Home Recording – Vocals – Getting Use To My Own Skin

I’ve been working on another song in my home recording studio and have this one about as complete as possible for doing it myself.  I have to keep in mind that these are sketches of songs that I do in my studio, just to get my ideas down so when real players get a hold of them they’ll at least have an idea of what I hear in my head.

Being a drummer for almost my entire life I noticed that I really struggle with creating a melody.

I attribute this to years and years of honing in on the rhythm sections of songs.  Melody although always in my subconscious was something I used for cues.

Now with the technology available I can write entire songs with an intro, verse, chorus, bridge and outro, but just for the rhythm sections, like drums, bass, guitar, keys.  I can also add some dynamics and emotions with horns and strings.

But the melody I am leaving for some other time or maybe someone else.

However for this one song in particular I had a set of lyrics in mind when I was creating it. I tried to work them in and definitely had them in my head as I composed each section.

When I wrote this set of lyrics I could hear a rhythm in my head, the rhythm, the phrasing of how they would be delivered in a song, but it was more like a dramatic reading than a melodic song.

Once I had completed all of the basic song with all the chords, rhythms and parts, I did a rough and I mean rough mix of the song and burnt it to a CD.

I listened to it in my truck going to and from work.  Since I am alone during that time I could try to sing a melody and not be inhibited by who might be listening.  I am not a singer by any stretch of the imagination.

Try and try as I did I just couldn’t find a melody that I liked.  In the end what worked for me was doing this dramatic reading like Commander Cody’s “Hot Rod Lincoln”.  I figured at least I can convey the rhythm and phrasing of the words and I’ll probably be less inhibited about others hearing it.

So I spoke the lines in the song and recorded it.Recording1

When I listened to the playback, like everyone who is not use to hearing their voice when it is recorded I was shocked.

Do I really sound like that?

Maybe if I fool with the EQ I’ll sound better.

First off, I’m no engineer so there is no way I’ll be working any miracles.  But I did manage to fool with the sound a bit and make it a little more tolerable for myself to listen to.

I just figured I’ve got to record this, it’s the only way I know to convey what’s in my head.

I wasn’t so much the delivery of the lines that bothered me when I listened to my own voice, being a drummer I thought my timing was pretty good.

I guess it was just that foreign sound of my own voice that made me feel uncomfortable.

But then I started listening to it over and over again as I was trying my hand at mixing.  I know I’m not the best at mixing but there’s only one way to get better.

I noticed the more I listened to it the more the shock and uncomfortable feeling of hearing my voice started to wear off.

I became more objective, almost to the point where it wasn’t my voice but just another piece of the song.

At one point I wrote down a note that said “I just have to get use to my own skin.”

Maybe this will be my only venture into being a vocalist on my own songs, but maybe not.

I know this, it was another lesson I learned in home recording.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “Home Recording – Vocals – Getting Use To My Own Skin

  1. I’ve just started recording music, and I’m forced to sing. I still cringe when I hear myself. I’m perfectly in tune and rhythmically it is also good. But it’s definitely not the kind of voice you’d want to listen to for pleasure! In my case the actual colour of my voice is not appealing. Maybe if I took up smoking and drank white whisky it might add some character to it!

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