The worst thing you can do when you go into the recording studio is plan

behindthenotes

Junior Member
Hi Guys

We have posted this as our weekly discussion topic but would be keen to hear your views on this Will Calhoun quote

"The worst thing you can do when you go into the recording studio is plan, the studio is like life, you can't plan it. Most of the time when you do it comes out terrible..... at the end of the day you have to have a vibe, that's what it's about"-Will Calhoun.

This was taken from a YouTube interview that Will did a while back - check out from 2:50 mark. We would like to hear your views on this - are you guys meticulous planners or more go with vibe of the whole recording experience
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Sooo....Will never rehearses, doesn't read charts, and doesn't bring a kit? Shoot, you have to PLAN to wake up in the morning in order to even make it to the studio...

My belief is that the more you plan and prepare, the less time you waste in the studio. When I do studio gigs, people that can't get their part right within a few takes often get the axe. Producers don't want to waste time/money for lack of ability or preparation on the part of the musicians. If you're doing a jazz recording, over-preparing will sound stale and lifeless. For most other styles, preparing is how you get tight as an ensemble, and planning is how you know what you're going to do next and how you stay on task.

There has to be SOME planning, at least. Otherwise, no one would show up to do a job, that no one knows needs to be done, at a studio that wasn't expecting them. And, if they did happen to show up, and the tape is rolling, they wouldn't know what to play.
 

Drumsword

Pioneer Member
Hi Guys

We have posted this as our weekly discussion topic but would be keen to hear your views on this Will Calhoun quote

"The worst thing you can do when you go into the recording studio is plan, the studio is like life, you can't plan it. Most of the time when you do it comes out terrible..... at the end of the day you have to have a vibe, that's what it's about"-Will Calhoun.

This was taken from a YouTube interview that Will did a while back - check out from 2:50 mark. We would like to hear your views on this - are you guys meticulous planners or more go with vibe of the whole recording experience

I've been in the studio for about 16 c.d's now. You Have to have a plan, songs to play, which tracks to spend time on, What equip your going to use, time spent, etc, etc BUT you have to be able to roll with the unplanned disasters. You can't go in with no plan and expect results.

I find that you follow the game plan to the best of your abilities but don't get excited if the plans change periodically. You can't control everything that happens but preparedness is key.

When I recorded my first solo cd, after we had all the bed tracks down I was laying down my lead vocal at 10:30 PM and going into the second chorus, the music stopped and was replaced with coughing, laughter and tuning guitars. The computer had stopped recording for 45 seconds and replaced the dead space with us warming up before hand. So since all my guys were long gone, we cut and spliced the first chorus over where the second should be, and it came out great. Didn't plan to do that but we rolled with it..LOL
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I can understand, how, in certain situations, it's better to not overthink things. For a pro like Mr. Calhoun, the studio is probably like a 2nd home to him; it's an environment he's very comfortable in. So. . . if he's been rehearsing extensively with a group and has his part locked in, it might be better to just go for takes and not nitpick too much. Then again, if you're someone like me who rarely records, it's better to plan more extensively and make the drum parts more economical.
When asked where he starts when presented with a new piece of music, Steve Gadd said "I start at the simplest point". I think that the best studio players are ones who can create parts (very simple ones, if need be) that bear the unique signatures of their musical personalities.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
If you have your own studio, you can afford to do without a so called "plan."

But when you are renting studio time, a plan is essential. As soon as you walk in the studio, they're trying to get you out.
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
I think a former Pastor put it simply one day...

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"

I like that.lol

I guess if money was no issue at all then it wouldn't matter. When the clock is ticking and you waste time because you don't have a plan, people begin to get grumpy.....arghhhhh.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Not that I've recorded that much lately, (in earlier days - yes) but I once had a drum-line clinician tell me that if you are any kind of good studio musician, you'd better know your material, be prepared to experiment or improvise, be on time, and be able to take direction and be open to suggestions. If you are a member of the group recording, then you probably have a lot of input and control over what goes on. If you're a hired gun, then the above applies. Directors, muscians, booking agents and the like don't have ANY room or tolerance for large egos, tardiness, or unprepared musicians. I second what someone said in this thread that if a particular hired musician can't get "it" in several takes, then they're shown the door and someone else is called. It's called the "music business" for a reason. Lol
 
J

jay norem

Guest
To record my CD I rehearsed the band until we had all the songs down, until we owned them. When we went into the studio I had to have a feel for what we were all about, so to speak, and I called the tunes according to my reading of the overall mood of the band. So that part was rather spontaneous in that nobody know what song we were going to do next. We did no more than three takes on any tune, and on some we only did two.
That would not have been possible without a certain amount of planning. The band was ready, see, because of all the work we'd done prior to the sessions. We were organized, man, and you can't have organization without planning.
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
Hi Guys

We have posted this as our weekly discussion topic but would be keen to hear your views on this Will Calhoun quote

"The worst thing you can do when you go into the recording studio is plan, the studio is like life, you can't plan it. Most of the time when you do it comes out terrible..... at the end of the day you have to have a vibe, that's what it's about"-Will Calhoun.

This was taken from a YouTube interview that Will did a while back - check out from 2:50 mark. We would like to hear your views on this - are you guys meticulous planners or more go with vibe of the whole recording experience
I HAVE to agree on some level. I wasted an ENTIRE studio session one day trying to get a bit that just wasn't happening. I was junk, and I played like it. I came in the next day and blew it out in one take. I was just too frazzled from the anticipation and hype of the studio that it ruined my ability to play easy and relaxed.
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__________________
Most respect the badge, but all fear the drum.
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Well I would agree only to the extent of first timers in a studio or something.

If you're unexperienced and you plan something.. most of the time nothing will go as you planned. The licks or riffs just won't sound the way you planned because your understanding of how things work just isn't there yet.

The first time I did a recording with my brother, we planned nothing and the sound that came out was pretty cool. The next time around, we planned some riffs and what not and it sounded terrible. That's because our knowledge of what works and doesn't was completely rubbish.

With experience, you know full well how certain things work or how certain things don't, and planning then helps to cut down time wastage.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
If you have your own studio, you can afford to do without a so called "plan."

But when you are renting studio time, a plan is essential. As soon as you walk in the studio, they're trying to get you out.
I agree with that. Because i have my own mic setup i can afford to record something without even knowing what song i'm even going to do but if i was paying £200 for an afternoon in a studio to do that it would just be f@cking stupid.
 
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