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Old 09-23-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
Vinicius Marques
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Brazil
Posts: 42
Default (Just wondering) when it's time to make things simpler

Hi there! A year ago my band and I bought a fairly good gear in order to record ourselves. My initial goal was to record instrument per instrument, including acoustic drums (Glynn John's method - 4 mics). Since we only get together at saturdays, I thought we'd complete tracking 9 songs in 2-3 months, and mixing and mastering would take me another month. To make things easier, I set a deadline of 6 months to the final release. It woud be a piece of cake, since we got the gear, got the songs all arranged and been playing them for about a year, got a good amount of time to get it done... but then reality cast its shadows over us.

Tracking each instrument separately would demand only the musician involved to get to the studio. The others would (and in fact they did and liked it) be dismissed. It went well for 2 weeks, when the drummer got tired of playing alone and started not to show. Trying to bring the bassist, the guitarrist, someone to the sessions showed to be an ingrateful task. Only the singer would show, so we started a side project

So I made a conclusion out of it: no one was even bothering about recording, for it was no fun to them. They liked to do rehearsals, but recording was apparently to much of a pain to my mates. Then I finally faced it and decided I was going to make things simpler.

First of all, we would now be tracking everyone together. This implied a lot of "downsizing", since I only got a Tascam US-800 and a Fast Track Pro. The US-800 has only 6 inputs, and using it along with the FTP for 2 additional inputs would cut my sampling rate down to 48 khz (instead of 96 as I was planning to do). Then, since we are 6 (and given I wanted to use 4 mics on the drums), playing together would require at least 9 inputs - so I decided to track the drums with only 3 mics (overhead, bass drum and snare), and leave the backing vocals to the overdub sessions.

Then it got interesting - to make things work like that, we would have to spend some money. We got some from the gigs we've been doing, so I bought 6 headphones, a phone amp, some drills, wire, P10 jacks and plastic little boxes. This way I can open a hole in the wall, stick the wires through it and build something to plug the instruments from the outside of the room to the interfaces there inside without having to open the doors - the drummer will play inside the room, and the rest of us will play outside, so there will be almost no bleed in the drum mics. All instruments will be recorded direct and dry, and simulation will be used then (maybe reamping too). The vocals can be re-done in overdub sessions, so as any part that don't fit.

Last saturday I called the guys and invited them to jam using the headphones. It was fun enough to make them say "let's record these dammed songs" and get motivated again. Even though I haven't opened that hole in the wall yet, they realised what I was planning to do and contributed with ideas. Now we're finally on our way.

P.S.: I do know there are better ways of doing what I described, but remember the main goal here is to bring back FUN to our sessions. Knowing my mates I know they will record faster together than separately (look at the year we spent on nothing). The thing here is, sometimes you have to give up on your rules to make things happen, you know?
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