle of a room. I paid them $400 plus pizza for the weekend. I then recorded my own vocals and sax, spent $75 on software, and mixed everything myself. It took me hundreds of hours to adjust the tempos, clean up any errors, and make it just right. People who heard it said they liked it.
I then spent $40 to get it professionally reviewed. Never in my nightmares did I expect to receive the feedback that the reviewer gave me: the music didn’t sound “professionally produced”, some vocals were “pitchy” or out-of-tune (and I didn’t hear it), the vocals were overshadowed by the music making the vocals lack punch, and so on and so on… Ackkkkk!!
After the shock wore off – and a good therapy session – my wife Sioux suggested that I find a professional music producer to clean up my music and vocals. She hopped on the internet and within minutes found one in Northern California who was nominated for a couple of Grammys. We connected and two months later, my music and vocals have been transformed.
It may seem obvious, but the singers and bands that we love are incredibly produced. Their vocals are tuned and have layers of effects on them. When their music is recorded, there are over a dozen mikes – just for the drum set alone! There are production standards that are followed that our pedestrian ears take for granted. Duh!! It’s amazing that I didn’t think of this originally.
Anyway, enjoy the songs of Wide Awake: Songs from Holy Crap. You can listen in concert with my book Holy Crap or without. You can stream the songs for free on my website HERE or you can download tracks or buy the CD HERE. If you listen on your computer, never listen to music through laptop speakers. Throw on some headphones, turn up the volume to as loud as is still comfortable, and be sure to check out the lyrics.