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recording experiences?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by forced_martyr, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. Well my band is going into the studio next month to make a cd and i was wondering if anyone could tell me any thing i should know about it, seeing i know nothing other then going and playing. also if you could share some of your experiences that would be cool to!! thanks alot!!
  2. Make sure your bass is well set up and intonated perfectly, if in doubt, get a tech to check it.
    Know your parts perfectly before ya go in, you're paying for the time ya waste in there.
    Dont put great gobs of bass boost on your bass or your amp, it will sound terrible when recorded.
    Listen to the engineer, he/she will tell you how and where to set up.
    Remember that what you're hearing in your headphones is not what the bass will sound like in the end, that comes at mixdown.
    Be very patient.
    Wear loose comfortable clothing, you could be in there a long time.
    Dont touch anything!
    Good luck.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Borrow a Portastudio and practice your parts into it. This will show up any excess finger noise etc, soloing bass on 'tape' can be embarressing so do it privately first. Also some people get very nervous when the tape starts rolling. So see if it affects you and you have a month to get used to it.

    You will be going into a strange enviroment full of strange people so make sure you are confident of your bass, parts and ability to play them on tape.

    This is a summary of everyone elses advice.

    Above all have fun.
  5. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    As well as the sound advice given above, I recommend that you take a Gameboy or a book with you - no matter how enthusiastic and excited you are at the start of the session, watching the engineer mess around with drum mikes for three hours will dimish this somewhat.

    Another thing is make sure that you're 100% with what you've played before you allow consider your part done. Don't let anyone intimidate you into letting a sub-standard performance go out - it might not happen to you, but there have been times when I've asked to play my part again, and been told no. After watching guitarists and singers fret over every note for hours on end, I've received the finished demo, and heard mistakes jump out at me. Maybe that's just my bad experience, but I think it's worth mentioning it.

    Anyway, good luck with the demo. When it's done, don't forget to put it up here so we can here it!
  6. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Even you are happy with a first take, always make another one(s) to compare and be sure ... if possible (=> time / money / tape / sound engineer mood ;) )
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The advice about recording yourself beforehand is extremely good. I still remember how disorienting it was to not have all the instruments present when I first laid down bass tracks.

    First time out, it is so strange, compared to a rehearsal, where you have visual cues and you are in your comfort zone of having the drums and the melody instruments present. If you can get a recording of, say, just a guitarist and play with that recording, over and over. You will feel more comfortable in the studio. Plus, you will have the discipline and patience to keep doing it again, and again, and again, and again, and again. If you get impatient or uncomfortable, you'll hear it on tape. Your work is butt-nekkid in the studio.

    Best of luck, stay loose.
  8. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A TUNER. I can't stress this enough. Don't assume the studio will have one, 'cause some won't.

    A new set of strings always helps.

    Cord, strap.

    9 volt batteries. Even if you don't use 'em, have 'em. The guitar player will more than likely need them. And he won't have 'em.

    Duct tape. Again, like the batteries, 'cept for the drummer.

    Are you recording direct (plugging right into the board via a direct box) or will they be miking your amp? If so, don't forget your amp.

    Is the band recording all the tracks together, or will they record just the drums first, then the guitar, then the bass etc.

    you may want to find this info out ahead of time so you'll be more prepared.

    Don't forget your bass. And it won't hurt to bring a backup if you have one just in case.

    Get a good night's sleep the night before and don't drink, do drugs etc. If your making a CD, what you play during the sessions will be around for a long time, so make it good! :)
  9. All the above and a couple more things that will get you off on the right foot with the engineer. Make a list of all the band members names, what they play and who will be singing lead and backup for each song. Give it to the engineer in a form that is easy for he/she to read. Also, (and this will tick off a few people) leave all your friends, girlfriends, boyfriends,wives,........etc at home. Let your new cd do all the showing off for ya!
  10. well all of you helped alot!! but i was in the studio and form what i noticed is we all will play at the same time but there are these little room and i think each of us is put in one (except the drummer) but i think are amps are what gos in there!! i don't know but we know the guy so set up time is free so thats cool!! i already know all my parts and like you guys suggested i did record are song on a 4-track recorder and i play to it and so on as much as i can to get my parts but i have one more qustion, how long did it take you guys to finish recording?? and if you remember how long for one song?? it's costing us $30 an hour and i don't think that is bad but we are starting off with ten hours. if we need more time we are going to get it but i am trying to get a ruff idea. thanks alot for all your help!!
  11. The first time I recorded, myself and a friend(guitar player) along with a studio drummer, backed up a piano, of some guy that wanted to be Elton John or Billy Joel, he was excellant.......We never played the songs until that day......I had to watch the piano players left hand to know where I was......Total disaster.....someone already said it, but know your parts..... I still got payed, but I felt I should go to confession afterwards......
  12. Cool!!

    I'm in a studio myself right now. Already finished all my tracks, we recorded drums and bass first, just did scratch vocals/guitars. Right now we're doing the guitars, it's great because it's payback time for him, he enjoyed dragging good performances out of me all too much ;)!!!

    Much good advice here: make sure your bass is all ready, no problems with intonation/strings/electronics/batteries/etc; do a pre-production recording to hear how all the parts fit together and make sure you KNOW your part COLD; keep distractions to a minimum (no hangers on); listen to the engineer, he knows the room and how to get good sounds - but if you don't like what you hear on playback, don't hesitate to question things (it is YOUR CD, not his); prepare for boredom (they'll usually get a good bass sound in a few minutes....drums? guitars??:rolleyes: ); JB's tracking sheet is a very nice thing to hand the engineer as you walk in, get him/her on your side immedately, you won't regret it.

    I'd only add one thing, distill your parts as much as possible. All the cool fills and trills that make you feel so cool live and at rehearsal will probably just clutter up a recording, and hinder the groove on the record. Remember, the groove is everything, and simple ain't easy (thanks for reminding me of that Miles quote, metalarch). I'm not saying play nothing but 1/8 roots (I'm so GLAD the 80's hair band stuff is gone :rolleyes: ), but just be aware not to OVERPLAY!
  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    get new strings, make sure you bass is in perfect tune and proporly intonated. Be confident in your abilities and lines.

    As mentioned b4, record yourself b4 you go in, it will definatly help you hear little nuances that you didnt know were there.

    And if possible try and get the entire band to record everything at one time, as if you were at your rehersals. Ive been in sessions where we've done this and havent done it. I say this cos you are more comfortable jamming with the entire band and sometimes that 1st take is the best one.

    I have one demo that i did back in 96 and we didnt all play at the same time, and the demo was sub-par compared to how we would all sit and play it.

    And dont be affraid to check the place out for a good spot to play, just walk around the different rooms and go ah ah ah...and listen for the acoustics. I did this once and wound up playing my lines in the bathroom of all places. I know that sounds stupid, but my bass sounded best mic'd in that room.

    And most importantly remember time is money in there!! So make sure you know your lines.
  14. See my post in the "Strings" forum. It's quite longwinded so I dont want to repeat it over.
  15. One piece of advice that I can elaborate on is making sure your bass is in order. I did a recording session some years back. When it came time to record my bass lines, we started hearing some fret buzz on a couple notes. As it turned out, I ended up using another bass that I wasn't familiar with. The end result was that my parts weren't as tight as I would have liked them to be.

    Doing a home recording of the band before hand is also a great piece of advice, but you may even want to take it a step further: See if the engineer might be interested in hearing the tape before hand. That way he will be more familiar with the songs he is recording. Since he has a lot more studio experience, he may be able to lend more advice during the recording process.
  16. Ok, my band has signed to do a battle of the bands thing. The woman said send us in your demo tape because 15 bands have shown interest and there's only 9 positions. Plus the deadline is in two days for the entry forms and demo tape cause of the wide response.

    Thing is, my band doesn't have a demo tape so we're recording a quick one tomorrow night. It'll be straight to tape. The guitarist has managed to borrow a 4 track and two mics and i have 2 mics.

    I have uncles who are all sound engineers and not one of them is "available", nor the guy over the road who records live bands, he happened to go camping this week.

    My Dad is out of town doing concerts in other states and said he would talk us through it on the phone. Thats not too practical IMO, any suggestions.


    Oh BTW we have no money and its being done at the singers house in his band room.
  17. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Merlin, I've always been told the quality of the recording isn't really meant to matter much - people giving out gigs will want to hear the music, rather than the production. They would rather hear a good, raw live performance, rather than a perfectly mixed, polished CD that sounds nothing like the band playing live. But then, in my experience, as long as you bring in enough punters, they couldn't give a toss... :rolleyes:
  18. merlin we do that all the time!! but we have all kinds of equipment and no idea on how they work!! well we pushed my date back to april 14th so we could learn are stuff more but if you guys want to see i got the site of the studio i am going to so here it is, www.marbleeyestudio.com it is a cool place and it is pretty big to!! were trying get four songs done in ten hours but i don't think we have enough time but i don't know!!
  19. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    To be honest, I don't think you can expect four songs in ten hours - at least, four songs recorded decently. Maybe you'll get lucky (good performances after a few takes, good engineer), but I'd say aim for one or two that sound good, rather than rushing four songs.

    I know that may seem to contradict the advice I've given above, but if you're paying to go into a studio to record a demo, you might as well get quality! :cool:
  20. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    I would also like to add that if you are creating a strictly demo tape, then I doubt that any person is going to listen to all of the songs. I would suggest that you record your 2 or 3 most popular songs, not your 2 or 3 favorite songs. There's a big difference there. As for doing it all in 10 hours, if you find that you are running low on time, you can always do mixdown a different day. That might even be better in that it gives your ears a chance to relax and "open-up" again after listening to loud music for 10 hours. Just make sure that you have all of the parts down and that the engineer doesn't blank your tape, or even better, buy the tape if you haven't already. There's nothing worse than someone accidently losing the master and having to recreate a master. I would also advise to try and meet with the engineer about a week prior to actually going into the studio and discuss the following things:

    <li>the number of songs that your recording</li>
    <li>the breakdown of each song (i.e., instrumentation, length, number of solos and who does them, and how the song should sound...don't be afraid to bring in other cd's to illustrate this point)</li>
    <li>the quality of the finished product that you looking for (if you're not doing an album, some things might be allowable on the recording)</li>
    <li>some kind of a time-table so that you'll know in advance if you're going to go over</li>
    <li>what the engineer's experience has been in setting up and recording this type of music (and I don't mean skill-wise, I mean how long it takes to mic instruments and lay down the tracks)</li>
    <li>the bands setup (what the bass player uses, the guitarists stack, the drummer's kit and his cymbals)</li>

    And remember, the engineer is putting his name on the album just like you are, use his experience to the fullest extent. After all, you wouldn't write a song without some feedback from the drummer, would you??

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