#1
Now,

I've never actually done a pro recording before... and I was wondering, Should the band record all as one functioning unit (like done back in the 70s?) or dub the tracks...

I mean, It would look to me as if recording these tracks individually would make them sound all off, like, My band functions as a band which goes based on my Qs and we all function together in time when we practice. It just seems to me like the whole Idea of recording individually would throw each song off and it would take forever!
#2
Try different variations, but I would recommend recording instruments individually. It (in some ways) makes things easier (such as volumes, etc) however it also can be a problem if you don't have a metronome/don't have good timing.
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#3
Quote by vonfeldt7
Try different variations, but I would recommend recording instruments individually. It (in some ways) makes things easier (such as volumes, etc) however it also can be a problem if you don't have a metronome/don't have good timing.


I know it can help volumes and stuff... But what about all the different rhythmic Qs and stuff that I usually q the drummer in on?
#4
Record a live track, and then have each person play over it.
#5
If you want to make a good recording and master the whole thing properly, record everything individually then u have an individual recording for each and every instrument and you can do what you want with it, add effects, inserts gates, limiters that sorta thing, with one recording if you mess up or change you mind about one paticular instrument u have to record the whole thing again where as individually you just record that seperate insrument again.

Tip: Record the drummer first, then everyone else has something to work around if you don't have a metronome. But even if ya do, it's still just a good idea lol
Last edited by Nightgoat at Aug 23, 2008,
#6
You can record each amp in a separate soundproof room, that way it's live but each instrument is on a separate track which is ideal for mastering. Have the drummer is the same room as you so you can feel like a band and record him/her there and then dub over the vocals afterwards. Studios like that can't be cheap but it's what the pros do.
#7
When you are recording a band as a single unit, like at the same time, you'll never get as clean or clear of a recording as you would with each track separately. The reason it isn't as clean is because on every mic you use to record not only will it pick up the instrument its intending to pick up but it will also pick up the sound produced by the other instruments in the rooms. This also makes it a lot harder to get a good sound if you for example want to add a little reverb to only the vocals etc. Soo I say if you have the time record each track separately, its more expensive, and more time consuming, but the finished project will almost always sound better, unless however you like the raw unprocessed sound of the early seventies. Perhaps that would work better with your genre, but anyways I've said enough.
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#8
All Good points made...

I sort of do prefer the lo-fi garage rock texture... actually I like what one person said, recording one version live than having the individuals play over each track separately. I could have all of the awesomeness of hi-fi yet still be able to keep the rythyms and parts in sync. That is something that would WORK!
#9
Honestly, if you have raw talent you don't need layering. All you need is a fancy mixer with 20 tracks, each with it's own 50 band EQ plus reverb and all those other nice effects, UNIDIRECTIONAL microphones and a nice big soundproof room.
#10
Quote by pwrmax
Honestly, if you have raw talent you don't need layering. All you need is a fancy mixer with 20 tracks, each with it's own 50 band EQ plus reverb and all those other nice effects, UNIDIRECTIONAL microphones and a nice big soundproof room.


Thats the most absurd thing I've ever heard. Every major band records layered and it's by far the way to go. When you are recording an album you're fans are expecting an album , a professional representation of what your band is all about , not a LIVE track. Might as well record a gig and give it out and not waste studio time money. The best way to go is to have the drummer play with a metronome and have bass come in after that , lay down rhythm guitars. I personally prefer to wait and get the vocals done and come in a do my solos after that.

If you want to be taken as a legit band you need to layer and you need to play with a click track. Otherwise you will come off as nothing more than an inexperienced garage band. It's harsh but it's reality. No record company will take a one take live demo seriously. Learn your songs and make them TIGHT.

Don't give BS excuses like " functions as a band which goes based on my Qs and we all function together in time when we practice.

That's not functioning as a unit , everyone needs to know the song down packed. In your case have the drummer go in first , give him some headphones and get a guitar running into him. Set the tempo and play.

It WILL be a long and tedious process , It ISN'T easy by any means , BUT the final product will be to show for all the hard work.

Never be discouraged because something will take a long time, recording , mixing and mastering songs can take weeks or months to get the right sound. My best advice is

A . Go in there with the song(s) very tight

B. Have an idea of "sound" you want , bring in a CD of a bands mix you favor , it will help the producer/engineer a lot.

C. Don't settle for a take because you are tired or you are frustrated push and test yourself

D. Do each instrument individually , background vocals can also work wonders.

That's basically all I can say in a nutshell about recording...
#11
@TS - answer = both, and it depends.

post above was right about nearly all pro recordings are done in layers. It's just a question of how they approach it.

They may or may not play to a click. If they don't play to a click, the drummer has to be pretty damned tight. Steve Albini (Nirvana producer) HATES going to a click, unless that is what the drummer is used to. Mutt Lange (uber-perfectionist producer) is, well... everything is uber-perfect.

Generally, a band will go in and play the song live (to a click or not, whichever, as I said) and the live tracks are what are referred to as the 'bed tracks.' Depending on how good they are, tracks will be chosen as keepers or not.

From there, punch ins and edits are done, and then other stuff is layered over top - alternate guitar parts, doubling, lead and backing vox, etc.

And the guy above was right about isolating the amps and singers in different rooms so that instrument bleed isn't an issue. Doing that makes the usage of unidirectional (aka hypercardiod) mics optional.

CT


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

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#12
my drummer and i record songs that i/we come up with, since we don't have a band it's just him and i recording. he and i record a basic rhythm guitar track along with drums live, a second or third rhythm guitar track, then add in all the little things like lead guitar licks and solos, bass, vocals, etc.
#13
Here's a question: if a band has a song that uses a similar riff over and over again, do they sometimes cut corners for the recording and just play the riff once and just copy it over and over again? I notice on CDs sometimes that the repeating riffs sound so exactly alike that there's no way that their guitarist sat there and played it for 3 minutes.
#14
Err... I kinda skiped the middle part of this thread.


Are you recording at a professional studio?

If not PM me and il tell you how i record a band.
#15
@Drew - Sometimes it is done like that. Certainly in dance and hip-hop, that is the norm. In rock, the musicians typically play the song through, and then copy and paste from some other part of the song if that is needed.

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.
#16
Texas Flood, SRV's first album was recorded live to maintain the feel that the band had playing live. They basicaly set up in a warehouse with mics on everybody's stuff and put some dividers up between the instruments to help sheild the sound. You could try doing something like that if you would rather record live as a band.
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#17
Quote by axemanchris

Generally, a band will go in and play the song live (to a click or not, whichever, as I said) and the live tracks are what are referred to as the 'bed tracks.' Depending on how good they are, tracks will be chosen as keepers or not.



This.

Generally you get at least 1 scratch track for each part, and depending on their quality, you either go back and replace everything or just parts that are off/need work.

You can record everything at once, in one take by using iso booths, or a properly treated room, but generally not too many people do this anymore as it makes way more sense to do as I said above unless you are trying to capture some sort of "live" sound to the recording....in which case why not just record a proper live show?

EDIT: and you should never have problems of being off-beat using this method, unless you just can't keep a beat to begin with, as you will still have whatever you need to hear to keep time playing in your monitor mix.
#18
Well, you do sorta record each instrument separate. to a backing track or something.
Like record the drum track first, then record the guitars, then record the bass, vocals n all.
You record them all individually where the musician can play his instrument over a backing track (or the drum track or a metronome). You end up with like 10-30 individual tracks (based on how you're recording) and you then mix and produce those individual tracks in protools or logic or cubase. You don't do it all together. Usually recording takes place over days or even weeks.

Unless you wanna go the Lamb of God way with New American Gospel and record the whole album in just one take. Set up all the mikes and channels into the mixer and recorder. Hit record and start playing!

Quote by drewfromutah
Here's a question: if a band has a song that uses a similar riff over and over again, do they sometimes cut corners for the recording and just play the riff once and just copy it over and over again? I notice on CDs sometimes that the repeating riffs sound so exactly alike that there's no way that their guitarist sat there and played it for 3 minutes.

Depends on the producer.
Sometimes you play the riff a few times and you take the best riff and loop it over the track. (usually done for synth lines, drums etc).
But usually for guitars, they tend to play the guitar throughout the track as the little variations created by the guy playing the riff over the track might sound cool.
But sometimes if the riff is just a monotonous set of notes, they'll just loop the best take as the guitarist might not be able to put of a perfect riff all throughout the track.

There are no set of rules for record and production. It all really depends on how the producer wants to record the band and every producer has a different/unique way of recording. There is no right way or wrong way. Its all very subjective and as long as you can end up with a good sounding track, it doesn't matter how you achieved it.
Last edited by af_the_fragile at Aug 25, 2008,
#19
Hopefully in the next two months or so my bands going to be recording. Were going to be doing it live and adding things on top of it.

I'll tell you how it goes. lol We're doing it this way for time reasons/money because where were going to do it is purty expensive.
#20
Quote by WhereArtEsteban
Hopefully in the next two months or so my bands going to be recording. Were going to be doing it live and adding things on top of it.

I'll tell you how it goes. lol We're doing it this way for time reasons/money because where were going to do it is purty expensive.


Potential problem with that method is that unless you do it just right, the punch-ins will sound really out of place and be very obvious. Though I've heard it done before.
#21
Punch-ins are dead easy these days. Nearly all punch-ins I do are virtually undetectable, even when you know they're there. Getting a click or a change in volume or any of those other dead giveaways... there is really no excuse for that these days.

The other dead giveaway is an easy one to avoid too with a bit of diligence - a change in timbre. The old way was to make note of what settings were used and where the mic was and that sort of thing. The easy way, now, is to take a digital photo of those things and just refer to it later. More accurate, and way faster!

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.
#22
Overdubs.

Record all at once at first, and then record all the parts over it.

i think someone already said this? o well.

It actually depends what genre you are playing, if you are playing like classic rock, bluesy rock, something like that, record live, but if you sound something like modern bands, like three days grace, shinedown, i would think it would be better to record in layers.
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#23
Live for demos or maybe EPs..but layers for a proper album. The guitarist in my band wants to record our demo by layers for some reason...cost-wise I don't see how that makes sense. It's just a demo. Does anyone agree with me that it doesn't make sense to spend all kinds of time (and therefore money) recording demos track by track?
#24
^ depends on how serious you are. if you really want people to buy your album then doing it as professionally as possible is the best way to go.
#25
Quote by z4twenny
^ depends on how serious you are. if you really want people to buy your album then doing it as professionally as possible is the best way to go.


We just wanted a demo to get shows..and give away for free so people can hear our stuff.
#26
Quote by pwrmax
You can record each amp in a separate soundproof room, that way it's live but each instrument is on a separate track which is ideal for mastering. Have the drummer is the same room as you so you can feel like a band and record him/her there and then dub over the vocals afterwards. Studios like that can't be cheap but it's what the pros do.


this is how my band is planning on recording. we've been hooked up with a local guy who owns a house thats basically a recording studio. ive herd some of his stuff he's done, very professional sounding. honestly i wouldnt be able to tell they did it that way, i'd assume it was done one at a time then layered. $25-$35 an hour. $225 for the whole day, including after hours mastering.

i know someone said that you should know all your stuff and not need each other, but for some kinds of music, thats the way your gonna get the best takes out of it. expecially if its a jam part. one of our songs has a jam in the middle, and while we've got our "get it done quick" way of playing it if we're short on time for a show, which is semi-structured some of the best time playing it are when we feed back and forth off each other. thats what i want for the album/demo/ep/whathaveyou
#27
As a producer, hearing a band say, "we have this part here where we just jam" scares the hell out of me. When I'm recording, I don't like leaving *anything* to chance. The odds of things going wrong are very, very high. Been there, done that...

Of course, it is their time and money. I'll make the time if they're paying the money.

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.
#28
Quote by Nijyo
Potential problem with that method is that unless you do it just right, the punch-ins will sound really out of place and be very obvious. Though I've heard it done before.

Well its costing us $75 per song to be mastered (additional to the $800 rate for 1 day of recording) so it better sound good!
#29
Mastering won't help things if there are bad edits and punch-ins. If anything, the compression will make them more obvious. Make sure it is right before you send it off to the mastering house.

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.
#30
Quote by Highwaytohell
I know it can help volumes and stuff... But what about all the different rhythmic Qs and stuff that I usually q the drummer in on?


if your drummer doesnt know his parts to the point where he can play all the songs by himself then chances are your not ready to record

back to the practice room, get tighter, try again in 3 months
#31
Quote by WhereArtEsteban
Well its costing us $75 per song to be mastered (additional to the $800 rate for 1 day of recording) so it better sound good!

Don't master a demo tape.
Its pointless. It'll sound little different on myspace low bitrate player from the unmastered one and most picked won't even be able to make out the difference.

Just a decently recorded and produced demo where all the instruments are played tight and precise should do the job.

Only if you've got some really kick ass album that you're looking to sell, then get it mastered.
#32
Quote by af_the_fragile
Don't master a demo tape.
Its pointless. It'll sound little different on myspace low bitrate player from the unmastered one and most picked won't even be able to make out the difference.


Disagreed. Even a mediocre mastering job will prevent the average listener from asking "why is it so quiet?" If the listener asks that, they immediately think it must be less than professional. (even though it may well not be)

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.