The moment I finish recording, the drummer lunges to the window to stick his head out. “I can’t believe I’m drenched after one song,” he gasps. The stale smell of sweat is already permeating the room, but we can’t have the windows open during recording because trains like to pass by whenever we decide to start. A lilac curtain has been drawn all around the room in an attempt to reduce echo, and the black scuffed floor is a result of so many instruments being dragged across it over time.
Max, the vocalist, turns to me and tells me to get rid of what we’ve just recorded and start again. A few moments of fumbling with the macbook pass, and I nod back to him. He brushes his blond hair out of his eyes, scratches at an even blonder beard, and stands poised grasping a bright red electric guitar. All is silent for a few seconds, and I start the recording.
It lasts about five seconds.
“Max, I’m sorry mate. I just cant hear you.” The drummer has missed his cue. Now, we have to come up with a solution. For my first day on the job as a sound technician, I’d say it’s pretty normal. Currently, our elegant solution to recording an electric guitar is jamming a microphone right next to the giant amplifier, which thankfully comes on wheels, making the act of turning it towards the drum set easier. Problem rectified, Future Theory begin playing again.
The room becomes awash with their rich, old-school sound. I really like how they’ve made the instrumentation the main focus of the music, including large instrumental sections to really let the music breathe and to make the vocals feel like the icing on the cake. I’m impressed. I might ask Max later if he would want his band’s music to get a little air-time on my radio show. That might be a good way to buy their respect.
When the song is over, I (very professionally) leave a pregnant pause at the end before stopping just to make sure all the guitars have fallen silent. Now, I pass out massive grey headphones to everyone so that they can listen back. They decide to do another take, so I begin setting up another recording while everyone else takes their place. Max, glancing at me, sees me nod and begins his guitar intro.
Having the opportunity to work with local bands, record their music for them and get paid for it is really a dream come true for me, and barely even feels like work at all. In fact, I loved every second of it, and I’m notorious for hating everything. It took us an hour to set up all the equipment, but the band waited patiently and politely. At least, that’s what it looked like. They could have been silently dreaming new and exciting insults to hurl my way for being such an amateur. I’m sure they weren’t, but you can never be too careful.