When I first started recording my own songs a few years ago, my ‘studio set-up’ was so far from ‘studio’ that I managed to shock many-a-folk with the quality of my recordings at the time. Including myself. But I had a secret weapon… The vocal booth of broken doors…!
Looking back I really wish I had taken photos to capture the significance of how simple the ‘beginning’ was, but like most retrospect, we don’t realise its importance until it becomes something else later on. It was was little more than just a big pain to configure at the time.
Back then, when I wanted to record vocals, I first had to go out to the garage, dust down and bring in some sliding panels that had broken off an old cupboard we had, storing paint. I’d take the two tall panels inside and balance them against one another and against my corner desk, creating a very tight booth. Then I’d ever-so-gently drape some funky old bedspreads (you know the old 70s green shaggy type?) over the door panels to dampen the sound.
What I found quite tricky was that I like to dance when I sing, so I it was quite a challenge to stand still, right up against the mic, and not knock my walls down, ruining the recording and making a big bloody mess.
But part of the beauty of this story is that I remember recording the backing vocals (BVs- as I now know they’re referred to;)) of my song ‘I said Yes in Paree’ in this tight tall booth, while I had tradies walking back and forth past my window, busy building our new music studio/home cinema in our back yard. They couldn’t see my in my booth but I new they were there and I did a pretty good job of keeping them out of my mix, for such a dodgy set-up.
You can imagine my delight the day I replaced those old cupboard doors for a 4 panel fold-up screen that offered space to dance AND sing all at the same time. Small victories! And then eventually I recorded in an actual real live commercial studio and they didn’t shove me into ANY small booths at all… Not even any spare blankets! Wow. Now that’s when you know you’ve made it !! ha ha…