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Old 09-21-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
HellToKitty
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Tips and impressions for "everything at the same time recordings"

We are about to record our first lp next month. The way we want to do this in order to keep it dynamic is to record the basic structure consisting of drums, two guitars and the bass at the same time. Afterwards we want to add some overdub guitars like solos and the vocals.
We have access to good microphones. The room we will use for the recording has good accoustics and I would say we are experianced muscicians knowing our songs.
Do you guys have any hints or information on what we should keep in mind for this kind of recordings. I would be greatful for every pice of advice. Cheers
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Old 09-21-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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Do you actually know anything about recording?


Because if not you'd be better off hiring someone who does.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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I'll be responsible for playing the guitar. But we have a sound guy who has some skills. We allready recorded two songs in our rehearsal room and I actually like the way it sounds and the only thing I find fault with this recordings is the imperfection of how we played (we only had a few hours of time) and the way our bass sounded (now we have a different bass sound) I also have to mention that we like it raw. We are no fans of modern overproductions. Here a link to the two allready recorded demos: http://thesehandsconspire.bandcamp.com

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Old 09-21-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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Play to a metronome, it'll make the overdubbing easier.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:15 PM   #5
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This is exactly what we don't want. For sure we all practice with a metronome. But we wanna catch the live vibe. Otherwise we could just record every instrument step by step starting with the drums on click. I can hardly imagine that it is practical to listen to the drums and a metronome at the same time. That makes no sense to me. Yet I heard of people recording all together to a light metronome. But I have zero experiance with that.

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Old 09-21-2014, 10:38 PM   #6
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Your engineer will hate you if you record without a click. Makes overdubbing a pain in the ass.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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Playing to a click =/= lifeless quantised performance.

By all means do your life stuff and do it in one take and raw.

Don't however be a dick about it, you'll only make the tech jobs harder.


Also if your drummers timing falters so much that it confuses you to listen to a click at the same time I'd recommend a new drummer.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire : 09-21-2014 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellToKitty
This is exactly what we don't want.

Then prepare for a bad recording.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:09 AM   #9
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Thanks for your concerns but we actually have a good drummer Like I said the only overdubs we want to do is our solo stuff. We don't want to double any rhythm guitar or anything. I trust my drummer to keep the timing with this parts with or without click. But nevertheless we might give the metronome a chance. Nevertheless I would love to get some advice from somebody who actually recorded the way we want it. It's not like I haven't recorded the "ordinary" way befor. We just want to try something new...
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Then prepare for a bad recording.


Our two demo songs are not badly recorded when it comes to timing and we hardly put any time in it.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellToKitty
Our two demo songs are not badly recorded when it comes to timing and we hardly put any time in it.

Yes, and?
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:10 AM   #12
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Demo sounds pretty good. I agree with recording as live as possible and if you don't want a click, don't use one.

My suggestion is, if you want to make a good demo for personal use, record it yourself. If you want to sell your music, get an engineer with real credits. A good one is always worth the $$$ in future sales. If they can't work without a click, find one who can. No use in working with someone who doesn't understand your vision.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:35 AM   #13
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People get WAY too horny from clicktracks and post-recording editing and mixing these days. Just make sure your sound is good to start with people! Besides, MANY engineers have gotten along just fine without clicktracks for a good 70+ years or so (if not longer), so why it's become such a necessity now is beyond me.

In fact, I've become a VERY big fan of the method that OP is trying to describe/achieve. It's just that you'll need to take your sweet time in order to set everything up properly. Besides that, the equipment and gear that is available to you will make things VERY different. What kind of microphones do you have at your disposal? How will you actually record the whole? In what kind of room - a simple garage or cellar/attic or an actually properly set up recording room?

See, what you'll basically have to try to do is mix the whole band BEFORE actually recording your takes. After-recording edits, EQ'ing or volume changes will only get you so far, because when you're playing with the entire band at the same time, you WILL get bleed in your microphones (so the microphones meant for the drums will record the guitars as well, etc.)

This means you'll have to pay attention to the positioning of your instruments. Having your amps face the way you like them to face when rehearsing may not be the best way to put it when you want to record stuff. Just an example: when me and my band tried to record a couple of rehearsals, we found out that we'd basically have to aim our guitar speakers at the walls at about 1m (3ft) away just to minimize bleed and thus phasing from the three drum mics we'd set up. THIS means that in order to properly 'monitor' your sound you'll need good headphones to wear while playing so you can hear the 'actual mix' instead of the probably ****ed up room sound.

And to relativize THIS, remember: more is not always better! I've heard some seriously sweet-sounding drums recorded with just four mics and I've heard some seriously ****ed-up tones recorded with 20 mics all around the kit.

In short: It all really comes down to what kind of gear and the amount of time you have at your disposal. There is no set of golden rules which will make your recordings sound great no matter what. At the very least take time to experiment with different placements of instruments around the room (drums in the middle of the room vs. near a wall? Drums at the middle of a wall vs. in a corner facing the opposite corner? Where will you put your amps? Do you put them on the floor or will you raise them from the ground? Will you have to angle them because the mics you're recording with are high up in the room, or will you perhaps put separate mics in front of the guitar speakers? Etc. etc.
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Last edited by Eryth : 09-22-2014 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:41 AM   #14
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Thank you for the tips. That was useful. We have a properly set up recording room a sound engineer and very good microphones according to people who know something about it (I don't). It is also our plan to find out a good set up and take time with it. We lock ourselves up for a week. This should be enough for a lot of experiments.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellToKitty
Thanks for your concerns but we actually have a good drummer Like I said the only overdubs we want to do is our solo stuff. We don't want to double any rhythm guitar or anything. I trust my drummer to keep the timing with this parts with or without click. But nevertheless we might give the metronome a chance. Nevertheless I would love to get some advice from somebody who actually recorded the way we want it. It's not like I haven't recorded the "ordinary" way befor. We just want to try something new...


I have recorded in exactly that way. It sounded kinda crap if I'm honest. Then again we were not the kind of band that suited the style of recording at all.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:33 AM   #16
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I agree with you. I would not want to record it this way if I was playing in e.g. a technical death metal band. Although I would consider myself an experienced guitar player, it is hard enough for me to play 5 minutes without a mistake with the kind of music we play. Therefore patience and enough time is a necessity. And you better don't get angry with your fellow musicians if you nail it and they don't 'cause this will happen a lot. Then it means all over from the beginning

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Old 09-22-2014, 12:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eryth
People get WAY too horny from clicktracks and post-recording editing and mixing these days. Just make sure your sound is good to start with people! Besides, MANY engineers have gotten along just fine without clicktracks for a good 70+ years or so (if not longer), so why it's become such a necessity now is beyond me.

Yeah, back when recording was so prohibitively expensive that you wouldn't even consider it unless you could play things back to front upside down on a left handed instrument whilst blindfolded and still be in time with the metronome.
The reason everyone gets so up about metronomes (especially in the home recording scene) is that so many people who can't nail things with the metronome just decide they "like it raw/want it to groove/whatever" and use that excuse to go without solid time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HellToKitty
Thank you for the tips. That was useful. We have a properly set up recording room a sound engineer and very good microphones according to people who know something about it (I don't). It is also our plan to find out a good set up and take time with it. We lock ourselves up for a week. This should be enough for a lot of experiments.

Are you 100% sure they actually know what they're talking about? because I've seen 'pro' sound guys who claim to have the best Shure mics out there, who then proceeded to open a box of PG series mics (each averaging ~$50) and micing up a choir with a pair of kick mics...

There's no inherent problem with not using a click, if (and only if) you can pull this off:
1. Start click (or have someone start it for you).
2. Play with click
3. Have someone turn the click off whilst you continue to play
4. After a minute or so, have them turn it back on
5. If you're still dead in time, without missing a single beat then you're ready to record without a click.
And before you tell me this is impossible, I have a plethora of local musos who will tell you otherwise. And if these guys are locals, imagine how much more serious the international acts are.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #18
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Thank you chatterbox272 for you valuable contribution. Just because I personally don't know much about mics doesn't mean we use 50$ Shures. I am not a 16 year old recording for the first time in his life and just because I don't want to record with a click this time, doesn't mean I can't do it. I've been playing in bands for 18 years now and believe me, I've done one ore another recording session with click already. It always worked out fine for me. But this time we wanna play all together and I want to listen to the much more organic drum kit rather then to a metronome in order to catch a live vibe (and no, that is not my excuse for a bad timing) But I just repeat myself.
For sure there are a lot of things that can go wrong with this kind of recording. But I really think the click is the least of our problems.
I totally agree when you record your stuff instrument by instrument and you don't do it on click it'll get messy quite likely. But if you record everything at the same time. The drummer is your click. Furthermore it is a lot more important that every instrument has the same timing than to be on click which is a totally different thing.

By the way: No offence but the "Masquerade19" recording sounds horrible with or without click. It exactly sounds like something recoded stiff in front of a computer with poor equipment. It has no punk vibe whatsoever compared to some old 80s recordings who are often not on click but sound at least dynamic.

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Old 09-22-2014, 02:23 PM   #19
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I didn't accuse you of not knowing your shit, you said you didn't know jack about them but had a guy who did. I simply suggested that you make sure they do, because plenty of people who claim to know but really don't.

Most of the people we get here - as well as the general impression I've gotten from your posts - indicated that this was your first time recording. So I was making suggestions based on that assumption. You never said anywhere that you were a particularly experienced muso, so I assumed you were like >90% of UG i.e. a young inexperienced musician trying to get started.

Also recording to a click doesn't necessarily mean EVERYONE has a click in their ears. For a live recording like what you're after I'd throw one at the drummer and (assuming everyone else CAN nail it with a metronome or without) let everyone else follow him/her.

And when you're attacking the M19 stuff, I'm going to guess you went with that one super old track on the all-but-abandoned bandcamp? yeah that's just the guitarist, with a midi bass and midi kit, recorded with about 500000x too much gain on everything (even the vocals clipping). I'm not even involved in that track, not even a huge fan of the song tbh so attacking it doesn't hurt me (might've damaged my guitard's ego a few years back, but I've already torn it to shreds and back again anyway). If you're going to judge at least go as recent as is available here but if you check the date you'll see even that's over a year old. Unfortunately my bandmate had some personal issues that cause our album to be put on hold for a while, and all the demo mixes for it are with him not me at the moment. That crowd bit at ~2:37 is still a highlight of my times jamming with him. It's actually just the two of us standing in different parts of the room for 5-6 takes, with a pair of condensers front and center that we proceeded to shout at for 30 minutes or so
You could also try this which is still old, but is at least ours. I still think I nailed the sound I wanted in all aspects except the snare and the solo being too loud. (again side-effects of being a rush job, retracked, mixed, and 'mastered' in under 24hrs).

I'm quite comfortable with where I'm at and where I want to be, hence the lack of new material (I want to do some stuff on my own, but my raw recordings aren't up to snuff yet). Nothing you say can bother me. Have a nice day
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:33 PM   #20
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The thing is: playing to a clicktrack changes jack shit. It's just easier for post-rec editing. The drummer may change tempos (in fact, most live performances end a couple of bpm faster than they begin, no matter how professional the band) but the key to proper recordings is to have the entire band play in unison with each other instead of in unison with some secondary 'element' that does not actually add anything to the music itself will 'show its own merits', so to speak. If done right, it'll sound great. The groove of a band playing live, each reacting to what the other's doing, and thus creating a relationship and dynamic BETWEEN the players (a 'shared piece', so to speak) instead a relationship with a clicktrack. It doesn't matter if you speed up or slow down. The 'feel' of the situation will dictate you what to do.

You might each record to a click track, even with each other in the room. But the thing is: you're not taking the actual primary sound (of the music, the actual beat of the drums etc.) as your rhythm, but a secondary source. If you're looking for a seriously professional, mistake-free, clean recording then yes a clicktrack makes at least the mixing process easier, but it won't mean anybody in the band will play tighter in comparison to each other

For my own band's demo we had the drummer record to a click-track so we could use MIDI choirs and orchestras, but then we used only his tracks as our reference point for bass and drums. This way you can nuance certain things the drummer's doing instead of nuancing the count of a beat, which the drummers may just have missed by a couple of miliseconds.

So in short, just forget about the sceptics and haters dude. Barely anyone but bands with serious money (for expensive in-ears while playing a professional venue) play to a click live anyway. If it sounds good, then go for it. If it doesn't, fix it - in any way you can think of. There's no limit or rules, just sound. Let's not forget this.
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Last edited by Eryth : 09-22-2014 at 07:25 PM.
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