I was producing a remote demo session with one of my lovely Pro clients, Mark Avis, connected via Zoom (that’s how I connect with demo clients not in Los Angeles), laying down the voice tracks for his commercial demo. He was running Audacity at his end, locally recording the raw voice tracks, and sending me the raw WAV files.
About 5 minutes into the session, after I’d watched a few of his first takes, I noticed him doing something that wasn’t serving him.
What he was doing was negatively affecting his performance at the beginning of each one of his takes. It’s a bad habit many of us have when we’re recording – and it’s totally worth breaking. Watch the video below in which Mark was sharing his computer’s screen with me, and you’ll see what I mean (and how to solve the problem).
Now, in the old days, when reel to reel tape was the medium we recorded on, being efficient with your work was a money-saver. But even then, that little moment when you set yourself to neutral after the engineer says “Rolling!” was essential.
No need for any of that in today’s digital, tape-free and self-producing world, especially since jumping right into your delivery the moment you see the waveforms being laid down can severely affect your performance. Your take can sound rushed, or pushed, or any number of other negatives that are completely fixed by not looking at the clicking of your record button like you’re pulling the trigger on a starter’s pistol.
Take your time.
You’re in control.
It’s not a race.
Click the record button, then set yourself to neutral, and start whenever you damn well want to.
Is this something you find yourself doing? If so, what thoughts were going through your mind? Did this relieve your anxiety? Let me know in the comments below.
And thanks to Mark Avis (who absolutely killed it on the voice tracks during our remote demo production session!) for giving me permission to share this with you.
Hope this helps.