Ask John Starley Allen anything...
Q: How did you produce Look Unto Me? What instruments and performers were included? Was it recorded in a professional studio?
A: Thanks for your question. I record both in home and at professional studios. (Look Unto Me was recorded at a professional studio.) And as far as getting the right sound, a lot of it is just transferring what is in your head, to an actual performance. After the words and music are complete, I ask myself what kind of sound is most appropriate for the song? Single voice? (You Made Me Whole Again) Lead and backup? (Look Unto Me) Lead and multiple voices? (Spirit of Christmas). And then there’s the overall sound. What instruments work best? Do you want it sparse? Do you want it full? Sparse building to full? And a lot depends on the path the lyrics take. In the case of Look Unto Me I was able to get the sound I wanted by simply using a Roland keyboard, and I just kept layering tracks. Sometimes you’re going a direction and then you realize you need to start over. I was recording a song involving a choir. I thought it was okay and sent everybody home. The next day I realized it was all wrong. So I took a deep breathe, called everybody back into the studio and tried it again...and this time it worked for me. Mixing, for me, is hard because there are so many possibilities. All I do is just keep tweaking and re-tweaking until it “sounds right.” (Whatever that might be.)
Asked by Thankful. Answered on Sat Feb 08 2014