Today’s blog is going to use the word fluff!
How does this word relate to my blog and the intent of my website?
What tenuous link to this word could I possibly come up with?
Okay here goes…….
This website is essentially about writing and recording twelve songs. In the process of recording these songs there will be numerous times when I will ‘fluff’ part of an individual track that I am recording. A fluff is say when you his a bum note on your baseline, or the words your singing don’t come out right. You basically record a mistake!
Traditionally, before the days of even magnetic tape, fluffs were expensive. The original record pressing was cut directly onto a disc of ‘shellac’ (one of the first plastics). If you fluffed a part of the song, the ‘fluff’ stayed on the record, or you would have to record the whole of the song again! I seem to remember the film ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’ has a scene where the ‘Soggy Bottoms’ emulate the kind of recording process.
Even when magnetic taping allowed re-recording of tracks, a skilled producer, and a technician would have to ‘punch in’ the un-fluffed parts after finding the mistake and patching it in.
Seldom do ‘fluffs’ or mistakes make it onto a final recording, however, they can sometimes be the spice needed to bring an average song to life or, give a song a new feel. The trick is to know when to hold a fluff and no when to fold one.
Nowadays, you can make as many fluffs as you like using software such as garage band. You basically have two options:
Firstly you can record a whole track and cut and paste the good (un-fluffed) parts or; you can continuously record as many takes of the track as you wish. Thinking about it, you can record just a section of the track as many times to get it right, and then copy and paste it where necessary.
The options these days are so flexible. The only limit is time I suppose and computer memory. The later of these limits being highly improbable. We are talking thousands of takes to use up an average computer memory!
Leaving you tonight with the quote from the album, ‘Copperhead Road’ by Steve Earle and the Dukes, “I knew there was a first taker on this album somewhere!”. Makes me think how times have changed in the process of recording a song!