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Procedure for Recording multi-piece rock band?

How would a professional studio typically record a multipiece "rock" band in terms of what order to track the different instruments in, if the goal was to get a fairly high quality recording.

Would it be more common in professional studios to have most of the instruments play all at the same time, with the musicians perhaps seperated in different rooms to avoid the bleed-through of sound into adjacent microphones. . or is it more common to just "build the song up" one instrument at a time?

Obviously, the singer(s) can be recorded last by playing the backing tracks into their headphones with them singing in time, thats pretty obvious. but I'm slightly confused as to how you start the process off? Guitarist plays first? Drummer plays first?

Do drummers find it helpful to play to a metronome which is fed into their headphones. or more often than not does that just tend to annoy them and they abandon it?

My small studio does not really do that genre of music, but due to a change in our clientelle we're opening our studios to all genres because we need the money. The stuff we used to do mainly involved only recording one instrument at a time or dealing with vocals; no bands. so I've rarely recorded whole bands before, so I could use just a tad of guidance from people who have done it professionally in terms of what the procedure is. Any help appreciated. Thanks.


hueseph Wed, 01/31/2007 - 18:56
From my extremely limited time in a pro studio, we would track the entire band with some gobos between them. Maybe framing the drums off with gobos. Usually we did this as a scratch track but if it sounds good and the performance is good, why wreck a good thing?

If we had to do overdubs, it was just a matter of what is more convenient.

Again I have to state that my experience is very limited. But, until you get a seasoned answer you can just add a little salt to mine.

natural Wed, 01/31/2007 - 22:26
Ideal situation:
Rhythm section plays together (Drums Bass and 1 gtr) All 3 people can see each other. Amps are isolated, but the bass and gtr are in the same room near each other. Drummer could be in a seperate room, but must see the other 2 players.
Vocals are scratch and should be done by a 4th member. (Hopfully the drummer, bass, or gtr is not the vocalist.)
If it's a good playing band, this will be fun for them.
Usually a good band can get a good feel with 3 players and a voc. and should be able to lay down some very tight tracks.
With this arrangement, any mistakes are usually quickly identified.

Less than Ideal (plan B)
If there are more members that need to play in order to get the feel, then everyone needs to be mic'd up. In this case, it might take many playbacks to determine if the take was good. Mistakes are harder to spot and usually if someone makes a mistake, they will pull others into their mistakes (ie: If the bass player rushed, the gtr and keybrd player might rush as well to compenstate, which could make the drummer look like he's dragging.It might not be so obvious as to where the problem is)

Plan C
If the band can't play well together, then maybe just the bass and drums or the gtr and drums can keep it together.

It really depends on what's most comfortable for the band and what their capibilities are. Clik traks are great, but only if the band is used to playing with one, otherwise it will become a very uncomfortable session.