Goin to be recording soon, advice please.

My band is goin to be recording a demo soon, i've never been in a studio and don't know what to expect or if theres any way i should approach playing, advice?
 

enos

Member
Relax and play as "clean" as possible and it's gonna be just fine.




P.S.:
If you have more exact questions, maybe we can give you more exact advices...
 
true. um is there anything i should avoid and anything i can do other than play to get a good big rock sound?
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
rehearse to a click

record to a click

you won't be sorry



relax and slay the track
 
Last edited:
Going into the studio for the first time is an awesome experience, so congrats on having that opportunity. Here's a couple tips that should get help you on the right path:

Practice-Playing-Stuffs:

1) Hone-in on your playing BEFORE you get in the studio. Now is not the time to get fancy and creative. You should be rock solid once you step behind the kit. If you've got parts that are too difficult, or parts that are just sloppy, either get them locked down now, or simplify them. Make sure everything you play is clear, clean, and sharp. Don't make the engineer waste tons of time trying to cut and paste your parts together because you couldn't play them correctly or in-time.

2) Click tracks - I absolutely loathe playing to clicks, but it's a necessary evil. But here's one method you can use that takes some of the robotic feel out before you get in the studio:

Let's say you're playing a rock tune with a tempo at 160:

a) Start by playing your song through with the metronome set for quarter note clicks at 160. Analyze your playing, and keep at it until you're in lock-step with the metronome.
b) Now, cut the clicks in half. If you've got a metronome that lets you set a different subdivision, set it for half notes at 160. If you've got an old clickly one-setting-fits-all metronome (like I do), just cut the time in half to 80. Now play your song through, again analyzing your playing until you are in lock-step with the metronome.
c) Now, cut the clicks in half again (whole notes, or time set to 40). Play through and analyze again, until you're in lock-step.

If you can do this with every song, hearing only the whole note clicks, you'll be good to go. Just ask the engineer to set the click to whole notes, and rock it out.

Before you go into the Studio-Stuffs:

1) If you can, have someone give the engineer a clean copy of your music up front. This is especially helpful if the engineer is unfamiliar with your material. Obviously, it's not going to be "studio quality", but if you can get your bandmates together to record a decent live demo of your stuff, it'll be a great help.

2) Tune up your drums, and clean up the sound, wipe down your gear! Make sure you've got decent heads, no rattles in the hardware, no squeaks in the pedals. Leave the broken cymbals and dead drums at home. Pay someone to fix stuff if you have to. Going into the studio with broken gear is like entering a race with a broken down car. Don't do it!
Also, don't piss the engineer off by getting his clothes filthy while he's trying to place mic's because you didn't wipe the 9-month-old buildup of dirt and grime off of your bass drum.

3) Lay out a plan of the order you want to record your songs. Here's an example:

a) Start with the song you are most confident playing. Something that's strong, pronounced, medium tempo, with a big, bold sound. This is going to help you get in the groove, and help the engineer lock into the recording. Also, this is the time when you may have to stop a few times for mic adjustments, so you want something you're comfortable with playing a couple times.
b) Move to more articulate and dynamic songs next. If you've got slower or more mellow songs in your list, put them here.
c) Finally, end with your up-tempo stuff. It may seem a little counter-productive, but you want to be recording this after you're warmed up and locked in. Plus, putting these last will keep you from getting all jacked up or tired out early on.

4) Get a decent night's sleep, and don't get too crazy with the extra-curriculars the night before. You don't want to be hung over. And stay away from spicy food. Unpleasant aeromatics aside, you don't want stomach and ass-cramps the next day.

Studio day-Stuffs

1) Show up when they tell you to show up - 5 minutes early is okay, but 5 minutes late isn't. And don't be the dude that shows up two hours early, roaming around in the parking lot.

2) Make sure you have spare sticks, maybe a spare kick-drum mallet and beater head for your snare, a drum key, something to drink (water or gatorade or something that'll keep you hydrated), maybe a couple granola bars to snack on. No booze - save that for later.

BONUS - Shower beforehand, wear clean, comfortable clothes, and bring a clean towel, an extra t-shirt, and an extra pair of socks. You're probably going to be a sweaty mess before it's all said and done, so there's no reason to start that way.

3) Take your practice pad, and warm up before you sit behind the kit. Time is money, don't waste $50 getting ready because the clock started running and you were still cold.

4) Listen to the engineer's instructions, work with them, and be open to their recommendations. I've seen a lot of drummers get all snippy because the engineer didn't like their snare sound, only to realize later on that the old beaten up studio snare ended up sounding like a million bucks on the recording. Don't think about something being right or wrong before you try it - give it a shot, listen to the result, and then make the decision.

5) When you finally get set up, locked in, and ready to play, take a minute to relax and regroup, get everyone else out of the room, and let 'er rip!

Good luck!
 
Thanks Mark.

In a past life, I was the jerk who came in late, hung over, out of tune, not in practice, smelling of week-old cheese. The nice studio guys would yell and scream at you. The not-so-nice guys would just let you piss your money away on a bad product.

The first time you blow $3-4K on a garbage recording, you learn pretty quick :)
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
Yeah, good advice. Prepare for a performance. Nail the track in your practice room exactly how you're gonna record it, so you go there and perform note for note what you practiced a dozen times. No surprises.


Fox.
 

marko138

Silver Member
Yeah, good advice. Prepare for a performance. Nail the track in your practice room exactly how you're gonna record it, so you go there and perform note for note what you practiced a dozen times. No surprises.


Fox.

Another great piece of advice. I did the same. I wanted to be sure of every hit in every song before I recorded it. Now, things were quite that precise when I started recording the tracks but it was really really close to how I practiced it so many times.
 

MattA

Senior Member
Yeah, good advice. Prepare for a performance. Nail the track in your practice room exactly how you're gonna record it, so you go there and perform note for note what you practiced a dozen times. No surprises.


Fox.

Yep

The saying 'time is money' has never been more true than in the studio.

The less prepared you are, the longer it will take, the more money it costs.

Best advice is prepare prepare prepare
 
thanx for the tips guys. the producer guy came to one of our practices and said something about being in seperate rooms, but also said the guitar/bass amps would be in different rooms. so that got me thinking couldnt the guitarist & bass player sit in the same room as me so we dont screw up changes, he want to record the drums in a hall way so i dont see y they couldnt sit far enough away and play in the same room.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You should practice "Red Light Fever" before you actually track in a paid studio. What I mean is do dummy sessions beforehand in the bands rehearsal space with any recording equipment you can get your hands on, even if it sucks, so when you go into the studio, you will understand what it feels like when the pressure is on.

I'd be doing as many dummy sessions as you can before actually going in. You just cannot come in too prepared. A fruitful recording session takes many hours of prep.
 

Tyger

Senior Member
Ground Pounder,

That is EXCELLENT advice. Well written out. I did many of those same things when my band recorded our EP in November. Well said, sir. Great advice.

Agreed! I hope to do some studio sessions when I'm better, always good to know ahead of time what to expect! Great advice!
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
anything i can do other than play to get a good big rock sound?

Don't be afraid to fight your corner when it comes to your sound. It is true that an experienced sound engineer may be able to get something that sounds strange to your ears to sound killer in the final mix, but there are also an awful lot of people who have studios who don't know buggery ding-dong shit about drums.

The first few times I recorded I allowed myself to compromise and be ultimately disappointed because of the whole "time-is-money" and "it's-just-a-demo-we're-not-making-Dark-Side-of-the-Moon" thing. For sure, you don't need to spend all day getting a good sound for your snare drum - but unless you speak up, the one the engineer settles on will be what you're left with when it comes to mixing. Don't assume that a flat, lifeless drum sound can be magically made to sound amazing in post-production. In short - know what you want, and do your best to get it. It is, after all, your money. By all means be polite and listen to other opinions, but unless you're working with Andy Wallace or someone - I wouldn't accept their word as gospel without chiming in how you feel about it.

Good luck and Have fun.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
You should practice "Red Light Fever" before you actually track in a paid studio. What I mean is do dummy sessions beforehand in the bands rehearsal space with any recording equipment you can get your hands on, even if it sucks, so when you go into the studio, you will understand what it feels like when the pressure is on.

I'd be doing as many dummy sessions as you can before actually going in. You just cannot come in too prepared. A fruitful recording session takes many hours of prep.

best advice yet
..........
 

JoeLackey

Senior Member
Relax and don't get frustrated if you mess up. Remember those two things and you'll be fine.
 
Top