Managing time in the studio

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by AdamR, Feb 25, 2014.


  1. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    My band booked 2 days in a studio for the end of March. We booked at $300 a day. The argument is how many songs we should expect recorded mixed and mastered in a 16 hour period.

    Im expecting 1 or 2 top quality commercial quality recordings. Our singer thinks that is unacceptable and we should have 4 done in 2 days. Now when we talked about doing a full 10 songs the studio told us to budget $3000 for recording, mixing and mastering and he was fine with that. Thats $300 a song which by my math is the same as $600 for 2 songs but he still feels thats to much. His "friend" told him 90 minutes to track a song. :rolleyes:

    Some back ground on the band, 5 piece old school metal band. No or little recording experience. Im assuming most songs will have a number of guitar tracks. All songs have 1 or 2 guitar solos, Some have clean parts that will need to track separate.

    So how long do you normally spend per song in the studio ?
     
  2. Itzayana

    Itzayana

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    Depends on how well everyone know their parts. If you get together at rehearsal and have to spend lots of time going over the songs the same thing will happen in studio.
    If you can't play the songs really well the first time around, you should wait to book your studio time until you can.
    Also, it is better to break your 16 hours into four 4-hour sessions. Studio work is pretty intense and after 4 hours of concentration the productivity curve drops off dramatically.

    The recording studio is not the place to workout parts. Time is money.
     
  3. vbchaos

    vbchaos

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    Including mixing?
    In my experience, 2 songs if you REALLY know what you are doing.

    Depends a bit on how many tracks have to be recorded. My band is not ultra-experienced in studio work and we had no rush - we did one song in a weekend
     
  4. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    Lack of studio experience is why Im not expecting to blow out 4 songs. Ive been in a studio once, We did a 3 song demo in 4hrs, "mixed and mastered" sounded like crap. I wont put out music I'm not happy with this time.. Singer says he recorded 6 songs in 8hrs, I never heard the CD but Im willing to bet it wasnt very good. He's a great guy but is in a rush with everything.
     
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  6. vbchaos

    vbchaos

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    So you are not highly experienced and disagree about things.. One song will be your output!
    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to diss you. But do not expect more than possible. Focus on what you really want - you want quality over quantity.

    One good song is more than two medium-quality songs, then

    I'd make that choice, too. One good single is better than two songs nobody wants to hear
     
  7. gricko

    gricko

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    minutemen recorded 'double nickels on the dime' in 80 hours. almost 50 songs and over 80 minutes of music.
    you can not do that, that is clear.

    if having no previous experiences - learn songs so you can track them in two or three takes. record some home demos and play w/ arrangements. prepare yourself the best you can.

    and even then you will not be able to set-up, record and mix four 'old school heavy metal' songs in 16 hours. it takes at least two or three hours to set-up drums, tune them, place microphones etc. it would be best case scenario to track drums and strings the first day and the second one to track vocals in 2-3 hours which leaves 'only' five hours to mix.....

    you should be VERY satisfied if manage to finish two songs in that frame of time.
     
  8. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    Exactly my point. This is over 2 days though, 1 day recording, 1 day mixing and mastering. I think we can get 2 out. But if its one song of great quality I'm fine with it. He's focused on the number, Everyone else is more interested in quality.
     
  9. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

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    Know your part, nail it in 1 or 2 takes with no punching in or out needed. You will have done your job as a bassist. Rest is up to them. Just focus on your part and role and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
     
  10. Fliptrique

    Fliptrique

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    Sorry, that sounds totally unrealistic to me.

    If your band is REALLY REALLY tight you might be able to record a single song within an hour or two.

    But you have to consider than setting up and tuning the drums to proper song keys, micing them, choosing the right room mic placement and making sure that everything is phase-coherent takes several hours - you can`t really expect to do it faster and get quality results.

    Setting up bass and guitar amps and finding a good synergy between their respective tones also takes time.

    Let`s say you really got your stuff together - take 4 hours of setting up the drums, 2 for bass and guitars. 2 hours of tracking. If you are lucky you`ll have two songs recorded live. Without vocals and overdubbed guitars. And that`s assuming there is no need for fixing timing mistakes and slicing tracks - highly unrealistic in the metal genre.

    Recording vocals, overdubs AND Mixing AND mastering two songs in a day is simply impossible if we`re talking about pro-level end result. This stuff takes time (even without without the band walking around packing their equpiment) and you have to take ear fatigue into consideration - after several hours of tracking you will not be able to properly judge and mix anything.
     
  11. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    We did do some pre-production ourselves so that should help. We are using his drum set and cabinets so I think that should cut down set up time a little bit. These are all the points Ive been making to our singer though. Its more then just plugging in, ripping a few songs and having a disc in our hands.
     
  12. ed_sped2

    ed_sped2 Supporting Member

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    I just finished recording an 11 track album with my band, and we ended up spending much more time in the studio than we thought. We got drums and bass done in one weekend (~16 hours), and it was exhausting. Not recommended. The two guitarists spent another 24 hours over the course of a couple of months on their parts, and the vocalist took another 16 hours. We then spent an entire weekend (16 hours) on mixing and mastering. Our sound engineer used a lot of really nice outboard gear, which seemed to increase the amount of time we spent. All in all, we were pretty particular about our sound, but I am really happy with the result.

    The only thing I regret is feeling as if I *had* to complete my parts by a certain time. If I ever go back into the studio, I'll probably budget for at least one day per song.

    BTW, we just put the album up on bandcamp if anyone wants to give it a listen!
    echocollider.bandcamp.com
     
  13. Toolmybass

    Toolmybass Supporting Member

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    Your not "getting it"

    Quality is based on your engineer and that EVERYONE knows thier parts "like the back of thier hand" Nothing else.

    Show up prepared as an individual and as a band.

    My average recording time for 4 studio songs is under ONE hour. (After set-up). Only because I'm completely prepared.

    TMB
     
  14. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

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    you could RECORD six songs in that time period. mixing and mastering them.. well double however much time it took you to record them... at least..

    if you have 16 hours to record mix and master I think you're on the ball with 2 songs. may be able to squeeze out three
     
  15. Toolmybass

    Toolmybass Supporting Member

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    +1

    I forgot to mention that my post was referring to actual recording time...not mixing/editing/mastering ...that depends on how good the person is doing that job and how many mistakes he is fixing or changes the band wants post recording
     
  16. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    And are you taking the entire band doing 4 songs in an hour or just your bass parts. Because thats a pretty big difference. Im pretty sure I could track mu 20 minutes (4 songs) of bass lines in an hour. Now the trick is tracking 4 other guys and the guitars having to do multiple parts.
     
  17. Itzayana

    Itzayana

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    This is great advice.
     
  18. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    Im not worried about my parts, Ill nail mine with in 2 takes.
     
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the OP agrees with you the "everyone else" is the Op and the rest of the band.
     
  20. Itzayana

    Itzayana

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    Actually there is something else.
    One of the most important aspects of recording is "performance".
    How much feel and emotion is put into the song.
    I have been in studio with player who were really good at what they do live and then totally choke when the light is red.
     
  21. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    Correct, Everyone else meaning the band

    Myself and the band are planning on 2 songs. Yes we all know the material but seeing we dont have much experience in the studio and nerves will certainly play a part with some band members we are going to expect perfect takes first shot.

    Our singer thinks we should be able to just blow through at least 4 songs despite the fact that I think vocals will take the most time after guitar parts.
     

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