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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Recording d band and production?

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Member Since: Jul 06, 2007
Posts: 71
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Im recoridng a band on thursday thru a 8mic preamp audio interface and logic express.

I will have 5 mics on drums and one on each guitar/one on bass.
Then record vocals when they finally get theyre **** 2gether.

WHat id like to know is any general tips you have for recoding a band and also some tips on adding effects afterwards like

EQ/Delay/Reverb/Compression to make it all sound really great.

I dont need top worry about vocal effects just for drums bass and guitars...
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Village Idiot

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Record each seperate if they know their music well enough. Recording all of them at once, unless in seperate isolation booths, will cause noise bleed into the other channels. You'll have guitar in you bass and drum tracks.

Usually it's drums, bass, then guitar, and Vocals...May be easier for the guitars to lay down tracks first, but the drummer is the one that's supposed to dictate the tempo.

Use 2 mics on the amps. Best thing to do it one mic directly infront of the amp and one a bit further away at an angle.

If they have good equipment, don't add a lot of effects in the mix down...not unless they insist on it.

Work on getting a nice even mix and try and have everything sit just right. Too many times I have heard recordings where the singers are way too loud or other pieces of the band are drowned out. You want everything to come together perfectly without clashing. Bass is good, just not too much. Get everything just right and try and do a mix down through some studio monitors.

If you want a quality product, take your time. Listen to the tracks and if you hear anything at all that you think should be changed or added or removed, discuss it with them.

Don't try and lay down one song in 1/2 an hour. It can be done, but if you want quality you can't rush things.

Spend a lot of time on the vocals. Work with them until you get a sound you and the band like as far as any added chorus/reverb/eq/etc... Save the channel preset and then apply them to the other tracks. Chances are, it may only need some minor tweaks from there and can save you some time and allow you to keep a good consistant sound.

Get them to try different things if they've never recorded stacking vocals/guitar tracks/ bass tracks/ drum tracks/ whatever they feel like doing at the time.

Also, if the singer can really sing, get them to try and do some harmonies on the vocals if the tracks have room for it. They can really bring out a good vocal track and make it even better...depending on the song of course...

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Daddy Elmis

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VI covers the basics very well. I'd offer a couple other "been there" suggestions:

1) once you have all your raw tracks on the computer, make a backup of the untouched tracks and keep it safe. Work with a copy going forward so you can always start again with any or all tracks.

2) Don't record with effects on anything other than guitars (and then only if a specific key effect is needed, i.e., a delay or something). This, of course, doesn't include overdrive/distortion which is part of the original guitar tone. You can always add reverb, and other goodies to guitar in the mixdown for subtle effect.

3) A great tip for vocal tracks to is double the vocal (i.e., copy the lead vocal track to a new track) and delay the second vocal track about 50-100ms to thicken. Here's a great article on recording/mixing vocals: Recording Vocals.

4) Consider the "space" of the recording. You're in stereo, so consider the stereo image and pan things accordingly -- spread out the instruments. Be careful on panning vocals, particularly harmonies, as these can sound really different (and often not good) if they are spread too much.

5) and finally, when doing your mixdown, find a CD you like that is similar to the band you're recording and listen to the mix on that CD. Listen to how "up front" or "tucked back" the lead and harmony vocals are, listen to how dynamics are added to choruses or bridges by adding another subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) instrument (another guitar line, a high synth run, a triangle, shakers, etc.), and how the eq sounds (bright, airy, dark, bass heavy, etc.).

I'm also a fan of any and all "assists" in recording, which includes the use of Autotune. A recording is like a painting, not a live performance. You have the luxury of getting it "right." I don't advocate making someone sound like something they are not, but if you have an otherwise useful vocal with a flat or sharp note here or there, there's no reason not to correct it and move on. But also beware the tragic sound of perfection -- some flaws become the most interesting part of a recording.

Have fun, and buckle in for many hours of tweaking and mixing -- it's addictive.
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