GangsterLi
Wake Up The Sleepers!
Join date: Oct 2008
3,253 IQ
#1
Hi UG, my band are recording in a month's time, my parent's are paying half of it for my 16th Birthday instead of getting a motorbike. We are an alternative band, the songwriting taking influence from Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Kill Hannah aswell as many others. I was just wondering, are there any tips for us noobs who are going to record our first proper EP?
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VileGangrene
Guitarist, teacher
Join date: Jun 2009
54 IQ
#2
GET THE MOTORBIKE. More importantly, tell your parents to get me a motorbike.

All jokes set aside, there are many a thread devoted to preparing for studio time, etc.
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take_it_t
Music Addict
Join date: Mar 2005
818 IQ
#3
Make sure you're tight, and know your songs inside out. Make sure all arrangements are perfected and finalized, that includes things like harmonies, background parts...etc. Make sure drum kit is tuned up and sounding good, new heads can really help. Otherwise use common sense, like making sure you're well rested the night before, and making sure that things like rentals on gear are taken care of well in advanced.

Good luck!
its_alive
What Would Jimi Do?
Join date: May 2007
548 IQ
#4
What method(s) of recording are you using?
Do you plan on recording each part separately or all parts at once?
GangsterLi
Wake Up The Sleepers!
Join date: Oct 2008
3,253 IQ
#5
Quote by take_it_t
Make sure you're tight, and know your songs inside out. Make sure all arrangements are perfected and finalized, that includes things like harmonies, background parts...etc. Make sure drum kit is tuned up and sounding good, new heads can really help. Otherwise use common sense, like making sure you're well rested the night before, and making sure that things like rentals on gear are taken care of well in advanced.

Good luck!


well ... i have the girlfriend staying over the night before,
Fender Jaguar 1994
Gibson Thunderbird

Fender Hot Rod Devile 4x12

Zvex Fuzz Factory
EHX Big Muff
Zvex Box of Rock
Joyo Tremolo
Digitech Whammy
EHX Cathedral
Boss DD3
Boss TU3
isaac_bandits
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Join date: Apr 2007
194 IQ
#6
Quote by GangsterLi
well ... i have the girlfriend staying over the night before,


Tell her that you have to be well rested for recording, and that you can't stay up late with her. She should understand. Its not like your asking for alot. Just one night of sleep.
GuernZila
Banned
Join date: Dec 2008
82 IQ
#7
Quote by GangsterLi
well ... i have the girlfriend staying over the night before,

Make sure she work your wanker, 2 times.

and get a good night sleep
chokmool
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2006
300 IQ
#8
On the practical side, how much time have you booked? Recording always seems to take longer than you think it will. How many hours you have booked, will determine how many songs you can get done. In some studios, the clock starts running at the time you have set up. If you're late or disorganized, you will be paying for getting nothing done. Be prepared.
GangsterLi
Wake Up The Sleepers!
Join date: Oct 2008
3,253 IQ
#9
Quote by chokmool
On the practical side, how much time have you booked? Recording always seems to take longer than you think it will. How many hours you have booked, will determine how many songs you can get done. In some studios, the clock starts running at the time you have set up. If you're late or disorganized, you will be paying for getting nothing done. Be prepared.


12 hours over 2 days, we can always get more if needed aswell
Fender Jaguar 1994
Gibson Thunderbird

Fender Hot Rod Devile 4x12

Zvex Fuzz Factory
EHX Big Muff
Zvex Box of Rock
Joyo Tremolo
Digitech Whammy
EHX Cathedral
Boss DD3
Boss TU3
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#10
Here is the advice I give people who are interested in coming to my home studio to record.

http://www.greenroomrecording.ca/

Check out "Important Advice" and "Preparing to Record" and the various "sub-links."

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
sstony
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2007
1,158 IQ
#11
Take the money you were going to use for the studio and get some decent recording gear and do it yourself. If you are not ready when you hit the studio your money will vanish before your eyes with nothing to show. Once you have your own gear you´ll have plenty of time to record & produce on your time schedule and not on someone else´s.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#12
The only problem with that is that it takes time and more money than you would ever spend on recording a demo over a couple of days to do this yourself.

Consider that a guitar player who has been playing for two years is still a n00b. Same with someone who has been recording for two years. Same thing. When did you want to have a decent demo by? You won't have one in six months, and you won't have one for a few hundred dollars worth of recording gear.

Hell, even a cheap studio like mine will spend more on one vocal mic than you will spend on two days of recording.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
GangsterLi
Wake Up The Sleepers!
Join date: Oct 2008
3,253 IQ
#13
Quote by sstony
Take the money you were going to use for the studio and get some decent recording gear and do it yourself. If you are not ready when you hit the studio your money will vanish before your eyes with nothing to show. Once you have your own gear you´ll have plenty of time to record & produce on your time schedule and not on someone else´s.


decent equipment costs like 50,000 mate
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Gibson Thunderbird

Fender Hot Rod Devile 4x12

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EHX Big Muff
Zvex Box of Rock
Joyo Tremolo
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EHX Cathedral
Boss DD3
Boss TU3
sstony
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2007
1,158 IQ
#14
Quote by GangsterLi
decent equipment costs like 50,000 mate

No one and I mean no one needs $50,000 worth of equipment to record a good cd, what you need is a good digital recorder or run your gear thru a mixer into a recording program , enough decent mikes for the drums, guitars and a good one for the vocals and you can do it. One of my songs in my profile was done this way, the other 2 were in a studio. If you dont have your shit together you could lose alot of money sitting in a studio.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#15
I can most certainly cost that much, and even considerably more.

But, you can get a decent collection of gear to make a pretty decent recording (radio-ready) for less than half of that.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#16
Quote by sstony
No one and I mean no one needs $50,000 worth of equipment to record a good cd,


...but there's a reason why guys like Mutt Lange and Bob Rock work in million dollar studios.

Quote by sstony

what you need is a good digital recorder


Digital... analog.... whatever. Digital tends to be cheaper and more versatile though.

Quote by sstony

or run your gear thru a mixer into a recording program ,


Only if the mixer has decent preamps. Recording software doesn't make great recordings. It allows you to manipulate great recordings. I didn't really clue into that until well after I dished out my $500 for Cubase and thought I could have my own home studio and make great recordings with that and a SoundBlaster card.

Quote by sstony

enough decent mikes for the drums, guitars and a good one for the vocals and you can do it.


And this is where the bulk of your expenses will probably lie. A decent vocal mic is going to cost you anywhere from $350 and up.... way up. A recording made with a hand full of SM57's will sound like a recording made with a hand full of SM57's.

Quote by sstony

If you dont have your shit together you could lose alot of money sitting in a studio.


Very true.

A great recording depends on the following, basically in this order:
1. A great engineer with great knowledge and experience to make great recordings. Mutt Lange can probably make a better recording on a ghetto blaster than you could in a million dollar studio.

2. Great mics. This means an assortment of dynamics, condensors, and maybe even ribbons with different cardiod patterns (directionalities) and different diaphragm sizes. Sure, there's a lot you can do with a hammer, but different tools are required for different jobs. There's a reason why a U87 costs about $3000, and why people pay that much for them. A decent large-diaphragm condensor will start in the $300-$400 range. For ONE mic.

3. A great room. Not too absorptive, and not too reflective. Maybe one that is easily manipulated to accommodate for how much absorption/reflection you need. The most expensive part of pro studios is the sound containment and sound control used in the construction.

4. Great monitors. No, stereo speakers just won't do. Nor will headphones. You can't paint with tinted glasses, and you can't mix with consumer-grade speakers. Expect to start at around $600-$700 for the pair and go considerably upwards from there.

5. Great preamps - often overlooked, and a couple of good channels can get very expensive. A nice Avalon unit will run you over $1000 per channel. A good pro-sumer unit will run at least $100 a channel, though. You want drums? You're looking at a minimum of 8 channels.

6. Great converters - because you can have the best front end signal in the world, but if your converters are crap, you'll just reinforce the old notion of digital = crispy and cold.

7. Great recording software and plugins.

Notice how low on the priority list the software is? Notice how expensive the higher-priority things are? That's important in determining whether or not you should think about going it on your own.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Black Star
UG Fanatic
Join date: Dec 2005
376 IQ
#17
Just to add a disclaimer to Chris's post, this is for a proper, high quality CD. For regular demos, your computer and some recording software should suffice, but remember, you get what you pay for.
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axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#20
Quote by take_it_t


That's pretty awesome. It does go to show you that knowledge beats gear any day of the week, though, doesn't it?

@BlackStar - That IS true. However, I remember when I first bought Cubase, installed it, and plugged my SM58 into an adapter into my sound card, I was somehow surprised that I wasn't getting very 'high quality' results. "I'm using world-class software and an industry-standard mic! Why does it only sound marginally better than my four-track?!" I'm *positive* that that is a common thing.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Henkdemachtige
UG Newbie
Join date: Jan 2007
495 IQ
#21
Quote by axemanchris
That's pretty awesome. It does go to show you that knowledge beats gear any day of the week, though, doesn't it?

@BlackStar - That IS true. However, I remember when I first bought Cubase, installed it, and plugged my SM58 into an adapter into my sound card, I was somehow surprised that I wasn't getting very 'high quality' results. "I'm using world-class software and an industry-standard mic! Why does it only sound marginally better than my four-track?!" I'm *positive* that that is a common thing.

CT


Cubase = No-No.

Nuendo = Yes-Yes.

But that´s my opinion. My brother has a Nt1a (sp?) Micophone and a great sound card. And when we record vocals, Acoustic guitar or Electric with the amp set up infront of the mic, The quality is actually very good. The difference between that and a $50.000 studio/recording stuff isnt worth that amount of money.
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shinhoman
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2007
2,956 IQ
#22
remember that there is no such thing as 'studio magic' if you aren't prepared you will be able to tell on the recordings. make sure you know everything you want to record perfectly.

get everyone to have a practice playing to a click track (its amazing how many people cant do it).

have an idea about what sort of tone you want for each of the intruments for each track and be able to explain it. you'll help the engineer's a lot this way.

make sure all you're instruments are tuned up, set up and sound their best.

get a lot of sleep over the few days before your time. eat lots of pasta to keep your energy levels up.

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axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
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#23
Quote by Henkdemachtige
Cubase = No-No.

Nuendo = Yes-Yes.

But that´s my opinion.


Hmmm.... I've not used Nuendo because it is totally out of my price range. But from the specs that Steinberg is pretty up-front about, the audio engine is the same. The biggest difference between Nuendo and Cubase is that Nuendo includes a lot of the features you would need for post production such as syncing with video and that sort of thing, which is really not worth the extra $1000 or whatever it is to me.

If Cubase is good enough for Timbaland and Moby and Paul McCartney, it's good enough for me.

What is your opinion based on?

Quote by Henkdemachtige

My brother has a Nt1a (sp?) Micophone and a great sound card. And when we record vocals, Acoustic guitar or Electric with the amp set up infront of the mic, The quality is actually very good. The difference between that and a $50.000 studio/recording stuff isnt worth that amount of money.


I have one of the original NT1 mics. It was about $350 CDN. I don't regret for a moment getting that mic.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.