What to record first?

fatherboard

Member
Hi guys

I'm on a reggae-chicha band, and we are planing to start the recording.
So, what do you guys recomend to record first.
Maybe the drums with the bass. Or the drums alone. What about recording the guitar first? Good idea?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Depends on the studio facilities & the vibe you're after. If the studio is set up for this, you may want to consider recording all the instruments live. The studio would need to be able to isolate each instrument (i.e. separate drum room / booth). This means you can still go back & cut in later if you wish. Doing it this way offers an organic/live feel to the recording. Alternatively, record separately in the order suggested by Nodiggie. Good luck!
 

Pkaneps

Senior Member
We do home recording, but we set up room mics and record a low quality track, then I listen and record over that, then guitars, bass, and vocals. Then delete the room track.

Works for us.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you can track everything at once, that'd be cool. I read somewhere that the first Pretenders album (when Chrissie Hynde was cool) was basically recorded live. Can't beat that vibe.
 

makinao

Silver Member
There are lots of ways. Here are two:

1) record the rhythm section in real time. Drums in the studio floor, bassist in the studio floor direct to the board, guitarists in the studio floor or control room with amp in the vocal booth. Vocals and lead guitars overdubbed later.

2) Make a "guide track" with just click/metronome, vocals, rhythm guitar. then overdub drums, then bass, then everything else on top of it. Exclude the guide track from the mix, unless there is anything interesting in it.
 

Fishbones

Silver Member
talk to audiotech. he should be able to help with this topic and provide ample pictures of his kits ;-)
 
Reggae is all about feel and grove. Try to record all of the rhythm tracks live, or at least the drums and bass. Record a few takes of every song, go for the best overall take.
 

braincramp

Gold Member
If you can track everything at once, that'd be cool. I read somewhere that the first Pretenders album (when Chrissie Hynde was cool) was basically recorded live. Can't beat that vibe.
Weren't the 1st couple led zep albums done this way too? My band is building a studio to record our originals in next winter we just finished our iso booth for my drums out of salvaged plexiglass.I feel like a caged monkey..could be because they equipped it with a small hole at top with door that they drop bannanas in though...
 

jer

Silver Member
Weren't the 1st couple led zep albums done this way too? My band is building a studio to record our originals in next winter we just finished our iso booth for my drums out of salvaged plexiglass.I feel like a caged monkey..could be because they equipped it with a small hole at top with door that they drop bannanas in though...
ARRGGHHH! NOOOOOO!

Leave iso booths to amps and vocals - drums need to breath!

OP - I'll vote for recording as many members at the same time that you can, overdub and punch in when needed, but try to keep as much of the original takes of everyone playing as you can.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Live recording is great if folks can get though the songs without mistakes. A more natural feel and vibe with people playing off and reacting to each other. Even in the most subtle ways, it still sounds more realistic than the "assembled" records.

But, you either need a studio with lots of tracking rooms and isolation or you need basically flawless performances. If you are going to be doing punches and fixes, then you need to have things isolated enough that you can redo a track without the background jumping in and out.

My personal favorite is to record a live guide track, and then go back and re-do the individual instruments with care put into getting each one to sound as good as it can. Which usually means putting the drums in the big room. Same with guitar amps. You can close mic something in an iso booth, but it doesn't sound the same as getting an ambience mic in a larger space. Those Zep albums sounded the way they did because they had the physical space to let each instrument breathe, including Bonzo's kit.

Another thing is to make up a computer sequenced guide track with the basic beat, a bass line, and some sort of chords to set the framework of the song. Then each person plays along to that. This keeps things in time and the arrangement of the song set without having to try a lock into a sterile click.

For any of these "assembled" techniques, you should still be comfortable enough with the song, having played it live enough to work out the little dynamic contrasts and things that make the song go.
 
Top