When I spoke with Bobby about the process he used to record his prior CD's he shared with me his trips to the recording studio. Like many performers, Bobby purchased time at a professional recording studio. The studio was well equipped for recording, offered a wide array of recording equipment, and provided him with professional recording of his performance in the studio.
Although many artists are excited to record in a professional studio, Bobby said that he felt under pressure to "Perform" when the recording engineer queued him in. He felt somewhat out-of-place playing in a strange environment on an electric piano that had a different feel and sound from the one he usually played on at church. While Bobby did a great job on his former CD, he felt he wanted to take a different, more relaxed approach for recording the tracks for his new upcoming CD of piano hymn improvisations. He wanted to be free to record in the church, on the same Yamaha grand piano that he loves and plays on each weekend worship service, and he wanted to record himself alone in the church, with no one else listening in as he recorded. He said his most creative moments are when he plays the piano in church, often in the wee hours of the morning before anyone shows up for Sunday morning worship, when he is all by himself and his Lord.
Bobby's piano improvisations are just that.....created at the moment....when the Holy Spirit is working through him. It is more an offering of praise rather than a performance. Bobby says that playing hymn improvisations is a gift that God has given to him. He told me he is not quite sure how it all happens; it just flows out of him in those special moments alone. Still, he wants others to hear these offerings of praise and powerful hymns. So how, exactly do we record those spontaneous precious moments alone in an empty church you ask? Simple. We use a Zoom H6 Portable Digital Recorder with an attached, matched set of stereo microphones. We experimented with various placements for the recorder around the piano in the church and we experimented with the various settings on the recorder. We found a sweet spot under the piano and setting on the recorder that yield a pretty close rendition of what you would hear if you were in the church sanctuary while Bobby was playing. So Bobby learned how to use the Zoom H6 recorder. Now, whenever Bobby feels creative and moved to record, he brings his portable recorder to his piano in church, turns it on, an records his hymn improvisations.
Each week I take the SD card out of the recorder and transfer the recorded tracks for that week onto my laptop computer. At home I edit, mix and master the tracks in Pro Tools for Bobby. Once all the tracks are ready we will upload them to our CD manufacturer. And that is how it is being done.
Daniel Burroughs - the Technical arms for Bobby Schroeder
P.S - I have to say that I am so blessed to get to hear these powerful hymn improvisations first hand. Bobby usually records each hymn only once on the H6 digital recorder. That's right, it is a 1-Take Recording, start to finish, generally no re-takes. It truly is an offering of praise. I know you will enjoy listening in once the CD is released this fall. As of today, September 9, 2020 we have ten tracks recorded of favorite hymns and over an hour of play time for the CD that will be released in October.