The Michaels is a band formed by a good friend of mine, Al Van Cleave (formerly of Bitter Sweet Jam). They went into the studio last year to record a song he had written called 'Jessie'. It is a beautifully written song about memories of a long past relationship. It was a great experience for me to document and learn a little about the recording process.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I'm not much of a musician, but always an appreciator of those that are. And in all the years spent listening and being in awe of the bands I love, I never put a whole lot of thought to what goes into the recording process. It was very interesting to me to see all that goes into recording a song, and how important a good recording engineer is. We spent most of the morning hanging out at Prairie Sun Studios on couches as the engineer set up the recording equipment. The band jammed to warm up, and when it came time to record, everyone was ready. Each band member was set up in a different room, all with headphones on in order to hear each other. We ran through the song about 5 or so times, each time I would change rooms. I had no headphones, so if I was in the room with the drummer, all I could hear was the drums. But when it was all recorded and played back, it all played together perfectly. And that would be because these guys are the real deal! The base guitarist in fact hand built his base guitar, as well as the the violin. Each one of these guys is as passionate and talented as the other, and watching them play made that obvious. All in all, the recording of this one song took 3 studio sessions, the last one spent mixing the song down to its final version.
I want to thank Al and the rest of The Michaels for allowing me to document their recording session. Every once in a while a unique opportunity comes along to document something a little out of the ordinary, and this was definitely one of those times.