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Recording Our First Demo

Member for

21 years 3 months
Our Band just picked up our new Mackie CFX-20 mixing board, so I think that we have all the equipment we need to record. I will be using a Laptop w/ MOTU 828, to record at our rehersal space then I will do all the editing and Mastering at home on my DAW. Since I will be recording with the laptop it won't be able to handle recording everying thing at once (seperate) so I was wondering what is the best way to go about this. Should I record of the main outs of the mixer to get a rough overall recording, then go back and record the drums first using the backing track as a guide. We have 6 mics on the drums and I would like to keep every thing seperate to ease mixing later. Then the bass, vocals, guitars and so on. basically what should I do to record a song and keep everything seperate and do the mixing later but using a laptop to record it. by the way this how the band is laid out: Lead Vocal, guitarist/Vocal, Lead guitarist/vocal, bass guitar/vocal, and drums. thanks in advance oh by the way we also have a Tascam 4 track casette recorder if that helps any?


Member for

19 years 5 months

Kurt Foster Tue, 01/14/2003 - 08:44
One very common approach to this would be to record a click track from a drum machine along with a scratch guitar and bass and then overdub the drums. I have myself found a cowbell sound to work best for the click. Don't forget to have the drummer count in at the start with stick clicks or hi hat hits. You can then proceed by replacing the bass and guitars track and doing the rest of the overdubs. Good luck with your project ................. Fats
It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 01/14/2003 - 13:10
Or, if you hate click tracks (like me!) you could first record only the drums but have the bass (and maybe guitar) playing along in his headphones. The point of this is to get a musical-sounding drum part. Then you can overdub the other parts. This is sort of like your idea of doing a live take to use as a guide, except it can be very hard for a drummer to match all the tempo changes exactly to a recording (unless it's a click -- ick). Good luck.

Member for

20 years 5 months

audiowkstation Tue, 01/14/2003 - 13:32
Actually, I bet the drummer will nail it. That is how I did the last 4 rockabums, scratch run through all the songs with 2 mics live and (8 rim shots to start) and then have the drummer play to the cans. Not hard at all, it will will be surprised at what happenes..I was everytime I heard is like doubling vox...

Member for

20 years 1 month

droog Tue, 01/14/2003 - 21:27

i'm using same setup (828 + laptop), and the way i'm doing it is 4 mics on drums (kick/snare/2x overheads), di and mic on base amp, mic on gtr amp and guide vocal (8 inputs)

record the band together (best for vibe and rhythm), with a view of keeping at least the drum tracks (hopefully the rest as well)

if you keep the amps away, you'll be able to overdub bass/gtr/vox/vibraphone at your leisure

this is the method as worked out by me and mike stavrou (golden-eared engineer mentioned on another thread), who's coming over next week to my house to engineer the tracks for the debut long-player

what you need is 4 sets of identical headphones and a 100w/ear amp to drive them, so that the drummer can hear cleanly

especially if it's for a demo, you can forget about the headphones and record all the amps live in the room (dirty but nice), using the spill to get extra excitement

just play until you get the right take (remember, tape is cheap, but hard disk is free, and you can always splice the intro/verse/bridge together)

hope it helps,

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 01/15/2003 - 02:56
We dont need 6 mics on the drums but that is just what it worked out to be, but I see what you are saying about using the tascam as a sub mixer then go to the CFX-20? why would I need to do that when I have more than enough inputs on our mackie.I might not be following you though. Right now I have all the drum mics assigned to sub groups 3 and 4 so I can get their individual levels set and then just be able to turn the whole set down. Is this a good way to do it. Also since our mixer doesnt have direct outs I guess that I have to use the aux sends to get a line out from each channel, but this cuts out our PA, then our singer goes nuts cause he cant hear himself, but I should be able to take 2 lines out from the 828 to our mixer and at least monitor through the PA? I guess its time for some headphones! Thanks for the reply's guys.