Time To Record, The Adventure Begins…


Adventurer

It’s time to record.  You’ve decided which song to cut, and you’ve set up your session.  Now what?

That's assuming you've got your ridiculous golden parachute pants on already.

That’s assuming you’ve already put on your ridiculous golden parachute pants.

You are now standing on the precipice of a million different options, methods and techniques.  Do you record it live with the whole band playing together, or do you take a more surgical approach and track each instrument individually, striving for the “perfect” take, wearing everyone’s patience down to dust.

"Let's see if Shelley Duvall is still smiling after the 127th take." - Stanley Kubrick

“Let’s see if Shelley Duvall is still smiling after the 127th take.” – Stanley Kubrick

Most of the time, an experienced engineer will be able to listen to the demo and/or speak to the composer. Pick their brain, be able to determine what would best service the song, and from that point decide the recording techniques and equipment to use.  “But seiñor Deinesaur, what if you are not experienced?” you may ask.

Then you listen to more Jimi Hendrix Experience, obviously.

You listen to more Jimi Hendrix Experience, obviously.

Now comes the scary part, the great unknown.  Not unlike the Oregon Trail, you begin by picking your equipment.  Microphones, placement, preamplifiers, location, etc.  Its wide open.  And guess what? Results will vary!  If you aren’t sure what direction to go in, its time to take a chance and roll them bones!

You know you want to ford the river...

You know you want to ford the river…

The path from greenhorn to experienced pro is a long one, fraught with feedback, hiss and phased recordings.  The coolest thing about that journey is that the “right way” or “wrong way” to record have both yielded excellent, cool or interesting (and very usable) results.  Sometimes… they don’t.

I wonder what dysentery sounds like through a flanger...

I wonder what dysentery sounds like through a flanger…

Make no mistake, being educated and using good techniques will inevitably help you reach your goal quicker and/or easier, and knowledge of your equipment may save you thousands of dollars and prevent misuse.  Blow up one ribbon microphone using phantom power and you will be more shell-shocked then a Walmart shopper on black friday.

You can use the money you saved on rolled-back prices to post bail!

You can use the money you saved on rolled-back prices to post bail!

But to get there, you’ve got to grow and gain experience.  Record some songs.  Try using a kick drum mic on vocals, see what it sounds like.  See how easy or hard it is to mix it in with the rest of the song, and go from there!  There’s nowhere to go but up!

– Deinesaur

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s