sE In The Studio

"Meet Piotr - a boy, who recorded a great LP in his room, with one mic."

 

We received this wonderful, inspiring letter from a fan last week. His name is Piotr, and he has kindly given us permission to reprint his email below.

 

Hello sE Electronics Team.

I'm not writing this to scrounge an expensive microphone from you. I was planning to send you this story a long time ago, because one of your mics helped to make some enormous changes to someone's life and make his biggest dreams come true. Let me tell you a short movie-like-but-real story in which a young guy makes all his innermost dreams come true. And an sE mic is in the background ;)

Piotr Madej. Photo by Paulina Wyszyńska.

I was 17 (now I'm 27) when I wrote my first song (for guitars and vocal) and by that fact I discovered I definitely prefer playing my own songs to learning covers. It was also the first time when the spectrum of a dream to record an album appeared in my head. Since than it took me 7 years to live up to this and make it happen.

I led a normal student life: during the day I studied Russian language at university (God knows what for) and in the evening I was writing songs. I recomposed them dozens of times, and in my free time I gained basic knowledge (mainly from books and internet and private lessons) of how to record sound properly (this was my hobby and so is today).

I was making very little money, which I spent on instruments I desired and "needed", and all those 7 years I was living with the idea that one day I'll f**k all of this and go record the album I always wanted. It was my biggest dream, biggest life aim - not family, not a job, not a girl - an album.

So one day in 2012 I got fired from my job and I 'woke up'. That finally did it: I had my gear, had basic knowledge, and finally I had some time and courage to sacrifice a few months only to my dreams. I closed myself up at home for 3 months and started intensive work. From the very beginning I knew this can't be done in studio - it was my biggest dream ever, it was too intimate for me to let anyone in - it had to be done by myself from scratch to mix and mastering. So I woke up every day at 8am, drank coffee (which I don't normally drink) and walked to my room, where I was working very intensively all day long. I totally resigned from social life, meetings, parties - OK, almost completely. ;)

 

After 3 months, mentally and physically exhausted, I finished my LP named "Something of an End" which I released to the internet via Bandcamp and YouTube. I didn't know what was coming...

It is now more than 3 years since then and I'd have to write a book to describe it all, but in brief: The LP was a giant success. Facebook links to my music started to be shared very quickly, people really liked it! Soon I started to get gig propositions...for which I totally wasn't ready, since I didn't have a band. I started to get lots of questions about copies of my CD, and I didn't have them physically. Everything accelerated madly! I got a band with whom during the last 3 years I appeared on almost every big music festival in Poland (I played my 4th gig EVER on the biggest Polish festival: Open'er Festival) and I still am playing concerts all across the country. I talked to most important Polish music journalists. I played a gig with Adrian Utley (Portishead) during the Sacrum Profanum Festival. I signed a contract with one of the most prestigious labels in my country - KAYAX. I met my childhood music mentors, and I supported one of the biggest of them (Artur Rojek). I got tons of reviews and LITERALLY not a single one of them was negative. Both of my albums appeared on many music summaries.

Everyone has those kinds of dreams that don't seem to be at all possible to be fulfilled. Dreams like "I want a big house with a pool and sports car". My dreams from this category started to come true, because of one simple, brave decision to close myself at home and record 11 songs on a lovely autumn in 2012.

 

Why am I telling you all of this? Because, back on the day in 2012 when I started recording my first album I used literally one microphone. It was an X1 which I bought from Thomann's website in a bundle with an sE Reflexion Filter.

I didn't have a lot of money to buy God knows how much gear. I loved the sE bundle deal, but money wasn't the only reason why I chose sE Electronics. I found this article in which I read that this mic won in some blind-listening tests with popular mics like AKG, Neumann or Rode, and the success could result from the fact that your mics are all hand crafted. I loved the idea; I felt it fit my home recording philosophy. And I loved the price, so I was sure it was a good idea.

I totally don't regret this decision. This story kinda became a main catchy hook in many press / media headlines: "Meet Piotr - a boy, who recorded a great LP in his room, with one mic". This sentence was said a lot back during my debut. What's more, I am a big proponent of free VST and VSTi's, so all the mixes and mastering were mostly made on free software plugins. Your mic recorded 80% of this album: acoustic guitar parts, electric guitar parts, vocals, harmonies, shakers, tambourines, etc. - only drums were MIDI and bass was recorded via line input and Amplitube 3. I had this big 6-page long interview in the biggest magazine about music and sound recording in my country: Estrada i studio (English: Stage and Studio) in which I told them about my recording techniques, my plugins and my microphone - my lovely X1! This was 3 years ago and home recording wasn't as popular in Poland as it is now, so my situation wasn't that typical.

 

Now I've started working on my third LP - my second one was also recorded at home with my X1, but this time drums, strings etc. were recorded at a studio. I am slowly starting to make money not only as a musician but also as a music producer, and for the last 2 years also part-time work as a sound engineer in a very big, popular theater in Poland: Julisz Slowacki Theatre in Krakow. I love my life, you know - right now I feel I'm exactly where I should be in my life.

Of course it would be nice if I had any of your support (especially because your mics are not too popular in my country - it's hard to get them) but it's not my main aim in this letter. I just wanted to let you know that your heart, time and passion sacrificed for sound really have influence and do help people - not only on big stages with big stars, but also at home, in small cities.

And to be clear: I didn't write this message to every company whose products I used in my recordings. You're the only one, because you're the company responsible for my catchy story: a story of a boy with no music education, who recorded a great album with just one microphone and by that very fact he made his dreams come true.

Thank you sE Electronics for this.

Piotr Madej (Patrick the Pan)
http://patrickthepan.pl/

PS. You can find my music on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, YouTube, Bandcamp etc.
"Something of an End" is the album that started everything.