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#383699 - 01/14/04 08:23 PM studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Hi! I have a couple of recording questions.

In the studio, what kind of quality am I going to sacrifice if I have the band recorded all at once, playing together? Is there a huge difference in quality between this and recording each instrument separately?

How much time is usually required per song when recording individual tracks, if the song is rehearsed and ready to go?

--Jean

#383700 - 01/14/04 09:27 PM Re: studio recording  
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TrumanCoyote Offline
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My opinion: if the engineer knows what he is doing, you should not sacrifice any quality at all. In fact, you might actually get a better recording by having the musicians work together.

I presume you are intending to cut the vocals separately. If not, I would recommend it. Do a "scratch vocal" during the tracking session, then add the final vocals later.

#383701 - 01/15/04 12:07 AM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Truman! You came through for me again! Thank you!

This will be the first time making a real recording for me and the rest of the band members. I have recorded one song where I played the piano first, then I sang, then the bass player and drummer were added separately. In that instance, none of us played as well to a recording as we did with each other. We're just not used to it, I guess.

Please forgive my ignorance, but...do people always record the vocals separately?

--Jean

#383702 - 01/15/04 12:47 AM Re: studio recording  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Jean,

Truman's right. If you record them at the same time, make sure you are in a soundproof room with the vocals, one that will reduce "bleed" of the instruments. That may still happen to a degree. That way you can put effects on the vocals, like reverb and echo and eq, without it affecting the instrument track.

In the old days, however, they recorded all at once and whatever it sounded like, it sounded like. You can make some good records like that, but you have to arm wrestle the engineer to get them to do it.

Recording all at once with a scratch vocal, to my mind, gives you the best "band sound." Best of all worlds is recording all at once with the ability to "fix" any individual parts that need it.

All the Best,
Mike

------------------
Mike Dunbar Music


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#383703 - 01/15/04 01:38 AM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Mike--thank you!

I'm relieved to know that recording the band together is an option. We are comfortable doing that, and I really think we'll get a more alive sound. (I guess I'll see if the engineer is willing to do that. I'll start my chin-ups tonight so I can win the arm wrestle--should be able to work up to one chin-up by the end of the month.)

I guess I will have to plan on doing the vocal separately no matter what, since I am the piano player and the lead singer, and I definintely want the ability to have effects added just to the vocal track. Thanks for the valuable information. --Jean

#383704 - 01/15/04 01:23 PM Re: studio recording  
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If this is your session (you are paying for it) then you have the right to do it any way you want. If the engineer can't or won't do it the way you want, find someone who will.

#383705 - 01/15/04 02:19 PM Re: studio recording  
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player4 Offline
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Recording together with your band is where the magic happens for lots of artists, one player feeding off another gives alot of feel and enthusiasm. You can be recorded live and direct at the same time, also any of these tracks can be rerecorded individually later if there not correct. As stated in the other posts a good engineer is a plus and his techniques can enhance your sound. Get the initial basic track down with feel and all else can be edited, overdubbed and enhanced.Good luck with your session.

Dave

#383706 - 01/15/04 05:39 PM Re: studio recording  
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I don't know what I can add to all the good advice here, but I'm certainly in agreement with it.

Unless you're doing techno, dance, or some other type of electronica, the "band vibe" will come through and give you a better feel to the recording.

You do have to try to keep the instrument sounds from bleeding into adjacent mics - unless you want an old Motown or early Beatles type of recording.

Just put the vocalist in another room (if possible) and use that track only as a guide track for everyone to know where they are in the song.

The interesting thing is that even if you have to overdub a part (like Guitar or Bass), it will still have more life than if you had never recorded together.


------------------
Larry
www.audibleresponse.com

#383707 - 01/20/04 11:33 PM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Truman--
Dave--
William--

Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate it.

If I'm happy with the CD we make, maybe I'll find a way to let you and other JPF people hear some of it and see what you think.

I appreciate the insights and opinions you've offered--very helpful!!! --Jean

#383708 - 01/26/04 09:04 AM Re: studio recording  
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I'm glad so many people agree with my philosophy. Anything you gain by complete separation can't compare with what you lose by not playing together, in real time, in one room. I always do my recordings in one space, using mic placement and gobos for separation. I do overdub the vocal for complete isolation, but the performance must be live to sound right.


"Take 276, you know this used to be fun."
John Entwistle
#383709 - 01/26/04 02:50 PM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Thank you, Capt.Analog!

I'm really glad I asked about this on JPF. One of the studios I talked to before posting this suggested recording the whole band together as a way to save money, not as an option someone might choose for other reasons. Thanks for your reply! --Jean

#383710 - 02/17/04 10:22 PM Re: studio recording  
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reversestatic Offline
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I agree with everything that has been posted. Just want to add my 2cents.

When recording you might want to make sure that there is some kind of click track recorded for over-dubs. Also, try to set up all amps and drums in different rooms so not to get overtones from other instruments on individual tracks.

One thing I have seen done and has worked for bands in the past is to isolate your amps and put the string players in the same room as the drummer. This creates the vibe of everyone playing at the same time, but allows the tracks to be isolated.

Also like the over-dub and scratch idea. Please remember that your recorded song is forever, and not at all like live playing. You want to make your CD as perfect as you can without loosing the vibe of the band.

freQ, from the band W!CK, records bands all the time, so if you have any direct questions you can email me and I will get it to him.

Hope this helps.

Brian
CEMI
cleomgt@earthlink.net

http://www.thebandwick.com


Brian
Assistant Manager
Cleo Entertainment Management Inc.
http://www.thebandwick.com
#383711 - 02/18/04 01:40 AM Re: studio recording  
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VDickinson Offline
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A few other things. First, make sure your drummer has practiced with, and is comfortable with a click track if you're going to try use one. It takes some getting used to.

The biggest thing is to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Do as much pre-production as possible beforehand. You'll be much happier later, and have a better product. Have fun!

Record and keep your scratch vocals (as long as the singer is well isolated). You never know, they might have the right feel that you can't duplicate later.

I agree that with a good studio & engineer you shouldn't lose much if any sound quality playing live. There may be some complications trying to "fix" parts, but then, if you're well rehearsed you shouldn't have to do much of that [Linked Image]

------------------
Visit http://www.zeyerband.com for music downloads, lyrics, news, and show dates


Visit http://www.zeyerband.com or http://www.myspace.com/zeyerband for music downloads, lyrics, news, and show dates
#383712 - 02/18/04 03:31 AM Re: studio recording  
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TrumanCoyote Offline
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Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by VDickinson:
Record and keep your scratch vocals (as long as the singer is well isolated). You never know, they might have the right feel that you can't duplicate later.

</font>


Absolutely!!! I am in the process of releasing a CD that will have one scratch vocal on it. We were cutting the keeper vocals months after the original tracking was done. On one particular song, we were getting set to record and the singer wanted to hear the original once before we started. On listening, we both agreed that the take was everything we wanted and more--and probably as good as it was going to get, so it went on the CD just as it was.

#383713 - 02/25/04 12:09 PM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Another "dumb question" as a follow up:

If the vocal is always recorded separately, how do you keep that "instrument" sounding like it was recorded live with the band?

If I understand correctly, you want to do the vocal separately so that the mic doesn't pick up other instruments and thereby put the vocal effects on other instruments.

I won't be able to record everybody at once and have the vocalist in a soundproof room/booth because I am the lead singer and the piano player.

How do you keep that give-and-take between all the instruments, including the voices, and not end up sounding like a singer with a separate back-up band?

--Jean

[This message has been edited by JL (edited 02-25-2004).]

#383714 - 03/19/04 06:47 AM Re: studio recording  
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Cpt.Analog Offline
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A word about click tracks.
I've found that many players' timing actually gets worse when trying to play to a click. What I usually do is turn the click off after about 8 bars, then the natural groove takes over.


"Take 276, you know this used to be fun."
John Entwistle
#383715 - 03/19/04 06:58 PM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Hey Capt Analog--Thanks! I appreciate the input! Have a great day! --Jean

#383716 - 03/27/04 04:26 AM Re: studio recording  
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Racy Offline
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A great drummer can make the click "disappear"

That said, whenever possible I like to record the rhythm section live without the click track when I am recording my band. I feel that if the entire band deviates from the rigidity of the click it's ok. Sometimes a little variation in tempo can work to the benefit of a song.

I'll track the bass, drums, and guitar live with a scratch vocal that contains directions, i.e. I'll tell them the solo is up next , so they can build the song a little bit , then cue them when the vocal is returning, so they can back off a little bit. I usually record the bass through a direct box, and the guitar through a POD, so there is no audible bleeding into the drum mics. After the basic tracks are complete, I replace the guitar parts with a mic'd guitar amplifier. The drums are in a drum booth. We monitor through headphones.

Then I'll come back and add overdubs, building the song up. I'll have my Hammond organ guy come in, I'll add the proper guitar bits, and the right vocal parts. I keep the guide track until the very end. A poster above is correct in saying that sometimes the guide vocals capture emotion that is hard to recreate later. I have tried it both ways. and I prefer to have the guide vocal actually giving directions about the song as opposed to trying to capture a true singing vocal during basic tracks. I am lucky in that I have a great singer available to me more often than the rhythm section, so I prefer capturing the rhythm section during basic tracking, then I work with my singer to get the best feeling vocals tracked.

Always remember the first rule of recording:
"There Are No Rules." Use whatever system works best for you. If the engineer and the room aren't completely comfortable to you, move on and find a place that is.

If one of your band members is in the least bit "techie" you might want to investigate hard disk based recording. For the price of a few days in a "proper" studio, you could buy the components needed to record ALL of your future music. In no way am I trying to steer you away from going into a "real" studio. I have always enjoyed recording in alternative places where I didn't have to worry about the clock. It's not for everyone, though. Some people just want to play, and that's cool, too.

Recording your material can be very eye opening. The tape recorder can be cruel sometimes. Still, there's nothing quite like hearing your own material coming back at you through the studio monitors. I have been recording in alternative environments for many years, as I have more time than money. It is cheaper now more than ever to outfit a modest home recording setup. Once you have one in place, you can then capture all of your audio ideas. It's a great way to get better.


I have streaming audio links on my website if you want to check out a tune

Racy
www.JanetRyan.com

#383717 - 03/28/04 02:08 AM Re: studio recording  
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Jean Larson Offline
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Thanks for the thorough reply, Racy! I'm grateful for the information and advice.

Right now, money's tight again. When we had a little money to spend, I was too busy to pursue this. Now that I have the time, I don't have the money anymore as it's been spent on multiple doctor visits and prescriptions and invastive procedures for one of my children who has been sick a long time. Oh, well. That was way more important! And she's better!!! Something will work out with the music recording. I may have to get really creative, but I think I have to find a way to get it done before it makes me crazy! [Linked Image]

I have to say I'm pretty much excited about recording. As for my singing, I usually like the sound I hear coming through the monitors when I perform much better than what I hear in my livingroom. And I'd really like to preserve some of what my little band is doing, even if it's just for us--we have so much FUN!

Thanks for the insight from someone more experienced! I appreciate it! --Jean

#383718 - 03/31/04 12:52 AM Re: studio recording  
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Michael Hollomon Offline
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Hey,
Just a quick comment here. Racy, I went to your site and tried to check out the streaming music. I guess it downloaded ok. But I can't open it. Help. I want to check it out!
Michael H

#383719 - 04/22/04 01:37 AM Re: studio recording  
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King Song o' Man Offline
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Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Cpt.Analog:
I'm glad so many people agree with my philosophy. Anything you gain by complete separation can't compare with what you lose by not playing together, in real time, in one room. I always do my recordings in one space, using mic placement and gobos for separation. I do overdub the vocal for complete isolation, but the performance must be live to sound right.</font>
Please excuse my ignorance, I'm just now starting to learn about home recording. Q: What's a "gobo" and what is it for?

Thanks.


Laziness breeds fatique - Passion breeds action
#383720 - 04/22/04 03:38 AM Re: studio recording  
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Bob Young (D) Offline
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Tom...

that's not ignorance...ya' never know till you ask..

A gobo is like a movable partition...they take many shapes..they're designed to acheive separation between instruments according to what the mic is picking up.
Some guys (me, for instance) like some "bleed" when recording a band so I like to use gobos as opposed to isolating instruments in different rooms (drums used to get recorded like that alot)

You can use gobos to make a wall around an amp if you wish, depending on the size of the gobo.

Lots of times you can just toss a blankedt over a guitar amp and get a cool sort of choked and compressed sound.

I like to do that if the guitar player insists on using amp reverb while recording.

Jean asked about making the vocal sound like it's part of the band, even if recorded seperately.
Well, Jean...that's why guys like Phil Ramone are multi-millionaires...

It's tricks with mic placement and effects and alot of doing it over and over !

My advice is to process your vocals as little as possible while recording.
Maybe a little compression going in..but not too much.

You're gonna want to be able to play with that vocal in the mix.

Good luck and happy singing !

Bob

#383721 - 04/22/04 10:27 AM Re: studio recording  
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King Song o' Man Offline
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Posts: 512
Chelsea, Quebec, Canada
Thanks for the feedback, Bob! BTW, I've heard some of your recordings via the TGF which sound very good (both in the songwriting and recording quality), and I'm wondering what kind of room/studio set-up you use. I have a post here at the moment asking for ideas how to set-up an empty bedroom as a small studio. If you have a chance, I'd appreciate knowing how you do it and what tips you might have for my room based on what I presently have.

Thanks again, Bob!

Tom


Laziness breeds fatique - Passion breeds action
#383722 - 05/09/04 07:42 AM Re: studio recording  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 159
Cpt.Analog Offline
Serious Contributor
Cpt.Analog  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 159
Nashville
"Gobos" are just movable pieces of anything which can separate acoustical sources. They can be as simple as large pieces of 1/8" thick board to 'acoustic' panels.
Yes, you can make gobos from scrap wood: got any old 1/8"-1/4" plywood laying about?, old sheet rock? Great, put a footing on it where it will stand up and you have a useful gobo. Put something absorbtive, like carpet or foam, on one side, and you have increased your possibilities. Now you can decide to have reflection or absorbsion on the side of the sound source. Play around, use your ears. This is how great recordings were, and are, made.


"Take 276, you know this used to be fun."
John Entwistle

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