Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dugger View Post
When we set this section of the forum up, I thought I would be able to come up with a regular monthly story about recording, or at least the human experience aspects of it.

Not every story would be as entertaining as the Farting Circus Act or as outrageous as the last minute trip to Atlanta, but hopefully every entry would have something to say about why recording and music consumes us, or about the balance we walk between artistry and the deeply technical aspects of recording well.

I have really, really failed goals for this little section...
I am not one of the veterans who can tell the cool old stories about someone famous, but, I have a story that I think typifies the kind of walk between artistry and technical aspects that you mention. It also really amused me.

I was recording a very accomplished blues guitar player. This guy is also eclectic and has recorded a blues mandolin album among other things. For a couple tracks he is going to add some electric sitar. He's got an old, cheap, japanese made electric sitar that he plays every once in a while. He starts playing it, and we work a little on mic selection and placement on his amp, and we're pretty much ready to go.

My partner is also an acomplished guitar player, and is meticulous with regards to tuning. He says, "We're all ready to go, but it sounds like that sitar needs to be tuned." I'm not nearly as meticulous with tuning, but I can hear it too. The artist says something like, "You gotta understand, a sitar is a casual instrument. Imagine an indian guy sitting on his front porch on a sunny afternoon. He's got some incense burning, and some tea, and he's just leanin back playing his sitar."

At this point, I'm thinking that a minor argument is about to ensue. I've got one very technical co-producer/engineer, and one touchy-feely artist, and I'm thinking that they're about to clash. To my surprise, my partner gets on the talkback and says, "so what you're saying is that I should start burning some incense?" The artist says, "Yeah, that would be great"

He gets the incense and starts it burning. He picks up the sitar and without ever tuning it, plays a great part on the first take. We listen closely, and it sounds perfectly in tune with the rest of the song.