View Full Version : Going Into the Studio This Weekend

Don Grieser
Mar-11-2004, 2:10pm
My band is going into the studio this weekend to start recording a CD. We've been rehearsing like crazy. We've done some recording on my home studio so we know a little bit about some recording issues. What advice can you offer, and what are some things to think about? How can you keep a consistent mando sound from one session to the next session 7 to 14 days away? TIA

Michael H Geimer
Mar-11-2004, 3:16pm
The first couple of times we went into the studio, the whole band would sit on the couch behind the engineer while one of us was 'in the fishtank'. With this arrangement, each take would inevitably get subjected to a review by the commitee, dragging down the process, and often annoying the performer.

We eventually learned to split up into pairs. Whomever was set to record would ask another person in the band to 'coach', and that person's job was to sit with the engineer and help judge the takes, comunicate with the person recording, and also help the engineer with his question about the song. Everyone else was expected to go amuse themselves elsewhere. (Ever notice just how many recording studios have Playstations? )

In my experience it was best that the player chose their own 'coach'. If you have 'band leader' or some other alpha type, this can get sticky as he/she might see themself as the best 'coach' and want to 'call the shots'.

Vocal coaching is a whole world of minutia that will drive many people crazy. You've been warned. <g>

- Benignus

Ken Sager
Mar-11-2004, 3:19pm
Three bits of advice from previous studio work as a guitarist:

1) Change strings at the same interval before each session. If it's a day or two before, or that morning. Do it the same way for your next sessions.

2) Keep all liquor and weed out of everyone's reach. Nothing will eat more studio time than somebody getting a bit tuned up, regardless of whether they think they need it to play better. Seriously.

3) Have fun and don't get stressed or anxious about anything. The more fun you're having the more you'll nail tracks on the first take.

For what it's worth,

Mar-11-2004, 4:09pm
Be patient. If it's your (or the group's) first time, it will be fun at times and not so fun at times. Learn everything you can from each experience, good or bad.

Mar-11-2004, 4:19pm
1. Breathe

2. Take as much time as you need when doing solo tracking to get your headphone mix where you hear exactly what you need. If you don't need the banjo in the mix to play your part..have the engineer pull them out.

3. Take as much time as you need to make sure you are in perfect tune with the track.

4. Breathe.

Most of all enjoy the process...you will learn from it.


Don Grieser
Mar-11-2004, 4:25pm
We're planning on recording the instrumental rhythm tracks as a group and then adding the solos and vocals. When it's vocal time, we plan on having our vocal coach come into the studio and work with us. We're also planning on short sessions--no more than 3-4 hours at a time. I hope we can keep the feel and the energy of the live performances that way. Thanks for the good advice.

John in T-ride
Mar-11-2004, 4:25pm
"Keep all Liquor and weed out of everyones reach" ha ha! I met Steve Earle a few weeks ago and he had some heartbreakingly funny stories about this....Good luck Don, maybe we'll be seeing you on the bakery porch this summer.

Mar-11-2004, 4:33pm
It's amazing how many times I'll run into a mandolin player who has very strong opinions about how their instrument sounded on a given recording, and yet they have no idea what the signal chain was that produced the sound....

Any time you record, lean down and check out the model and make of the mic you're recording with, and note the position of the mic. #A digital camera helps. #Take a pic of the mic placement, and you'll have a record of it in case you have to come in and do some OD's....

Keep a slip of paper in your case with this info...
An engineer will always like to hear what mic you thought sounded good on your instrument, and adjust accordingly...

Most of all, make a point of having fun...

Ken Sager
Mar-15-2004, 9:21am
"Keep all Liquor and weed out of everyones reach" ha ha! I met Steve Earle a few weeks ago and he had some heartbreakingly funny stories about this....Good luck Don, maybe we'll be seeing you on the bakery porch this summer.
Do tell!

Mike Bullard
Mar-18-2004, 4:04pm
Yep, I agree with the liquor part....nothing worse than a slobering drunk in the studio.. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Mar-18-2004, 7:38pm
Especially if it's the engineer...
(Voice of experience)...

Mar-18-2004, 9:51pm
Jimmy Martin sez "Get it right on the first take!"

Mar-18-2004, 10:14pm
Don't fart! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif