If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

sabbatical fruit - week 5 - mixing it up

It took most of the week to shake the cold/flu I had last weekend. But, I'm finally back to 95% and just a few sniffles.

Besides some extra rest this week, I did write some new lyrics and worked on a new song of my own. I also went up to Boone, NC, Thursday afternoon and evening to hear my friend, Stephanie, sing at a coffeehouse. A Christian of deep faith, she is fully immersed in the secular arts world of that college town (and soon back to NY) to sing songs full of faith and life from the heart. People are drawn to her honesty and sincerity - it's not "Christian music," but is a Christian singing real music. It was a treat to hear her and see how she's grown musically and spiritually.

Mainly this week I worked on mixing Maddie's CD. Mixing is the task of making recorded music sound right. It involves sound volume, equalization (bass/treble/etc...), spatial placement (near/far/echo), and effects. The more sound sources or "tracks" one is working with, the more complex this becomes. It really is an art form just as much as music performance.

I have some training and experience in mixing recorded sound. I was a studio engineer in Nashville... back in '90-'92 (and have been recording music since I was a young teenager). I realized that was a loooong time ago and I was very rusty. I also don't do it day in and day out like I did when living there. So, I knew the sound I wanted, but with new speakers, new acoustic space, and rusty ears, it took a lot to get the sound I wanted. In some cases, I was mixing as many as 16-20 tracks between vocals, background vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, piano, organ, and a few other surprises.

A three minute song with all those instruments probably takes 8-10 hours to record, if each player knows their part well and can more or less record their part without error. Even then, there are often multiple "takes" to not just play without errors, but to play "in the groove." If there are 16-20 tracks to be mixed it probably takes another 3-4 hours to come up with the right mix of volume, EQ, space, and effects. (And then I have to try out the mix with multiple speakers - what sounds great in the studio must also sound good in the car and on the iPod!)

In some ways, mixing sound is similar to being a pastor. People often expect the pastor to be the "star," but the more biblical view of pastor is as engineer or equipper of others. In the church I see the many different sounds and textures of people's individual gifts and talents. And part of my job is to encourage, exhort, and "mix" these together as I shepherd one part of the body of Christ. It's easy to think a song is all about the vocals or the guitar solo, but each part plays an important part in the overall sound. So it is in the church. It's easy to point to very visible and outgoing contributions as more significant than others, but it takes each member of the body working together to produce the whole "mix" of a healthy church. And when it happens, it is as satisfying and pleasing as a well-mixed song from the heart!

Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth