C. Lynne Smith
 

    Where did it all begin? Well....It was a dark and stormy night......oh, wait, wrong story. Ok, let's try again.

    A few years ago, in an attempt to conquer stage fright, I began playing & singing at open mics. People started coming
    up to me & asking if I had a CD of my songs. All I had were demo tapes so I had to figure out how to go about
    making a CD that would be good enough for those who wanted it.

    Long story short, after an attempt in a start-up studio (arrrg), and low finances (*sigh), I decided to do it on my own.
    After all, it was my vision to have this CD be as ‘real’as it’s Title & the music on it.

    So I started with what I had at the time: an old karaoke tape machine I’d gotten from QVC in the 80’s, 2 cheap
    microphones that came with it, the acoustic guitar my Dad got me in the 70’s, keyboards, an old guitar banjo that my
    Gram handed down to me (never stays tuned but I kinda like that about it), recorders, percussion stuff, cough drops.

    Taped the microphones to the ceiling (didn’t have a mic stand yet), stuck tapes into my old machine, sucked down a
    cough drop started recording. Oh, just a note to anyone starting out this way......be prepared to lose some paint from
    the ceiling if you tape the mics up there cause they inevitably do fall down. So, using whatever I could find rigging it
    however it had to be rigged .....the process of creating ‘Real’ began.

    Along the way, I graduated to a Tascam 4 track tape machine & some music software so I could get the songs onto a
    CD. Had worked in the computer field in the past before becoming a Nurse so I did have some technical skills that
    came in handy in this HUGE learning curve. Ok, HUGE is an understatement. Eventually got all the music into the
    computer...learning much about sound levels, pops, hisses, clicks...and some sounds I’ve never heard before in my
    life. Finally, ‘Real’ was born.

    What I really like about this creation is that the songs are a combination of the old and new. Some of it is actually
    from old demos that I never intended to use on the final CD... but they had such a unique quality to them that doing
    them over just wasn’t going to cut it.

    The first song, ‘Real’ is completely from the Demo. Just cleaned it up a little & added some crackles to go with the
    already present Retro/old vinyl warmth sound that was naturally created on input. A few songs are a combination of
    the original Demo New input and only 2 songs were completely done over because I just couldn’t clean up the demo
    enough.

    This CD truly represents the process, from inception to completion. From Demo to Master. From hardly any good
    equipment to some better equipment. From not knowing a thing about what I was doing & winging it by the seat of
    my pants...to actually creating decent recordings. It is real.

    Releasing ‘Real’ brought up a few insecurities, of course. Being home grown, would the quality be any good? Would
    it even play in most players? Would it be good enough for people to enjoy listening to it? How long is a piece of
    string? Ok, just threw that in there.

    Wasn’t even sure how to begin the mastering process I heard so much about, or exactly what it was. With the help of
    my loyal companion, many hours were spent burning & listening to the songs on whatever players we could find.
    Adjusting levels, editing, burning again....

    Didn’t even have a decent stereo to play it back on. Just an old boom box with a cracked speaker. To hear it on a
    decent system, we had to test it out on my best friend’s car stereo just to get a better idea. If she ever moves away...
    we’ll be in trouble.

    Later learned that there is Mastering software available for around $800.00 (yikes) that simulates all kinds of players
    from crappy to the best. The way I figured it...we were poor and we already had the crappy players.. so if it sounded
    good on those, it would probably work on just about anything. And there's our mastering.

    Was quite blessed to have my loyal partner, who is very creative, working along with me on this project. Designing
    and creating the Web site & CD's packaging; cover, inserts, labels etc. Managing much of the administrative work that
    goes along with releasing a CD. The packaging very much represents the music, feel and vision of ‘Real’ ...right down
    to the ‘groovy’ retro Vinyl CD’s we used !

    A few years ago, this didn't even seem within reach. Now it exists in a form that we can share with others. It’s really
    exciting and rewarding to be able to turn a dream into a reality! That in and of itself is the true reward of doing
    something like this.

    We’re looking forward to the life & ‘Real’ lives as we continue to live life in music and make some more.
The Making of Real