My Most Embarrassing Studio Moment

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the studio.

Here’s a bad one for you.

I once got chewed out by Usher’s personal engineer because I set up the vocal mic backwards.

Yup, the mic was pointing at the wall when Timbaland went into the booth to lay down a take.

It was back in 2007 and I was a lowly studio assistant in Toronto. The entire studio had been booked out for a week for Usher and Timbaland to work together on some new songs.

It was intense… and that’s an understatement.

During that week, I worked 18 hour days and mostly drove around the city picking up food and doing personal shopping for the ‘posse’ of writers and musicians that were in the studio.

I remember being woken up one morning, realizing that I had fallen asleep for 4 glorious hours on the control room couch.

(So that’s my excuse for setting up the mic backwards… lack of sleep!)

Either way, it was pretty embarrassing to have Usher’s engineer tell you how Timbaland completely lost his vibe because they couldn’t figure out why the mic sounded so weird and distant.

Oh well… you’ve gotta make mistakes to learn, right? That’s certainly not the only ridiculous mistake I’ve made in the studio.

Even though I messed up pretty bad there, I learned a whole lot from watching them work that week. And you can bet that I’ll never let that happen again!

So next time you screw up a recording or feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, just remember that I put Timbaland’s mic backwards.

If that guy can end up producing and mixing major releases, I think you’ll be alright too 🙂

-Jordan

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