Art of the Creative Vibe

Back years and years ago I worked in a recording studio. It was pretty much rented out by one producer every week. Back in the early 90s Michael Omartian worked with a lot of Christian musicians, and most of them came through the studio I worked at.

He taught me a lot about how to create creative sessions. He had this way about him. He was relaxed but confident. He found a way to relate to every person he worked with, and then when they were relaxed, he would get amazing performances out of them. If artists came in unprepared, he worked with them until they were ready and confident. To the casual observer we were often wasting time.

I remember working the the group 4 Him. It was about to be baseball season. The studio was located on a farm with a lot of space, so we would come in and play baseball for a couple hours before getting down to work. I remember marveling at the length of time we spent playing ball versus recording. But even though we spent a long time playing, when we did get to work we got a huge amount done in a very short period of time. We got more done in a few hours than some session did all day because the musicians were in the right frame of mind to be creative.

Omartian didn’t use the studio every single week, and one time another producer came in working on a project. We were doing guitar overdubs. This producer had a very different style. He was very technical. I remember one part of the song we did over 20 takes. When the player finally finished, the part was technically perfect, but devoid of any feeling. The whole session was torture, and it didn’t have to be.

People are more creative when they are relaxed. Every person is different, and you need to find out how you work and how they work and how you can best work together. If you figure that out you can do some great work together. If you don’t, you may be able to get some work done, but it won’t be as good or enjoyable.

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