The past two Quick tips were all about preparing for the recording process. Today’s Quick tip is about the recording process. Way too often I see bands going in to the studio not knowing what the process is going to look like at all. So here is one part of the process that you need to be clear about beforehand, and understand that this might affect you studio choice as well.
Do you want to record the whole band live? It’s a nobel idea, but here is few things to keep in mind. First of all, how many takes will it take for all of you to nail the song? This might be much more than you think once the pressure of actually recording kicks in. The next thing is separation, does the studio have enough rooms to separate all of the amps, drums, acoustic instruments, vocals? And last, does the studio have enough inputs? You see, lets say you would like to mic up the drum kit with ten microphones, then you have electric guitar and you use one mic for that, two for the acoustic, a D.I. and a mic for the bass, and vocals. That require 16 inputs and 16 preamps. For any professional studio I would expect the 16 inputs to be the minimum, but many project studios do operate on eight. Often preamps are a big reason why you go to professional studio. They might have several, if the studio is well equipped one. Or they might have a great desk that has great preamps. But desks like these are expensive and many studios are known for their vintage desks and can charge a lot of money for having one. Now if they have only hand full of rack mic preamps, you need to make some choices during the recording of a whole band.
But if you record all of the instruments individually, you can concentrate much more on the individual take, the spill from other instruments will not be a problem, and you can use the best preamp in the house for most things.
If you have a clear idea which way you are going to record before going in to the studio, make sure the engineer knows this in advance. This will save time on the day, prevent confusion and save you money on the long run.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE