I LOVE / HATE the Studio...

zerodogma

New member
Now we are pretty much a LIVE band... just a group of guys who get together on the weekend and do what we love. But there comes a time when you want to get some of your music down professionally... so the band went into the studio for the first time this past Saturday. This is the first time that I (personally) have been in the studio, and I have to say that it definitely ended up as a LOVE / HATE kind of thing.

I LOVE the studio:

1. You are getting music recorded the right way.
2. "Punch-in's" can be your best friend.
3. I found out that I (we) have a solid tempo... even without a click.
4. A good engineer makes everything that much easier/better.
5. Layering tracks can really bring a song up to that next level.


I HATE the studio:

1. It is expensive.
2. You get what you pay for (see #1)
3. I found out that I am not great playing with a click.
4. The clock is always ticking... and time is money.
5. The whole process can get a little boring and repetitive.

It also seemed (at least with our band) that as the day went on, we started playing tighter, and there were less "mistakes" that needed attention.

Any other takes from studio newbees or veterans?
 

m

New member
my only observation is that the 'hate' column is exactly what drove my band to put together our own studio-
I've been recording at home for years (who hasn't, I guess, these days-)
but stepping up to a full-fledged state-of-the-art facility made a big difference, and now all those things you list that constitutes the painful side of recording have gone away for us. There's a steep learning curve and expense, but if you foresee more recording in the future of the band, I can't recommend it enough- take control of that aspect too. For the price of a couple of albums or so, you could build a facility to turn out all the recordings you'd ever want.
 

killdrum1983

New member
this is a reply from a newbie lol but....anyway...^^
We went not that far ago in a studio to record our demo. Even if it was not the super professional studio i could have had an idea on what "the life in a studio is". I first have to say that I LOVE the studio recordings sessions. It's true that you have to pay, and time goes by really fast but i like recording my parts and then ckeck at the others' parts :) all that studio atmosphere...

We didn't record with a click cause we had never used it so it would have been a loss of time i think but next time we'll record with it 100% sure cause we can hear that it's not as tight as it would have been with a click.

In the studio, i think it happens more in the studio than in gigs, you face your capabilities and you see if you're good enough or if you need to work... For me the answer was work!!! lol but it was nice... After our recordings i started to play with a metronome and i got better and better... And all these comments come from the other members of my band and especially from my singer who says he has a new drummer at every practise lol

All that to say that i love the studio, i think it's a great experience and a good test for everybody... Can't wait to go back for our album now lol
 
most of my bands record assembly line style so the studio is generally pretty boring to me. i've never had a problem nailing drum parts for an album in a day, which then leaves weeks of sitting around a studio watching everyone else record.

can't say i've ever punched in drum parts and i hate playing to a click.

absolutely hate it.
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
What studio did you use, Zerodogma? My band did ours in Denton, but if you did yours in the N Texas area I may know the place.

On another note, I think a click, while not necessary, is quite helpful. We did our entire album to a click, and it wasn't a problem for me, I just think it helped the engineer with punching things in.
 

zerodogma

New member
m - I hear you about making your own studio. I don't think that we are ready to put down that kind of cash for all the gear... not to mention what you mentioned about learning curve on mixing and mastering. Only time will tell...

killdrum1983 - I know what you are saying about facing the limits of your own skills! It is amazing how many flaws you find in your own (and the other band members) playing.

sarcasmsetyourhouseonfire - You must be really tight... I had to punch in about 3 parts that were either add-ons or "oops" fixes. But then again, it was my first time in the studio.

SmellsLikeIan - I put the link in my original post, but it was Deep Ellum Studios. We tried the click, but the engineer said that our groove sounded much better without it ??? It wasn't that we couldn't follow the click, but the way our songs are and the way we play has a lot of "anticipation beats". The way he put it was that the feel was like the original AC/DC "Back in Black" track... He could have been putting on a line of bullshit, but we will see when the final mix is done.

Hope to have something for everyone to listen to soon....
 

Cretin1

New member
Everytime I've ever recorded, my bands have always done the same thing. Due to the whole "Time is money" aspect of recording we'll go in, play each song 3 times and keep the best out of the 3. This aproach has never left me disapointed. I've punched in on a song before...I fealt it was more a pain in the crotch than it was worth. I'd honestly rather record the whole song again.

And, a quote from my Bassist. " Before there was protools, there were professionals."
 

drummert2k

New member
Cretin1":3i50a333 said:
e crotch than it was worth. I'd honestly rather record the whole song again.
" Before there was protools, there were professionals."
that is great. i'll be using that little line quite often!
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
Cretin1":1l98xy3u said:
And, a quote from my Bassist. " Before there was protools, there were professionals."
Dude, people were punching in LONG before pro tools. And I didn't punch in but a couple of times, once because the producer wanted to change the arrangement at the last minute, after we'd already done a great take. Not to sound defensive, but it happens, and it can come in handy, even when someone doesn't necessarily screw up the first time.
 

Cretin1

New member
SmellsLikeIan":h7stkebn said:
Cretin1":h7stkebn said:
And, a quote from my Bassist. " Before there was protools, there were professionals."
Dude, people were punching in LONG before pro tools. And I didn't punch in but a couple of times, once because the producer wanted to change the arrangement at the last minute, after we'd already done a great take. Not to sound defensive, but it happens, and it can come in handy, even when someone doesn't necessarily screw up the first time.
nothing meant by that. I just think it's a funny quote. And, like I said...I've punched in while recording.
 

earldrum

New member
Cretin1":3867ueiu said:
And, a quote from my Bassist. " Before there was protools, there were professionals."
When I started recording (i.e., back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) the professionals were the ones called in if that "other pro-level" was needed for a song or album. That was because professionals could play extremely solid time, had great feel and ideas, and could lock-in with a click if needed.

Today, everyone has the opportunity to sound like a professional with Protools, because the producer/engineer can take the best parts of multiple drum takes and make a terrible drummer sound like a pro.

Here's an example, I engineered a session last year where the drummer refused to lock the groove up (i.e., I asked please play it straight ... hey it’s not my style, man!). He is a great guy and a good drummer, but he wanted to play it his way even if the song didn't call for that type of playing. So after he left, I actually "cut and pasted" 50 bars of his straight groove into the song and it sounded much better. Today this is how it works, when I started, they called the session guy who would replace the drummer's playing and to make the song sound good enough to be on the radio.

We have to face the fact that the technology gives us the opportunity to make the worst player sound great. So I completely agree with the bass player’s quote above.

My advice is for every drummer is to learn how to play with the click, record as much as possible, and then listen closely to how steady your time is because this is what separates a pro from a beginner player. Playing with a click must be smooth and in the pocket.

BTW, nothing hurts more that getting "asked to not play" on your part of all of your bands first record. I know from experience, because it happened to me once. It hurt my pride, but I was determined to learn from that experience and never let it happen again. Today, I am the guy that replaces other drummers who can’t cut it.

Here is my quote, “a great band with a mediocre drummer is a mediocre band, but a mediocre band with a great drummer can be a great sounding band.” We (the drummers) are the foundation of the music; our playing on records needs to be the right type of playing for the song and must be solid and in the pocket always.
 
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