How do you record?
I usually sit down and do everything DI (or with my pocket pod) since I live with others that cannot handle loud volumes. I also play to a click track, doing the guitars first (or sometimes after the drum samples are mapped out) I usually record bass last.
For live recording I have used a tascam with at least 5 microphones wired to the amps and singers, and 3-4 for the drums (2 overhead, bass, snare) since I dont have enough microphones. We all have to play it live.
Now that my friend's dad has expanded our practice space and shoved a bunch of expensive recording gear in there (24 track firewire mixer/audio interface, dozens of sm57s and a few other mics, a new computer with pro tools)
how would I do about recording?
Should the drummer record first? Should he play to a click track? should we all use isolated headphones? Maybe we should record live like we usually do? Maybe we need to put down a track to follow along with?
I've read dozens of articles of how to mic amps, record with software, mix, master, etc. but there is NOTHING on how to actually record the ban in terms of what gets recorded first, or how it gets recorded.
My question is: How do you record? (and hopefully, how should I record?)
Traditionally, the drums are Mic'ed up first and the rest of the band is either DI or isolated. First tracks are perfecting the drums, and rest of band recording scratch tracks. Once the drums are down, rest of band overdubs individually. Nowadays, many bands record to a click, so you can pretty much go in whatever fashion you like.
That's how we do it. Click track, drums miced, guitar and bass di for a guide. Then we over dub bass then guitars then vocals.
I'd say record the same song trying every method and see which version comes out the best, different people work differently, some bands sound awesome together and can record in one take, others need lots of studio magic and overdubs to sound good. I've recorded a band that did 10 tracks in two 12 hour days, and I've also recorded a band that took 3 months to record 10 tracks. Both recordings came out great but took 2 different paths.
Methods are important, but don't focus so much on isolation as performance. It's very easy to get so into sounds, mic placement, making sure that tracks don't bleed...and next thing you know, all the energy is gone from that slamming song you wrote last band practice.
Just something to keep in the back of the mind.
How do I record? I play in a couple of instrumental guitar/bass/drums trios. I like to record the whole band at once. Bass thru DI, guitar amp in another room, mic'ed. All of us with headphones. We go for keeper drums and punchable bass. If the guitar take is good we'll use it, but we're not worried about it. Sometimes we'll send a click to the drummer's headphones. I'm not a huge fan of click tracks, but to each their own, and I'm sure most people disagree with me.
Once we get a take we like, I do any punches needed.
Once we've got the whole batch of tunes recorded in this fashion, final guitar parts are recorded, if necessary.
Then we re-amp the bass thru my fx and amp.
How should YOU record? I have no idea. ;) I'm sure you'll get some good ideas from this thread though.
Even though I have a large-ish studio at my disposal, I prefer DI. I like the tones I get better than miking up the amp 90% of the time. Then again, I generally favour clear tones & not dirt. The 10% I do use an amp is usually for the grindy stuff.
That's probably more of a shortcoming of my musicianship than a critique of that studio technique, though.
What you describe is pretty common, perhaps almost standard, AFAIK.
Maybe try being different and record the entire band together, and intend on keeping the parts (punch in repairs except for drums of course- that's gotta be a good take). Overdub vocals.
Strange how this isn't the norm anymore. I really miss actual performance in modern music production. Screw the grid.
My recordings are largely done alone, and I end up playing all the instruments, except for programmed drums. I play drums and that helps to create a playable beat, but I don't have a set of my own so drum machine it is.
Most of my recordings are basically sound experiments, or to keep my chops. When I get a writers block, I'll just pick a genre of music and try to make the best recording I can, while using as many "stereotypes" of the genre as I can.
With a band, I just go with what works. If the band is tight, I'll do everything I can to get as many of us playing at the same time as possible. How polished depends on the intended use of the recording. Having a home studio is awesome because it gives you all the time in the world to experiment and tweak, without paying an engineer. No time clocks means a very relaxed atmosphere.
When I was recording some young bands in my studio, They would be freaked out when I would ask them to play the song we were to record, and they didn't understand why. It's the reason why so many recordings these days sound so overly mechanical with no musical feel.
For now, I'm just doing stuff at home, so my setup is simple. A PC with basic studio software. Th amp is mic'd and that runs into the soundcard. I record, edit and mix all in the software. Generally, I am only recording one instrument at a time, and synchronizing later, before the final mix.
Well, I've found that for my band, it was best to play the song together first. We record it with a Tascam mini recorder. No editing or anything, just use the best possible take of us playing the song. After all, that's how we want it to sound.
Then, I load that track to the computer. We send the track on a pair of studio headphones to our drummer, in our recording space. He listens to the song and plays along. We record with two overhead mics, a bass drum mic, a snare, a hi-hat, and all of the tom are fed into a mixer (my interface only allows for six inputs). All six of those are then sent to my DAW (sometimes I use Pro Tools, sometimes I use Logic).
I do a basic mix of the drums to get the right levels - no processing at this point. Our guitarist goes in, and lays down a track - it doesn't need to be perfect, just good enough for our vocalist to have accompaniment. We record with the amp DI - he gets no lag, and I get a direct signal (we don't have instrument mics).
Our vocalist goes in, and we lay down a basic vocal track. Something for the instrumentalists to reference. Again, doesn't have to be perfect.
Then our guitarist goes back in, lays down his track, I go in, lay down my track, and then we mute the first takes of the guitar and vocals. Our vocalist goes in with an instrumental of the song, and then everything is recorded.
I do all of my processing and fine tune the mixing after that's done so I don't have to keep everyone longer than need be.
Since we have a newly put in basement "studio", complete with an Onyx 1640i, a mac with either pro tools or cubase on it, a truckload of sm57s, sm48s and other mics, cables, and things.... I think we can only record together.
We dont have headphones, and I have no idea what to use to send signal to everyone with those.... anybody got any ideas?
the designer forgot to put in an isolated room for amps, drums, etc. all the recording gear is in the same room as the instruments.
More mics are not necessarily better.
If you sound good and balanced as a whole, a couple of Omnidirectional, or figure 8 mics will do it. Put them together central to the band.
Keep the mics together
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