In the Studio Blog

Here’s what my life is like when I’m in Red Booth Studios, recording sweet (and not-so-sweet) takes of my songs and trying to survive the guys’ incessant teasing. They have a running competition to see who can make me feel the most uncomfortable. Nate’s winning, with Brian close second, Mike in third, and Greg nice enough to not compete. So check out my journal entries from those harrowing yet lovely days:

Thursday, July 2, 2009: Pre-Meeting:

Tonight I met with my producer, Brian Moore, at Red Booth Studios in Medina, NY. I played the eight songs that I’ll be recording and he did a scratch take of me singing and playing (on the baby grand piano!!) each song. The scratch recordings sound so great that I can’t wait to hear how the real versions will sound!

Brian said something really interesting tonight…

I was telling him how I only hear my mistakes in the songs, and after a pause Brian said:

“But both the mistakes and the good parts are equally important. Cause without the mistakes we wouldn’t have to be striving for this place of perfection. And if everything was perfect it’d be boring.”

I’ve been thinking about that a lot – how if everything were perfect and right, we’d never know the pleasure of experiencing beauty, because we’d be accustomed to it. It’s almost like without flaws you can’t have beauty, without a messed up world you can’t know redemption, and without our weaknesses we can’t appreciate God’s strength or know it at work in and through us. Really it’s as if the flaws are just as integral for our understanding of what’s good and right as the good and right parts are. If everything were perfect without our human mistakes, perfect would be meaningless.

That sure is an interesting perspective…


Weeks Leading Up to Studio Time (Summer ’09):

Band practice. Band practice. Band practice.

The guys are so great for being willing to drive out twice a week to practice and help me improve my songs. They have brilliant ideas and incredible musical talent. Nate Cronk, Mike Zale, and Greg Best, I am humbled and blessed that you would pour so much time and creativity into this album.

I’ve had this month off of work, so I’ve been going back to my parents’ house (3.5 hours from Rochester) between each band practice and playing at churches back there. Lots of driving. But lots of fun.

Oh! And there was a song change. I was going to use my song “Come Quickly” as one of the tracks on my CD, but after playing several songs for my old college roomie/bff, Krysta Cagwin (who is an amazing singer), we decided to swap that out for one of my newer songs: “Yours (This Is Who I Am).” I feel so much better about that switch!

Here’s Krysta and me back during our college days at Roberts Wesleyan!


Monday, July 20, 2009: Day One

I LOVE being in the studio! Especially when I’m with ridiculously talented musicians who lay perfect tracks in just a few takes (aka Greg Best, my drummer). Greg said that last night He asked the Lord to show him how to make these songs awesome…and today that awesomeness definitely came out! He was solid and totally nasty on the drums.

Tuning the drums and getting them set up took about four hours (I had no idea drums were so hard to tune!) and then we spent three hours recording the drums for the main rock-ish songs: “Get Out of My Head” (we are all pumped to hear the final version of that song!), “Mask,” “Someday” (my “pop” song), and “Who Will Go.”

Here’s Greg on drums:

Nate Cronk came along part of the day, which was so great because I feel like he’s my mouthpiece – translating my vision for each song into the language of music. (I’m not very fluent in that language. Even though I was a music major.) And he is full of great ideas. Thanks to him and his musical genius, my songs have evolved into what they are.

We made great time today. I am praying for continued great progress, a professional excellence in the sound, and a true anointing and presence of God buried in and smothering every track.

Father, I continue to give this project unreservedly to You!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009: Day Two:

I love recording. Did I mention that before? I love it! Being in Brian Moore’s “Red Booth Studio” is like being at home. As Greg said today, you never feel nervous; you just feel comfortable.

And Brian is efficient, which I really appreciate.

We finished all the drums today and Brian started “comping” those tracks – going through them to find the best takes and piece certain fills in that he had liked from one take, etc. Honestly, I can’t really hear the difference, but then I’m not a drummer, and the guys can definitely tell the difference.

Brian said we’re making really good time, seeing as it’s not uncommon to spend an entire day on the drum track for just one song! Yeehaw, I can’t imagine that. It helps having a fabulous drummer.

Brian started laying some sick bass tracks as well. He got the bass lines done for “Get Out of My Head” and “Mask” today. I had hoped to have all the bass finished by today, but I guess I didn’t account for the drum tuning. And Mike Zale (my cello player, jack of all instruments, and musical genius) told me that things always take longer in the studio than you expect. He’s recorded several CDs, so he knows.

Here’s Brian jamming out on bass:

And here’s Mike “keeping us (or his phone) company”:

I was so tired I almost fell asleep today. And I brought my crocheting to work on my afghan (I hate sitting still). Brian froze in the doorway to stare at me. He said he’s never had a client bring her crocheting before. I’m not surprised. He has no idea that I crochet everywhere – even on the beach in Australia.

All day long Greg and Brian entertained me by talking to each other in weird mutated voices and threatening to turn my songs into rap songs. Brian asked, “What would you do if I gave you the final CD and all it had on it was, ‘Yo, Tiffany’s in the house’?”

Ha. Very funny.

Actually it IS funny to be in the middle of a very somber song like “Mask” and suddenly, during the instrumental part, two guys start rapping. Let me tell you, I wish we got THAT on tape!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009: Day Three:

Didn’t feel like I get a whole lot done in the studio today, but I guess in studio time we’re flying. Brian comped the rest of the drums. The guitars for “Mask” and some of the guitars for “Get Out of My Head” are done. The guitar tracking took awhile because we did layer after layer with different tones on different guitars – from Les Paul to Fender…just sound after sound. It makes the sound fuller and less flat. I’m so glad Brian knows what he’s doing! I never would have thought of that.

Here’s  Nate working on guitar tracking:

Nate and Brian were trying to turn “Get Out of My Head” into a screamo song. No surprise. (The surprise was when I told my mom and she agreed with the idea.)

Mike stopped by for a few hours. All three of the guys were giving me “big brother pep talks” about guys. Thanks for being the big brothers I always wanted. Ha.

We’ve been getting delicious lunches from Avanti’s and today we got an absolutely wonderful spinach artichoke pizza. Imagine the spinach artichoke dip from Applebees on a pizza. Mmm, hello happiness!


Thursday, July 23, 2009: Day Four:

Today Nate and Brian finished the guitars for “Get Out of My Head,” and started on the guitars for “Someday.” Nate laid down the guitar-hook-line that he wrote for “Someday.” It sounds great. So catchy!

Today’s discussion was whether I should change the lyrics slightly in “Someday.” That song is about marriage (my mom calls it The Wedding Song), but Brian and Nate’s question was whether the song makes it sound as if marriage is the only good path. I don’t want it to come across that way, because although most people (statistically) end up getting married at some point (hence why I wrote the song the way I did), marriage is not God’s path for everyone. True joy comes from walking in the center of His will for you, following Him down the aisle He has picked out for you, whether or not that aisle leads to a wedding altar.

So I called my parents and talked with them. Mom suggested writing a note next to the lyrics for the song in my CD jacket. Dad suggested changing the words to be more focused on how God is a good Father and fills the desires of our hearts as we seek Him, and to get counsel from our elders, etc. As usual, there was a whole sermon packed into Dad’s idea. (I get the feeling Dad always wanted to be a preacher.)

But I didn’t want to change the meaning of the song too much, or it would defeat the whole purpose of encouraging girls to not worry about marriage so much, because it’ll all work out.

That night I was sleeping over at Ashley Atwater’s parents’ house (where I was staying all week since it was an hour closer to the studio than my apartment was), and she slept over that night as well (normally she stays in her apartment with her husband – married woman, I know). We were brainstorming together late into the night, having a lovely old-fashioned sleepover (oh I miss the good old days when she was my college suitemate) and she came up with the idea to change just a couple words…like this:

Old words:

…He is preparing the right prince who’ll fit you perfectly/So someday you’ll see/You’ll walk down the aisle…

New words:

…He is preparing the right path that’ll fit you perfectly/So someday you’ll see/You’ll walk down His aisle…

The point: We are walking down the aisle/path He has prepared for us and finding joy there, whether or not that path leads to marriage. Because really, marriage is not the end all and be all of life. There’s this quote in the movie “Bride Wars” in which the wedding planner says that you are dead before you are married. Um, totally not true. I’m single and very much alive (and kicking).

I’ve learned that things work out beautifully as we trust and walk with Him! I do think that His path will include marriage for me at some point, but whether or not it does, I know that He is the only One who fully satisfies my heart. And I trust Him.

Me and Ashley!


Friday, July 24, 2009: Day Five:

I was going to record on the baby grand piano today, and Brian even got it tuned! And then…the pedal was squeaking!! Stupid summer humidity. We tried shoe polish, grease, everything. Nothing worked. That was disappointing. Ah well, I’ll try it again end of August.

But Brian laid down the guitar tracks for “Someday” and it sounds awesome!! I think it might be my favorite song on the CD. He did two layers of acoustic guitar leading “Someday,” one on Mike’s Taylor guitar and one on his Taylor guitar. Then he had this fantastic idea to use a “tremolo” effect on his Fender electric guitar, to make the song shimmer. I LOVE it!! Seriously I can’t stop listening to that song.

Before I left, we did a new scratch vocal track for the song, since I apparently can’t play piano to a click track and sing on tune. Now it sounds much better, though I didn’t even use his thousand dollar mic yet. Can’t wait to hear how that works on my voice!! Then Brian burned me “Mask,” “Someday,” and “Get Out of My Head,” because my mom has been asking and asking when she’ll get to hear the songs. Now she will!

On my way home I picked up the Rochester “Insider” newspaper, because they had published an article on me. I had nightmares last night about the article. My first nightmare was that the article had my name on it, but all the info was wrong – it had been written based on an interview with someone else! My second nightmare was that there was a picture of me, one sister, one brother, my dad, and two random men, and the article was about how my parents did raising me. Thankfully the real article by Leah Stacy was great.

The Insider Article


Friday, August 28, 2009: Day Six:

We started off with the piano parts today, since Brian had just gotten the piano tuned. Thankfully the piano was working and the pedal wasn’t squeaking, but MAN was I struggling! I just couldn’t seem to get into the groove, or grab hold of the vibe, whatever it’s called. We got two songs done. That’s all! And Nate and Brian had to keep coming out and trying to demonstrate how to change what I was doing. I tend to play all girly and with way too many piano fillers, and I needed to simplify – which is apparently MUCH easier said than done! All in all, a frustrating night.


Saturday, August 29, 2009: Day Seven:

I realized that I haven’t been praying with the guys at the studio. I mean, I’m praying the whole time, and before, and have other people praying, but I haven’t actually said, “Okay, before we start, let’s pray together.” So I did that today, and things went so much better! We got five more songs done on piano before it went out of tune (I was banging on it too much), which is amazing progress! Because when I say we got five songs done, it means I played each one between 6-20 times and then Brian comped some of the piano parts together, taking the best parts of each take. It’s crazy because it could be a perfectly good take, but you have to have several that are just right – with all the emotion and vibe-ness in it – and then he pieces those together. We also got acoustic guitar done for “Who Will Go.” A much better day!


Saturday, October 3, 2009: Day Eight:

I felt like we accomplished so much today!! Maybe I’m just getting used to how much longer things take in the studio than they do in my head. We got the rest of the piano recorded – “This Is Beauty,” “Awakening,” and “Song in My Heart.” I sang vocals for “Song in My Heart” while playing, because I wanted it to sound very raw and like someone was sitting in the room while I sang a simple song to the Lord. I love how it turned out – Brian is a genius!

We always wait until we can’t possibly wait any longer to take a meal break, so finally we took a lunch break at Avanti’s. Brian and Brent, who had come up to shadow Brian for the day, talked about girls and breakups. It was so interesting to listen to these great guys talk about what it was like for them to break up with their girlfriends! I felt privileged, as though I was sitting behind the scenes and seeing into a man’s heart. It made me realize that guys aren’t always jerks, as I tend to assume… They are actually feeling, wonderful individuals who just think very differently than we girls do.

We comped some of the piano parts, and got the lead vocals (and comped them) for “Someday,” as I want that to be my single, early release and put on my website before the actual CD comes out.

I was hoping to have the CD done by Christmas, but it looks like that’s not going to happen, due to time and budgetary constraints. I’ve been praying – “God, if you want me to make this CD, I need you to provide.” And He is! He is faithful to provide when He calls us to do something.

My friend, Danielle Bowman, is also putting together a website for me and she sent me her design idea and I absolutely love it!! She is one talented woman. I showed it to Brian to see what he thought, and he really liked it too.


In the meantime…

I headed over to Nate’s apartment one night in early October. He had finished composing and arranging a string trio for “This Is Beauty” and a string quartet for “Dust.” It was my first time seeing his new place – and he has an official music room! He got the candles going for mood lighting as I maneuvered my way through the stacks of CDs booby-trapping the room. Flicking on the sound system, Nate had Finale play the orchestration…and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Whoever said music is the speech of angels has got to be right. Music is the closest thing to eternity I know. I could hardly believe this was what my songs would sound like!!


Friday, November 6, 2009: Day Nine:

Kyle Sortore drove a couple hours from Syracuse to play viola and violin for “This Is Beauty” and “Dust.” Miraculously we finished all four of those parts in five hours!! Thank You Jesus! They sound AMAZING. Ah, I just LOVE string parts!!

While Kyle was recording, I interviewed Nate (with Brian throwing in asides between engineering takes) for my book. Then while Brian comped the takes, I pinned Kyle down in a bright pink chair and interviewed him for my book too.

And of course I’m not feeling well this weekend. My head and throat hurt, and every so often I start feeling nauseaus. I was out of work the past day and a half cause I was feeling so sick. So funny how that’s been happening – everytime I go to speak or record, I get sick or depressed or something the week leading up to it. I’m taking that to mean I’m on the right track and so I’m meeting some resistance!

Me and Nate chilling in the studio


Saturday, November 7, 2009: Day Ten:

Brian and I finished “Who Will Go.” He put in some ebo guitar, other layers of electric guitars, and I did the vocals. It sounds sooo good!! We’re really happy with how it turned out. I must be getting used to studio time, because I’m realizing how very much we’re getting done! Just comping a song (finding the magic in each take and putting those pieces together to form a perfect finished product) takes an hour per instrument! We finished so much today. Though at the end I nearly lost my voice from singing. I seriously need to take voice lessons again, cause I’m not singing right.

I heard the vocal track of what I had sang for “Someday” last time…and I hated it! Next time I don’t like how my voice sounds, I’m just going to stop recording so I don’t waste time doing something I’ll end up wanting to do over. Tomorrow I’m doing the vocals over. So much for those two hours.


Sunday, November 8, 2009: Day Eleven:

This morning we comped the piano for “This Is Who I Am,” recorded a few last vocal takes of “Who Will Go” and retook vocals for “Someday.” I really focused on singing on the breath, rather than forcing the sound out of my vocal chords, and it sounded SO much smoother. Seriously. Brian is comping the vocal track while I’m sitting here on the couch, and I said to him, “Wow, Brian, I actually am enjoying listening the vocals now!” Haha, if I’m the one recording and I don’t like listening to it, why would anyone else? Last night I did not like listening to the vocals. Now with the new vocals, I like it so much better.

Nate came this afternoon to do guy vocals/harmonies on “Someday.” We also added in some MIDI organ in the background during the choruses, as well as some choral parts and it sounds AMAZING. Seriously sweet. I think we’re done with that song – wow!! YAY!

Brian is genius, man. We’re working on “Get Out of My Head.” He was like, “So how does your voice feel?” I said good and he said, “Let’s do ‘Get Out of My Head’” and I was like, “Okay maybe not that good.” Haha. Funny how the songs you’re most afraid to do turn out being the easiest. I spent a whole half hour on the vocals, take after great take. What the heck?? I normally spend 1-2 hours on vocals per song and then the one song I’m ready to put off until the end takes only half an hour. Gotta love the irony.

But anyway Brian is genius because he’s messing with the sound of certain parts to make it sound like fuzzy and distorted and it sounds freaking awesome!! Oh my gosh I love this guy.

We are just flying this weekend – getting so ridiculously much done. I’m sitting here while Brian’s comping “Get Out of My Head.” Then we’ll finish harmonies and punchins for that…oh and I still have to scream on the end. We’re going to layer screams. But I’m saving that for the last thing to do tonight cause I know after that I won’t be able to sing anymore.

So yeah. An hour and a half left. We should be able to finish “Get Out of My Head” too…which means two songs finished this weekend. Hallelujah thank you Jesus!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009: Day Twelve

Today was cello day. Lovely, beautiful, soothing cello. Mmm, I love it.

Mike Zale was my fabulous cellist, and his wife Kristen was kind enough to come up and keep me company during the recording. (Man the day flew – lots of great girl talk – we must have covered every topic from sex and babies to jobs and ministry. Brian kept randomly laughing between takes and clicking on the intercom to tell Mike, “These girls are having a tea party in here! I’m not used to having women in my studio!”)

Mike recorded cello for This Is Beauty, Dust, and Mask today. He was listening back on some of the tracking and said, “I love that slide. It’s authentic. It’s like real Amish furniture, except cello.” Haha, I love it!

Then I did vocals for “Mask.” Brian likes to give me visual scenarios where I can imagine myself singing to get me into the right vibe for each song. So his first scenario was me standing in a forest in Scotland with fog around me and the breeze against my face. I totally felt that one. Then he said a lake, and I’m not a huge fan of lakes. They’re too small. Then he said to sing to my inner child and I was like, “Man, that’s creepy. Not doing it.” So, because I had just seen “New Moon” the night before and was telling them how very Team Jacob I am, he said to sing to Jacob. Gorgeous, studly Jacob. Mm. That was the best vibe. (Though I was actually singing for Bella more than Jacob.) Then I started imaging the faces of the broken women I’ve met and singing for them. Some great stuff in that take.

So two weeks ago Brian told me that he was going to be moving the studio, but he didn’t know where yet. This time he told me he’s moving to Pittsford – which is right where I live! Goodbye driving an hour and a half, goodbye creepy factory bathrooms where I’m afraid of getting raped, goodbye Medina. Hello fabulous new studio ten minutes away from me! Hello nights of recording instead of weekends! Hello happiness!


Saturday, February 13, 2010: Day Thirteen

OH. MY. GOSH. I am TOTALLY singing on the same kind of mic Taylor Swift uses!!!!! My producer dropped a few grand on this GORGEOUS red mic that works magic with my voice…just like it does with Taylor’s. I am loving this day!!!

Here I am singing into the goooorgeous mic!!

(PS – Can you tell I chopped 11 inches off my hair??)

This morning Dan Lopata came in to record stringed bass for me on “Dust.” Mmm what a beautiful rich sound comes out of that huge instrument.

That’s the last big instrument part we have to do. Oh wait, we have to do cello still on one song. I forgot about that. But the simply fabulous news is that I am now planning to record evenings because Brian’s new studio is only ten minutes away from me!! Oh happy day. And the restrooms aren’t creepy. That’s the best part of this new studio. Besides the new red Taylor Swift mic.

Two of my besties from home – Karyn and Joanna – came up to keep me company this weekend cause I’m on duty in the residence halls and it’s Valentine’s Day weekend. (PS – February 11th is “Satisfied Staying Single Day.” I celebrated.) So Kari and Jo are hanging with us in the studio. Brian cut his mustache/beard like a handlebar so he’s been on this weird accent kick and even pulled out some mesh tattoo sleeves and a wicked creepy long black wig. He scared the crap out of me when he walked in to give me some country-style pointers on my singing. Lovely. They think he’s hilarious. He is.

Joanna and me at La Tea Da!

Karyn and me – love her!

Then we played around with autotune and a backbeat. I have to have a little fun blooper track on my CD. It’s just too cool to pass up. And we have tons of bloopers.

I had to talk so Brian could get the levels ready on my mic, so I talked to him about his studio. It’s red. If red was my favorite color I would be in redheaven. But my favorite color is pink. So I told him he should really look into painting it pink and adding some sparkles. And getting a pink Taylor Swift mic. Seriously I should be in marketing. He ignored me.

So vocals are now done on “This Is Who I Am.” And I added more harmonies to “Someday.” Which means that I only have two and a half songs left to do vocals on! But…I wrote this pop love song recently that I just am obsessed with (“Giving In”)…so I might have to put that on the album. I hope the guys don’t kill me for asking to set the drums back up! :/

Okay I just did an INSANELY AWESOME few takes of “Mask”! Go figure once again the songs I’m most nervous about are the ones that go the most quickly. And then Brian ran in and did some guy harmonies. I never thought to do that but the harmonies and his voice were perfect with the song!!

I’m hungry.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010: Day Fourteen

“Brian, are you wearing skinny jeans?”

Some greeting. Apparently it came out sounding like I had a lisp and Greg and Brian started cracking up, thinking I was making fun of them. But no, Brian is totally wearing skinny jeans today! I like skinny jeans, they’re cool.

So all evening, everything has been “thkinny jeanth” – EVERYTHING. Oh dear.

Today we’re working on drums. Had some issues with one of the drum heads breaking or something like that so the guys had to run to Guitar Center while I picked up margherita and buffalo chicken pizza for us. Finally got the drums set up, tuned, and started tracking at 8pm. We’re redoing “This Is Beauty” because I want it to be different with the drums, only it’s confusing cause I want driving but not rock, so poor Greg is trying to figure out what I want when I don’t even fully know what that is.

Worked on that for awhile, then Nate took guitar for “Giving In,” my new fabulous song that’s like my new fav. Sounds seriously awesome. Nate wrote a genius guitar track for it, and the song is just so bouncy and light and happy and airy and free…such a good addition to the album!! My pastor and his wife (when I played it for them last night) were like, “Wow, that’s very poppy for you! It doesn’t have that minor edge.” It is totally different. How did I write a happy song??

Greg was dancing around and lip synching to “Giving In,” which was SO funny, I wish I got it on video! Michelle (Nate’s girlfriend) and Kim (Brian’s girlfriend) came and kept me company with some girltime and Lia Sophia catalog browsing time. Then we got sneak previews of some of the new bands Brian’s been working with.

Now it’s 11 and we’re working on drums again, running on a very strong blend of Starbucks coffee. Greg is laying a seriously sick track for “Giving In.” Then we’re going to come back to “This Is Beauty” and finish figuring that out. Greg is under the “coffee anointing” and a determination to get these drums done even if it takes him until 6am. Let me tell you, I sure won’t be here that long!

(PS – We finished by midnight. Greg is that good.)


April 7, 2010: Day Fifteen

Spent about three hours recording tonight, poor Brian wasn’t feeling well. Mike Zale came and played cello on “This Is Who I Am.” Lovin’ it! I had planned on recording vocals tonight, but I’ve learned by now that if I have to try, I should just stop and wait for a day that I actually like how my voice sounds – when it’s effortless and smooth. So after trying a few takes and not really liking the results, we moved on and got some other instrumental stuff done. Figure I’ll try again tomorrow.


April 8, 2010: Day Sixteen

Three hours recording tonight. Nate sang harmonies on “Giving In” and I did vocals (loved my voice tonight – God totally answered my prayers!!) on “Dust,” “Giving In,” “This Is Beauty,” and “Awakening.” So I’m done with vocals for the whole album now – woohoo!


April 18, 2010: Day Seventeen

Spent about four hours recording today. Finished up all the instrumental tracks for the CD. Brian did electric guitars on “Giving In” and “This Is Beauty.” Man I’m getting chills just listening! The bridge to “Giving In” feels like you’re flying, and the ebo (with angst) he’s got on “This Is Beauty” is PERFECT. This is so exciting!!

I was in HEAVEN today…I got to play the midi keys with this awesome effect to fill out “This Is Who I Am” and make it sound ethereal. Ah I was like a kid in a candy shop – so awesome! And then Brian added these incredible ebo parts and OH. MY. GOSH! It’s sounding amazing.

So after today we’ll just have to do the choir parts on “Dust” and “This Is Beauty,” as well as the male vocals on “This Is Beauty,” then we’re done tracking! I can’t believe this is the second to last day tracking for this project! I told Brian it made me want to start my second album. He started laughing and said I should finish this album first, cause his work has just begun. (On to mixing…then mastering…then duplicating…)


May 14, 2010: Day Eighteen

I got to spend a couple hours in the studio tonight with four incredibly talented singers! All either are or were music majors in college, so they have classical training and hauntingly beautiful voices. I wrote up some choir parts for the end of “This Is Beauty” and “Dust”, and Krysta Cagwin, Dave Stacy, Kim Miller, and Greg Best sang for me! Brian took a bunch of takes (and sang on “This Is Beauty”) and layered them all, mixing them into the background, so it seriously sounds like Lord of the Rings – just this huge, beautiful hundred-person-choir-echoing-in-the-Pristine-Chapel sound. Ohhh heavens it’s gorgeous!!!

Oh man it was so fun working with those guys too, cause we’re all INSANE. No, that’s an understatement. We kept cracking up during takes cause someone was being crazy – busting out dance moves, talking in weird voices, breaking down into beatboxing and rapping. Oh man. What a night! I laughed so much I think I added three years to my life.

Then at the end of the night I redid the screamo part of “Get Out of My Head” and actually got a fairly good scream! Krysta was telling stories about when I was her roomie and would ask her to teach me how to scream and I couldn’t do it. Seriously my family isn’t going to believe it’s me screaming! (Thanks guys for the coaching!)


February 26, 2011: Day Nineteen

I am finally nearing the end of this journey!  WOW!  I’ve been trying to figure out how on earth to pay for the rest of this project, and suddenly it came to me: My tax return!  It has been absolutely amazing watching God provide, through my tax return and my parents surprising me with a gift that covered the rest of the cost (after the tax return money) for the mixing, mastering, and duplicating.  Thank you Jesus!!  That blew me away.

Today Ronnie Lewis came to the studio with me.  He is a 19-year-old college student who sings like an angel.  I told him I chose him for the guy harmony to “This Is Beauty” because his voice sounds the way I imagine Jesus’s voice sounds.  It gave me chills and made my friend Kellie cry.  Brian instantly offered to start a band with Ronnie.  That good!  Just wait til you hear it. 🙂

Then I retook a couple parts of “Giving In” cause Nate suggested a melody change which totally works so much better.  I feel like that’s going to be my wedding song.  Nate and I sang it at one of my friend’s weddings last year, and it seriously was perfect.  I still can’t believe I wrote a love song.  Me, of all people!

So now it’s the waiting… Brian’s doing his thang, mixing and mastering and producing an incredible product!   Meanwhile I went over to Amanda Robinson’s house this afternoon (she’s my photographer and my CD cover designer) to work on the CD cover.  It’s already looking incredible.  I am SO excited!!!

In just a few weeks, my CD will actually be out!  It’ll be tangible, wrapped in plastic, and smelling of fresh paper being printed.  OMG!!! 😀

Here’s the front cover of the CD that my friend Amanda designed!!

Here’s the back cover of the CD!


April 18, 2011: Day Twenty

Today I met Brian to pick up the mixes of the songs.  I was there for a few hours, listening through with him as he made the final tweaks.  Can I just say, I am thoroughly awed by his crazy mad skills!!  I got home and hadn’t had time to finish listening to the songs on my drive, so I was sitting in my parking space for awhile, feeling weird like I was this random girl just chilling in her car.  But it’s SO GOOD I can’t stop!  So I emailed the songs to the guys I worked with, my parents, some other friends/my boyfriend, and am waiting to hear their feedback.  I should have any feedback compiled by Wednesday night so I can send it to Bri and he can make any last edits before he leaves for Easter vacation with his wifey… then it’s off to the duplication station!!  SO EXCITED.  It’s like that light at the end of the tunnel that makes the rest of the trip feel like it’s taking FOREVER!


June 1, 2011: Day Twenty-One:

It’s here!!!  Can you believe it??  Cause it doesn’t seem quite real yet when I stop to think about it!  No, I take that back.  It seems very, very real.  Especially with seven boxes totaling 1000 CDs stacked in my kitchen! 🙂

Next to the top box of my CDs!

The CDs!!! 😀

There they are!  The finished product!  The beautiful design and photography by my friend Amanda Robinson!

So weird that almost exactly two years ago I started recording this CD.  It had a different title at that time (“Empty Hands”).  There was so much waiting, it felt like a game of red light green light.  And now, two years later, the finished product is here on my desk next to me, as well as on Itunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and so on!  It’s a dream come true!

Today my coworker Kellie Leigh surprised me with flowers and a sweet note to celebrate.

The flowers from Kellie on my desk 🙂

I’m so excited!!!  Okay, I have to run, but wanted to update this real quick with the end of the story.  Or maybe it’s just the beginning…

To return to Tiffany’s website, click here.


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