During my senior year of college, going to classes became less like going to school, and it became more like going to a wonderful job that changed and transformed each day, even each hour! I was doing exactly what I loved. I was in the studio everyday, recording, hanging out, and creating with my friends – artists who I deeply respect.
One of my closest friends from Millikin University is a gentleman by the name of Eric McCarter. That boy has a voice that was sent straight from heaven! He is a true artist and an incredible and profound songwriter. For my final production project as a senior Commercial Music Major I chose him to be the artist that I produced. I knew that working with him would take me completely out of my comfort zone and that it would test my proficiency and creativity as a musician and artist!
After a bit of deliberation, I chose to produce his original song, “Pinocchio.” The moment I heard it I had a vision…that’s how I knew it was the right fit! I saw lightning in a jet black sky, and I saw a dessert full of dry and dusty chaos. I heard a screaming electric guitar and the steady rhythms of tribal drums! Thank God Eric trusted me and my vision enough to let me build his song into something truly unique! With Eric’s help, I constructed the musical arrangement. Then, I booked the recording studio, booked musicians for the session, and booked recording engineers. We had a recipe for a banging production! The recording sessions went by like a dream! The whole process was in the name of creativity and raw passion. As the producer I wanted Eric to call shots and make decisions, as well. He was the songwriter after all. One instance where Eric played a part in the production process was during the recording of the tribal drums played by Andre Kely. Eric had a vision for the drums to be played in the rhythm of a heart beat. Committing that pattern to the track changed the whole scheme of the production and added something truly authentic to the music!
After our time in the studio ended I mixed the track in Studio B. I took heed of many of Eric’s critiques and suggestions, and after two long mixing sessions I finally had something that pleased us both. I decided to do a “car test” and listen to it on the drive back to my apartment. While listening it struck me that I should have it mastered to make it real radio quality! It just so happened that my dear friend, Megan Peterson, had been certified as a mastering engineer. I immediately got ahold of her, and she graciously agreed to work on the track. An hour later, and the track was completely done! It was beautiful and definitely more than I dreamed it could be! I couldn’t stop dancing and tapping my foot!
The experience of being a music producer was one of the most profound, filling, rewarding, and sleep depriving periods of my life! I had never been on such a creative high! Getting to work with a friend and artist that I greatly respected was a dream come true, and to create a product that he and I were truly satisfied with and proud of was an incredible feeling!
I am a singer, a songwriter, and model, but now I can say that I am a music producer, and I want to continue to produce and create! I know God gave me talents for a reason, just as he did and does for everyone else…I am thrilled to see how God uses me and my talents in the future! It is going to be an epic adventure!
Check out my production of “Pinocchio” by Eric McCarter on Soundcloud!
Songwriter: Eric McCarter
Producer: Hunter Allen
Recording Engineers: Grey Taxon & Dan Koffman
Mixing Engineer: Hunter Allen
Mastering Engineer: Megan Peterson
Instrument and Musician Credits
Vocal and BGV: Eric McCarter
Piano: Eric McCarter
Djembe: Andre Kely
Tambourine: Andre Kely
Electric Guitar: Santana Silcott
Bass Guitar: Emma Taylor