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My Band is going to a real live (basement) Studio: Advice?!
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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Location: Mendocino, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:18 am    Post subject: My Band is going to a real live (basement) Studio: Advice?! Reply with quote

We found a guy doing $15/hr (my dads friend, we get discount). We've always done our own recording so this should be interesting. What is your guy's experience in the studio? Things to focus on, things to bring, etc.
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SpaceFace
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only advice is to just have your shit together when you go to record. There is nothing worse than going to record and having someone mess up because it just takes more time to get it done which leads to more money being spent. My friends band this happened because the guitarist just kept making mistakes which lead to them losing a day in recording basically and then they had to pay for another day which could have been avoided because they had to go in and keep fixing his takes. But other than that if its all good, it should be a fun time.
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the isaac eaton
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went into a professional recording studio about 2 years ago with my old band, and am actually going back febuary 3rd with my new band. All I can say is get to know who is recording you, be sure to tell them everything you want and everything about your sound and how you want to sound. My new band besymer is extremly heavy, lots of guitars lots of fuzz lots of toms and lots of fuzzy bass. You gotta get them to work with you as more of an enginer rather then a producer. Unless you want a producer, for us we just need someone to record us and represent us very well.

Get to know who is recording you and do lots of communicating in the studio.
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Haze
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Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically what SuperFace and isaac have said

Treat him like you should a sound tech at a gig, kiss some ass if necessary sometimes thats what it takes to get things done. Make sure to introduce yourself and be super nice [its more difficult with shitty sound techs] and make sure you tell him what you want the end result to be. Also have everything ready to GO because time is money. Have a plan of action as far as setting everything up goes and it never hurts to ask him if you can stop by to see what you have to work with.
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Sloan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DO THIS SHIT:

1. practice
2. use some program to make a click track for every song you plan to record - write down the beats per minute (BPM) so dude can just plug that shit in and have a perfect click for you.
3. practice THE FUCK outta your songs. get that shit tiiiight.
4. if he tries to get you to plug into a POD, grab the POD and smash him in the FUCKING NUTS with it. trash the whole fucking place and then leave.
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Haze
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Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sloan wrote:

4. if he tries to get you to plug into a POD, grab the POD and smash him in the FUCKING NUTS with it. trash the whole fucking place and then leave.
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omari
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Joined: 11 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what everyone else has said is right on.

i've been in the studio lots of times on both sides of the glass and i do a ton of home recording as well. i cannot stress enough how important it is for you as a band to have a meeting and really talk about what your expectations are for the recording. what type of sounds are you trying to achieve in the end? drums dry and punchy, fat and roomy, thin and trashy, ect. what will be recorded live versus overdubbed? how much are you willing to spend? what about mastering? what albums or songs will you bring/listen to as references for mixing? and, make doubly sure that the person who is recording you knows about all these decisions that you as a band have made.

as far as what to bring? if you like the equipment that you have, bring it. a couple extra guitars or a backup bass won't hurt. if your buddy has an amp that you really like, ask him if you can borrow it. are the drum heads in decent condition? are your guitar strings in decent condition? a tuner is good and make sure everybody uses it... often. don't forget those reference songs, listen to them... often.

lastly, stick to your guns! no one knows your band better than you so don't let someone else tell you how your band should sound! oh and... HAVE FUN!!
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Aeon
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See if you can visit the studio in advance and talk with the guy. Get an idea of what sort of equipment he's running, how he'd record you, what the place is like, etc.

Are you planning on tracking live or 'building it up' with drums and bass (maybe with scratch guitar tracks), then adding other stuff and vocals later?
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume live, but I dunno. Hadn't thought about it. What do you guys do? I like the idea of putting a guitar track over drums and bass.
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ace
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haze wrote:
Sloan wrote:

4. if he tries to get you to plug into a POD, grab the POD and smash him in the FUCKING NUTS with it. trash the whole fucking place and then leave.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cobascis wrote:
I assume live, but I dunno. Hadn't thought about it. What do you guys do? I like the idea of putting a guitar track over drums and bass.

usually people record live and then overdub to add more depth or production flourishes (backing vocals, additional guitar parts, synth washes, whatever) and/or fix vocals or nail the perfect solo. plenty of great recordings have been made just recording the whole thing live though.

it's something to discuss with the engineer though because in some cases overdubs may be required or not based on the isolation of the recording space. most of the time you do not want the other instruments bleeding into the vocals for example.
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mage wrote:
cobascis wrote:
I assume live, but I dunno. Hadn't thought about it. What do you guys do? I like the idea of putting a guitar track over drums and bass.

usually people record live and then overdub to add more depth or production flourishes (backing vocals, additional guitar parts, synth washes, whatever) and/or fix vocals or nail the perfect solo. plenty of great recordings have been made just recording the whole thing live though.

it's something to discuss with the engineer though because in some cases overdubs may be required or not based on the isolation of the recording space. most of the time you do not want the other instruments bleeding into the vocals for example.


huh. thanks.

lately we tried home recording live w/out vocals. worked out reasonably well.

http://semihollowbrain.lonelyfridge.com/Return%20to%20Sender.mp3
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stewart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the method of recording kind of depends on how much time you have. if you record everything live it'll potentially be quicker (if you're well rehearsed), but as mage said, it'll depend if the studio has isolation for all the instruments. i've always done a scratch guitar track along with the drums that we can all hear in headphones while we play, and once the drums are satisfactory and it's a good take i'll overdub all my guitar parts afterwards. i have the luxury of being the sole guitarist, so i can layer away to my heart's content without stepping on another 6 stringer's toes. you might not be able to (or indeed want to) do that if there's two of you.

don't go in expecting the engineer to do much other than press record, the chances are they won't offer you advice, i.e. "i think you should try another take because that one sounded a bit weak at points". unless you know him he'll likely want you out of there as soon as possible. that doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up with a bad recording, but it makes it easier if you have a clear idea of what you want (and don't want) before you go in. the first time i ever went into a studio (in, i think, 1997) the guy made us sound like a drunken Duran Duran. he took all the rough edges off the sounds and quietened the guitars down, and consequently any little mistakes in the bass or vocals stood out like a dog's nuts; purely because we let him do what he thought best. the result was something we couldn't bring ourselves to listen to a week later. £300 wasted.

so do as much work beforehand as possible, is what i'm trying to say.
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Al_
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good advice and I'd say communicating with the recording dude ahead of time to discuss process will be key. Also tell him what all you'll be brining in in terms of amps, guitars, drums (how many toms, etc.)--this will help him plan ahead and have things ready before you get there. Make sure the drums are tuned properly and sound good; and also consider putting on new strings. Bring spare stuff for things that could break or run out (e.g., stringe, batteries, cables, etc.).
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He said he isn't charging for setup fee, so a free hour to set up or so. He said:

Recording Bloke wrote:
I'd like to have you all set up and play, and go from there.
I have a separate room for the Drum kit Bass will be DIed guitar will get mic'ed and may get DIed too.
You should know that I won't be charging you for set up time or the time it takes it takes to mic everything up and get levels. you should plan an extra hour for this when deciding on a start time. So, if you are shooting for 5 hours of tracking, plan on being at the studio for 6 hours.

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Al_
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That all sounds good. If drums are in a separate room and bass is DI'd then I'm not sure why he'd DI the guitar; unless he's talking about taking it in as a parallel input which makes some sense. Check if he's setup to reamp the bass back through an amp if you're not happy with the direct tone. Also, see how big the drum room is and whether or not you can all play together in there; or what the overall tracking arrangment will be. In most cases, bands tend to play better together when they can all see each other; particularly if you're going for an overall live recording with minimal overdubs.

Sloan mentioned it earlier, but if you're going to have your drummer (and all of you really) play to a click track try and rehearse some ahead of time with one. You'd be amazed at how difficult it is to play to a click if you've never done it before; and it can even make your songs sound different if you're used to being somewhat elastic around a time signature. Most bands I record are used to playing live together and are tracked that way without a click.
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
That all sounds good. If drums are in a separate room and bass is DI'd then I'm not sure why he'd DI the guitar; unless he's talking about taking it in as a parallel input which makes some sense. Check if he's setup to reamp the bass back through an amp if you're not happy with the direct tone. Also, see how big the drum room is and whether or not you can all play together in there; or what the overall tracking arrangment will be. In most cases, bands tend to play better together when they can all see each other; particularly if you're going for an overall live recording with minimal overdubs.

Sloan mentioned it earlier, but if you're going to have your drummer (and all of you really) play to a click track try and rehearse some ahead of time with one. You'd be amazed at how difficult it is to play to a click if you've never done it before; and it can even make your songs sound different if you're used to being somewhat elastic around a time signature. Most bands I record are used to playing live together and are tracked that way without a click.


Click meaning a set metronome beat the whole time?
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James
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Click in that sort of context means a metronome in headphones.
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paul_
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No horseplay. If they leave free coffee out don't drink all of it. Don't sniff the wall too much no matter how good it smells. Don't talk shit about anyone in the control room, chances are they'll hear it. Wash your ears and hair, those aren't your headphones.
And don't you make that face at me... it's causing hum.
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cobascis
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James wrote:
Click in that sort of context means a metronome in headphones.


We were told to bring out own headphones... That click better be ****ing loud for the drummer.

(as we dont have great headphones..)
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