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all-at-once vs overdubbing

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Danthomir, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Danthomir

    Danthomir Guest

    Last weekend I recorded a rock band all at once, including vocals in the same room. The whole session took 8 hours, including mixing and some "mastering" [slamming the masterbus :p].
    Overall it sounded pretty solid, and big... maybe a little too much reverb [from bleeding, not digital], but just fine...
    But in the meantime, I'm working on a symphonic-metal project, where everything is recorded seperately, drums first; with clicktrack. It took us more than 3 weeks, full time, and we're still at mixing stage.
    Everything is perfect in timing and next-to-perfect in pitch, but the whole project sounds thin and dull, compared to the 8-hours production...

    I tried to fix things with artificial reverb and delay, both on the induvidual tracks, as on the master- and subbus(es)... But it still lacks some kind of feeling...
    It is not the playing or the timing; I know sometimes natural tempo-changes are better than a click, but the tempo feels just right... It is pure the sound that bothers me...

    Any help on this one? Any tips&tricks to get the sound right?
     
  2. It is down to the timing, but very subtle things, more groove and energy than timing... Playing drums to a click is pretty damn boring and then that boring groove is what underlies and inspires (or doesn't!) everything else. The best way is to track everyone together, like you did with the rock band, so everyone is feeding off each other and really grooving. Consider the drums and maybe bass and guitars as keepers and everything else as 'guide' to be replaced later and set up your gear accordingly (e.g. put your best mics on the drums, isolate them from everything else, if you're running short on gear, then use the plastic tandy mics on things like vocals that will definitely go.. Make sure you've got a rocking headphone mix that everyone is happy with and then hit record...
    This should give you a nice groove that swings along, even if it's recorded with a click. Then you can start overdubbing the guitars, vocals etc and they should pick up on the nice groove and sound a lot more interesting. When you've got it all working together, then it should be inspiring for the vocalist to do his/her stuff. If it's sounding flat and weak, then they're going to give a half-arsed performance too.
    If you really can't track the whole band togther then put down an energetic guide guitar/vocal first to play the drums to...
    You might end up with only 1 or 2 tracks that are original, but all the overdubbed tracks should have at least a bit of the life and energy that the guides had, maybe better, and you've got the time to make sure they're all in tune and note-perfect...
     

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