From writing the song, to composing the music, to rehearsing the actual song with all the talents, to making sure all the equipment is ready for recording, to the actual loooong and tiring and tedious process of recording. I knew music producing was tough, but I didn't know it was THIS tough.
6:00 am I'm supposed to be awake for Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Peter's but I was too sleepy to get up. I was thinking I could get up for the 7am mass instead. I go back to sleep for another 30 minutes.
7:00 am I get to St. Peter's for the 7am mass only to find out there is NOT 7am mass and instead there was a 6.30 am mass and the next one would be at 8am. Not good. For a few moments, I was thinking whether I would wait an entire hour for the next mass (thinking it was wasting time cause I was needing to be at Greenhills to pick up the bonggos).
8:00 am I finish getting ready and head to Greenhills East to pick up the bonggos that Yla has so sweetly lent me only the night before. Traffic wasn't bad at all, but just the fact that it's so far is already tiring me out.
9:00 am I drive back to UP with bonggos thinking all is well. I've rechecked my checklist ten thousand times and so far, so good. After all, what could go wrong, right? I was going to be in UP early enough to solve any potential problems.
10:00 am I get to UP and put the instruments (2 guitars, cajon, the bass, and the bonggos), the documentation teams (camera, video camera, tripod) and the blue shirts for those who would forget to wear blue inside the radio studio. That's when our technician tells me there are NO RCA to mini plug cable. THE most crucial plug ever. I thought my groupmate had had it covered the day before, apparently not. I rush to Ever Gotesco and buy two RCA cables and get a box of bottled water for later.
11:00 am I get back to UP and meet with Ynna for BC 122 matters. My mind is trying to concentrate on 111, but oh yes other subjects still exist. I try to settle everything with Ynna so I can get back to worrying about 111.
12:00 pm Our technician opens the radio studio and I set up without my groupmates (both of whom have class before our class). I plug in all the cables, test all the microphones, move the monitor speakers, and all that jazz.
1:00 pm Our professor arrives on time and Miguel arrives a few minutes after. I think things are okay, but then Sir listens to the monitor speakers and there's a BUZZ. He immediately says that this won't do. So we scramble to find another set of cables. All the cables have a buzz!!! Oh no. After all that, Sir realizes that it's the CPU that has a problem so we switch CPUs with the other radio studio. Voila no more buzz.
2:00 pm We're recording the "guide track" with only one guitar, the cajon and the vocalist and back up. Sir says that we should use a "back beat" instead of the metronome. I try to argue that the talents had practiced with a metronome, but to no avail. I don't want to get on his bad side right off the bat, so I take his word for it. He does know more after all.
3:00 pm We record Isid's part (guitars) following the guide track. It takes about 6 takes before Sir (and I) are satisfied. But that wasn't all. Before we even started recording, the microphone was moved about a hundred times to test which position produced "the best" sound. At first I admit I didn't know the difference, but I would later on.
4:00 pm We record AI's part (vocals) next. I feel terrible for AI. I know that guitar playing is difficult, but singing is also difficult. She had to go at it a few times and we did the entire microphone positioning too. It was nice to hear her really give it her best shot. I was really satisfied with her.
5:00 pm Pietro arrives from school and goes in right away to record his part. After just one take, Sir is satisfied. I'm elated. I'm brimming with pride. Sir finally realizes that the song really does have bossa nova influences (he was doubting it at first because the guitar riffs played without Pietro were not quite bossa). The class finally eats some pizza from Yellow Cab. And because it's Ash Wednesday, it's cheese, vegetarian and seafood pizza for all. Thanks to JR for doing this for me (and holding my phone and wallet at the same time).
6:00 pm Miguel's turn to record. The last guitar in the three guitar combination and we have a difficult time positioning the microphone. It sounded good to me, but things needed to be perfect. Miguel was such a trooper. This guy knows more about recording and Garage Band than all of us combined, so it was hard for him to sit quietly knowing an easier way out. In the end, things went great. At this point, a lot of my classmates had to leave so we were left with only Eden and Addy to help us out. I am so grateful to them for helping out.
7:00 pm Bass guitar time. Miguel was supposed to play bass but after bargaining with Pietro, my brother plays instead. Sir had some pretty specific requests about how he wanted the bass to sound, and since the boys weren't sure about what to play exactly, Pietro improvised using what Sir had told him. At this point, my stomach is grumbling (hello fasting) and my feet are terribly aching from running around/standing up too much.
8:00 pm Then comes the bonggos. The least rehearsed instrument and I'm so happy that Pietro pulled it off with a lot of instruction from Sir on how it was to sound. My brother was so helpful/cooperative/professional. I was so proud of him. I knew he could have gone nuts, but he didn't.
9:00 pm AI records back up vocals which actually belong to Nel, but since Nel had thesis, AI gamely step up to it. Everyone is dead tired already and with no rehearsals, AI has a hard time doing this. Sir finally tells us that we need not record the back up vocals that evening. We agreed and started to pack up. I just wanted to collapse, but there were so many cables to fix, microphones to return, monitor speakers to re-set-up and rooms to clean.
10:00 pm After taking everyone home, Pietro and I finally head home. But alas, I've got scripts to do for 124 and a presentation to do for 122. Seriously. No rest for me, after all. I don't think I got much sleep and it was obvious when I came to school Thursday. I was like a walking zombie.
Still, despite the tears I shed (over the shock of not having RCA cables -- and a professor told me that people who cry easily are very stressed OR weak), and the ultra LSS I was feeling, I have to admit I feel happy and proud and just all around a better person after this. I didn't think I would come out alive, but by midnight of Wednesday, I could say that we survived it and we didn't just "pull it off," we worked our asses off.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible. I'd list you all, but this entry is waaaaay too long already. I know there's still post production to do (hours upon hours of editing, mixing and just making it work), but somehow I feel like the worst is over. Or so I hope. I can't wait to finish producing this song.