So I’m recording a tune with my musical partner in crime, D. We’re trying to get all the backing vocals nailed down so we can get the track out to our session drummer with the right amount of energy in it, and D is really sweating the harmonies. There are a lot of them, five or six tracks worth. He’s laying down the last one, really struggling, then stops, shakes his head in disgust, and makes the “cut” signal.

Maybe, I think, it’s just that he can’t hear what he needs to in the headphones. I point at the row of faders in front of me. “Anything you need more of?” I ask.

Without missing a beat, he grins at me and says, “Talent. I need more talent.”

We laughed like idiots, and then he laid down the track.

Reminds me of one time I was using my brother as a recording assistant. I was trying to record a particularly demanding guitar part and, after finishing about the fifteenth take — and the only serviceable one to that point — I said, “That could be played better.”

“Yeah,” he said, “but probably not by you.”