Recording advice/tips.

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
The rockabilly band i'm in "Cherry Divine" are going into a/the studio to lay down/record 2 song tracks for a compilation cd,
As i'm a complete novice interms of NEVER EVER been in a studio enviroment WHAT should i expect?,
& how should i best prepare for it?,
I.e. new head on the snare batter side?,
The 2 songs are played just straight on a snare with brushes i have 2 snares from which to choose from 1- '67 Ludwig LM 400 Supraphonic 14x5"& a '69 Slingerland Gene Krupa Sound King brass which one would give me that more "authentic" rockabilly sound?.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Random thoughts, though I've only done guitar session work.

If you're going to change heads, do it a couple days early so they have time to settle. Tune/tension ahead of time.

Know the parts you're going to play. Know the arrangement.

Bring only the equipment you need. Bring both snares.

Bring a covered drinking container (no spills).

Lube your kick/hi-hat pedals if they squeak.

If you smoke, bring nicorette.

Practice breakdown and setup beforehand. It can buy you an extra take or two.

Know the tempos, know the BPM off the top of your head.

Bring a roll of premium quality toilette paper in your gear bag.

Learn (and remember) the name of the staff. Have business cards ready. Have a couple promo kits prepared just in case.
 
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adamosmianski

Senior Member
That's all great advice from Kamak.

I don't think you can go wrong with either one of those snares. It's hard to say without hearing it.

As far as changing the heads go, if you're happy with the sound as it is, leave it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you are going to change it, do it as Kamak suggested and change it a few days ahead of time. Play on it a little and keep tuning it up.
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
My dilemna/problem now is i've been asked to choose/decide as to whether or not i want to be paid per hour or per song.As it's my VERY 1ST EVER recording session/time in a recording/studio environment i DONT KNOW which option to choose? ! :).I genuinely honestly &sincerly belive in doing it(session) for free as the expereince is invaleuable & i can certainly do with the expereince!.BUT seeing as both the singer &bass player(husband) have both been burnt they're insisting i choose/decide on 1 or the other WHAT to choose&do? ! :(,
What's the pros&cons of both options?,
&has anyone else been in a similar situation?,
&how did they handle &what option did they choose&why?.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I would ask to get paid by song. If you (& they) nail it like studio vets you'll be in & out in 20 minutes after X amount of set-up/dial it in time. BUT, it sounds like everybody is probably less experienced in the studio where it'll probably take more time to get a couple songs done. In this case your getting paid by the song will probably make them more relaxed as well since they're not stressing on cost in the back of their mind. Farther down the road once your studio chops are dialed, then you may want to get paid by the hour if less experienced folks may take a long time to get it right after you're satisfied with your first take.

The most important thing to do on a session (or any gig really) is to make every player feel welcomed and take off any undue pressure. Everybody plays their best when simply playing like themselves from a relaxed/happy head space. It's professional (and strategic from a business perspective) to be kind and encouraging all around.

Be real, honest and realistic. Don't try to play it cool like you're an experienced studio ace as if you have to impress anybody. Humbly try to have fun and try to ignore the fact that the red light is on. I always play better once I don't give a rip that I'm being recorded (or who's watching). In fact, practice recording yourself with even just an iphone sitting on a chair next to you just so that you get used to it. If when you're playing you're thinking about the fact that you're being recorded, it's easy to start listening to yourself and getting paranoid about the sounds you're making. Practice getting your mind and ears off of yourself completely so that you can listen to the other players and have fun playing with them.

Don't change heads and get crazy with equipment stuff, just tune what you've got and play. The quality of the recording will be primarily determined by your performance A decent engineer will have a well tuned drum sounding great.

Bottom line: Relax and be yourself, you're a better you than some version of you which you may envision yourself being in a studio environment. Have fun!
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
We're out in less then 2hrs,
I ONLY fucked up twice: once at the start of the 1st song&was accused of&told i was "playing too loud" even though i was using brushes & NOT slamming the head!,
Was also advised to "use a coated/rougher" drumhead for brushes even though i used a EarthTone calfskin!,
He (engineer/producer) DOESN'T like Luddy Supras he "stands away from them",
As he thinks they're too loud even though his drummer uses one both live&in the studio! :(.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
We're out in less then 2hrs,
I ONLY fucked up twice: once at the start of the 1st song&was accused of&told i was "playing too loud" even though i was using brushes & NOT slamming the head!,
Was also advised to "use a coated/rougher" drumhead for brushes even though i used a EarthTone calfskin!,
He (engineer/producer) DOESN'T like Luddy Supras he "stands away from them",
As he thinks they're too loud even though his drummer uses one both live&in the studio! :(.
Congratulations Flash! ;-)

Remember, an engineer's world is a strange one. To someone forced to listen deeply to every facet of an instrument, a Supra must sound like a maelstrom of crack, howl, and sizzle when compared to a lesser snare.

If the recordings ever make it out into the open, we'd love to hear them.
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
Well that/this expereince soured badly&left me with both severe anxiety&depression! :(.Turns out after weeks of non-communication singer messaged me on FB (NOT a call or sms/text message or email).To give me a "dear John"type response.She wasn't happy with the tracks&chose&decided to scrap the songs&sacked both myself&the guitarist without payment &blocked me on FB &from her cell phone ! :(.ALL because she assumed&thought i'd spread vicious rumour/slander about her&after her promising payment&asking &been given my bank details for payment! :(.Guitarist since has gotten a better gig while i've yet to find the courage, determination&motivation.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Practice to a click. and practice to a click more.

If you havn't been to a studio or played to a click and they ask you to its' a train wreck... I see it often for players who never use a metronome.

engineer says, oh.. lets get this tight and it doesn't work.

New heads are good.. the engineer may even tune them when you get there but a new snare head sounds great on a recording.

bring water, bring a towel, phone charger, bring snacks, and depending on the tracks it could take a lot longer than you think.

also prepare to feel like a sub par drummer and take some criticism when every little error is exposed or they stop the track and tell you your off. It happens to everybody. But you start to think negative when they keep stopping the track and tell you to start over. It is all part of the process
 

Bonzodownunder

Senior Member
What's the BEST &MOST recommended way to practice with a "click"if you've never ever practiced along to &with one as far as exercises's concerned?.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
put in headphones, get a metronome app for your computer or phone, and play.

try playing your bands songs, try playing beats, fills, rudiments, solo.. whatever you want


play very slow, play fast, i find when i play very slow i speed up fills.... when you set it very fast you may tend to want to slow down.

the point is to internalize the click and see where you go off. MANY drummers can keep good time but rush or drag their fills.. when you are bang on try other things or speeds. I always practice to a click these days
 
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