#1
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
#2
Do you actually know anything about recording?


Because if not you'd be better off hiring someone who does.
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#3
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
Last edited by HellToKitty at Sep 21, 2014,
#4
Play to a metronome, it'll make the overdubbing easier.
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#5
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.
Last edited by HellToKitty at Sep 21, 2014,
#6
Your engineer will hate you if you record without a click. Makes overdubbing a pain in the ass.
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#7
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 at Sep 21, 2014,
#9
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...
#10
Quote 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.
#11
Quote 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?
#12
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.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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#13
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.
Last edited by Eryth at Sep 22, 2014,
#14
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.
#15
Quote 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.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#16
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
Last edited by HellToKitty at Sep 22, 2014,
#17
Quote 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 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.
#18
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.
Last edited by HellToKitty at Sep 22, 2014,
#19
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
#20
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.
Last edited by Eryth at Sep 22, 2014,
#22
Quote by oneblackened
Your engineer will hate you if you record without a click. Makes overdubbing a pain in the ass.

Don't worry about that, as long as you keep the reference tracks. Don't need a click if drummer sounds good. I'd suggest good amp insulation so you minimize bleed, also safety DI tracks for all instruments. It is also crucial your drummers hears you well, so put him on headphones fed from the mix as he likes to hear. If possible record drums for replacing if needed for edits, have him record kick,snare and the rest of the drums, cymbals, etc. in case you need to drop in a hit here and because something didn't track right. If your recording guy is good you can possibly do several takes and choose best part of each, say chorus off 1st one, verse1 from 2nd one and so forth...this way it still sounds natural.
#23
I almost never record to a click. People do overdubs all the time. It's not hard. I don't know why people get excited over this kind of thing, except what IS a PITA without a click is copying an entire section of a song (say, a chorus) and pasting it in elsewhere. Solution: play it again - just that part, if need be. It's not hard.

If a drummer is used to playing with a click AND has difficulty playing in time without one, then definitely use a click. But you can see how unlikely that is, right? If a drummer plays to a click all the time, their timing is probably very good, in which case, you don't need a click.

If your drummer is NOT used to playing with a click, whether their timing is any good or not, trying to impose that upon him or her in a recording environment is asking for frustration.

Don't take it hard that you were questioned on the mics. Recording is an entirely different beast, and most pro musicians just don't know what a great mic is. They'll just think they need some 57's for guitars, and those really good ones for vocals.... those... yes.... condensers. It's not a dis. It's just that a plumber is not necessarily an electrician and a drummer is not necessarily a recording engineer.

That all said, can I recommend this as some food for thought?

http://greenroommusicblog.blogspot.ca/2014/07/should-i-record-myself.html

CT
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#24
If the drummer is good, I prefer not to use click. Actually cut/paste sections is really not that big of a deal, I did it in PT in the studio all the time. On multitrack yoiu just watch snare or kick or cymbal crash on a downbeat and paste the whole performance there. If you've worked on tape it kinda comes natural...the robocop click track kids that time align drums and "fake" a bad drummer into good one think it is usually hard.
I'd take a live drummer performance over time aligned any day. That among others is why the extreme genres are so boring now, there's no life. Listen to something old like say Gonzo vs one of the new hard rock bands and you'd see what I mean.

Same thing with harder stuff, I guess a good news would be Megadeth produced by Clink vs Sneap...or Accept.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 27, 2014,
#25
BTW I had one of my band's drummers walk out of recording session cause I asked him to use click...The reason was that in preproduction we discovered his timing stinks big time. He was very flashy though, he thought himselfba cross between Paul Bostaph and Gene Hoglan. He got so carried away in technique that he actually didn't pay much regard to the fundamentals.
#26
We finally finished our recordings (actually quite a while ago). The songs are recorded all together at the same time mostly without click. We added some overdubs and the vocals afterwards. I have to admit though sometimes it was a PITA to play the songs over and over again 'cause somebody made a mistake. It was pretty though somtimes but a good experiance to learn how to do things differtently

https://thesehandsconspire.bandcamp.com
#27
I think your demo sounds very good. I don't think the whole band needs to hear the click track as long as the drummer does but if you don't want it don't do it. I get the whole "we want to record live" thing and I do admire it but you don't need to sacrifice having individual tracks to record live and a little leakage can be pleasing. Jimmy Page said the first Led Zep was recorded live in the studio with live vocals at the same time (lead guitar overdubs later). In a 1998 Guitar World interview, Page stated that "Robert's voice was extremely powerful and, as a result, would get on some of the other tracks. But oddly, the leakage sounds intentional."


There are plenty of advantages to recording live but if you can isolate the individual instruments and put them on separate tracks (providing you have the capability to do that) you can have a perfect backup. One band I was recording with put the bass amp in a vocal booth and the guitar amp against the far wall of the studio with a few moving blankets over it while the keyboards went direct. We were all in the same room playing together facing the drummer but hearing it all mixed in our headphones. We still had individual tracks for the instruments. we played live but if there were any mistakes, we could punch in a track to fix a part and not throw away a good take. When you record live without individual tracks you are hoping that magic happens on each take. Sometimes it does but often you have to be prepared to make sacrifices since the guitar player liked that take but the bass player didn't etc. Often it's a great performance with such a minor problem that can be fixed quickly if you have individual tracks. Play live, record on separate tracks. The best of both worlds.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#28
Yep, I'm gonna revise my statement from last time.

I prefer recording bands to a click but it isn't required at all. As far as recording everything at the same time, I actually often prefer that vibe, assuming of course you have enough inputs and mics, plus decent enough isolation.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at May 28, 2015,