recording walkthrough and questions

seandude

New member
I'm jw cause i have never been in a/ever recorded a record and soon my band will go in the studio so whats it like? do you do it as a band, or does bass go first or guitar or singing or drums. if drums how do i remember every detail?

i just need some guidance :D
 

drummert2k

New member
who goes first can vary from studio to studio and person to person. i personally like to go in first with just me and the click track for my bands and get some solid takes for the rest of the guys to add on to. but most of the sessions i do, most of the music if not all the music is already done whether its the actual track or just a scratch track and i just lay the drums. and if you're using a click (which i very highly recommend for the sake of punch ins and your overall sound as a band being totally solid) make sure you have tempos and structure planned out for when you get there.

but whatever you feel comfortable with. you have to have 100% confidence on every note you hit or it will show on tape. make sure you're part is down and you're drums are in top shape with tuning and no squeeky or rattling hardware and let the engineer worry about mic angles and posistions and everything from there on out.
 

Timekeep69

New member
Typically you record drum tracks first. What most studios do is have everyone play the song while recording the drum tracks and record "scratch tracks" of the guitar and bass, then they go back and play along to the scratch tracks to record their final tracks. Vocal tracks are recorded last.

Tips would be make sure you have everything down, beats, fills etc., before you go into the studio. You're going to feel nervous and rushed because your paying buy the hour, try to relax, it's no big deal if you don't get it down in one take but you don't want to take 20 takes either.

Good luck!
 

BillRayDrums

New member
You'll set up just like you do in rehearsal except the amplifiers will be in isolation areas and you'll hear through headphones. Everyone will be playing, as normal. Chances are the engineer will have the drums set up on the board for recording; they may or may not have the guitars dialed in all the way, as typically the guitars are laid down at a later time. Drums & bass are generally the first to go down.

Then the guitars will come in, and play over the foundation you guys laid down. Then, the vocalist comes in and puts down their performance. The whole thing is mixed, sent to mastering where all the raw sonic edges are knocked off and polished, and then it's on to duplication where at that point you'll get finished products in your hands.

In my experience, this process can take as little as 2 weeks or up to 10 years, depending on who you are working with and what the project is. I am doing an album with an artist right now and she has to have product in-hand by July 9 for a show. We started 1st week of June and my tracks got done in 2 separate sessions, 5 tracks each. Pretty easy except the second session there was no bassist; I had to "imagine" the bass parts there in songs I barely knew.

Some concepts- draw straight and strong "lines"...in other words, just play the song, don't be going for fancy and technical gymnastics. Tape don't lie, and every mistake you make will be magnified in your head by 1000 times. :) If anything, "underplay" things. The end listener will get a better feeling if they hear a good solid foundation rather than a show-off rhythm section. You are merely one cog in a machine.

When you are recording, don't think about recording. Think about just playing the song or even better, something completely unrelated to music or drumming. I oftentimes think about what I'll be doing later that week when I see my kid. Takes the pressure off!

Good luck!
 

break the prism

New member
for most songs we start with me playing to a click track. however, for songs that change meter frequently, it helps to have another member of the band playing along with me in headphones.
 

Steven McTowelie

New member
when i record i like to do it with just me and the guitarist playing a scratch track. when it comes to actual parts, depending on the band i was recording with, i've gone so far as to write out charts for the song to just going in knowing a skeleton of what i wanted to play, and then just going with the vibe for adding different things. mainly when i record now, i go in with the basic idea of what i want to do, because i really like what can come from being spontaneous. also if you haven't ever played with a click before, you should start now. it can be irritating at first, but you get to the point where the click is your guide and your friend. good luck recording!
 

tomeleefan

New member
I just done with a 3 track demo today! I am beat, my arms feel empty as do my legs. that is what it feels like, but the exhaustion goes away and you have it for the rest of your life. depending on your talent level of your band you can either do tracking vs. together. I didn't read all of your replys but tracking(which means no one else but you and a click track) is the best and you will get the best result, I personally feel. it takes 4 times as long because even the tiniest fuckup and it start all over again. but to really answer your question it is cool and essential to your band but it is alot of work and honestly a real pain in the ass, let us know how it turns out!
 

dennismoody

New member
I will be teaching a class on this subject in New Jersey in August. Drummers at this seminar will be Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, and Jason Bittne. My "class" will go over ALL the things you should be aware of BEFORE you go into the studio so that you will come out looking like a top pro even if you haven't recorded before. And you will get tips from Dave, Steve and the others on playing and more, along with some great shows! Check it out...

http://www.drumfantasycamp.com/

Have fun, maybe I'll see you there!

Dennis

http://www.dennismoody.com
 

drummer4thefreaks

New member
When my band went into the studio, the drums were recorded first, along with the bass and guitar scratch tracks, then the bass was done, then rhythm guitar which was doubled, then lead guitar, and then vocals (which is always funny to watch :p)

It's almost studio time for me again too, so what I'm doing is looking at the songs we're going to record, playing with my own click at home or somewhere else, and making a note of the bpm of it, so as not to faff around with it in studio. I memorize most of the drum parts in my songs, but i might write certain parts down, not because they're difficult, but because i want to play a certain fill at a certain point. Everything i do serves the song that way.

If you don't play with a click and you intend to use one to record (which i'd recommend) get one, but other than that, recording is fun! Enjoy it, and i hope it goes well for you. :D
 

6Pcskinsplitta5A

New member
seandude":1j8cvtk3 said:
I'm jw cause i have never been in a/ever recorded a record and soon my band will go in the studio so whats it like? do you do it as a band, or does bass go first or guitar or singing or drums. if drums how do i remember every detail?

i just need some guidance :D
The best advice I think anyone can give you is Practice, be as comfortable as humanly possible in knowing your material and knowing exactly what you want to do. I always use a click track. Also have an excellent engineer. Other than that just do you.
 
Drums are always first, so the rest of the guys have something to play to when they do their tracks. They'll be playing along with you through your headphones while you are tracking, laying down scratch tracks. Your drum takes will be the permanent.final takes. Then the other guys will go back and do their real tracks over that.
I dont play with a click, I've got solid timing, and I go for the feel. I prefer the other guys to play with me so I feel it and gets me into it more. I find that better results come from doing it that way, and it does show on the recording. You may be in the groove with what the others are playing and come off with something spontaneously that you've never done before that really compliments the other parts.
Basically, you're just groovin and feeling the music and channeling it into your playing. Makes it more lively and the drumming doesnt sound stale and unlively like when you play by yourself to a click.
 

BillRayDrums

New member
Great replies here. It's really refreshing to see how everyone else "does it". It's community like this that excites me about playing drums, sharing what I know, and realizing what I don't know.

I was at the studio tonight and heard tracks from an artist's album I did work on. Half the stuff was tracked with a click, the other half was without. I was really blown away by what I heard. That's a great feeling. :)
 

funkdrmr

New member
My best advice would be to record yourself and the band before you want to do it "for real". I'll elaborate...sorry if it's lengthy.

My band just recorded our debut album ourselves, and did the mixing in a very nice studio (where "Lost, Lilo & Stich, and some name artists have done their mixing). The experience was FANTASTIC, as I'm an aspiring recording engineer. What I didn't realize, however, is that we didn't know all of the little details ike the original poster asked about.

We, fortunately, were on our own schedule, and spent about 6 months recording, fixing, re-recording, fixing again, and then mixing the songs. All of the fixing was tweaking parts of the songs here & there.

You just WILL NOT hear those cool guitar or bass lines that you can play in & out of at practice all the time. Or, maybe you're throwing what everyone thinks is a really cool fill, yet when recorded you realize that it's just overplaying and not tasteful at all. As well, you may think you're groovin', only to find out you speed up 10bpm every chorus. You more than likely just WILL NOT know these things until you record yourself and hear them for yourself.

I mention the time involved, because figuring this out when money is on the line sucks. I see bands all the time come in to our studio un-prepared, and it's just a waste of money and the engineer's either fix it (more money), or tell the band to come back when they've got it together.

As for the click.....by all means RECORD TO A CLICK. This will help your engineer with editing later in the process, and will also keep your songs steady from start to finish. Don't want to sound mechanical while playing to the click?.....learn how to play with it! Swing with it! Push it, lay back, do everything you want to do, but ALWAYS practice and record with a click if you can.

My last tip....have fun and learn a thing or 2 about your playing. I've found nothing more revealing, humiliating, and gratifying all at the same time like recording my drum parts. There's always something to learn & critique, but when it's all said & done be happy and passionate about your music and THAT will show on the recording more than any chops than you can dream of!
 

drummer4thefreaks

New member
Another thing i would have to say is obviously to remember when you're in the studio, and you get your drum tracks played back, everyone is their own worst critic. You can be indecisive, but limit your indecisive-ness depending on how much time you have in the studio. What you might think sucks probably doesnt. I'm really bad for this so i'm told lol :roll:

My band only had 1 day tracking and 1 day mix for our demo, so not that i needed longer than i had to get three tracks down (about an hour with set up and warm up time n stuff too) but i decided not to. The tracks were fine, but i probably would've done a lil more work with them if i'd had extra time.
 

drumteacher41

New member
Hi, I am a pro drummer, I have recorded hundreds of cd's/tv spots/radio spots/cartoon etc. With the advent of pro tools the studio is truly an amazing place to be Sometimes u do air to the room. meaning everybody plays at once and it's recorded. Pro tools you would more than likely record alone. The sound engineer and producer guide u. What happens is the band lays a bed track down than u listen to the track while playing (minus drums of course) click in 1 ear, other musicians in other ear and also sound guy/producer kicks in and out as he /she needs to talk to u. Usual order;
assuming these instruments are used of course:
Drums
bass
rhythm guitar
leadguitar
keys
percussion
lead vocal
bacvk ups
overdubs
other- effects sounds/rain lightning whatever. Good luck have fun...DT41
 

drumteacher41

New member
Hi, One other think i'd like to add. I always play with a click track. Every studio drummer plays with a click. Quite often I get hired to play with a band that already has a drummer, problem is; Cant play with a click and make it sound not stiff.So I play in the studio for that drummer. This usually pisses them off.To avoid this I suggest lots of metronome practice/grooves/phrases/fills/stick control. U can make a feel real happening without sounding stiff once u get used to the click. Dont panic if u go off a little relax and let the feel flow. Dont stiffen up because of the click. Any pro studio, u will always play with a click almost always. Occasionally you wont be required to use a click. Hope this helps...DT41
 

Maajkel

New member
I prefer recording drums, bass and guitar(s) all at once. And without click track. Vocals, extra guitars, ... are added later. This way all sounds much more spontaneous. I guess a lot depends on what style of music you play, too...

Personally I would be pissed off too if some studio-drummer would take my place. I should practice on playing with a metronome, but then again, when I 'm in the studio I play kinda tight (tight enough for <a target="_blank" href="http://myspace.com/shuemusic" title="Shue on MySpace">our kind of music</a>)
 

dirk

New member
Depends how well your band is trained and how much experience you guys have in playing together. I prefer to play all at once, but this is only suitable for people with a little bit of studio practice. It also depends on the studio's capability to record a whole band at once. I only met a few people who know how to get that right. I think for a first experience you should go like this:

Record a Dirt-track with the whole band at once - Use the click to do it. If all of you have the click it might help you to play steady with the bass guitar in combination (you can help each others)

Then go for the drums single first, that way your bass man can match your groove best. An then whatever other thing. Just take it easy and enjoy the experience. You know best what you can do, so don't try to play stuff in the studio you've never tried before. That typically leads to frustration if it doesn't sound like you thought.

Have fun, brother....
 

m

New member
Maajkel":334u1maa said:
I prefer recording drums, bass and guitar(s) all at once. And without click track.
I think we all would prefer to record that way, but it rarely happens.

You've got to have a super-tight band, and a very good studio and engineer to pull it off.
 

Maajkel

New member
ok, I agree. Tightness is important. But imho so is energy and sounding spontanious. It all depends on what your priority's are.

But if you don 't manage to play kinda tight without click, I agree you should use one...

Also nice to know: Recording in a studio is great fun!!! So enjoy !!
 
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