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sweet: First official recording project....


Bass_god_offspring

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So in the first week of January my band and i are going into the studio for 3 days of recording (24 hours). We're recording about 7 or so songs for our first official EP.

 

Just felt like sharing and asking for any advice for this project, since it'll be very long and tiring (two of the sessions are from midnight to 4 am)!

 

The Studio itself is amazing.

 

We'll be recording onto an Analog Neve console and mixing in protools.

 

Adios! :wave:

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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hahahahahahaha.

 

 

nice one ATM

 

..i'll try.

 

my main concern is about not going insane!

 

it's a 16 hour block of recording, and then the next day, an 8 hour block.

 

 

we definitly are bringing friends and lots and lots ot Rockstar energy drinks.

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Do some rough demo recordings with a single mic onto minidisc or similar to make sure that the songs sound good with their current arrangements, lyrics, instrumental parts etc.

 

Know the songs inside out. Have all your parts worked out.

 

Play everything live - don't overdub the main parts unless you're experienced at overdubbing. Don't use a click unless your drummer is experienced at playing to one.

 

24 hours isn't very long. Don't obsess over details - just get on with capturing a good performance, punch in over any awful mistakes, and give yourself enough time to mix. And don't underestimate the time taken to get decent vocal takes. Don't use too many mics on the kit or you could be tweaking for ages.

 

Don't let the friends screw up the session - and don't drink too many energy drinks or playing in time will become a far flung dream!

And try and get some sleep during the day so you can stay awake without chemical assistance.

 

And enjoy it! So you screwed up a key note? It's only rock and roll...

 

Alex

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My best advice: it's hard but make sure you take some breaks. The hard part is watching your dollars go away as you don't record. Don't spend a hour trying to finish or fix something when you haven't had a break in a while. Bring some snack foods but not so much that you feel you don't have to leave the studio and take a break. Bring spare strings, batteries, cables, etc. Have planed out what you want to do in the studio in advance as much as possible to save time. Ask the sound guy what he suggests you do to be most prepared. Make sure everyone has thier parts down. Be prepared to find out not everyone does or isn't that clean playing wise. Be prepared to learn something new that isn't so hip about your own playing.

 

Bring a good sense of humor and some paitence. Once it's done, don't dwell on the small things. Know you busted ass and did a good job and it's time to spread the gospel of your band.

 

Have fun damn it. .. Rock!!!

Mike Bear

 

Artisan-Vocals/Bass

Instructor

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My best advice: it's hard but make sure you take some breaks. The hard part is watching your dollars go away as you don't record. Don't spend a hour trying to finish or fix something when you haven't had a break in a while. Bring some snack foods but not so much that you feel you don't have to leave the studio and take a break. Bring spare strings, batteries, cables, etc. Have planed out what you want to do in the studio in advance as much as possible to save time. Ask the sound guy what he suggests you do to be most prepared. Make sure everyone has thier parts down. Be prepared to find out not everyone does or isn't that clean playing wise. Be prepared to learn something new that isn't so hip about your own playing.

 

Bring a good sense of humor and some paitence. Once it's done, don't dwell on the small things. Know you busted ass and did a good job and it's time to spread the gospel of your band.

 

Have fun damn it. .. Rock!!!

Mike Bear

 

Artisan-Vocals/Bass

Instructor

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I defintely agree with Mike. Take breaks! Even if it's for just a few minutes to stretch your legs. Recording in a studio can be VERY frustrating, especially if you keep messing up and have to start over.

Get PLENTY of rest and most importantly, DO NOT TURN THE STUDIO INTO A PARTY! KEEP YOUR FRIENDS AND NON BAND PEOPLE OUT!

 

Don't sweat making a mistake. Most times, after you finish running through the song, you can take 5 minutes and punch in and out and easily fix the problems.

 

Are you all going to do scratch tracks or will you be doing a "live recording"?

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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The hard part is watching your dollars go away as you don't record.
..hahaha, well actually, it's free.

 

shhh, don't tell anyone ;)

 

 

We're doing a full on recording session, not a live performance recorded, which i like a lot.

 

I just hope they will let me DI AND mic my cabs....i hear you can get a very nice warm sound that way.

 

 

But all the gear they have in 100% top of the line. Pro-tools, Shure instrument mics, Racks of pre-amps and processors, ect.

 

it's truely an amazing place.

 

;)

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

The hard part is watching your dollars go away as you don't record.
..hahaha, well actually, it's free.

 

shhh, don't tell anyone ;)

 

 

We're doing a full on recording session, not a live performance recorded, which i like a lot.

 

I just hope they will let me DI AND mic my cabs....i hear you can get a very nice warm sound that way.

 

 

But all the gear they have in 100% top of the line. Pro-tools, Shure instrument mics, Racks of pre-amps and processors, ect.

 

it's truely an amazing place.

 

;)

Well, even a "full on recording session" typically starts with everyone in the same room playing together "live". Ideally, you hope to nail everybody's tracks in the same take (preferably the first or second take). A lot of people feel like you lose something when everything is done as an overdub.

 

BTW, althought the SM57 is universally used on guitar cabs and snare drums, Shure mics aren't highly regarded in the studio. I would guess your studio has some fancier mics. That will all be part of the learning experience. Have fun.

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Originally posted by C.Alexander Claber:

Do some rough demo recordings with a single mic onto minidisc or similar to make sure that the songs sound good with their current arrangements, lyrics, instrumental parts etc.

 

Know the songs inside out. Have all your parts worked out.

 

Play everything live - don't overdub the main parts unless you're experienced at overdubbing. Don't use a click unless your drummer is experienced at playing to one.

Listen to Alex. Doing good pre-production work is key to making the most of your time in the studio. The better prepared you are going into the studio, the less time you're going to waste.

 

Recording practices is a great thing to do. You can listen back afterword, critique everything and identify things that could be problematic. It's better to do that before you get into the studio and you have more time to work things out.

 

Playing live is key to maintaining the energy of the tracks. Do it whenever possible. However I would also try to see if your drummer can start working with a click now. It takes a little while for some drummers to get used to the concept, but using a click track can really help a song.

 

IMHO, I don't know if you're going to be able to finish 7 tracks in a total of 24 hours in the studio. From my own experience, you'll probably spend about 2/3 of that time tracking and 1/3 of it mixing. Now if you don't have a whole lot going on in the tracks, the songs may very well "mix themselves". 5 songs might be a more realistic goal for the ammount of time you have, but if you guys are super tight and are very capable of working efficiently at 3 in the morning (not many people are), then I might be wrong.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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BGO,

What I asked was wether or not everyone is going to be recorded (no scratch tracks) at the same time?

Usually, you will start with recording the drums. Then everyone else plays along either not being recorded or with the intention of recording over it at a later point. Usually after the drums have been recorded.

Then, the drums are played back and you record the bass/guitar and repeat.

Then the singer records his actual vocal track(s) and then you mix.

 

I have done it a variety of ways.

Others may differ in opinion, but I think it is best to get the drum tracks recorded first. Usually they are the hardest to get down due to all the mics involved.

Bass next, then guitar.

Then the singer does his work, followed by any backing vocal tracks.

 

I think your eyes are going to get opened really wide....

Good luck!

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

The hard part is watching your dollars go away as you don't record.
..hahaha, well actually, it's free.

 

shhh, don't tell anyone ;)

;)

My band did a recording that was free as well. We were going to make a cd of about 7-9 songs like you guys. Too bad the guy who was recording stuff got into some trouble (Don't want to explain) and we had to postpone. Now he wants to charge us. He sais he is going to give us a discount but how do you get a discout when you were recording for free and now recording for money? Anyway, I hope all goes well. Recording is a lot of fun, you will enjoy every second of it!!!

"All things are possible through Christ." (Matt 19:26)

 

My band: http://www.purevolume.com/fadingsilence

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To echo Alex's advice once more. Pr production is good stuff. My band records everything in advance on a multitrack. It once again brings out all the oopsies we may not have heard before. This does involve cash though. Experience is good to have in the studio in the matter of overdubbing, but hey if you don't have much don't worry, your about to get some. You can even do a boom box recording and all listen back and talk about it. Don't scrutinize over one note and such unless it happens every time you play the song. That's all i can think of. The fact that you care to get some advice should tell you that you'll do just fine.

 

Once again, Best of Luck.

 

Mike

Mike Bear

 

Artisan-Vocals/Bass

Instructor

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I still think Pernax's band is pursuing it in the best way since you can in time get incredible results the way you wanted it. Limited time in studios often doesn't allow this, and if you compare costs of owning the gear versus booking time, the major difference seems to be the extra hands and expertise you may be buying with the studio.

 

Yup, a few determined people buying the right gear and having the space can do a hella lot these days without any big sacrifice in sound quality. It requires self-educating or training, learning to wear different hats, and maybe taking the tracks somewhere else for final vocals (and maybe other acoustic sounds, eg drums if mic selection and acostic space is compromised), but it was doable a number of years ago, and certainly now.

.
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Two words of advice from my recent first time in the studio:

 

1. Make sure the engineer BACKS UP everything! If you want to be really safe, bring an external hard drive so the band can do the archiving and hold onto it after the session.

 

2. Check out the SansAmp BDDI if you haven't already. It allowed me to retain maximum control over my tone and I was very pleased with the results. I ran the Sans into the Effects Loop Return of my combo. We took a direct line and mic'd the speaker.

 

Good luck and have fun!

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A few quick points:

 

1) Reconsider about bringing your friends along, especially if the studio is small and/or doesn't have a separete room for hanging out. Sometimes it can be a handfull (or earfull) just with the band members chatting when someone is trying to listen to something important. Excess noise will wear you down sooner than you know - beware of this, especially as you're low on time.

 

2) Remember to have fun, and enjoy the experience to the fullest. You'll learn a lot about what it is like to work in a studio environment, and some things you'll learn the hard way. Next time you'll be more prepared, and things will go more smoothly. Recording in a studio is the other "rock star"-thing (the other being gigging), and it's not every day you get to enjoy it.

 

-P

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3) Like said above, a preproduction demo of some sort will help you immensely. It will force you to think about all the minor details you might otherwise overlook. Less time spent thinking about music when the clock is ticking instead of actually recording music is a good thing.

 

4) I don't know who will be in charge of mixing and mastering, but it's good to think about that well before you hit the studio. Listen to your favorite CDs and how they're mixed, and try to find a few to take along to be used as reference discs.

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