My bandmates and I have been recently encountering hardship when it comes to deciding how to begin the recording of an original song.
We all know the songs very well and have established what we think is a decent quality recording (through practice and learning from our god-awful ones) and are finally ready to start recording our songs in our basement/studio (in other words, ourselves).
The problem is that in the past, the demos we've made of the songs we wish to record were done as live takes with everyone playing at the same time, so not to a metronome.
Also, we've done covers in the past of songs via multi-tracking and didn't have much of a problem after we discovered we could import the "real" song (say, a metallica tune) onto our digital recorder. Call this cheating, but this way, our drummer could play along to the song, pause where there may have been pauses, and set the foundation in a very synchronized fashion.
We cannot do this however with our originals and are debating whether to use a click track/metronome in keeping time, or having our drummer do without it. Either way, he'll be recording part by part (not entire takes of a song) i.e. intro and verse on say track 1, choruses on track 2, as to make the flow of the song connected that way.
We're currently using a metronome and are curious as to what is the normal procedure for starting an original song's recording process. I've read loads of articles pertaining to recording but am always dissappointed never to read about this procedure.
What I do know are the shortcomings of both processes:
-Without a click=track may flucuate tempo and be hard to layer guitar and bass tightly above it.
-With a click= recording sounds too mechanical and loses its "humanistic" qualities.
I heard somewhere that Rick Rubin records w/o a click to establish a more live and natural recording, so I'm not totally against either way.
One more question before I shut up:
When using a click, how much "lee-way" can you give a drummer? Does he have to be spot-on in order to ensure a less-stressful recording situation for all the other instruments? We just don't want to overlook a slip up thinking that it won't be a problem when guitars and bass get recorded.
We'd just like to be informed of a good procedure anyone is aware of (or even use themselves) to follow in recording our songs all by ourselves without the aid of a pro tools editor or advanced technology.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And sorry about the long post.