Jul 17, 2016

Hillsong Young & Free - This Is Living (Cover by Kirsten Wong & Javin Tham)


This is my 3rd Christian song cover with Kirsten. Planning for a cover recording session hasn't been easier as soon as both of us stepped into the working adult stage. Moreover I started my master's degree semester in January 2016, and so I suggested that we record the cover during the NUS vacation period from May onwards.

The song we're doing is This Is Living by Hillsong Young & Free, the original version is EDM style, and we're doing its acoustic version. It's quite cool to see Christian songs evolve into EDM genre (there's even a rapping part).

We were by default under the impression that the cover is to be recorded in Temasek Hall band room as usual, but this time round we were turned down by the in charge of the band room - we're told that they can't lend the band room to non-residents, for the first time we're told so.

And so we're down with other alternatives, trying out Eusoff Hall band room is one of them. Despite that, we're only able to use it in July when orientation started. As it's the first time I'm using the equipment which I'm pretty sure I'll be rather unfamiliar with, we're facing the risk whereby we might be bringing all the props there all set for recording but at the end of the day we're unable to.

I stepped into their band room and I was truly ashamed of our Temasek Hall band room, despite having more instruments than Temasek Hall, they're able to keep their stuff tidier than I thought (partly because their band room is much spacious), and I mean, who has 4 cajóns in a band room? For the cajón quartet?

And if you watch the song cover video, the lighting is purely from the dozen of lamps that they have in the band room. No camera video lighting or ceiling light used (it could have been slightly better as I might have been able to use my video lighting with the diffusing umbrella which I brought, but the light went haywire on that day).

The mixer they're using is Mackie ProFX22v2, and of course I wouldn't have had its driver installed in my laptop as I didn't know what model that is. And the 2-hour-hassle began with me trying to research which driver it uses and how to actually use it (thanks to me being an NUS student again to use its wifi) - it turned out that the mixer doesn't require (or rather incapable) driver installation to be set as an audio hardware, it however doesn't support multitrack recording where all channels from the mixer are exported as one single output signal, but we needed three (Kirsten, me and the keyboard).

What happened next was really some impromptu stunts - we searched around the room and found some audio interfaces. We took one of them (PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL and I managed to download its driver. It only supports two channels and so I had to mouth my singing and do a post recording, yes I mouthed it, but I did sing it out otherwise it would look unnatural and fake, it's the best that we could do out of this misery after going through 2 hours of pathetic trial and error.

On the bright side, we did it, somehow miraculously, thank God for that. Really grateful that Kirsten helped out a lot with setting up, putting the equipment back into place etc. Thanks to the lighting, it's my most satisfactory video setting so far. Hope you enjoy the cover.



Waking up knowing there's a reason
All my dreams come alive
Life is for living with You
I've made my decision

You lift me up, fill my eyes with wonder
Forever young in Your love
This freedom's untainted with You
No moment is wasted

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turns to colour all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

This is living now
This is living now

You take me higher than I've been before
It's Your perfect love that sees me soar
God your freedom is an open door
You are everything I want and more

You lead the way, God You're right beside me
In Your love I'm complete
There's nothing like living with You
This life You created, I choose

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

This is living now
This is living now

You take me higher than I've been before
It's Your perfect love that sees me soar
God your freedom is an open door
You are everything I want and more

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found

This is living now
This is living now

You take me higher than I've been before
It's Your perfect love that sees me soar
God your freedom is an open door
You are everything I want and more

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist