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Bedroom Recording... oooof

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Kylemac, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Kylemac

    Kylemac Guest

    So I don't know how familiar anyone here is with true screamo music, but let me say, the genre as a whole, lacks decent recording. Being that it's a low budget D.I.Y. scene, that's to be somewhat expected, but even the guys that are on more major "Indie" labels are having some rough recording issues, so basically what I am getting around to is this...

    One major thing about screamo is the fact that it uses a lot of very fast chord progressions, kind of like punk and power chords, except it actually uses barred minors and things and the sound just kind of sounds cluttered and messy. Thing's I've known bands to do are to keep the guitars clean and just turn up the volume on them to acquire a sort of natural gain, turn down their gain significantly, or just go with it and let it sound bad. So I'm asking for points to trouble shoot this problem without having to alter my own tone. For examples of the bands I'm talking about

    http://www.myspace.com/laquiete
    http://www.myspace.com/raein
    http://www.myspace.com/louisecyphre

    Any help will be appreciated, thanks-Kyle
     
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    I didn't listen to the examples, but I have a good idea what you are talking about.

    There's always the possibility that they do that purposely. If they are trying to convey anger, and are trying to be anti-establishment types, what better way to do it than ignore practices that make for "polite" recordings, and produce a grating, dissonant bed of cacophonous noise? If the intent is to irritate everyone but their loyal followers...this is actually a legitimate way to work.

    Cleaning some of that up might actually take the angst out of it and turn them into "sell-outs".

    On the other hand, most people do like a better recorded sound. Less-distorted guitars CAN have more power than guitars with massive distortion. Too much distortion takes the notes away, and leaves indiscernable mush.

    Much of what you want to know can be achieved by panning, and keeping each instrument's tones from clashing in overlapping frequencies so that parts don't reinforce particular ranges of frequencies and make things muddy and/or pop out of the mix. Instead of the bass and both guitars (if there are two) running full frequencies, try getting them out of the way of each other with the amps' and/or guitars' tone controls a bit. Tell the bass player to maybe get rid of some highs, or play lower on the neck. If he's getting into the guitars' frequencies...get him out. Same with the guitars. If they are going down low, with a lot of bass on the amps...lighten up. You may be competing with the basses upper end. The guitars may be trying to get that "dark, ominous" tone...that 7-string detuned thing...whatever, and trying to get more power by getting too bassy. Something's gotta give. The bass player may just have to be content with playing the lowest of the lows, unless he is given room to come up occasionally.

    Bass, kick drum and, maybe, snare right down the middle. Pan the rest of the drums and cymbals a bit.

    Guitar left, guitar right. "Screamoid" down the middle.

    Space and tone. Maybe some better mic placement choices. Could need a bit of compression on some things. You have to give each element it's own space to be heard clearly. If the bass and double-kick are too busy, and the drummer is getting his p-ed off mood by beating the floor toms continuously...there's gonna be a lot of low end stuff.

    On the other hand...that may be too polite for screamo :wink:

    Just some thoughts.

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  3. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Great post. Especially the middle paragraph. Good reminder.

    LOL at "screamoid."

    "Screamist"???
    "Screamian"???
    "Scream-meister"???
     
  4. I don't know about such a cookie-cutter description: both the speed of chord changes and voicings would be relative to the song.

    I don't mean this to be as smart as it may sound, but sincerely, is Thursday "true" screamo? Their recordings sound really cut, and this is surely due to both production and arrangement. Ergo, it might be helpful to take the time to make sure everyone knows everyone else's parts and isn't vying for the same spectral/temporal space. Or perhaps, that everyone is consciously doing such.

    Maybe trying a fuzz for guitar instead of distortion would be helpful, or a Seymour Duncan pickup booster to make the amps quack a little harder. If your guitar setup is golden, however, maybe most important would be finding a place where your drummer's [likely shoddy (from experience)] kit sounds the best, and spending time to make it breathe in the recordings. Edgy guitar and roomy vocals really do it for me if the drums aren't too distracting.
     
  5. quadrivium

    quadrivium Guest

    As Kapt said, a lot of this can be solved by keeping the instruments tonal ranges from stepping all over each other either by panning or having them play in different registers etc. I have found that the bass mids are usually a good place to start chopping...If you make the bass EQ a 'V' where the lows and highs are emphasized but the mids are out, you will get an immediate benefit to the rest of the band... ps: use hearing protection!
     

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