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  #1  
Old 11-24-2000, 10:11 PM
strata strata is offline
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Default Stupid Question Follows...

I have been playing with the digi 001 for about a month now learning how to use it and so on. The main reason I bought it was to lay down my ideas and possibly record my band. Here is the stupid part...

What is the best way to record a band? some people say they just did it live and used that. But what do they do in a pro studio. The drummer must be playing to a click in order to keep good timing. but what gets recorded first? the whole band, the drummer, what is it.

I need the baby steps version. what to do first, then what to do to get done.

Please help. there is no recording for dummies book on the market. i understand there are all kinds of websites on the subject, but there are too many. I don't need to know equipment or hooking things up. Just what gets recorded first and how. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2000, 11:27 PM
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QuikDraw QuikDraw is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

It really depends on the players that you're working with. Some people like click tracks, and some people stumble all over themselves trying to play with a click. I have the luxury of having an excellent drummer that can play to a click, or with a live band, or with a recording of a band playing to a click. He can do anything I ask of him. That makes things easier.

After trying a few sessions, I've found that this is what works best for me...

I happen to be a bassist. Most drummers like to play with a bassist. I don't like to play while I'm engineering. Just too much to think about. So, I program MIDI drums and a bass track. I'm not a drummer, so it's nothing spectacular. Just something that's got all the right accents and timing and arrangement. I let the drummer put in the tasty stuff on his own. Since I know my bass lines I usually do a pretty good job of programming the bass the same way I play it live.

After I've got the drums and bass programmed I get the guitarist and singer to come over and lay down a basic scratch track of each. Once I've got that done I burn a CD of the programmed drums and bass, and the scratch guitar and vocals, and I give it to the drummer. When the drummer says he's ready he comes in and lays down his tracks.

The drummer will sometimes play to the same mix I gave him on the scratch CD, but often he'll want me to give him a click in addition to the programmed drums. Sometimes his drum part is so different than what I programmed (remember, I'm not a drummer!) that it's distracting, and he'll have me turn the programmed drums off in favor of a click track. The click track is almost never the standard "ONE two three four ONE two three four" that you turn on in Pro Tools. To easy to loose track of the "one" that way. It's usually a "ONE and two and THREE and four" beat with different instruments for the ONE and the THREE so he doesn't get lost. I let the drummer program his own click so he gets exactly what he wants.

After the drums are done I lay down my bass tracks. Then the guitarist comes back in. Then the keyboards if any. Then the singer(s). By this time the drummer usually finds that there are things that he'd like to play differently, so he'll come back and re-do some of his tracks, or maybe do some editing with me.

At this point I've got the whole band recorded and it's time for mixing. Maybe a bit of cheating. Sorry, I mean editing!

Now, with all that said... I still LOVE to record live bands. And if that's the way the band wants to do it, I'm all for it. As long as you have enough I/O and mics, it's a breeze to record live. Just use your imagination for mic placement to get the best sound, and minimize bleed, and live recordings work out great. Just like mixing a live gig except that you have that second chance that you don't get live.

There are other methods as well, but these are my personal favorites. Like I said at the start, whatever the players in any particular session are most comfortable with is the right way to record that session. Each session will probably be a bit different than any other.

Your job as the recording engineer is to get the best sound you can on tape (okay, disk!) of each of the players. Not to change what they sound like, or how they play. You're just a historian catching a moment in audio history. Catch it accurately and you'll have done a great job!

I hope this is helpful.

Mike
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2000, 03:25 AM
greenroom greenroom is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">quote:<HR>Originally posted by QuikDraw:
It really depends on the players that you're working with. Some people like click tracks, and some people stumble all over themselves trying to play with a click. I have the luxury of having an excellent drummer that can play to a click, or with a live band, or with a recording of a band playing to a click. He can do anything I ask of him. That makes things easier.

After trying a few sessions, I've found that this is what works best for me...

I happen to be a bassist. Most drummers like to play with a bassist. I don't like to play while I'm engineering. Just too much to think about. So, I program MIDI drums and a bass track. I'm not a drummer, so it's nothing spectacular. Just something that's got all the right accents and timing and arrangement. I let the drummer put in the tasty stuff on his own. Since I know my bass lines I usually do a pretty good job of programming the bass the same way I play it live.

After I've got the drums and bass programmed I get the guitarist and singer to come over and lay down a basic scratch track of each. Once I've got that done I burn a CD of the programmed drums and bass, and the scratch guitar and vocals, and I give it to the drummer. When the drummer says he's ready he comes in and lays down his tracks.

The drummer will sometimes play to the same mix I gave him on the scratch CD, but often he'll want me to give him a click in addition to the programmed drums. Sometimes his drum part is so different than what I programmed (remember, I'm not a drummer!) that it's distracting, and he'll have me turn the programmed drums off in favor of a click track. The click track is almost never the standard "ONE two three four ONE two three four" that you turn on in Pro Tools. To easy to loose track of the "one" that way. It's usually a "ONE and two and THREE and four" beat with different instruments for the ONE and the THREE so he doesn't get lost. I let the drummer program his own click so he gets exactly what he wants.

After the drums are done I lay down my bass tracks. Then the guitarist comes back in. Then the keyboards if any. Then the singer(s). By this time the drummer usually finds that there are things that he'd like to play differently, so he'll come back and re-do some of his tracks, or maybe do some editing with me.

At this point I've got the whole band recorded and it's time for mixing. Maybe a bit of cheating. Sorry, I mean editing!

Now, with all that said... I still LOVE to record live bands. And if that's the way the band wants to do it, I'm all for it. As long as you have enough I/O and mics, it's a breeze to record live. Just use your imagination for mic placement to get the best sound, and minimize bleed, and live recordings work out great. Just like mixing a live gig except that you have that second chance that you don't get live.

There are other methods as well, but these are my personal favorites. Like I said at the start, whatever the players in any particular session are most comfortable with is the right way to record that session. Each session will probably be a bit different than any other.

Your job as the recording engineer is to get the best sound you can on tape (okay, disk!) of each of the players. Not to change what they sound like, or how they play. You're just a historian catching a moment in audio history. Catch it accurately and you'll have done a great job!

I hope this is helpful.

Mike
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree entirely. Our drummer has been ill and unable to play - therefore drums programmed and recorded, then for us it was acoustics and electrics, then a guide vocal, then bass, then finished vocal and Bvox. The great thing about doing it this way is that you can effectively mix the instrumental tracks and get those 'cock on' as we say in the UK. Then the vox can come in on top - sure, levels may change but the overall balance of the arrangement can be set early on.

Good luck

Phil
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2000, 03:50 PM
dawpro dawpro is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

Click tracks work for some music but not for others. It is allways good to record the

Drums, Bass and Guitar in one pass all live then do over dubs after that.

Sometimes the bands breathing of tempo is a good thing adding a more human element.

There are millions of songs were you can here a tempo change from verse to chorus that is intentional for a desired effect.


On a 8 in setup use 6 mics on the drums and one on the bass and guitar.

If you have more inputs, go direct on the bass and the guitar while still micing the bass and the guitar and then blend the sounds or run the direct sound through a pod ect.

Drums are the most critical and important part of the recording.

Get your recording as tight as possible with the band as one big pass, then substitute the tracks that were not keepers by overdubs.

good luck
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2000, 01:32 AM
Lowfreq Lowfreq is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

Good point. Some drummers CAN NOT play to a click. I usually hit my drummer up (I'm bassist also) early on before the recording date for him to get used to it in the cans. I generally record drums & bass live first. Usually bass is DI'd for now. I'll mic it later. The live feel of drums & bass make a huge differance in most recodings. Next, a guide vocal & rythm guitar tracks. Then backing vocals, mic'd bass (if any). Then lead vocal tracks (all of them). And absolute last is tracking any lead guitar. This (along with lead vocal tracks) is a test of patience. There isn't a right or wrong way to tracking a band. You just need to experiment.

[This message has been edited by Lowfreq (edited November 27, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Lowfreq (edited November 27, 2000).]
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2000, 12:26 PM
strata strata is offline
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Location: Connersville, IN USA
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

thanks for the speedy replies. It will definitely help me out. By the way, I thought the best bass guitar sound was a direct bass rather than micing.

thanks again
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2000, 07:55 PM
dawpro dawpro is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

Record bolth at once then blend them together if you need more fat!!!
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2000, 05:20 PM
joov joov is offline
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Default Re: Stupid Question Follows...

don't know if i'm reinterating what others have said, but here's what works for me. I use a loop based program, Acid, either by designing my own beat, or using combinations of their beats, and import them into my recording program, making sure to set my bars and beats to the same tempo. Then I do bass, then scratch vox and guitars with arrangement ideas and basics, then I over dub drums. I find this method works because the drummer has a 'vibe' with which to groove. Then I edit drums where needed, insert fills, breaks etc. Then start rebuilding the track with the drums perfect. Hope this helps.
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