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The simple things that you have learned with time

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricIndecisive, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Hope this isn't in the wrong forum. For me, I have only been recording for about 4 years, but in that time I have learned so much that helps me not only get better results, but get them faster. When I say "studio" I mean my firepod, fruity loops, adobe audition, and my Rode NT2-A. Here's my list...

    #1 - The studio is NOT real!

    I used to feel like using things like equalizers and compression were things that cheaters used. Slight reverb? That's so fake! Now I have learned that (in my music at least) my electric guitars need some meat to em, and that my acoustics need to fill some space.

    Play in time, and in tune

    When I first tried recording, I couldn't play worth a damn with a metronome. I have since remedied that. If something is too fast for me to play in time, I don't bother at all. I like to tune every once in a while during a song to keep it perfect. That stuff is hard to fix afterwards. I know a guy who doesn't tune perfectly in his recordings, and people notice. They say it sounds 'shaky'. Do you want your music to sound like that? No.

    Don't hide the bass

    I used to turn my bass way down because I never took it out of the other instruments, so I ended up with a very muddy mix. If the mix is muddy, then get a broom and sweep those lows out the door. Then crank your central bass.

    Be open to critique

    I am a writer / recorder, and sometimes it's hard to listen to other people. If someone critiques an actual guitar line or note choice, I may not be inclined to change it, since it is the writing. But if someone says something is too loud, or too bassy, or out of tune, give it a second listen.

    Back up your recordings

    Oh boy.. I have lost so many recordings to hard drive failure... But thankfully it motivated me to remake them anyways.

    Listen, listen, listen

    Since I do a lot of writing as I record, songs tend to take a long time. When i get one that pumps me up, I keep listening to it over and over, and without noticing I go back and bring things up a decibel, or down a decibel, or do a little limiting on this note. While what I get is still nowhere near professional recording, it makes me happy. And that's what keeps recording from being just a job. (Even though it's not my job)


    Practice makes perfect

    Knowing your part before you hit the red button makes the take go from fumbling to fabulous. I used to say "I'll edit that out" and "I can fix the timing" but it really sounds so much better if you work it up so you can just nail it.

    Practice isn't for just the part you are going record. Practice your work flow. At least once a week I try to do a quick (~1hr) project start to finish just to get myself wired in with my studio setup.

    Prepare yourself for the recording!

    x - Check to make sure the eq is on...even after you like the change you made with it turned off...

    x - Don't forget to arm the track

    x - Is the mic pointed in the right direction?

    x - Turn on the phantom power

    Check your head....phones

    x - If the singer is sharp their voice may be too quiet in the phones.

    x - Turn up the subdivision in the phones (shaker, high hat)

    Recording makes perfect

    Don't practice, instead always record or you might miss that one time that you did it spectacularly. Don't stop recording until you hear nothing.

    If only I had this I would be so much better...

    Great songs and performances are more important than gear!




    I hope you guys don't mind me adding your advice onto the first post! For the credit, they can always scroll down to see who posted it anyways ;)[/list][/b]
     
  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Practice make perfect
    Knowing your part before you hit the red button makes the take go from fumbling to fabulous. I used to say "I'll edit that out" and "I can fix the timing" but it really sounds so much better if you work it up so you can just nail it.

    Practice isn't for just the part you are going record. Practice your work flow. At least once a week I try to do a quick (~1hr) project start to finish just to get myself wired in with my studio setup.

    Great idea for a thread!
     
  3. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    My corollary to that is after listening, take a break for a while - don't listen to the track at all for as long as you can, then come back with fresh ears. For a hobbyist like me, that might mean a few weeks, time which a pro could probably not afford. But I usually find that what I thought was really good now has all kinds of glaring problems. And so I learn...
     
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Friends will almost never give you an honest opinion. They will tell you what you want to hear for the most part. It's always best to present music anonymously for an opinion, then you can fill them in once they've trashed you. LOL Seriously though, learn to take criticism. If people don't like it, there must be a good reason why.
     
  5. AudioGeezer

    AudioGeezer Active Member

    check to make sure the eq is on...even after you like the change you made with it turned off...

    don't forget to arm the track

    Is the mic pointed in the right direction?

    turn on the phantom

    if the singer is sharp their voice may be too quiet in the phones.

    turn up the subdivision in the phones (shaker, high hat)

    don't practice the take.......always record

    don't stop recording until you hear nothing.

    great songs and performances are more important than gear.
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    When your Minister asks what you're doing next Wednesday, ask why.

    I agreed to come do sound for a school visit that morning. After a few more details were revealed, I spent my afternoon moving pews, chairs, and spent 15 minutes in a 3' high crawl space under the floor poking 28 XLRs on a snake up through a hole.

    My own choice of course, I could have fled the building and never gone back.
     
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    1. Not everything that is posted on line is either true or useful.

    2. Not everyone who professes to being an expert is one.

    3. Some musicians are better than others.

    4. The phrase "this will not take long" is usually NOT true.

    5. The check is in the mail is probably also NOT true.

    6. No matter how much time you think a project will take it will take longer than you planned or budgeted for.

    7. Saying we will "fix it in the mix" is most certainly a cop out.

    8. Most people are honest and hard working.

    9. Today is yesterday's tomorrow (off a fortune cookie).

    10. Most projects are done with 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

    11. The golden rule is really "them that has the gold rules".

    12. Most recording projects start off with the loftiest intentions and go down hill from there.

    13. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and the last person to touch the project will be the one blamed for all the previous mistakes.

    14. Using more and more tracks is a sure sign that the recording project is going no where fast.

    15. There can only be one person who is really in charge. The "more the merrier" is not true and the old adage "to many cooks spoil the broth" is truer than "many hands make work light".

    16. When you have recorded the same song over more than 12 times there is something very wrong.

    17. Most second violinist want to be first violinist in a string quartet.

    18. You cannot change the laws of physics.

    19. Whatever the budget it will be overspent.

    20. Most times when you try and do something on the cheap it will cost you more in the end.

    21. Music is a communicative art. Unfortunately many times it is the lack of communications that destroys a project.

    22. The two things that you cannot escape are death and taxes.

    23. No matter how much time you spend on a project there is always something that you could do better. The trick is knowing when to stop.

    24. It is usually harder to start on something that you don't enjoy than start on something that you do enjoy.

    25. There are only so many hours in a week and attempts to change that will add to your frustration and will not work.


    Have a GREAT holiday.
     
  8. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    26. Read through Tom's list many times before starting a new project
     
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    27. Refer to 26 daily
     
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    1. Art is Work. Therefore, GREAT Art requires MORE Work.

    2. Perfection is impossible without a perfect attitude.

    3. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

    4. You cannot achieve greatness without humility.

    5. Sonic Nirvana is NEVER achieved by fixing it later.

    6. Mic's dont lie.

    7. The shortest distance between ideas and ideals is the distance between your ears.

    8. There is a HUGE sonic difference between subjective listening and objective listening.
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    35. Drugs & alcohol make everything sound better. So make sure you stay home while listening.

    36. Repeat 1 through 35 again & again & again.

    I'm not listening LA LA LA LA I can't hear you. LA LA LA and a partridge in a pear tree.

    Make mine bananas
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  12. Greener

    Greener Guest

    147. Always wear clean underwear.

    2,117. A penny saved is just a penny.

    1. Garbage in, garbage out.
     
  13. JusSumguy

    JusSumguy Active Member

    Don't wear cologne to a gig.

    A friend and I were working a post gig and the producer had to ask for another engineer. Seems he was allergic to my buddys cologne.


    - hmmm.gif
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    always check recording.org for tips and techniques

    (y)
     
  15. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    While I agree wholeheartedly with the rest of your list, I take issue with this one item. Lots of us have a work habit that involves creating tons of tracks. While I won't claim all my studio projects are successful, I've found no correlation between track parsimony and success.

    YMMV.
     
  16. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    1. Keep it simple. stupid.

    Should be number one on anyone's list.
     

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