Britt Daley invited me to sketch the recording session for her new song, "One and Only." Sound Lounge Studios is located near Full Sail University. I pulled into the complex of warehouses and wondered if I was in the right place. I passed rusted out cars as I drove to the back of the complex. The sound studio door was open. I hesitated, then pushed my way in. I half expected to see an automotive strip shop. Inside it was dark. All the walls were painted black. As my eyes adjusted, Britt welcomed me. She introduced me to Mike Stebe, the sound designer. She apologized and said they were going out for lunch. That was perfect since I hadn't eaten all day. I got in the back seat of Britt's car. As we drove to Whole Foods she popped in the CD they had been refining in the morning. The car stereo speakers were right behind my head. It took me a minute before I realized I was listening to Britt singing. "Are you gonna be my one and only or you gonna leave me hanging dry? Together were super sonic, gin and tonic..." The song is catchy and fun. That morning Britt and Mike had added an catchy electronic riff. It is hard to imagine the song without it now.
After a healthy lunch at the salad bar we headed back to the recording studio. Greg Shields was waiting there. He was there to coach Britt when she sang the lyrics again. The microphone where Britt sang was located in another room. She stepped into a closet sized space that was covered in foam panels. A foam panel door was closed behind her. A small portable air conditioner kept the sound booth cool but her room was sweltering hot. She screamed when she saw a translucent spider crawl behind the sound panels. Mike went in to get rid of the spider but they couldn't find it. Then Britt realized she didn't have any water to sip.
Britt warmed up her voice with some scales before she started recording. The song was broken down into short segments. She would sing a line and Craig often had advice on pronunciation. He lounged on the orange couch looking just like Jim Morrison of the Doors. He listened intently. He wanted to keep her from sounding to breathy. At times the subtly of what he was asking for eluded me. Britt appreciated all his feedback. After multiple takes she always got it.
After several hours when she was done recording she joined us back in the sound booth. Mike played with the recorded tracks adjusting them in a program called Logic Pro. The sound waves from the tracks were clearly visible. He polished individual words at times shortening the track to eliminate inhales or other noise. He could even slide a word up or down affecting the pitch. It was a fascinating process to watch. Britt shared her new web site design she had done. I had no idea she was also a graphic designer. Some people always surprise me with their talents.
Britt explained that the beat and structure of her song is Pop. As a singer, songwriter her background was more folksy. She went on to describe her music as Electro Pop, Indie Pop, and even Folktronica. Some of her songs are grittier and more Indy Pop. But "One and Only" is a pure and simple song that is fun to dance to. Britt will be shooting a music video of the song at the end of August. I of course hope to sketch the rise of this talented Orlando Pop Star.