#1
I'm taking the bus down to good ol' alabama next month to record. It's with a friend who've I've known forever who's had a tough winter and he gave me an awesome deal to come record and stay with him for a week. I've been preparing this material for years and it's finally ready. It's not really intended for released. More just something for me to have and look back on. I've spent time in studios with a couple bands through my teenage years. Even have had to the pleasure of recording/mixing/mastering an album at Indiana University's recording studios (which are like 1000 feet underground). This however is the first time I'll be venturing into the studio completely alone to do all the guitar, bass, drums , keys, vocals, ect (as opposed to just bass and vocals and sometimes guitar lines). My producer will help me with some, but I need to be prepared. He know's all about recording live guitar (we'll be using an SM 57 with a VOX AC 30) .
I leave on the 7th of april which gives me enough time to have a regiment of how i should make use of my time. Any suggestions for a morning regiment would be perfect.
Besides practicing and practicing playing, what can I do to prepare myself for a week of recording/brain-storming/singing ? What should I have around that could really help me out ?
I plan on drinking lemon water, for my throat..that's about all I have though.
I can be a sloppy guitar player, but I know how to play what I play.
Just looking for advice! feel free to e-mail me at danoise.lee@gmail.com if you feel like replying that way. thanks

-danny
#2
Don't write in the studio if you can avoid it, especially guitar/bass parts. It's a waste of money, you could just as easily do this at home without hurting your pocket so much. Guitar/Bass/Drums need to be tight, if you can't play it dead on with a metronome every time then you still need practice. As the old saying goes "Crap in, Crap out", it doesn't matter how amazing the studio or engineer are, if you can't play it perfect then you're going to be sorely disappointed.
#4
Avoid heavy extensive editing sessions. When I was a recording engineer quite a few of my clients would fall into "editing mode" where they would spend 3+ hrs on a part that they could have easily redone in 15 minutes by just playing it again.

Also heavy fx treatment and trying weird ideas would take too long.
#5
Great advice above. I can relate completely to that post. I spent several years working as an engineer at an in-house recording studio for an advertising agency. I witnessed the same thing over and over. People will try do numerous punch in's and edits and waste a ton of time and energy when they could just do another take and get it right and most often end up with a better take. Also be aware that your voice will change slightly in volume and timber as a session progresses so many times punch in’s done later (especially if you wait for another day) will sound completely different. Do it again and again till you get it right and save time. Recording a three to four minute song often takes less time than setting up and doing one punch in that may not even work.
One more bit of advice. Try to get the sound you want on the initial recording. Don't wait to try and "fix it in the mix". If it isn't 98% of the sound you want to end up with, do it again by moving the microphone, switching the microphone, changing instruments .....whatever it takes. If you don't have the sound almost exactly like you want it on original track, you'll end up taking hours to EQ something that wasn't what you wanted to begin with and you'll dredge up extra noise and usually over EQ things to compensate.
Lastly, enjoy yourself. I love recording and mixing. If you are getting frustrated, take a break go outside and walk around or something, just get out of the studio for a few minutes. Do it 'cause you love it.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Apr 2, 2014,
#6
You might also want to check Brandod Drury's Ten Point list:
http://forum.recordingreview.com/f18/10-things-every-band-should-know-before-recording-2232/

Added it as txt file in case you don't have login for that forum.
Attachments:
10list.txt
#7
havent read the full post.. too lazy just read the title...

and here are my suggestions:

- PRACTICE YA DAMN PARTS. the best way to piss off everyone in the studio is to not have your parts nailed.

- PLAY IN TIME. doesnt mean u gotta be metronomic, just means you gotta be tight with the other musicians.

- DONT NAG THE ENGINEER. seriously. even if you're like malmsteen + gilbert + vai + satriani good... it doesnt mean you can start talking about engineering stuff to the studio engineer. he's there for a reason. you chose him for a reason. just go setup your tone and done. let the dude choose the mics, placement etc. if you dont like how it sounds. then just say that.. and tell him what type of sound you want. dont get all engineer on his ass if you know how to choose mics and place em. then just dry hire a studio without an engineer and do it yourself.

- MAKE SURE YOUR SONGS ARE READY. the worst thing ever is to sit there while people try to figure out an extra part.. or a new melody for the chorus. or dont have the arrangement ready..
this happens way more than you'd think! you're just wasting your time and money... assuming you're paying by the hour.

and finally...

- HAVE FUN -- seriously. yeah its hard work... but you know try to have fun.. coz your doing what you love doing (hopefully?) that being... jamming the **** out! just enjoy the whole thing.. make sure you feel "in the zone" and all that stuff.. take regular breaks to keep fresh.. and try have someone who hasnt been sitting in the control room for hours listening to the same riff come in and give you some comments..

anyways yeah. good luck with the whole thing! would love to head the final product!
#8
Quote by The SoundGuy

- DONT NAG THE ENGINEER. seriously. even if you're like malmsteen + gilbert + vai + satriani good... it doesnt mean you can start talking about engineering stuff to the studio engineer. he's there for a reason. you chose him for a reason. just go setup your tone and done. let the dude choose the mics, placement etc. if you dont like how it sounds. then just say that.. and tell him what type of sound you want. dont get all engineer on his ass if you know how to choose mics and place em. then just dry hire a studio without an engineer and do it yoursehasnt been sitting in the control room for hours listening to the same riff come in and give you some comments..


I'm not quite sure about this point. It really depends on the relationship. I wear both hats as engineer and a musician and when I go to studio I know what I want but need someone to do edits and press record. I usually have a good back and forth with these guys but after all I am paying for the session and I am producing (unless there's a bona fide label producer) so I have to be happy. I know how to get my guitar sound on in 30 mins so I don't waste time on that.

Worked with few engineers that got sore about that, and they were unhired.

Don't be a dick but don't be a pushover either. The engineers' job is there to make you happy, as long as you have mutual respect it should be a breeze. Some of these guys get a big head and unless they're Steve Albini or Andy Sneap they usually get replaced by a $200 M-Audio interface and an SM-57.
#9
Quote by diabolical

Worked with few engineers that got sore about that, and they were unhired.

Don't be a dick but don't be a pushover either. The engineers' job is there to make you happy, as long as you have mutual respect it should be a breeze..


boom... theres the key.


and the ones who usually get sore about stuff are most likely noobs who shouldnt be there anyways.
#10
Quote by diabolical
I know how to get my guitar sound on in 30 mins

I know this is about recordings, but what do you mean by that it takes you thirty minutes to get your sound? I just turn my amp on and play honestly. I don't even notice changes to the bass mids treble unless they are major.
#11
Quote by 457undead
I know this is about recordings, but what do you mean by that it takes you thirty minutes to get your sound? I just turn my amp on and play honestly. I don't even notice changes to the bass mids treble unless they are major.


getting the tone is actually what takes the most time...
sometimes can even take hours...
its not just about moving knobs on the amp.. but seeing how that in effect interacts with the cab... main of this being the volume knob... of course the eq and gain have a HUGE part as well... if you havent figured it out already... there's always a "sweet spot" with all equipment..

try it out... just mess around with your amp knobs to see if you can find a sweet spot on your amp! it really does make a lot of difference... you'll be surprised with the different tones you can get with even a very "un-versatile" amp
#12
Quote by Night
ooo, coming around the shoals area perchance?

no but I do live an hour from there.
#13
Quote by Rickholly74
Great advice above. I can relate completely to that post. I spent several years working as an engineer at an in-house recording studio for an advertising agency. I witnessed the same thing over and over. People will try do numerous punch in's and edits and waste a ton of time and energy when they could just do another take and get it right and most often end up with a better take. Also be aware that your voice will change slightly in volume and timber as a session progresses so many times punch in’s done later (especially if you wait for another day) will sound completely different. Do it again and again till you get it right and save time. Recording a three to four minute song often takes less time than setting up and doing one punch in that may not even work.
One more bit of advice. Try to get the sound you want on the initial recording. Don't wait to try and "fix it in the mix". If it isn't 98% of the sound you want to end up with, do it again by moving the microphone, switching the microphone, changing instruments .....whatever it takes. If you don't have the sound almost exactly like you want it on original track, you'll end up taking hours to EQ something that wasn't what you wanted to begin with and you'll dredge up extra noise and usually over EQ things to compensate.
Lastly, enjoy yourself. I love recording and mixing. If you are getting frustrated, take a break go outside and walk around or something, just get out of the studio for a few minutes. Do it 'cause you love it.



Thanks a lot . I had the same idea about taking time with mic placement and getting a good natural sound. and yes, the land I'll be recording on is beautiful and I can just step right out the back door and into alabama rolling hills (which really arent too different than southern indianas i guess...). and yes I am doing this because I love it. I love this material I've written over the past 7 years and I'm ready to have it recorded. thanks!
#14
Quote by The SoundGuy
havent read the full post.. too lazy just read the title...

and here are my suggestions:

- PRACTICE YA DAMN PARTS. the best way to piss off everyone in the studio is to not have your parts nailed.

- PLAY IN TIME. doesnt mean u gotta be metronomic, just means you gotta be tight with the other musicians.

- DONT NAG THE ENGINEER. seriously. even if you're like malmsteen + gilbert + vai + satriani good... it doesnt mean you can start talking about engineering stuff to the studio engineer. he's there for a reason. you chose him for a reason. just go setup your tone and done. let the dude choose the mics, placement etc. if you dont like how it sounds. then just say that.. and tell him what type of sound you want. dont get all engineer on his ass if you know how to choose mics and place em. then just dry hire a studio without an engineer and do it yourself.

- MAKE SURE YOUR SONGS ARE READY. the worst thing ever is to sit there while people try to figure out an extra part.. or a new melody for the chorus. or dont have the arrangement ready..
this happens way more than you'd think! you're just wasting your time and money... assuming you're paying by the hour.

and finally...

- HAVE FUN -- seriously. yeah its hard work... but you know try to have fun.. coz your doing what you love doing (hopefully?) that being... jamming the **** out! just enjoy the whole thing.. make sure you feel "in the zone" and all that stuff.. take regular breaks to keep fresh.. and try have someone who hasnt been sitting in the control room for hours listening to the same riff come in and give you some comments..

anyways yeah. good luck with the whole thing! would love to head the final product!


Lucky my engineer is my best friend lol, but yeah your right I won't try to even attempt to his job. I trust his knowledge of DAW and all that. We will probably write together a lot in the studio. this project has evolved quite a bit since the planning stages, and I think we'll end up recording some of my stuff as my own and the rest we will collaborate on. If everything falls apart with my material, we will just jam and have fun without any concerns.
#15
Quote by The SoundGuy
boom... theres the key.


and the ones who usually get sore about stuff are most likely noobs who shouldnt be there anyways.


Amen. I'm thankful my engineer is a good friend and a mentor for me through my high school years.
#16
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.
#17
Quote by 457undead
I know this is about recordings, but what do you mean by that it takes you thirty minutes to get your sound?


By this I mean situate the amplifier (usually half stack) in the proper part of the room, dial in my settings which usually involves cranking it up to high heaven for high gain settings (need iso headphones for that) and do the mic placement which usually involves two or up to 3 mics. Some studios don't sound that good so you could end up taking longer...you never know.


Quote by 457undead
I just turn my amp on and play honestly.


Not a recipe for a good tone and definitely in need of an engineer.


Quote by 457undead
I don't even notice changes to the bass mids treble unless they are major.


Another case in point that you should trust your engineer.
#18
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Here are two of the 8 tracks I was able to finish up. Had a great time getting this music out of me and being away from everything. If you liked it and want to hear more, shoot me a message and I'll add you to the google document list for the rest of the tracks. Thanks!

These are unmastered though, but still sound good in VLC. I've never used band camp before. I did upload the .wav versions instead of .mp3 though .

http://danoisehears.bandcamp.com/