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My recording experience in Seattle

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by lildrgn, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Wow! (A hot chick just walked by my window...)


    Well, if you're in Seattle and want to record for cheap, look up Shawn at the Phantom Center. My band just finished a weekend session there and we couldn't be happier.

    We're a new band (from the ashes of my old band), and we wanted to get some tunes on a demo to give to clubs and friends. My personal experience with recordings usually ends up with everything but the bass sounding nice and full. That wasn't the case this time. Out of the three basses I brought (#1 Sterling, #2 Spector NS2000, #3 eBay $200 P), we used the P and, YOW, it was fat and full. And this was before any major effects or compression.

    I went from P to SansAmp DI to Trace-Elliot GP-12 to T-E 4x10 and Ashdown 1x15. He had a direct signal off my bass, then miked both cabs. I'd never heard any bass of mine sound so full in the control room. Usually I get a real dry, thin sound until mixing is started. The tones Shawn got were full, round, growly and bottomy. I loved it!

    We recorded our instrument tracks live, about 2-3 times each before finding ones we were happy with. Pro Tools helped to iron out some kinks here and there. I had to punch some parts too, but they worked out fine. The only thing I wish we'd done was to have our singers do some scratch vox while we recorded the instruments. They only sang bits and pieces. I found, in listening back to the instrument tracks, that I played a bit *too* much at times. Had they sang, I'd have something to play "beneath", and probably would've played more for the song, rather than for myself.

    All in all, it was a good weekend and I'm very happy with the results.
  2. Any advice for somone about to record for the first time (aside from practice the songs; we've got them down pretty good)? My band is going to record a demo in a professioanl studio in a couple of weeks, so any advice would be appreciated!
  3. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Well, if you have a good amount of $$, that's always a plus ;). Money really talks, when in a studio.

    If funding is limited, be efficient. If the engineer has his "stuff" together, listen to what he says. The best advice an engineer gave me once was, "You play too much. Simplify it." I did, and the recording was better for it. Now, if you're part is busy to begin with, you may need to stand up for yourself, but I've found that sometimes, less really IS more.

    Try to lock in good with the drummer. Line up your emphasized notes with the kick. As a wise man on this board says, "If it ain't tight, it ain't right." Amen to that!

    Leave the ego at the door. If you've never recorded before, a bad engineer can really make you feel inferior. Heck, a good one can too, only they let you down much nicer.

    Don't be afraid to speak up. If the tone isn't quite right, time and money permitting, let the engineer know what you want. You are part of the band too, right?

    Have a great time recording. It's muy fun!
  4. PastorStan


    Feb 24, 2004
    Redmond, WA
    Dare I ask how much they charged you? My group and I have been talking about recording some demos (nothing fancy, just jam sessions), so we don't want to spend tons of cash. Just quick in-quick out maybe a half day or so.
  5. lildrgn


    Jul 11, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Well, we paid $600 for 2 days, but YMMV. I'd recommend contacting Shawn at the Phantom Center for details. He was great to work with.

  6. Thanks for the advice. Fortunately, money isn't an issue, since the guitarist's uncle is doing it for us for free :D

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