Beyond the Threshold
Beyond the Threshold (2004)
I had fun collaborating with my friends for this recording. I hope it will bless those who get a chance to hear it. I use N-Track software by FASOFT for recording, and Project 5 by Cakewalk for drum loops and keyboards. I play an Ibanez acoustic guitar and borrowed a Fender Stratocastor and a Marshall amp for the electric parts on “Overwhelmed” and “Come, Let us praise the Lord.” I played djembe on “Think About These Things” and “All Along and Forever” and the bongos on “Your Love Remains”. The song “Blessed Are” was originally recorded and used for the 2004 Cornerstone scripture music compilation CD.
John Vaeth: Bass, Mandolin, Photographer & Friend. John has played bass and mandolin on four of my recordings now and once again he does an excellent job on “Beyond the Threshold”. All of his parts were recorded at Neal’s house in Chicago. “Neal’s house” is not the name of a recording studio but the residence of my brother-in-law. I would set up a portable recording studio using a laptop and small sound system and John would go at it. I would then transfer the parts to my desktop at home and edit them. John also took the photos used for the CD cover and traycard. John and I have been friends for about ten years and we share many great memories of music, fellowship and eating out at Garcia’s.
Rhett Simkins: Drummer, Skateboarder, and All Around Nice Guy. It was a privilege to have Rhett Simkins play drums for me on this project.Recording drums with a limited recording studio is very challenging and I have avoided the difficulties of the task on my previous home recordings. This time I was inspired to give it a try after being encouraged by John Vaeth and after playing a couple of my new songs with Rhett at Summer camp. Rhett played drums for the youth praise band at the church where I was a former youth pastor. We set up a control room in the basement of the church using a Sunday school room and a hallway to get the necessary set up to make it work. It took two different days and a couple of pizzas to nail down five tracks which was a lot of drumming for Rhett because I had to make several adjustments between each take in order to get a usable recording. While we were recording the fourth song on the first day I finally found the right combination of mic placements and mixer volumes that was far better then the previous attempts on the other songs so we decided to redo the songs again on another day and we were both glad we did after hearing the results. Thank you Rhett for going the extra mile.
Janis Longbons: Pianist, Friend, and Saint. Janis Longbons is a faithful friend and a very talented piano player. I was so glad she was able to play on a couple of songs. This was
my first time having someone play piano on a recording.
Ann Frederick: Singer, Friend, and Good Cook. My friend Ann Frederick sings with the Mt. Carroll Church of God praise team and I have had the joy of singing with her in church as well as doing special
music with her at our local jail ministry. Ann sang the harmony vocal part on “All Along and Forever”
Ryan & Melinda Menner: Musicians, Music leaders & Fantastic Teens. This brother and sister team are a real blessing.
They serve faithfully in their church, Heartland Calvary Chapel, as worship leaders. Ryan is 14 and Melinda is 15 and they are both gifted in many ways. Not only does Ryan play guitar and sing but he is also learning to play cello and Melinda who plays piano is also studying the violin. I was able to take advantage of their budding talents for the song “Your Love Remains”.[gdlr_divider type=”solid” size=”50%” ]
Church of God Praise Team: John Rumler, Joey Morrow, Emily Trent, Kayla Miller, Jessica Merchant, Ann Frederick, Rhett Simkins, Frank Nelson. I love to hear congregational singing in the mix of a praise song and this comes about naturally in a live recording which I was
not able to pull off. I decided a would attempt to reproduce the effect for the song “All Along and Forever” by recording the praise team singing the song which they did several times. I then combined all the tracks to hopefully create the sound of a congregation by putting it real low in the mix with a bit more reverb and a slight delay then the rest of the mix.
Dustin Sauder: Guitarist. I met Dustin at a summer camp and he was playing guitar for the guest music leader, Michael Merrit. I liked his style and thought it would lend itself well to the song “Threshold” so I asked him if he’d be willing to record a track for me. He did a great job. Last I heard, Dustin was a guitarist for the Christian band “By the Tree.”