Drummers in the recording studio

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Drummers in the recording studio

Postby metldrummer2112 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:41 pm

None of my bands have ever gotten far enough to enter the studio, but I have a good feeling about the two I'm in now, so I have some questions about recording.

1) Which track is usually laid down first? It seems like it should be the guitar but I think I'm wrong
2) (I feel really stupid asking this one) What is a click track?
3) The engineer can make give you different drum sounds (like giving your bass drum a metal sound) after you record, right?
4) You can use Protools to fix any minor places where you go offtime?

anyone who helps me, it is greatly appreciated. These questions have always bugged me.
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Drummers in the recording studio

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Postby bass-ackwards » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:06 pm

1)ideally its drums.
2)its basically a metronome.
3)Probably, but im not sure.
4)thats what lars does.
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Postby kplante069 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:48 pm

I've done Drums alone, Drums and bass together (seperate tracks) & the whole band together. I actually like everything together. There's more energy from everyone playing together.
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Postby metldrummer2112 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:28 pm

bass-ackwards wrote:1)ideally its drums.
2)its basically a metronome.
3)Probably, but im not sure.
4)thats what lars does.


OK if drums go first, would you at least have a recording of the actual song to listen to so you don't accidentally put something where it doesnt belong? like a demo tape?

and kplante, that makes perfect sense. That's why most bands are so much better live
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Postby BillRayDrums » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:36 am

The best thing you can do is start recording your rehearsals and listen back to them. You all play "together" so your guitarist and bassist know your tendencies.

Listen back to the rehearsal recording and start making mental notes of what you need to change in order to sound better.

When you do go into the studio, the best thing you can do is go in, mic up, and everyone play just like you are in the living room. The purpose of a recording is to be an accurate representation of what the band can do. Whether or not the guitarist and bassist and others keep their performance tracks, the smart thing is to capture the drums. I would not use a click if you are not accustomed to one. A great energy can be ruined by the presence of a click track.

Unless you are planning to do a lot of editing and looping, don't use a click. Go record your BAND, not create an expensive piece of drama that takes 3 years to complete, and by the time it's released the band has been long broken up. Get in, capture, get out. Recording a disc is often the Kiss of death for bands so make sure you just roll through it as efficiently as possible.
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Postby metldrummer2112 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:59 am

BillRayDrums wrote:The best thing you can do is start recording your rehearsals and listen back to them. You all play "together" so your guitarist and bassist know your tendencies.

Listen back to the rehearsal recording and start making mental notes of what you need to change in order to sound better.

When you do go into the studio, the best thing you can do is go in, mic up, and everyone play just like you are in the living room. The purpose of a recording is to be an accurate representation of what the band can do. Whether or not the guitarist and bassist and others keep their performance tracks, the smart thing is to capture the drums. I would not use a click if you are not accustomed to one. A great energy can be ruined by the presence of a click track.

Unless you are planning to do a lot of editing and looping, don't use a click. Go record your BAND, not create an expensive piece of drama that takes 3 years to complete, and by the time it's released the band has been long broken up. Get in, capture, get out. Recording a disc is often the Kiss of death for bands so make sure you just roll through it as efficiently as possible.


Yeah that makes so much more sense, especially since we're all 14-16 and can't afford a lot.
But if you record the whole band, can you still use protools in case you mess up somewhere?
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Postby SGarrett » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:24 pm

You can use a recording program to fix a mistake, but that's the wrong attitude to go into the studio with. Never have a "fix it in the mix" mentality. Instead, practice your parts until you know them forward and backward. When your band gets together to rehearse, only play the songs you're going to track. The reason is, the more comfortable with the material you are the easier it is to go on auto-pilot.

Here's something a lot of drummers do when they go into to track. They simplify by playing what the song needs in the studio and then having fun on stage. If something isn't working, simplify it.
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Postby metldrummer2112 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:53 pm

SGarrett wrote:You can use a recording program to fix a mistake, but that's the wrong attitude to go into the studio with. Never have a "fix it in the mix" mentality. Instead, practice your parts until you know them forward and backward. When your band gets together to rehearse, only play the songs you're going to track. The reason is, the more comfortable with the material you are the easier it is to go on auto-pilot.


Yeah, I would like to not use protools at all, but I'm worried about messing something up. I'm a perfectionist but I can't spend a lot of time in the studio =(
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Postby SGarrett » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:37 pm

The more you think about messing up, even if you're thinking about not messing up, the more likely you are to mess up. You're already putting too much pressure on yourself and setting yourself up for defeat. The cure-all here is practice, practice, and a little more practice just for good measure.

Something I like to do when I'm going in to track with a band is not only work on each entire song but, I like to break the songs down and work on each part to a metronome (click). Figure, you're going to play the verse section 2-4 times, the chorus 2-4 times, and the intro/bridge/outro once for each 3-5 minutes you spend playing a given song. Or, you can spend 3-5 minutes focusing on and playing just one part at a time. That gets those parts ingrained into your muscle memory so they flow better when you put them all back together into song format.

I'm going to be slight blunt here and tell you honestly that perfectionism comes from an insecurity. That's why the practice is so important. You have to be confident in what you're playing, especially when you're tracking. If you're thinking, "Ok, am in time? Did I play that part correctly? "Here comes that big fill. Etc.." you're going to sound hesitant even if you don't make any errors. If you want a great example of that, listen to Marilyn Manson's vocal delivery on "Lunchbox" (from Portrait of an American Family). It's ballsy, defiant, and in-your-face. You can feel the words dripping with angst and attitude.
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Postby Alan_ » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:22 am

tbh, I've recorded in every combination imaginable, and I really really like laying the drums down first to a click. it's really easy for me, and I can usually get a song I'm familiar with down in the first or second take.

I just did the opposite on a recent recording (laid the drums down last), and that's a tough one, even if the rest of the musicians lay their parts down with a click, because then you're having to play to THEIR groove, and hope they actually listened to each other (or that the engineer was enough of a ballbuster to not just let sloppy timing make it to the final take).

recording all together can be fun if everybody knows their parts well. I record to write songs tho, and sometimes the demo becomes the final product now that high-fidelity home recording is a reality. with the way one of the bands works, we use the studio as a writing tool.
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Postby randomdrum » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:31 pm

For me/us, live recording is the way forward. If you're competent enough to do it, do it - it works wonders for the energy and drive of the tracks.

Should be posting some of my new stuff up soon :D
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Postby SGarrett » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:28 pm

Alan_ wrote:I just did the opposite on a recent recording (laid the drums down last), and that's a tough one, even if the rest of the musicians lay their parts down with a click, because then you're having to play to THEIR groove, and hope they actually listened to each other (or that the engineer was enough of a ballbuster to not just let sloppy timing make it to the final take).


That's the bulk of the tracking I do. It was a really big learning curve but I've gotten pretty used to it now and can get most songs out pretty quickly.
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Postby Alan_ » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:36 am

if it's "conventional" instrumentation I agree that it can be fairly organic, cool and easy. the issue with this recording was that the basis for the track was a string quartet, bassoon and ukelele. Classically trained string players can have a really loose groove even when playing to a click, and as I'm usually fairly "tight" with the time it took about 10 takes to understand their groove enough to line up with the ebb and flow of time. I guess in the grand scheme of things 10 takes isn't that many but it's more than I'm used to doing.
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Re: Drummers in the recording studio

Postby Palryo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:16 am

i actually recorded for the first time yesterday =-O
and the official first master recording was the drums

and yeah like the others said its basically a metronome, just makes TICK tick tick tick to help you keep time =D

if you mean giving the bass a metal sound as in real deep and beefy then it'll probly sound like that when you record if you already have it tuned low with some muffle

and metldrummer you'll be completely fine :-p
dont worry about messing up anything like that
just chill and play the song like no ones listening
we only had two hours yesterday ourselves
and it turned out really good
well, as good as $60 worth of recording can get you with a small mixing board
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Re: Drummers in the recording studio

Postby metldrummer2112 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 pm

Palryo wrote:if you mean giving the bass a metal sound as in real deep and beefy then it'll probly sound like that when you record if you already have it tuned low with some muffle


Nah man I'm gonna be moving to Axis AL-2's soon so it's gonna need to be triggered or miced really badly. and if we're in the situation I'll choose triggers to get it kind of like Nick Barker's sound on Cruelty And The Beast, just not nearly as overpowering (hopefully you like Cradle Of Filth and understood that)
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