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Old 01-30-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
tomc2
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Advice for recording technique

So this might be in the wrong forum, sorry if it is.


Ok, so my band is getting somewhat noteworthy in the small music scene around where I live among other high school/college bands. We are generally a live band, and that's where we do the best. We wanna record a good quality sounding demo/EP to sell at some shows, but recording everything one by one takes the feel out of our band. None of us have a good mixer to record us all at once (miking amps and drums, etc.). So my idea, was to rent out a cheap local venue with all the stuff we need (mics, proper drum mics, a mixer, etc.) to record on their sound system. It would cost $200 for a night in there, and I figured we would run the mixers output into a computer, and set the levels so it sounds good in the room, and record straight into the comp, and maybe have another mic to capture the sound of the room. It's a decent sized hall with high ceilings and we can definitely get a good sound. Would this be a good idea?
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
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Take your time; I'd say it'd be good to find someone who would be willing to do it for you at a reasonable price. If they do a good job, say you'll be working with them in the future and get a discount. Find a good engineer and keep an eye on them, buy them a drink - you'll learn a lot of stuff that'll be useful in the future.

My advice would be to ask the owner if you can try the room out first; it sounds like a good room to make a demo, but you never know until you're there, not to mention the quality of their equipment. If you're satisfied with it, plan it out thoroughly before you go there to record - $200 is about 2 years worth of strings (changing every 2~3 weeks) or the price of an entry level portable interface so make sure you can get in and out quickly. Make sure you're not the only guy with the plan too - your band is a unit and a band leader's job is to guide and cooperate, not to dictate. You'd be surprised how much faster a session will flow if everyone's on the same page. Study up on your mics, their characteristics, and placement. Visualizing the sound is vastly important when recording at once too (what takes up how much of the room, etc). Your recordings don't have to be as loud as you think they should come out; common misconception when recording bands. Let the DAW do that for you later when you're done recording the blueprints.

On the other hand, I'd say invest in an interface to either:

-Record direct input signals over a click track so someone else can mix them

or

-Learn to work with overdubs and layers using whatever method you think sounds best (amp modeling, emulated output, micing the amp, blending, etc)

You'll probably have to program the drums via DAW seeing that you don't have a big enough mixer/interface. I'd recommend Toontrack ezDrummer if you're getting started on that. I mostly use a blank sequencer with my own raw drum samples and tweak each sample to my liking.

Those are my tips, not my commands; you are free to do as you wish friend. If you ever do get those recordings done, I'd be more than willing to take a listen and maybe even help out if I can. Stay fresh.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:16 AM   #3
lockwolf
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One huge disadvantage you're going to have using your venues board and running the outs to that is you can't change anything once its recorded. It'll definitely give you a "live" sound but it will be very difficult to edit it once you recorded it.

I'd suggest checking the rate of some local studios in your area. You'll get a much better end result and it'll sound more professional than what you want to do. Not sure what your areas like but if there's a college, you might be able to find some small studio that'll do a few songs for $200-$300
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:46 AM   #4
kyle62
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Er...for the price of renting a room plus audio interface etc, you could get two days in a good studio.

People don't realise how cheap recording can be. You can get a solid three- or four-track demo recorded for about 100 round here if you're well rehearsed enough to get songs right within the first few takes.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:50 AM   #5
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Also, as far as not feeling right if you're not playing with the band you should be able to do scratch tracks to deal with that.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
schwinginbatman
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And if you get the right studio, you can probably do it live just like what you want to do, except in this case you can edit, mix, and redo things afterwards far easier.
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