Tips for a New Session

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by RanaldoNecro, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. RanaldoNecro

    RanaldoNecro Member

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    Hey Crew,

    I have a recording session coming up later this week and want to know some tips...

    How should I prepare before I go in? Relaxed, Hype? What...

    Also, what should voclaist drink? Warm water with a lemon? Any vocal tips?

    Thx
     
  2. mwoeppel

    mwoeppel Member

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    I haven't done much recording, but if I'm doing live performance (singing), I make sure I'm rested and hydrated. no alcohol or caffeine. the honey stuff never touches your vocal cords, so it doesn't matter much to me. Some guys swear by lozenges and sprays, but it seems more like a placebo. Nothing replaces lots of water and a rested voice.
     
  3. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    • decide exactly how the song goes before you go into the studio. That includes the tempo & the ending.

    • Nothing worse than having to run to the music store when you're on the clock. New strings & drum heads sound better; buy extra. Batteries too.

    • everybody's gear works? Cables?

    • Get drums & bass (maybe one pass of guitar), then move on. Build the house from the bottom up.

    • I would highly recommend saving vocals for another day. Scratch vocals only during tracking.
     
  4. devinb

    devinb Member

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    If you're going to play to a click track, practice with it, especially if there are time changes.

    I usually make click tracks ahead of time if there are ritards in the music or what not. I do much better with a simple drumbeat than a sterile click. I usually insert a few notes to help me sing (if there are big leaps, or awkward intervals).
     
  5. isfahani

    isfahani Member

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    All good advice, but FFS make sure those new heads and strings are at least broken in before you even load in for the session, otherwise, you're wasting everyone's time...
     
  6. Aussie Mike

    Aussie Mike Member

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    I'd say be prepared for the fact that once you get in there things won't feel like they do in rehearsals or on stage. You'll probably find yourself thinking too hard and forgetting simple things.

    But try and enjoy it! Recording is the most satisfying thing for me, as a muso.
     
  7. RanaldoNecro

    RanaldoNecro Member

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    You'll probably find yourself thinking too hard and forgetting simple things.

    Thanks guys,

    Thats all good advice...I am most likely to forget something obvious. I;ll get some rest too...

    RN
     
  8. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Here's mu stock reply:

    1. Make sure the arrangements are bulletproof. No fat, no instruments playing over each other, appropriate tones. In my experience, simpler is almost ALWAYS better when recording. Look for that one killer part, instead of layering all over the place. It'll sound bigger.
    2. Make sure your gear is together - bring a bunch of amps/guitars/snare drums and use the one that SOUNDS best, which may not always be the one you think it's gonna be.
    3. Listen to your engineer. He's made a lot more records than you have, probably. Bring him examples of what you want to sound like.
    4. Bring snacks and take frequent breaks. A tired, hungry band isn't fun for anybody and generally sounds like a tired, hungry band on tape.
    5. Don't settle. It's going to take longer than you think it is. This is unavoidable and will give you two options: Rush and be unhappy w/the results; or cough up a little more $ and do the job right. Your engineer will help you keep things on track, and will probably give you the same choices. If it comes down to it, spend the time getting great basic tracks and the ODs correct. You can always remix later especially if you're using a DAW, but you'll have a hard time "polishing" poorly tracked basics.
    Loudboy
     
  9. thesooze

    thesooze Member

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    Pre-produce the HELL out of your songs.

    Turn your amps up LOUD-- you really want to push the tubes, let it do what it was made to do.

    I agree with an earlier post: simple simple simple.
     
  10. devinb

    devinb Member

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    Make sure you're on the same page as the engineer...my first time recording in a professional studio, the assistant engineer was a drummer in a horrible 80's hair band. My drummer wasn't prepared with conscious thoughts about how he wanted his drums to sound and such, and took the assistant's advice to get those Evans mutes for all hit drums...it sounded retarded.
     
  11. mep

    mep Supporting Member

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    I would agree with everything that all the earlier posters have said but would like to add:
    1. Leave the entourage at home (girlfriends, groupies, etc) they just get in the way.
    2. Be able to play the songs without the vocals
    3. If your amps and guitars are noisy, or hum, this will just be magnified by the recording. Find ways to use gear that is quiet.
    4. the first song will take the longest time. Relax, do your best, don't let the pressure mess with your mind.
     
  12. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Absolutely. I would assume that they've taken the time to choose an engineer/studio who understands what they're trying to do.

    Loudboy
     
  13. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    How politically incorrect! They're called metrically challenged measures now! :rolleyes:
     
  14. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    The best advice I can give you is to rehearse...know your songs inside and out. If you're recording to a click, then try playing to one first (maybe a shaker/percussion pattern from a drum machine is a better feel to play against for a solid timing source).

    Know yourself...if you play better after a few drinks, then maybe you'll need a couple, if you play better sober, then don't touch the stuff until you're done.

    The whole band may not want to be there for the entire process....it can get pretty boring dialing in sounds. It can be better for overall morale for some band members to get some time out of the studio walls and into the fresh air while others are working on tones.

    Have some pre-production notes about your tunes...i.e. what kind of vision do you have for the sound/production. I assume you will be your own producer...so you're going to have to monitor the clock (the $) against your progress...realize that things will take longer than you expect. Also, realize that the engineer can do a fair amount about sounds/tones after the fact, but can't do much about performances, so if things are getting tight (or late) you may need to sacrifice some time spent on dialing in sounds just to get the performances in while the players are still motivated.

    Have your singer try for good takes on scratch vocals...and keep them. These will help guide everyone else's performances, and may end up with better energy than the overdubbed vocals.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  15. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    If you're using a drummer and a click track in the studio...have HIM/HER play to a click track ALOT before. I've watched many-a-drummer fall apart when they got to the studio due to a click track.
     

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