Live Recording vs Multi-tracking

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by ColonelZulu, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Well, since I don't own a studio with isolation rooms...
    we did a bit of decent recording just taking a live run of our rehearsals...the feel was great, We really would love to have that Wayne Hancock sound like on Gone Gone Gone etc, where it really feels together. However, the overall mix was OK, but the vocals could have used a bump, plus it seemed everyone had a flub at one time or another...nothing horrible, but enough to want to re-do.

    So, we decided to do some of our tunes with independent tracks. The hard part was getting a good reference track (vocals and acoustic) done to a click. The click is vital in order to synch everyone later on. With that out of the way, I started laying bass tracks. It was cool to do it on my own pressure. I've got half of my work done. Next I think we're going to do the lead guitar tracks...then vocals, either with an acoustic guitar or solo and do the acoustic on a different track.

    Some of the tunes will need drums, but I think some will be fine without it. Problem is, I anticipate the drums being the hard part. He'll have to play to a given tempo, and I think he'll suffer on his feel.

    I think I've found I'd prefer to cut a live recording, and it may be worth getting the levels worked out, and doing multiple group takes. But, it's so nice to put in an hour here, an hour there and get good tracks down.

    I'm really saving dough using the ZOOM H4 and CUBASE LE bundle.
  2. screamkingart


    Apr 27, 2006
    Hey zulu I had just got the mbox pro 2, but realized that wasnt what i needed, so i took back and got the digi 003, can record up to 8 tracks with the hardware that i got and with a mixer i can go up to 16 tracks or even more :hyper:

    drums pfft please.... i can record 2 sets of drums haha :p

    Im trying to get a little home recording studio going, so its pretty exciting, its been quite a pain though, learning all this stuff and learning how to you use pro tools, and the actual digi 003 hardware

    just thought i share that with you :D

    good luck with your recordings, i would imagine mic up the whole drumset would be best, but you probably can get away with recording the drums live, its just gonna take some time and patience, and probably more time and patience

  3. I am in a similar situation. Here is how I plan to tackle that challenge.

    Our band's make-up:
    1 Kit Drummer
    1 Percussionist on with lots of toys (backing vox)
    1 keys/synth (lead/backing vox)
    2 guitars (backing vox)
    1 lead singer
    1 bass player (backing vox)

    We record every rehearsal then the songwriter/guitar player and I listen to the rehearsal recordings and arrange/produce on paper.

    Play as full band, but with the intent of only recording "scratch" focusing on structure and getting a solid rhythm track to use.

    Then mic up the drums - run the mics through a small mixer and get them nice and balanced and let the drummer record over the scratch track.

    Then mic up the percussion rig - run the mics through a small mixer and get them nice and balanced and let the percussionist record over the scratch track.

    Now each of us will take turns plugging into the laptop, poping on headphones and recording our parts.

    Because we are all laying down the initial scratch, we should "feel" like we are playing live when doing our individual overdubs.

    Hopefully this will help maintaing that live, push and pull feel.

    Finally, remove the scratch and mix away.

    I also read an interview with Stewart Copeland about how he and Stanley Clarke recorded in their Animal Logic project.

    He would compose their entire arrangements (fake drums, fake bass, fake chords) on a "Fairlight" (which I am assuming is no different that using something like Sonar or Cubase or ProTools - a sequencer) for song structure and "click-tracking" purposes - then each musician would come in and record their individual live parts over the Fairlight. As a live part was added, a "robot part" was removed. Eventually all robo parts were gone and it was all live. Then they could all go back as many times as needed and reinvent at will.

    Hope this helps!

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