One Baltimore

In anticipation of the world premier of One Baltimore tonight on 98 Rock I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the experience of recording and producing that track. 

First, let me say that none of this would have been possible without all of the artists involved and they all did a fantastic job in the studio. One Baltimore started with the idea of bringing a group together to create music that would convey a positive message using the energy in the studio. Konexion put the word out to lots of local musicians with a date and a time for the session with the intention of writing and recording the track all in the same day. This method of creation was key in my eyes because I wanted the track to be a blend of different styles and sounds as well as a collaborative lyrical effort between everyone involved. 

When the day of the session arrived and everyone began to show up the energy was palpable long before the first downbeat. Gear cases and instruments streamed in along with empty pages in lyric books. Soon, the studio was crowded with people and we began to talk about the possibilities of what the track could be. A guitar riff emerged and I quickly sequenced a drum beat so that we could start recording. We tracked the acoustic parts with Dave and Peter playing at the same time into one omni tube mic feeding an API 512c. Electric guitar parts followed and once we had some lush guitars and a rhythm as a starting point we set to work writing and recording all the vocal parts. The live drums, percussion, and bass guitar were tracked 2 days later so as not to take time away from the vocal recordings. 

Each and every person that day brought ideas to the table. Those ideas combined with other peoples ideas in a creative space with tools at the ready to capture each performance. Would the track have been different if we had taken 2 days or a week to write and record it? It almost certainly would have but that wasn't the point. What we created and captured that day was a performance full of raw energy and good intentions. The unison chanting part in the chorus was recorded with all of us standing in a room together singing into one microphone. The verses were recorded one by one as people finished writing them in the lounge or behind me in the control room. With only eight bars per verse we could keep the energy up and have time for everyones voice to be heard. Before the end of the eight hour session we had something that closely resembled a song.

During the weeks that followed I spent quite a few late nights at the studio between editing, arranging, and then mixing all of the instruments and vocals. The term editing can be misleading when used today, so to be clear I was cleaning little things up while using whole takes not manufacturing things from tiny pieces of many takes. The drums and percussion were all recorded in one take and were not edited at all.  For mixing, I utilized a mixture of analog hardware and plugins which allowed me to sculpt the sounds to fit the energy and depth of the track. My intention was to preserve the edgy energy while also giving each part a unique tone. Once the mix was done we sent it to Grammy nominated Airshow mastering for the final polishing in their mastering studio.

What has yet to come no one can say but I can say this, good things happen when people come together to create positive change in the world. My hope for this musical project is that it will serve to unite and empower whoever hears it. I will continue to make this music and you will hear from us again. 

One Baltimore features Jolie Sarro, Libertys Lost Scriptures, Eclipse The Enlightening, MdsFynest, and A1Ras on vocals, Peter Terrier and Dave Green on vocals and guitar, Grayson English on bass, and Brian Potts on drums, percussion and vocals. 

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