I have produced/recorded several CDs of music, and am working on several more projects that have not yet been released. The current paradigm of recording and mastering in today's world seems to favor maximizing the volume of the recording at all cost. In addition, the vocals have been artificially tuned, and the instruments have been recorded individually in a studio. In fact, many of the instruments heard are not the actual acoustic instruments at all, but a synthesizer or sampler playing a representation of the instrument. Not to say that the end results are bad, but at the same time, in my opinion, the current recording trends tend to remove much of the human element of the music. Depending on the specific recording technique used, the musicians playing may no longer be able to connect with each other as they aren't actually in the studio at the same time. With the ability to correct tuning who knows if the singer actually hit that perfect high note, as beautiful as it may seem. The maxed out volume preference is ultimately adding distortion (or the possibility of distortion) and reducing expression in the music.
When producing my recordings, I have chosen to step back a bit and look at what is really possible with recording technology to connect the listener with the musician playing in the recording. The recordings I produce do not have the volumes artificially maximized. I take a conservative approach that maximizes the dynamic range of the medium while reducing or eliminating the possibility of distortion. The recordings are made “live” in a semi-controlled environment. The musicians are all together playing or singing as they would be in an actual performance. Microphones are placed to pick up the individual instruments and/or vocalists as well as the ambiance from the environment. I use my own equipment and master the recordings in my personal studio. I spend a lot of time living with the recordings making sure that they are true to form before they make it onto the CD, and that any adjustments made do not detract from the authenticity of the tracks.
The end result is a bit different from many recordings. It as if you are sitting in a room with the musicians actually performing for you, or singing with you as the case may be. You can sense the genuine emotions of the artists as if you were actually there. There is a special authenticity of the music that is sometimes missing from recordings. Yes, there are some imperfections, as there are in any live performance. However, the results touch the heart.
I hope you will have the opportunity to partake of one or more of my offerings. If you are interested in having me produce a CD for you, please contact me to discuss your project.
Adrien Roberts—Solo Journey:
I was privileged to produce a double CD set titled “Solo Journey” by vocalist Adrien Roberts with piano by David Ripley. This was a fun project, as Adrien is comfortable in a variety of vocal styles. The two CDs are titled as to the feeling/content of the CD. The first CD titled “Journey Faith” leaves the listener to decide on the connecting word between Journey and Faith. Whether it is a “Journey of Faith” a “Journey to Faith” a “Journey with Faith” or another word of your choice, is for the listener to decide. The music is of a more traditional/light classic nature. The second CD is titled “Journey Discovery”. Again, the listener is left to decide how the words are connected. Is it a “Journey of Discovery” a “Journey to Discovery” or another word you would discover on your own. The music on the CD is of a more contemporary style. The first CD could be thought of representing music used to form faith in the past, and the second CD representing music offering a new path to be traveled. Without a doubt, the heart of Adrien is truly present in all of the songs. The music on the CD is all recorded in a semi-controlled live setting.
Over the years, I have become increasingly discouraged by what I consider as generally poor quality music being produced for children. The overly stimulated vocalist with artificial accompaniment isn't what music is about (at least in my mind). There is seemingly nothing “real” in many of these recordings. Fake emotions, fake instruments, fake characters, fake, fake, fake…and we are feeding it to our real children. A talented team of musicians, all with a heart for children, came together to create this CD. Participants included a multi-generational family unit consisting of Lindsay and Dan Whipple, their daughter Lisa Taylor and her daughter Isabel, along with Vanessa and Jason Halliday and David Ripley. This CD serves to undo the trend of fakeness served up to children and the young at heart. The CD utilizes all truly acoustic instruments (no synthesis) and real people performing the instruments together as a group in a semi-controlled live setting. You can actually feel the people singing together, as if sitting around a campfire making music, simply because they love to do it. The CD represents a truly refreshing departure from the fakeness which permeates children's recordings of late.
Sing Praises To The Lord—Music From Taizé
Taizé music was born in and named after a small ecumenical community in the Burgundy region of Eastern France. Over the years, the brothers of the community offered hospitality to many visitors passing through. They all came looking for something on their journey of faith. As the flow of visitors increased, the brothers recognized that there needed to be a way for everyone to join together in prayer and not simply observe prayers as bystanders. They found that sung chants, made up of a few words repeated over and over, comprised a style of prayer that was accessible to everyone, while still maintaining a meditative nature, thus allowing an authentic encounter with the mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The emphasis of Taizé music is on participation, not performance. The recording is authentically recorded in a church setting with acoustic instruments only. I believe that the authenticity of the hearts that recorded the music shows through the music they recorded.
All of these CDs are available through:
Trinity Episcopal Church
2400 North Canal St.
Orange, CA 92865