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saving money at the studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by igotnosmoke, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. igotnosmoke

    igotnosmoke Active Member

    hey guys,

    my band plans to hit the studio in 2 weeks... we have booked 2 days (16 hours total) to record 5 songs...

    My plan is to record guitar vocal stratch track plus metronome setup at my place... record drums in the studio together with main guitar parts and main vocal parts.

    Then go back into my home studio record backing vocals + guitar harmonies and suttle guitar parts.

    Then finally import everything back into the studio for mixing and mastering.

    I am contemplating whether it is worth while sacrifising the Bass and recording it at home via DI or a bass pod v2 and focusing on the other parts in the studio as a better means of time spent given the low budget we have to record the E.P...

    Just wondering whether anyone can give any opinions on this...

    http://www.centralrecordingstudio.com.au - thats the studio we are recording at... apperantly use the same console that was used in the appetite for destruction album.

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well, quite personally, I like to track everybody live, at once. You got to get that feel. It comes with the cohesiveness of everybody performing together. If you cut your guitar and scratch vocal track first, you limit all spontaneity. Magic happens when everybody gets together. Boring happens when you try to make everything technically correct.

    And their Trident 80B console ain't bad. It's a popular quality sounding desk. Sure, you can handle some of that incidental stuff at home. But get yourself well rehearsed and pull together in the studio.

    Get it down!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Unless your group is full of people who have spent hundreds of hours of practice time playing with a metronome, I'm with Remy on this. Playing with a click and maintaining any swing takes tons of practice. Most bands are better off playing live in the studio where they can give a better, more soulful performance. I'd do 2-3 takes of each song to start your session off. I'd record the guitar direct so there's no bleed. If the guitar solos are great you can reamp them - if not redo them. Throw in harmonies and flourishes. Five song in 16 hours. Stick a fork in it. It's done. That's what your band sounds like right now.
  4. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Plus, and I am just making an educated guess that I hope is cosigned by Remy, BobRogers, et al, but you may want all of your vocals done at the studio in that more optimal environment.

    I can appreciate your foresight in trying to decide how to best maximize your studio time resources, but don't forget your main goal of a quality end result. People not wasting time goofing off = time to do the backing vocals there, for example.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Reading their expensive-looking website, I see the studio does not yet have any microphones. That apart, what are you trying to achieve by chopping up the recording in this way? Is it just trying to save studio time and hence cost? You are in danger of not getting the project completed satisfactorily if you parcel up the task too much, quite apart from the musical integrity of the performance that Remy and Bob mentioned.

    I suggest you sit down with the studio manager well in advance of the booked date and explain to him what you proposed to do, making it clear this was an attempt to keep the costs within budget rather than expressing a lack of confidence in his facilities and operational competence. I hope he can convince you to run it all in the studio.
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member


    Mics appear to be mistakenly at the end of the list under "Outboard Equipment", instead of under "Microphones". BTW, I think you are all correct about just doing it all in the studio. If you got the chance, might as well use their equipment and ears.

  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    There's a possibility I was being slightly ironic, but websites, like brochures, do give an indication of degree of attention to detail, often transferable to the product.
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Probably some dumb web team who put the site together can't tell a microphone from a compressor and put it all under one heading, and since the site is only to keep marketing happy, it was never checked.
  9. natural

    natural Active Member

    igotnosmoke- Your plan is do-able and can produce favorable results.
    What we don't know is, if your group can pull it off.
    There's no way to know until you try the experiment.
    You have an excellent opportunity coming up, so lets do a little time management.
    You have 16 hrs in 2 days. lets say 2 eight hour days.

    The first day, you'll use up about 2 hours on the front end setting up the drums etc. (some studio's charge full rate for this time some don't)
    You'll lose another 2 hours on the back end doing archiving and taking various breaks, (food, bathroom, smoke, tuning, arguing, minor repairs etc)
    That leaves about 4 hours left. Half of this should be spent listening back to the various takes.
    that leaves at least 2 hours of actual tracking.
    On this first day. pick 2 of the easiest songs to do.
    Prepare them the way you suggested with clik and scratch tracks.
    Do this version first and laydown several takes of song #1. Then do several more takes as suggested above without the clik .
    (since you just did the song several times with the clik, you'll still be in the ballpark BPM wise and will probably lock together better)
    On to song #2.
    At the end of the day, you'll have a better feel for how to procede on day 2. ( where you should have a good solid 3 to 4 hours of actual tracking time)
    You can continue the same process and then sort it out at the home studio.
    And at the end of the experiment, you'll come back and tell us which way worked best for you.
    And you will have learned some very valuable lessons along the way.
    And if you're thinking, that this approach will take twice as long, it won't.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I checked out the web site and it seems they spent most of their remodel budget on the room. This IS a good thing for the most part but there are some 'prosumer' gear pieces still being listed on their equipment log.

    I, for one, am not overly impressed by "Be#$^*)@ger tube pres no matter how good the room is. The 80B is a very nice sounding console, and the recorders are all very nice if they are well-maintained.

    All the advice you have gotten on how to proceed is spot-on. Its up to you at some point to determine whether or not the personnel you have in the group can cut the pressures of a short timeframe recording session.

    Being rehearsed is the complete factor in determining this. Another point will be the selection of the 'Producer'. This is the ONE person....and I emphasize the ONE....that makes the FINAL determination on the sounds and the direction of the session. Meeting with the engineer who will be running the session and being upfront and direct about the producers role and who the studio defers to in any decision making circumsatnces, will directly effect the outcome of the sessions.

    This is a MUST DO. Or you spend too much time on decisions and lose your abilities to do several takes on a song. Several versions gives you choice ...and since a recording is simply a small stop-action segment of life, you'll want these to have some variety simply to find the best moment to forever bind your musical vision to.
  11. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Another vote for track it all at the studio.

    That being said, I have worked on many projects where we went in to do all of the basic tracks and then took rough mixes of them home. We would then try various ideas and approaches for the overdubs while listening to the cassette (boy, did I just date myself!) or CD, and be back in the studio a few days later for the actual overdubbing process. Another couple days of listening and critiquing, a day of fixes, and then mixing a few days after that. This streamlined what in the era of 2" tape and nothing in the way of project studios was a very expensive process. The secret was REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE!!!

    Unfortunately these days there seems to be a reliance on technology to fix problems rather than musicianship to get it right the first time. I hate things like Beat Detective and Auto-Tune; yeah, I use them, but I would rather not. And what ever happened to doing complete takes? It seems like I'm forever comping instrument solos and vocal performances. Takes all the passion out of the performances.

    I miss the spontaneousness of the old analog days - drifting synth patches, slightly out of tune guitars, quirky effects units, real tape compression... Some of the weirdest, craziest, most magical wonderful things happened. "Dark Side Of The Moon" wouldn't sound the same if it weren't for the out of tune guitars (slight intonation problem?) and three notes out of tune on the Rhodes. Out of tune you say? Yup, just a little, but it completely changes the tonality.

    And why is everything so loud all the time? The whole point of digital technology, at least originally, was to be able to record and play back extremely quiet sounds without all the extraneous noise. Hasn't anyone heard of dynamics? The musical kind, not the processing kind...

    Sorry, I'll get off the soapbox now...
  12. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    I always wondered what it'd be like if they had put Auto tune on Hendrix.

  13. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member


    Just for having that thought you should be racked, drawn and quartered, hung and burned at the stake!
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Probably make him sound like Cher. With enough plastic surgery he can probably be made to look like her even today!
  15. DonnyWright

    DonnyWright Guest

    How to save money in the studio:
    1) Get a real good nights sleep. Especially important for singers.
    2) Don't get stoned unless you're one of those folks who can't function any other way.
    3) Make sure you know the bpm of each song. Check what you think against a metronome at the session because often the excitement of the studio enviroment skews your sense of tempo.
    4) Don't drink alchohol until after the days work is done and then keep it lite so not to screw up the next day.
    5) HAVE FUN!!!! and yes that really is possible despite rule 2 and 4!!


  16. igotnosmoke

    igotnosmoke Active Member

    awesome thanks for the feedback...

    i will definately show u guys the tracks once complete.. and provide a report of how things went...

    fortunately for our sake our drummer is good friends wit hthe studio owner, so he will let us set up the drum kit the night before and do a bit of testing..


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