Mic fright

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sirwalter1, May 20, 2009.

  1. sirwalter1

    sirwalter1 Guest

    This is even embarassing to write.
    I am a harmonica player, and I play a lot with differant local bands.
    A fan asked me if I would be interested in playing at a wedding "ceramony" probably for an hour or so, and do I have any CD's or demo's of my music so she could promote me.
    I said no, however, I can put one togterher.
    So I cliped 10 of my favorite numbers and using my recording software I began recording a track.
    Here's my problem.
    I can not record without making mastakes "Mic Fright"...!

    I make my own backtracks and practice a lot with them without any problems, but the moment I pick up the mic to record, BAM...!

    To overcome my imidiate problem, I recorder some "live" tracks.

    Getting back to the question.
    Do any of you pros have any suggestions that would help my situation???

    Besides going bowling or something...!

  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone, I see it happen all the time.

    The only known cure for the dreaded Red Light Fever is repetition.

    It sounds like you're well prepared and can play your instrument, which is the first step.

    Next you have to come to grips with the fact that mistakes will happen, and it's going to take practice - not harmonica practice - recording practice. It can be distracting being the engineer and the artist at the same time. Eventually through repetition you will get more comfortable and be able to focus on the task at hand. I know 'don't let it psych you out', is easier said than done. But trust me it will get easier the more you do it, but you've got to let go of the mistakes.

    It's not like you're in a $200/hour situation, or have record execs looking at you through the glass, you're in the comfort of your own home. You're not even burning through expensive tape, you're using a computer that can instantly forget that mistake ever happened. You should do the same, if you make a mistake learn what you can from it, and forget about it. If you have to, concentrate on breaking it down into smaller sections. You can always edit the pieces together to get the full length of the song. Just don't overdo it. Unfortunately the trend is to use computer editing technology to achieve a level of perfection the artists couldn't play in real time - which can sound sterile and soul-less. With something as expressive as the harmonica, it would be terrible to lose the soul of the instrument.

    Thirdly, let it rip. Some of the best things ever captured on tape are brilliant mistakes. Relax and enjoy the process.

    I hope that helps.
  3. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Home Page:
    record while you practice.
  4. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    ABR -
    Always be recordin'

    It has to become second nature. Don't start and stop. Start and keep going - if you have to stop, don't reset the recording, just keep going. You'll know when it worked and can save then.

    2 different sides of the brain are engaged when you are artist and engineer. Let go of the critical ear and play...judge later.

  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    All of the above, on some software you can loop the recording so that it starts and repeats until you turn it off. It records each pass layering the next over the last, but you can bring up any one of the takes. That way without starting or stopping the recording you can make as many passes at the peice as you need. You can edit in something from another take to cover a mistake. Also remember that the mistakes we make and seem so glaring to us the avarage person may not ever notice.
  6. sirwalter1

    sirwalter1 Guest

    Mic frite

    Wow, I didn't expect all that...!
    I never thought about running the recorder while practicing, (for what ever reason)
    I know the mistakes are made due to thinking of the recorder running, so if I can get it out of my head I may have a chance.

    Thanks for the advice.
  7. RonanChrisMurphy

    RonanChrisMurphy Active Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    Pop open a beer and crank the monitors. Making it feel more like a gig can help ease the jitters a bit.
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