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Discussion in 'Recording' started by sirchick, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    I was speaking to a guy who does recording and stuff he's in the professional level of mastering etc does it for business money making so he knows his stuff.. but he mentioned to me he has some times up to 250 tracks for one song..

    I was like what on earth for ... isn't that a bit overkill cos surely if you have 250 tracks going on your never going to get it exactly the same live(which is what i strive to try and do) ? What is 250 tracks needed for?

    Because I know some of the artists I listen to have said they use tops 3 or 4 for guitar one for lead 2 for bass and then like 10 or so for drums ... but I don't understand why 4 tracks for one instrument :S I don't notice any different when i record it in 4 tracks at the same time except its louder :S ...

    What is that all about?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think it comes down if you cannot wow them with genius you need to wow them with bull crap. I think that's crazy excessive nonsense! I can only help to maximize your minimal capabilities and lack of knowledge to exercise things to the excess. This can help to justify their miserable existence of incompetence. If people knew just how really easy it was to make quality recordings, they couldn't charge exorbitant amounts of money for their services. Maybe that's why I'm not a wealthy studio owner? I like simple, fast, easy, less is more, gratuitous sex and more sex. If you want to practice over complications try brain surgery? Jethro Bodine did. Maybe this guy went to the Jethro Bodine school of recording farts and non-sciences?

    Elevating the higher standards of lower education
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    I don't know about 250, but my last project (http://www.myspace.com/fromheredown song 1) had ~70 tracks, when you take into account that theres multiple mics(And thus multiple tracks) per instrument, plus all the group channels for mixing, it can add up pretty quick.

    For example, theres like 7 or 8 guitar tracks on that song, 3 mics(3 tracks) per guitar... thats 21 tracks just for the guitars, then two for the bass guitar, then like 10-12 for the drums, plus all the group tracks, etc etc etc...
  4. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    why 7 or 8 for a guitar though ? Isn't one or even 2 enough =/ ?
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well, Clowd, after carefully listening to your tracks, I can safely say this is a beautiful example of 70 tracks that is approximately 62 tracks too many. Requiring 70 tracks to accomplish this chainsaw sound of guitars and lackluster drums equals inexperienced engineering with lack of technique. Sorry, not to be hard on you but it is hard rock that is hard to take seriously as it hardly demonstrates any sensible hard creative technique. It's just hard to believe.

    There is nothing here that requires 70 tracks. So it's blah blah bull crap. Of course, you probably don't want to really hear what I have to think about this. It's too bad. This is sad. And where did you learn this lack of technique you have? What gives you the mindset that what you accomplished here involves any kind of superior sonic qualities? Because, it ain't happening. It's not the equipment. It's the lack of engineering chops. There's nothing that has been recorded here that could have been done with a single SM57. Believe it. So your advice here is without merit and lacks any comprehensive understanding of recording a quality product. And certainly I'm not mad at you or angry or disgusted buy anything you have done here. It's just that it's not professional nor professional sounding. In spite of the fact that I don't care for metal much, I've heard good metal that's good as gold. I've heard bad metal that's as toxic and as heavy as plutonium, which this approach is. Granted, there are probably folks out there that will think you're some kind of genius? Perhaps you are? But I certainly wouldn't hire you if this was your demo. If you had told me that you had used a half a dozen Radio Shaft microphones and a battery-powered mixer, I'd say you did a great job! Personally, that's what I believe I'm listening to here. It certainly doesn't even sound like a Beringer with a dozen SM57's. If it was, it would sound way better than this, even if you hadn't touched a single equalizer. You need to work on your technique some more and learn that less is more, simple is best. Then you will start to produce something that people will want to listen to, provided they like this kind of metal?

    You can't fix stupid but you can try
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Yes and no.

    If you do something like Van Halen, one or two tracks are enough (mostly), but to build a wall like Linkin Park you will need 4-8 or even more.


    - two amps (and two guitars) each with two mics (57 + R 121 / S 421 ….)
    - four takes (two alternate) … at least
    - DI (re-amping…)
    - SDC to pick up the strumming of el. guitar (inside iso booth)

    If you print back parallel compressed track, then parallel bus compression …

    The list of possibilities just goes on … and just for one simple riff.

    Anyway, 250 … is way too much
  7. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    Why would you record the same guitar with two mics ? Surely the two would almost create a cancel out effect between the two of them ?

    Plus you'd have two different tone's going on at once which would sound inconsistent ? =/
  8. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Two mics will give you two different colors (think of 57 as bite and some ribbon as meat). If you set it right, in phase, and record in separate tracks …. your guitar will sound bigger. It’s common and well known approach.
  9. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    Jesus christ. I didn't go out of my way to use a lot of tracks, nor did I claim that it's the best way to go, that I am some sort of professional... I did these all by myself, for my own band, in my basement. I just explained that it's not that infeasible to have a lot of tracks. Think about it, the cleans get their own tracks. I did two takes at three mics each, for choices during mixdown (I didn't use all of them) the rhythm guitars get 3 mics each, there are left and right side takes, so thats 6 tracks.. (I use the different mic's levels as an EQ, more center mic = more highs, etc etc... the only other EQ I use is a high pass filter on the guitars as a whole) plus the bridge guitars got their own tracks, and again I did two takes (didn't use all of them) and then there's the claps and synths... plus two bass drum mics, two snare drum mics, a mic on each tom, 2 overheads, and a room mic(which again, I didn't end up using) I really don't see what is so wrong with this approach. I would like to see you get the same results with only using a few sm57s??? like, seriously, I would be very interested to see that actually happen.

    FURTHERMORE your post is basically useless, as, did you even try to explain what I could do to improve? no. You just insulted me and what I have worked very hard on. I have learned what I have by myself through books and these forums... through experiments, which both of these projects are, and I learned a lot for next time, and jeez, all without your down talking!!

    Not to say that you don't know more than me, because you clearly do, and most likely been in the business for longer than I have even been alive (I'm 19) but I really don't think these recordings are that bad. Not that I think I'm great, or that these recordings are great, but they are certainly a lot better than a lot I have heard here and elsewhere. So I could do without the straight up insulting, and I would actually really appreciate tips on how to improve, from someone who clearly knows a lot about the field.
  10. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    uhmmmm how bout everyone has their own taste and such?

    some people woudl rather get it done quick and easy (remy) some like to experiment..a lot (clowd). two extremes but none the less they both work. i dont see anything wrong with either idea. i liek to experiment with mixing different mics to get a certain tone. so i dont find a problem micing things multiple times with different mics, different amp, etc.

    so both of u guys are right. so everyone needs to calm down a wee bit.
  11. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    If it just sounds louder then you want to move the mics around a bit, space them out, flip the phase on one or two, do what the Beatles did - take all the low end out of one or two mics, take all the highs out of another, experiment, see how that sounds.

    Four tracks per instrument (more specifically, guitars) is a bit of overkill in certain situations. It's worthwhile if you want to pick up the amplifier's front, back, and some ambient room sound, but if you are doing something heavy like you have on your Myspace page (not saying that you recorded that way, just using it as an example), the effect of blending the 4 can get lost in the mix. It's something you'd want more on, say, a ballad, something with sparse guitars, or a lead track, to give it a different sound...

    I'll throw this one out there again:
    Metallica was known for recording a lot of guitar tracks, enough to pan across the face of the clock, from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock (Hard Left across to Hard Right). They made them work together by purposely offsetting the compression slightly on each track - not to where they were pumping and breathing, but just enough that they fought each other ever so slightly in the mix, and thus they made a big wall of guitars, as can be heard on tracks like Master Of Puppets and Welcome Home Sanitarium.

    That's experimentation (and overkill) that ended up working and made that the classic metal album that it is considered today (I wore that one out on both vinyl and in my Walkman tape player!).

    But, I digress.
    I maintain (along with Remy) that you can get a great guitar sound with one 57 aimed just off center of the cone in the cabinet. But, I'll also throw a 421 in the back if time warrants, and if it's an open back, just for that little extra oomph.

    Another thing I want to throw out there:
    Use a small amp, like a single 12 or 2x12, they usually bite bigger at a lower volume on mic than an 8x12 full stack running wide open (Leave those 8x12's for the stage).

    The only thing I can think of where it's common to have upwards of 250 tracks is in film scoring. I don't work in that field, so I'm probably talking out of my ass here, but it sounds about right...
  12. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    Exactly - Experimentation is what it's all about.

    Outside of music theory and acoustics, and blah blah blah, it all boils down to experimentation when you turn that preamp up!
  13. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    Yes! thank you bent.

    now if everyone could spread the good word and calm down!

  14. Cosme

    Cosme Guest

    This is an interesting post, I´ve always asked myself a question, why does Protools HD 3 come with 192 simultaneous tracks? What mix has 192 tracks? The most gigantic project I´ve ever mixed only had like 40 and like 10 of those 40 tracks were used only for effects and stuff, little details. And this product is an industry standard.
  15. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    but i think the reason for all those tracks is for those big orchestra's and such that are used in big budget films and such along with other tracks used for film. and for maybe even a big budget band that uses large orchestra's. and quite a lot of mic's are used to record that entire orchestra in many ways. but ya, a lot can come into play, overkill or not....it can happen.
  16. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    I am looking for an article in I believe Mix Mag, or maybe EQ where they interviewed the cats that engineered Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody (Edit - Roy Thomas Baker produced, FYI).

    You want to talk about a ton of tracks?

    They did so many overdubs and mix-downs of the opera vocal parts that the original tape nearly shredded.

    The original tape passed the heads so many times that the drum tracks distorted, and nearly disappeared - but they still used them in the final mix!

    There were originally something like 120 tracks...

    Probably the most in rock history at that time...

    If I can find that link I'll post it shortly.

    (Anyone know why the AKG site is down?)
  17. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    OK, fun reading time:


    Yeah, I found it on Blender, but I know that I didn't originally read it there...

    Says that there were 180 vocal overdubs!

  18. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    By the way guys, are my recordings/songs really THAT bad????? I honestly thought they came out pretty respectable...
  19. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Not that I've ever used that many, but I've always wondered the opposite, why does HD3 only come with 192 tracks?
    What are they pulling over on us?

    Little old Sonic Foundry (oops I mean Sony) Vegas does 999...

    While bored one night I hit CTRL-Q half that many times in it, just to see...
    OK, I did it again,
    after 999 it displays .000, .001, .002
  20. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    thats just crazy bent.

    and kind of sad you sat there for that.


    just kidding!

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