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Recording this Saturday - anything I'm missing / recommendations?

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
I've got a fairly extensive pedal setup, two fairly good amps and a decent guitar.

I'm bringing extra pedals, cables, strings, picks ect.

Is there anything I should buy/bring/do that I haven't thought of?

Pedal list

Strymon TimeLine and BigSky
Diamond Trem
TC Chrous
EP Booster
SP Comp
about 7 different flavors of distorion and a Spark Booster
George L cables
Line6 HD500x for anything else I'm missing
Polytune

Amps
Two Rock Studio Pro 22
Modified Hot Rod Deluxe

Guitars
Parker Fly Deluxe with fresh strings
USA Tele Deluxe with fresh string (extra strings being brought for both)

Misc
Nice Capo
Clip On tuner
iStomp
cables
Fender Power Strip
Picks of various sorts (V, Gravity, Ice Cool, ect)


Mic wise the studio has several 411's (414's can't remember which) from Senheiser, and I'm assuming other nifty studio goodies.


Is there anything I should pickup that I'm forgetting about??? I can't think of anything, but thought I'd throw it up here to see if there was a suggestion I hadn't thought of.

Thanks all!

BTW - we are playing medium to hard Christian Rock. Think Kutless, Red, Casting Crowns, Barrlow Girl meets Bush, Tool, Metallica, Radiohead, Silverchair. LOL

I'd like to think of it as good ole fashioned rock music that sounds good. lol
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,159
extra strings.
patience.

if you are able, try only using the pedals you need for that take.
for instance:
overdrive sound for several songs without Delay/reverb?
just plug into your drives and into your amp, bypassing unnessesary pedals.

i'm assuming you'll have an engineer that knows what he's doing?
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,159
and honestly?
map out HOW you're going to record.
time is money and in the studio it goes by VERY quickly.
don't spend two hours working on a lead part if it's not happening within 15 minutes.
try to manage your time so as the drummer/bassist can be done with their stuff and be able to go get food, offer suggestions, BGVs, etc.

Guitar recording can be the most fun, but also the most time-consuming.
 

lp_bruce

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,815
if you are able, try only using the pedals you need for that take.
for instance:
overdrive sound for several songs without Delay/reverb?
just plug into your drives and into your amp, bypassing unnessesary pedals.
Agreed. I've recorded with all my preamp effects and everything after was done with studio effects. So I would bring Wah/Comp/Dirt/Amp, but generally left everything else at home. I like some Delay and Reverb, but they can be more easily added and controlled at the board.

But that's what worked for me and it assumes you are working with a competent engineer.

Peace,
 

partytrain

Senior Member
Messages
6,110
Make sure you know what pedals you want for specific songs/parts. As fun as it is to test out all 8 drive pedals, with various miking techniques, you will have spent most of your time (and $$) without getting anything on tape.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,032
And remember, micing*up your cab adds gain, so don't be afraid to turn down the gain and UP the volume. Also worth seeing if they have a really good direct box, so you can add a dry track to reamp*thru other gear at a later time…
 
Messages
3,843
make sure you have at least 2 or 3 packs of strings handy, and a few extra pedal patch cables, and extra instrument cables. also, a back-up amp would be a good idea as well. about a year ago, my band booked a session at a recording studio, and about 2/3 through the session, our bassist's $1,500 amp head blew up. luckily enough, they happened to have another bass head there in the studio.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
The more you know in advance about the process itself and how the engineer likes to work, the more efficient you'll be. Who's calling the shots here? Are you "producing" yourselves or will an engineer or other party have final say as to 'takes' and other decisions? Are you to be recording the entire band 'live', or live with the intent of getting a good drum track (& maybe bass) with the understanding that guitars, other instrumentation, and vocals are to be overdubbed after the fact? Are you planning to "print" ambience (delay, modulation, reverb) or will you be trusting someone else to add ambience to your 'dry' tracks (this in and of itself could constitute a thread of its own; good arguments either way, but much will depend on budget and time constraints. Print with the track or superimpose after the tracking at mixdown, those are the choices). How good are you and your mates at physically doubling instrumental parts and vocals in real time? It might be a minimalist thing where that's not needed or wanted, but it's definitely a skill that needs to be honed for studio work. When you arrive at the facility, go ahead and get the stringed instruments out early. Stretch the strings, tune them, and place them on stands to acclimate to any temperature and humidity changes. You want your instruments stretched out and stabilized before tracking. Personally, I don't always want brand new strings for everything. I want new strings for acoustic instruments and instruments I'll be cutting rhythm tracks with. I like my strings to be a bit worn in for instruments used for lead tracks or anything to do with slide parts. I don't like too much zingy presence here but that's personal preference. When actually tracking, one of the most important things you can do is to first make sure that you like the mix you're hearing; if you're hearing too much of yourself, your playing might come off as sounding cautious and tentative. If you're not hearing yourself well enough, the tendency is to dig in too hard, causing nuance and dynamics to go out the window. I alway bring additional clip-on tuners, you never know what might need to be tuned. Also, I use clip-on tuners for slide guitar and lap steel so that I can actually get a look at the tuning on sustained notes that are just gonna hang out for a while. I always carry a wide variety of picks, including thin flimsy ones for cutting airy strummed rhythms.
 

mizzlfoshizzl

Member
Messages
227
Another thing to consider when using pedals during recording is proper separation of power and signal cabling. I engineered a session a while back where the guitarist brought his pedal board all wired up like he would live. Tons of boutique and killer sounding stuff, but as soon as he flipped the standby on the amp, all you heard was HUMMMMMMM...

Make sure your power and signal cables are as far from each other as possible, and if for some strange reason they have to cross, make sure it's at a perpendicular angle.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
Most commercial facilities have a copper grounding spike in the earth but some don't. I never go to a session without a noise suppressor. Might not need it but it's there.
 

Lullabies

Member
Messages
2,054
Damn this thread is awesome.. I'm recording on the 10th with my newer band and really did not even think of a noise supressor.. For sure gonna rent one just in case now as I have a large 9 pedal board with tons of pedals. Its a quiet board for gigging and rehearsals but you never know when you get to a studio
 

Footbutt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,159
Most commercial facilities have a copper grounding spike in the earth but some don't. I never go to a session without a noise suppressor. Might not need it but it's there.
a few Ground Lifts would be a good idea as well.
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
I'd like to offer a totally different take.

Bring the simplest rig you have that you are comfortable playing live and at home with.
Just bring one guitar. Two if you must. The less gear/tone choices you have the better.

Don't worry about the rest--let the engineer do his or her job and worry about any single coil hum etc. You'll be able to deal with that by finding a null spot or, at worst, gating the track in the mix.

There is nothing more annoying to engineers, producers and band mates (and nothing with less musical return) than the guitarist who spends a lot of time dicking around with a massive board in search of "the perfect tone" for a track. Use the tone that's worked in rehearsal or live, or find something else you can dial in in 5 seconds and then focus on getting a musically compelling (not perfect, just MOVING) take. If you are worrying about 7 flavors of dirt it is likely you will not be listening to how the band sounds, or how you sound in context.

There are a million tones that will sound great if you play your parts well, expressively, rhythmically locked etc. But there is NO tone that will sound good if the parts are not played well.

If you are going to prepare do it by rehearsing the parts and making sure your arrangements work. That is the job of the players--to know the material and to have worked out effective arrangements in advance if possible.

99% of the time a bad session is the result of weak performances or arrangement problems. 100% of the time a good session is the result of strong performances. All of which is to suggest that the best plan is to go to the studio and have a good time playing your songs well.

Above all, relax and have fun. This is music, not a military campaign.
 

Cgkindler

Member
Messages
6,245
Lots of good stuff in here folks, love it.

The 7 flavors of dirt is there, because hey, I've got 7 flavors! LOL

I use three main boxes for it, and unless something craps out or another terrible thing happens, there will be little to no pedals changing.

As far as wet or dry - it's hard for me to not use wet, because I've never worked with the engineer guy so I don't know what he has avilable ect. But I DO know what I have, and what I have spent time tweaking over and over to get the wet/dry mix right, the repeats on, the decay ect.

Ideally though, it'd be nice to have a box that my dirst section runs into, then splits out to the mixer and also my trem/chorus/delay/verb.....that way we have multiple options.

I agree that the most important part is to have fun and be in the music zone - where I'm insipired to play well and almost ignore my feet (and pedals) and concentrate on my fingers and ears.

Not sure how long it will take to mixdown and get a final cut, but when we do I will try to bring it back here and post a clip for those involved in this thread!
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
Agree about being efficient and economical with time and gear, agree about relaxing and having fun, agree that organization and arrangement are kings here. BUT. Having done my first session in the 70s, I've learned by now that, as with live sound techs, not all engineers are created equal. Often the best relationships between musician & tech, be it live or studio, will involve a degree of compromise. I'm not going to, by default, put 100% of my trust on all sonic considerations in the hands of an engineer whose track record I do not know. If I am hired gun for a session, I'm going to default to a project leader's wishes, be it producer, singer/songwriter, or engineer. However, if I know what I want and it's my project and my dime, chances are I'm sticking to my guns. I don't like the way all engineers operate anymore than I like all of anything else. Some I have to watch like a hawk because I'm aware of their particular quirks. As a multi-instrumentalist, "keeping it simple" is not always the ticket. Keeping it efficient and on time / on budget always is. For sessions for which I have detailed knowledge of the material in advance, I will write down a plan in a notebook with notes on everything I want to accomplish, the order I want to do them in, in fine detail, from capo useage to tweaking the tuning a certain way to get that one particular chord to sound more in tune. The key here is to be flexible and not too precious/locked in because you'll have to jump off of your plan if it's not the best call or if it doesn't work. When I'm tracking I'm usually plotting my next move as I cut unless the part's super difficult. Simple and efficient I'll vote for. Settling for less than you know you want - if it's actually reasonable - usually gets a nay from me.
 
Messages
1,026
I'd like to offer a totally different take.

Bring the simplest rig you have that you are comfortable playing live and at home with.
Just bring one guitar. Two if you must. The less gear/tone choices you have the better.

Don't worry about the rest--let the engineer do his or her job and worry about any single coil hum etc. You'll be able to deal with that by finding a null spot or, at worst, gating the track in the mix.

There is nothing more annoying to engineers, producers and band mates (and nothing with less musical return) than the guitarist who spends a lot of time dicking around with a massive board in search of "the perfect tone" for a track. Use the tone that's worked in rehearsal or live, or find something else you can dial in in 5 seconds and then focus on getting a musically compelling (not perfect, just MOVING) take. If you are worrying about 7 flavors of dirt it is likely you will not be listening to how the band sounds, or how you sound in context.

There are a million tones that will sound great if you play your parts well, expressively, rhythmically locked etc. But there is NO tone that will sound good if the parts are not played well.

If you are going to prepare do it by rehearsing the parts and making sure your arrangements work. That is the job of the players--to know the material and to have worked out effective arrangements in advance if possible.

99% of the time a bad session is the result of weak performances or arrangement problems. 100% of the time a good session is the result of strong performances. All of which is to suggest that the best plan is to go to the studio and have a good time playing your songs well.

Above all, relax and have fun. This is music, not a military campaign.
Definitely. The only possible reasons I could imagine for bringing so much gear:
1. You have been given no advance idea of what material you're going to be playing that day, and you want everything you own within reach.
2. You've meticulously planned in advance how all of that gear is going to be used in the tunes.

Otherwise, all that stuff will get in the way. Unless you have unlimited studio time at your disposal, by the time you're going in you should have your tones and parts fully dialed in.
 






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