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when should a band record an album

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by backup, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. good evening

    im in a rather young (age wise) original band and we've been playing for a while now and our fan base grows and is demanding recordings.

    we think of hitting the studio. but assume we're not ready as we are not yet 100% spot on rhythmically. we get faster slower etc. no one except us has noticed it yet but we're definitly not able to play with click track. if its not bad etiquette i could show you our demos so you can see for yourself

    ok the questions around this

    1. when should a band record an album?

    2. how does a band record multiple songs? what is the procedure?we go in play the songs 2-3 takes then produce it, pay and leave?

    3. i know in the hobby level people record and then cut/copy/overdub if they played somethign wrong. is this common in professional recordings?

    4. i always stress my band mates to practise with click especially the drummer as they usually dont. how important is it to be able to play 100% on click for saxophone and rhythm guitar? is it correct of me to say we should not record when we're not perfectly on time?

    and my last question has nothing to do with band management but it fits into the studio thing. i searched TB and didnt find any threads addressing this

    so 5. as a sessions musician how do you get payed? and how much do you charge and how? do you charge for recording time or the number of songs? what about royalties etc etc??

    id really appreciate input
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
  3. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings
    When your drummer can play with a click ..... then you would be ready..... oh and when ALL of you can play with a click...... oh and when you have enough songs for one 10-12....or do an EP 4-6 songs and save the $, most people will like 1-2 songs and then download them or steal them.. :)
    Pay for each song as you go...record all the basic tracks first thought before stopping ....
    Oh and just have FUN!
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    To me recording a new band is a big step but a much needed one if you are original band
    One band I'm in did our first demo about 6 months after being together an EP so we had something to pass out,sell and market. It took about a month on and off at low budget.
    Remember, any recordings you do unless you are on a label are considered Demo's for the most part.

    The same band then did a full length album months later that took over a year and cost quite a bit. Today it has done ok but we got nowhere near the mileage we expected from it. Welcome to the world of being in an originals band.

    IMO you need to figure a studio, budget and what you want to record, maybe 3-4 songs. Get tight on them and go in and cut the songs. It depends on the studio what will happen and what you want out of it.
    I don't like click tracks or did anyone we worked with. For us it took the feel away from our music but that's us.

    Again, I don't know what you guy's sound like or where you are at musically but getting timing together is not a place for the studio.

    I am a new member of another band and only after 2 months we just went in and tracked 4 songs last weekend at a studio. Overall they sounded great and are being mixed now. The band has a loose feel to the music but we were still tight. Like you we felt we needed a recording to promote but keep the budget tight since it really is just a labor of love and a demo after all.
  5. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    If you are just starting out live takes are fine as long as they are well engineered and you'll get some studio experience that you can mull over for a while.

    If you are going for something fairly serious it can get pretty involved. If that's the route you want to go, I'd get scratch tracks done first. You'll find out who/what/where time needs to be spent (on an endless number of possible things) to really prepare for quality recording and you'll have a tool to work on stuff with.

    Who uses a recording studio these days? I would for a final product but you can get a lot done with some basic home stuff.

    Professional studios use every type of "cheating" and altering of sounds/performance imaginable and yet to be imagined. I love how a trend in super fast technical metal these days is to record at half speed then speed it back up!

    Last word of advice- Think of all this recording stuff as a long signal chain that starts at fingers and finally ends up at the "board" or in Sonar/ProTools/Reaper or whatever you are using. Every single item and step in your signal chain and how it's captured is super crucial and needs to be considered and controlled. You need really good sounds in the first place and the less the mix engineer has to mess with it the better.
  6. Are you already recording your rehearsals and listening to them together? That is something I always like to do when preparing to record a CD, with any band. This has (at least) the following benefits:

    You really get to know the tunes when you listen to them without playing at the same time. This is vital in making a CD: you have to know the tunes inside out, if you don't want to spend ages in the studio.

    If you aren't planning to hire a producer, this is the time you notice what's good, what could work better, what your bandmates are playing, and because of this, you have the "big picture" in your head. This makes you understand the tune better and because of this, you will play better.

    You get used to being recorded. This is easy to overlook, but it's really different from playing to an audience or together at the practice space.

    I would say that when you've done this for a while, fixed any problems with the tunes, got your live balance working so that a single-track recording sounds as "ready" as it can sound, and are happy with the result, then it's time to go to the studio.
  7. thanks very much!

    our rehearsal space is a decent home studio and we do record rehearsals and do what Kamuilija suggested. cuts from rehearsal are also what we use as a demo.


    btw what do you think of this name? to me it sounds a little like soda pop brand. is it fitting for a band like this? aslo what genre would you categorize it in?

    we actually do want to get serious. this is also more of a long term topic. we think about recording in 6 months or so. so yes im talking about a serious recording that is worth investing in.

    bassbully's point is interesting i already thought that there is no sense in recording an album without having the means to promote one

    thanks to everyone each reply was very helpful!
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Very nice! I enjoyed the tracks. As for the name its ok and the music is funky pop/jazz. The looseness will be key to keeping the songs sounding fresh but you have that I feel. Just go for it. If you can do it yourself... do it! If not, then find someone out there that can. My bands don't like DIY we prefer to hire someone.

    You will at least have a product to help support your band.
  9. I wouldn't worry about this "click track" thing; there's nothing wrong with subtle changes in tempo.

    I would say a good quality demo might be the way to go. They're cheap to make, and you can sell CD's at your shows, or put them on your band's website. Many people (including me) have quality home studios and will record young bands for very little money.

    I enjoyed your tracks, but sorry, I hate the name.
  10. make sure the drummer can play to a click
    practice til you can play the songs in your sleep
    record 2-4 songs a professional studio
    give them away for free on a site like bandcamp to create a buzz
    save money and get back in and do it again
  11. When they're good enuff, and when the have the cash to do it.
  12. So long as the band is tight, what's this obsession with being able to "play with a click-track"? Who cares? It's not like there's someone in the audience with a metronome checking that your tempo is exactly the same from start to finish. If that's what you want, buy a drum machine and do away with the drummer altogether.

    P.S. My brother, who is a great drummer and is sitting next to me, says he would actually discourage any drummer from using one of those things, lest they turn into robots.
  13. NOAH_FX


    Aug 12, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Robot's are not to be trusted.
  14. is a 3m² isolated booth with mid-high end equipment considered a quality home studio? with no analog engineering equipment.
    yes the name is... special. but is somehow well received and remembered. so maybe its not that bad

    seems there are different opinions on this one

    drummers seem to have split opinions on this as well. clyde stubblefield says he hates click tracks. but then again, clyde can lock a tempo. for me practising with click really helps just feeling the rhythm and staying in time without oone.

    after listening to some material on our sound cloud would you consider us having rhythmical problems?
  15. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I would say you're ready. If you've got fans asking for it, give them what they want. I would also say that the quickest way for a band to pull it together is to get into a studio. You'll find out strengths and weaknesses quickly.

    What is mid-high end equipment? Without knowing what equipment it is it's impossible to say.

    Mid-high end to me means you high quality for sure. Pro Tools or equivalent with someone who knows how to run it, excellent mics, channel strips, multiple sets of monitors, etc. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
  16. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    1)Depends on your goal. If you are doing it to make money. When you have a full album of good songs and you have money to promote it. If you are doing it as a hobby then whenever you want.

    2)You can block out time or you can record a couple songs. If money is a concern organize the songs and work on them in the order you like them. It is better to have a few really well recorded songs than a bunch of averagelt recorded songs.

    3)I would talk to the person you would be recording with and they can usually help you figure out what would be best for your situation and budget.

    4)Get the timing as tight as you need it, but be aware that all flaws are magnified in the recording process. It isn't like a live show where you usually won't notice a small flaw (this goes for everything not just timing). Know the songs inside and out before you walk through the door. As in don't have that one song that you still don't exactly have an ending for.

    5)You set your rate however you want. Most but not all session musicians are hired contractors who get paid once and that is all. If you bring something so unique to the project that you are irreplaceable then you can start negotiating royalties.

    Ask for examples of engineers and studios work beforehand. Anyone reputable will gladly give you this. Don't be afraid to ask questions about their work as they will give you their best. The thing is did they spend 4 days recording a single song and then another four mixing it. If so do you have the money to record like that? What kind of work can they do in your time frame and on your budget. If they act annoyed at your requests you probably don't want to work with them. This is a fairly large investment and an artist project you have to make sure the fit is right.
  17. It's certainly good enough for a quality demo; I wasn't suggesting anything more than that in a home studio. And from listening to the stuff you posted, and the fact that people are asking for recordings, I don't see any reason to wait. If you decide to go professional, just be sure to have the songs well rehearsed - studio time costs a fortune.

    Best of luck,
  18. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    When should a band record an album? Around 1962-2002. That seemed to be a good time to do it.

    But more seriously, go one step at a time. Just record some stuff with the equipment you got handy using a click track. Start with 1-2 songs to get a feeling for the process. Put them up on Soundcloud, Youtube, whatever. Once you get enough songs, put them together in a mixtape or EP and let your fans download it. Make a cheap video for the best song.

    A real album can come later, there's no need to do one right away.
  19. and you're going to waste tons of time and therefore money.
  20. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA

    Why? Pick a couple of songs, get tight on them. find a local studio that does demo's cheap or do DIY. I have done good demo's with bands that were new, not all that tight and we spent little money doing it.