Mail Archive sponsored by Chazzanut Online


<-- Chronological -->
<-- Thread -->

Re: recording

I have to agree with everything Maxwellst. says I would add one thing: If you 
want to record well you have to have experience at it. The problem is a band 
usually gets experience at a high $ price. My advice you can rent an Adat get 
a mix to four tracks, have a rehearsal and practice. Don't spend a lot of 
time on sound quality, but listen to "How" you play your tunes. Listen to 
what everyone is playing. If you don't like what someone is doing, Have a 
plan as to how to fix it. Don't spend lots of time "soloing" members in the 
sound booth for the rest of the band. At 2 am. if someone isn't doing 
something great the last thing they need is pressure. Here are what I feel 
are a couple of "Nevers"
1. Never let the rhythm section into the studio to lay tracks without the 
lead instrument or singer playing on a scratch track.
2. Never record 8-16 bar sections and try to put them together as whole song.
3. Never walk into a studio unprepared. That means you've played everyday for 
at least the last week. "I think I need to change the strings, reed, or 
mouthpiece" doesn't inspire confidence from other band members.
4. Never record without a plan, one that every person agrees with
5. Never believe the "we can fix it in the mix" lie. It is never cheaper to 
fix stuff digitally than to get it right on tape the first time. 
6. Never pick a studio by looking at their equipment list. Listen to other 
project to come out of that studio. An engineer with an "ear," is worth 3 
without and better mikes and electric toys.
7. Never think it's going to take less than 1 hr. to get the drums to sound 
8. Never think twice about spending extra time to get them to sound right. If 
the engineer says we have a better sounding bass drum "USE IT"

That concludes my list for now. I'm sure in the middle of the night I will 
think of some others, all based on previous screw ups!

Tom Puwalski (the artist formerly known as Sarge) 

In a message dated 12/31/99 4:56:29 PM, MaxwellSt (at) aol(dot)com writes:

1) Record material that you have been playing for a long time and don't have 
to read off charts (unless your musicians are studio-quality jingle artists)
2) Arrange with the studio if you can to get the job done for a flat fee.  
Then they will take an active interest in not wasting time.
3) If that doesn't work, try a studio out for one track before getting 
committed for the whole albums.  Otherwise, you will be sweating as $75/hour 
drifts away while someone twiddles with knobs before you play a note.
4) Consider a small, no-name studio if you think the engineer is good and the 
equipment is up to date.  They sometimes book out at half the price.
5) I always wanted to be able to enforce a penalty on musicians who show up 
late to sessions and cost the band money, but I never had the guts.  Maybe 
you will.
6) Try to arrange with the studio to be able to warm up and rehearse for an 
hour before they start the meter.  Rehearsing on the clock is a great way to 
waste money.
7) Keep your sessions all scheduled within a few months.  After a year, we 
didn't like what we'd recorded the year before when the sessions started.
8) If you don't have a label and want to, consider sending out three polished 
mixed tracks as a demo before the whole album is done.
9) Consider live recordings.  If you have your act together in concert, a 
live-to-16 track recording that produces six cuts is well worth the 
investment (and don't live tracks of klezmer music sound better than studio, 
10)  Remember that, no matter how much it costs, you will come out much 
better, tighter, more critical and less tolerant of sloppy playing after 
you've cut an album.

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

<-- Chronological --> <-- Thread -->