After a long road of hard work and perseverance, the new Cori Yarckin record titled Part of Me was released today in Japan on Spinning Records. Cori is a busy international singer/songwriter who is also signed to BMG publishing in the United States. In the past, she has toured extensively, being known for her powerful voice and stage presence, and has even been seen in Rolling Stone magazine and the ever-famous MTV show TRL. This new record, which was recorded and produced in SONAR X1, is initially available in stores and here in Japan and eventually will be released in the United States.
I’ve had the privilege of working with Cori on a few different records/projects as a producer, mixer and co-writer, and I think this record was the most fun out of them all. This record has an interesting twist to it as we recorded and produced most of the tracks entirely in SONAR X1, with various people jumping in to assist. Brandon Ryan did a lot of the preproduction and bed tracks, while Robin Kelly laid down a lot of the synth and drum programming. Then it was my job to take everything and completely mess it up… I mean put it all together 😉
Besides the single “Floating,” the one track that was a blast to make was “Everything Reminds Me of You,” which has an interesting story. After we had finished the record, Cori was contacted by her label in Japan requesting another track and asking if she had anything else finished that they could use for the record. At that very point in time, I just happened to be in L.A. working with another SONAR X1 user, TC Spitfire, who is Paul Oakenfold’s main engineer/producer/writer, and I had just finished up an interview with him when Cori called me about the situation.
At first, I told her to tell the label that it wouldn’t be possible to deliver another track on such short notice, and then after we hung up something hit me. I had my laptop, I had a Roland V-Studio 100 with me, and I actually had packed my trusty AT4033a (my favorite mic to travel with because it sounds killer, it’s sturdy and cheap; in case it has a blow-out with a disgruntled flight attendant and loses the battle.) I also had my HD video camera with me from interviewing TC, and now in MY mind was a conversation that I recently had in a meeting with a colleague from my marketing team about commercially released tracks being made on the fly.
I called Cori back and asked her if she reached back out to her label yet, which she had not, so I told her my idea which was to completely create a new song from scratch in her living room that night and capture whatever we could from the process on video. Within 2 hours I was over at her place on Venice Beach writing and recording the new idea, not knowing where it would end up; but the one thing for sure was that we were having a blast.
After a few hours, we had written a very solid song, and I went to work programming the bed tracks and recording the acoustic guitar parts. I basically programmed the drums in the step sequencer and then I layered some cool loops in from the Beatscapce content folder and finally layered a massive amount of effects individually on these loops. As we kept working, we could tell that we had something really cool going on, and it was a trip to be in this living room making an actual song that could end up on a record, knowing that we had nothing a few hours ago.
Next we laid down the vocals and as you will see from the video, the one thing I overlooked was the lack of a mic stand. No problem; Cori had a great chandelier in her living room, but a few times I asked myself “are we really doing this?” I have to admit that tracking vocals in a living room between the hours of 6pm and 9pm near Venice Beach has its sonic tribulations. Nevertheless, we persevered and before too long we had really great sounding vocal tracks from SONAR X1 and the Roland V-Studio 100.
2 days later I was back on a plane headed east and was lucky enough to be flying Jetblue where I had a power outlet and was able to get a good majority of the mixing and editing out of the way. I was pretty sure by the time the plane landed in New York that I had something that not only sounded great, but was only going to take a little bit of massaging in my studio to get it ready to deliver to the label for review. I got the track over to Cori and within 24 hours she had heard back from the label that they loved the song and that it would be included on the record.
Now I’m not saying that this is the best way, or a standard way to make a track, but I guess my point to all this is that people these days are so tuned into the meticulousness of recording perfection, that they sometimes forget about having fun and getting a “vibe” to a song. I think it’s fair to say that they also overlook the importance of THE WRITING of a song for that matter. There are a handful of things I can hear in this song, especially on the vocal and acoustic guitar tracks (dog barking, cars driving by, etc…) that make me laugh – and that is my point. We had a blast forming this song from nothing, and at the end of the day we created something in a living room using SONAR X1, a Roland V-Studio 100, an old short-scale acoustic guitar, an AT4033a and a chandelier.
Despite how dismal the “music industry” may seem these days, there are a ton of ways to capitalize on music creation. This track was created in a living room and made it onto a record with a credible recording company in Japan. It’s a great time to pick up a version of SONAR X1 and jump into the game.
Watch the documentary video of the making of Everything Reminds Me of You: