My First Studio Recording Experience

By: Savannah Sayan
Student Mitchell Cohen rocks out on on acoustic drums when he's not playing his main instrument, the slide whistle.
My First, and Not My Last

Myself being one of the newest members of the Wingman team, I had never worked on a live recording until earlier this month and I must say, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t listen to recorded music the same way anymore now that I know everything that went into creating that piece for the public. The Wingman Recording Workshop partnered with Wickham Road Music was a group of five talented teens performing with their instructor in our live band multi-tracking studio with impressive pieces that they wrote and it was so inspiring to record for my first time with them.

Ethan Greek (left) and Peter Gattle (right) both played electric guitar for the recording experience. Greek wrote the piece Three Days Riding which we recorded during the workshop and Gattle wowed us with his experience in multiple instruments.

The musicians had never performed together before and none had ever recorded their work in a studio, so it was a very new experience for them as well as me. We set up by giving every musician their own section of our recording room and we hooked up multiple microphones for each section to capture every note. After setting up the recording devices for three electric guitars, one acoustic guitar, an electric bass, and an acoustic drum set we fed all of the wires into a snake which lead to our fifty-two channel analog recording desk. There were a lot of moving parts involved in setup, but everything was put together smoothly. Then the musicians arrived and we performed a sound check for everyone making sure that everything was set properly.

Sophia Noveska, acoustic guitar student and incredibly soulful player.

After soundcheck the magic really happened. There were four pieces all with contrasting styles and original writing, each bringing their own fun and excitement to the performers and crew. We captured these pieces not just through audio, but through video and photography also. I was behind the camera as well as working the recording desk and both were a blast, especially when it came to working with the musicians directly. The pieces consisted of a groove number titled Light Blue written by instructor Pete Balciunas, the heavy metal piece Walking Tall also given to us by Pete, Clowning Around a jazz number written by student Ian Hendricks, and lastly a piece entitled Three Days Riding  written by student Ethan Greek with an old western feel. With every new piece came new inspiration for everyone.

Ian Hendricks, bass student and writer of recorded piece Clowning Around.

Multiple takes of every song were recorded through audio and video while candid shots were captured all throughout the recording time. The individual personality of every player was carefully documented through the process and the group that started out as total strangers grew a visible and audible bond through their art. Every one of the students aimed for perfection and they all showed their strength through recording. So much heart was put into the recording event that most people don’t consider when they put their ear buds in to listen to something. Seeing the admirable passion in every performer is why all recorded music sounds different to me now. The other crew members as well as I had just as much love for the recording experience as the performers. Every bit of the product had so much love and work put into it and all of the effort was 100% worth the end product and the experience. The crew I worked with helped me learn so much and they guided the Recording Workshop to greatness; my crew was the reason for me performing at the top of my potential and our end product wouldn't shine as much as it does without our technical department.

Audio technician, Chris Lejarde, laughing at his own jokes during mic check.
Collin Chase, camera man extraordinaire.

While interviewing the musicians I found that they had the same feelings towards this new encounter as I did. All of the students said that they would absolutely record with us again and I personally can’t wait for that day to come. At the end of the recording workshop we dismantled the equipment and it was almost sad having to put it away; but even though that leg of the journey was over there was still so much to do. Every song that is now recorded must be mixed, every video must sync with the audio, and every photo must be processed so that the recording workshop is fully completed. Working on all of these projects for the recording experience is just as great as actually being there. The pieces that we recorded will be up on Soundcloud soon, so the songs can be enjoyed by everyone. The videos as well as the photos will be shared with the public too, and I couldn’t be more excited. So many people have something that they want to share with the world and they still haven’t gotten into the booth yet when they really should! Working for Wingman and with the talented students at Wickham Road Music changed everything for me and I highly encourage artists to get in the sound booth and have fun. My first recording experience was amazing and the product is even better, the media our team captured speaks for itself and anyone can see the passion put into the Recording Workshop by everyone involved.

Here's a Sneak Peek of Some of our Favorite Photos From The Recording Workshop, a Full Upload of the Gallery is Coming Soon so Stay Updated!