By Rob Scucci
--Originally posted to r/nosleep on Reddit--
Hey everybody at NoSleep,
I have been a long-time reader, but this is my first time posting. I probably should have reached out to you sooner, because a lot of strange things have been going on... inside of my headphones. I know this sounds insane, but I can explain it all if you will just hear me out.
I am a musician.
I make decent money from gigging, but I also get songwriting commissions that allow me to work from my apartment. I also work part-time as a cook at a local restaurant, which helps me supplement my bills during the slow season. It's manual labor, but it's muscle memory; it frees my mind up to think of melodies while I'm making a few bucks. In fact, some of my best work has been accomplished while listening to rough mixes and chopping onions in preparation for the lunch-rush. Sounds silly, but whatever works, right?
I love playing live on the stage. I used to live for it, but I've cut down on the gigging recently. I still play out locally almost every week, but I've taken to working on commissions from my apartment as a primary income source. The commissions allow me to not stay out so late, and this helps me get a somewhat regular sleep schedule. I can work on my own time so long as I meet my deadlines, and communicate with my agent and the producers.
The money is comparable, and my car is also seeing less wear and tear. I finally paid the sucker off, but my travel for out of state gigs in the past has racked up the mileage. I want to avoid car payments for the next couple years. Also, I think I'm about ready to settle down. I am on the wrong side of 20, and soon to be on the right side of 30. I am single, and I live alone. I need to get "regular." The nights and days were blending too much, and the weeks were whizzing by.
Any musician who is reading this will tell you that constant gigging makes finding balance difficult, especially with a day job. There were times when I would get back to my apartment at 4:00am, and I would still need to eat dinner and have a night-cap, but the following day I would have to be at the restaurant by 9:00 am for the early shift. I welcomed the change.
I think this is enough introduction for you to understand my day-to-day, and I can now get to the problem I have been experiencing.
I am hearing voices... well, a voice, on my recording sessions.
The problem is that I compose mostly instrumental music for my commissions. I do a lot of sound-track work, and I don't even have a vocal microphone set up. When I listen back on the sessions, I hear him talking to me. At first, I thought I had a crossed frequency, and I didn't think much about it. I chalked it up to my location, and the consequence of sound that one experiences sometimes. For example, when I was younger, I had a Danelectro guitar, and I ran it through a Big Muff distortion box. My amplifier would pick up Mexican radio stations clear as day. I had to spend time dialing in on my amp to get rid of this noise.
I figured this was the case, so I fired up Pro Tools, and tried running a noise-gate and some compression. No such luck! I even went as far as trying to isolate which track in the session the voice was on, but the voice seems to jump from track to track. Since I live in an apartment, I use an electric drum kit, and that's all through a MIDI interface; there shouldn't be any interference there. However, the voice would be present on every single track during the session. Upon playback, it sounded like it was trying to say something, but I couldn't, and still can't quite make it out.
I need help figuring out where this voice is coming from. The problem is, a lot of these commissions make me sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I can't even show unfinished work to my family without violating the terms. Some of these projects are in production as we speak, and they won't even be released for several months, so I have to be hush-hush about it.
I decided to do the only thing that seemed logical, and I bounced down the track, and sent it to the production company I am working with. I asked them what they thought of the murmuring on the track, and if it helped carry the composition along, but when they replied to me, I was all goosebumps.
"Did you send the correct bounce to us? We don't hear any murmuring. Please advise."
Guys, I'm a little freaked out. I am listening to the track right now, and there is definitely a voice. I'm trying to dial it in, and see what he's saying, but it's murky. He sounds distressed, though.
I would love to post the song here, and see if any of you could also hear the voice, but that would violate my contract, and I need this money. Should I open a new session, and see if the voice carries over? If you think this will help, I'll record something new that's not contract work so I could post it.
I appreciate any feedback, and I thank you for your time.
I will update once I get something else going.