Threads or general advice with Recording a CD.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by fabledsoe, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. fabledsoe


    Dec 16, 2007
    Hello all,

    I did a quick search on this topic, but didn't see any threads that could of helped me.

    So here is the situation. I am about to graduate this coming spring. I have one big project which is my recital, and I would like to do something big before I go. The big thing is making a Jazz CD. The whole Nine yards with this project.

    What I am looking for is advice/tips on things with studios, choosing tunes, permission of using tunes, etc...
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Look harder.

    Good luck with your project!
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Make sure that the engineer has experience recording jazz. In general, at least by my standard, jazz should be recorded live, meaning you're all standing there playing together. This is not how rock/pop/country/etc is recorded. When you ask a drummer or a guitar player if they play jazz, most of them will say "sure!", but a chorus in, you realize that they think the do because they can play a lot of stuff, but that don't make them a jazz player. I've met many engineers, especially students who have said "sure I can record jazz", but then expect the drummer to come in and lay down their tracks, then the piano player, etc. If you push past that, they freak out about bleed and try to put you in different rooms or around the corner from one another and if that's not how you're used to playing it's going to sound like you guys don't play together. So, find someone who understands and respects your process and doesn't want to impose theirs on you. You're the one who has to make the art, after all.

    Next, your bass, "sure, I'd love to record standup bass", then they want to go from your pickup to the board and add some reverb. Read threads on mic placement and experiment. Find recordings of your ideal bass sound (for me it's Sam Jones) and play them for the engineer and talk about it. A good one will mic you up and capture what you want to sound like and not what he thinks bass should sound like (which might be a Warwick Thumb for all you know).

    Depending on your relationship with the band and if it's really your project that you're bringing them into, make sure you're ready before you go into the studio and start the meter running. It get's long and stressful. Be prepared with your arrangements, rehearse the session wherever you normally practice a few times before you go in studio. The studio will feel weird if you're not used to it, you don't want to be arranging or figuring out what you're going to play in there.

    Someone told me once that you should look at a recording as a snapshot. It's supposed to sound like you sound at the time. If it does that accurately, be happy with it. (I have no idea what you sound like) That takes a lot of pressure off, if you're comparing your release to your favorite giant's, you'll make yourself crazy.

    All that being said, I don't have all that much experience in studio. It's not my favorite thing to do. I have a good engineer who I love working with who is all of the things that I've told you to insist on. He's affordable and stays out of the way and makes us sound our best. They are out there, take the time to find the right one for you. There are people on this board who are MUCH more qualified than me to give you advice here, but this is my wisdom from my own failures and resolutions. Hope there's something in there that is helpful to you.