Behind the door of an easy-to-miss corner storefront, at the edge of a city park, four guys gather to make music.

I’ve sat in on the recording process a few times. The amount of time it takes to set up mics in relation to instruments, the arrangement of effects pedals, the nudging and tweaking of things I don’t know the names or functions of, all feels so far out of anything I’ve ever been part of.

I can zone out just following the path of all the cords. They run alongside one another, then veer off this way and that. So many cords…

They start playing and I’m completely mesmerized. It’s like a magic trick whose secret I never want revealed. But when they take a break to listen back to what they just did, I ask the engineer why I couldn’t hear the two basses.

He points to the cords leading out into the front room and an isolation booth. They’re connected to amps that emit sound into mics behind closed doors as everyone plays. This way, in the recording, the instruments don’t bleed into each other.

Then it’s a couple hours later, though it felt like just a few minutes. They’re done with the song. They’re outside smoking, talking about some bit on SNL, where they’ll get dinner.

I say goodbye and bike it to the bar for my shift.