Evolution Of ‘Hearts’
Okay, so just what does this whole recording process entail – and why does it take so damn long?
Well, a great part of it is the ability to constantly improve what you’ve done. “Good” can be made “Better.”Â Here’s an example of one of my songs, “Hearts,” showing the differences between a version of the song mixed down in 2004, followed by another version of the song mixed down in March 2008 (Uh, wow, four long years…):
In the first version, I had my lead and background vocals, keyboards, MPC2000XL drums, Alesis D4 congas, Mike’s saxophone, Vince’s guitar, turntables by my friend +he op+imis+Â and a smooove Fender Jazz bassline played by our original bassist, Chris Monaco (who once played bass for Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine!).
In the second version, the keyboards, sax, bass, turntables and guitar remain, but I re-recorded the lead vocal, replaced the drum track with NI Battery samples, added Louie’s and Lisa’s background vocals and replaced the D4 congas with Keith’s live congas. On a more subtle level, I added some shakers/hand percussion tracks which, together with the live congas, made it sound more “live” despite the fact that the drumsÂ were still programmed.
On a more basic, visceral level, the older version sounds “thinner” and the newer version sounds much more “beefier.”
Constantly improving one’s work is a natural part of being an artist. Things can always be done better, but at one point you have to be satisfied with what’s good enough, move on and let it go for others to hopefully appreciate.