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how to.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by kliffdog, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. kliffdog

    kliffdog Guest

    I have been recording my own guitar and vocals for a while now. and now I am going to take on a band that wants me to make their demos for them. I have never recorded a whole band before. I want to look like I know what I'm doing ( fake it till I make it! ) so a few pointers would be nice. My setup: ableton live on a PC W/an Alesis 16 track mixer. (firewire) I just baught a 7 piece mic set for the drums, and I have mics for vocals, ect. I am going to have to do the thing in layers I think, because I don't have enough inputs, nor space to do the band live. and I'm not sure where to start. should I record vocals and guitar at the same time? and then add the bass, drums, ect? I think that this will help get that feel of a live recording. Thats just one idea. anybody got a little somtin somthin for me? how do you do it?[/b]
  2. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    good question

    In the case of my band... my drummer is pretty good at playing the beat to the click track w/ either bass or by himself. In my opinion, getting a good drum track is the 1st order of precedence, since they should lead the band. Most of the time this is the case, but not always. Furthermore, not all drummers can do the take w/ out any music and even then it might not sound ideal either. Sometimes I record the song w/ the band and I capture as many tracks as possible, while trying to separate the sounds too. All this while the drummer plays along w/ a click track. Then I try to use those instruments as a monitor for the drummer to do his takes. This way is not as easy for me cuz the click sometimes gets lost a lil bit. My best advice is to be honest w/ the guys your recording and let them know the limitations your up against and see what way they think is best for them... I personal like to record the drums then add in everything after u get the drums as good as u can!!! Good luck there!!! Jer :cool: 8)
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Agreed. The 2 most difficult issues when tracking are timing and tuning. OK, drum mic placement can be a bitch to the novice...
    Because of the fact that you state that there isn't enough room for the entire band in your recording space, I question whether you should be recording live drums in it. But, as far as the band understands the limitations here, you may as well give it a try.
    Like the Doc said, some drummers can play to a click track, but most non-professional drummers really can't. Having the bassist in there will help, especially if they can "lock together" with eye contact and a decent headphones mix. You DO have enough 'phones and an amp to drive them...right? The guitars and/or vocals playing along as "scratch" tracks MIGHT help, as long as the other players don't "bleed" into the drum mics
    TOO much. Speaking of that, you might want to hold back on using all of those 7 drum mics on the kit in a smallish room. Is this a garage or den type of scenario? Try starting off with just a snare/kick/overhead arrangement. MANY times, less is more with drum mics. Too many mics makes too many problems (do you know about 'phase cancellation'?).

    Also, if these players are relatively newbies at recording, "layering" will be alien to them and they may not be comfortable with it. Patience runs thin at this point, tempers flare, harsh words are exchanged, guns are drawn... :lol:
    SO, how many channels on that Alesis mixer? If you stick with the snare/kick/OH mic'ing on the kit, you can rig the tom mics as guitar amp mics, DI (or mic) the bass amp, and still have a few vox mics, right? Maybe you can do the band in a "live pass" to keep their feel and tempo. Then you can go back and dub solos and "real" vox tracks to polish it up.
    This might help move things along a bit so that the creative flow doesn't get too muddled. Good luck!
  4. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    Try using a ghost track.

    Have the guitar/singer record a song to a click track. Make it sound as good as possible, but don't loose sleep over it. You will throw this away.

    Record the drums. Record the bass. Add guitars. Add vocals.

    This way, instead of a click track for the drummer to use, you are using the ghost track of the song. It allows a map for him to follow, and is often easier for drummers to use (unless the guy knows the stuff so well and can play to a click). You and the drummer can get it right without having the whole band sitting around doing nothing. Then you add the rest, one track at a time.

    Ghost track.
  5. kliffdog

    kliffdog Guest

    Thank you guys! I got a few ideas and I think I'll run with em.

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