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Author Topic: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?  (Read 2474 times)

rvdsm

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"Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« on: September 03, 2004, 06:16:24 pm »

Quote:

Quote:

rvdsm wrote:
I don't mean to be rude, but isn't it a little naive to assume those who don't steer the tracking session in the direction of their preliminary "vision" as not experienced?

Okay, you're a band. You just saved up a couple grand to go into the studio. You're psyched about being there and have a lot of ideas bubbling around in your head about how you want the album to sound. Would you appreciate it if the engineer came up with his own "vision" and applied it to your master copy so no matter what becomes of the rest of the session your "vision" must be realized or there is to be no album?

I don't want to mistake you so I'm not saying that this example applies to you. I'm just trying to figure out what you mean by EXPERIENCE.



I don't think it is naive at all ... in the case that you are laying out, it's the band that would tend to be naive. Essentially, they are morons who really don't have a clue what is going to be good for them. Sure they have a "vision" and for the most part it is usually skewed .. and diverse. What the drummer wants will not be what the bass player wants and the guitar players will want something else. This "vision" will not be coherent within the band. This is why bands often need a producer ... and the recording engineer often winds up doing this for them, even though he or she may not be designated or paid for the job for the sake of expediency. The trick is to learn how to handle these situations without pissing the band off ... to learn to accommodate all the members of the band, in a way that each member feels as if you are listening to them over the others. Sometimes you can accomplish this other times it can be difficult.

Meeting with the band, listening to performances and discussing their goals, trying to all of them on the same page and explaining to them why you are doing things the way you are .... building trust with them ... speaking to them in musical and artistic instead of technical terms like, "that's like a green sound in a sea of yellow", instead of "that really lacks focus and definition" ... stuff like that you cannot learn mixing by yourself all alone with tracks you have no idea what was used or how it was recorded.

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This is an excerpt of a thread that I had going at recording.org with the head honcho over there. Although I didn't agree with his sentiment that bands need production and don't know what they want their CD to sound like, I thought it would be interesting to see what some of your feelings on the subject were.


Do you often compress and eq going to tape to help enhance your mix down the road or do you prefer recording flat?

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ted nightshade

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2004, 07:37:25 pm »

All at once in same room with vox.

That's how we play live, so it seems to make sense to do what we're good at instead of learning a whole new procedure for studio- plus, we have worked hard on the way we sound all at once in the room by recording it a lot with just a mic or two.
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ted nightshade

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2004, 07:41:35 pm »

Oh, and flat.

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beau

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2004, 01:22:20 am »

i prefer, to track live.  amps and singers in iso booths.  however, most young bands, suck pretty bad, and cant play their own music very well.  so i end up having the whole band(except for the drummer) track to a click track for scratch tracks.  i really try to make the scratch tracks good enough to be keepers on the record.  both tonaly and performance wise.
then i have the drummer play along to the scratch tracks.  i do this, because it enables the rest of the band to "help produce" the drum parts.  also, it usually takes me a few hours to get a drum take that i am happy with.  and if the whole band is having to play along with the drummer and restart every time he messes up, i have found that they become anxious to settle for a less than great take, and just have me "fix it" with edits.

so, after comping drum takes, and any other drum edits that need to be done, i like to track bass.  a tight rhythm section is important to me, so i do bass then rhythm guitars.  then leads and then vocals.  then i like to track keys, strings, etc after the vocal melodies are in place to make sure there are no conflicts.

i also try to track things as well as possible, making mixing go much faster.

peace,

beau
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King Whistle

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2004, 02:30:18 am »

  I track rock bands all at once, except for vocals. Everyone (drums,git,etc.) in the same room (except bass cabinet elsewhere).
I track the vocals afterwards.

 EQ flat except for a few 75Hz lo-cuts (HH + SD bottom).
 Sometimes a brickwall on the bass DI, for clicks.

  I usually ask questions of the band leaders, such as;
"Who do you envision your band sharing a stage with in concert?"
"What artists do you love?"
"What are your favorite albums?"
"What music is in your CD player right now?"
and most important;
 "Who do you want to hear this recording?" (audience, family, A+Rs, management, girlfriend, club owners, booking agent, Sony, whatever?)

  These questions help me make apropriate choices for the recording to be as succesful as possible with whichever recipients they need it to be.

  that's what I do.
Thaddeus Corea.

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JPRisus

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2004, 11:55:07 pm »

Good topic... here's my $.02...

i'm working in a production environment 90% of the time... sometimes the band knows clearly what they want and they simply need the right producer/engineer team to help them accomplish this... other times they have no idea what they want and need to be steered in the right direction. I have no problems with either scenario, but it must be determined before we begin tracking which direction the project is headed towards.

Most of the bands I work with want to track things individually, the good ol' "builidng the house" production approach: Lay a solid foundation (drums), add lumber frame (bass), insulation and drywall (guitars), stylistic design (vocals), finally decorate to taste (mix). I haven't encountered many musicians that could pull off a live tracking session and get away with a modern sounding result from it, at least not relative to the genre I most often work with. Nothing wrong with that approach, works great for some cats. Just not the ones I work with regularly.
Knowing what i'm getting into, i'll do whatever it takes to get the sounds I/we want to tape. If it's something risky, like a guitar effect we're not totally 100% on, we might do one track with and one without, just to be safe. Regarding mic preamp/EQ/compression, it's all about instinct. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it can go either way, sometimes it's dead wrong, and only experience can tell you that. The more you do it, the more obvious it becomes. Sometimes i'll rip EQ mercilessly to tape (or DAW in my case), other times i'll go in flat and save it for later. Never can tell beforehand either.

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tiggie

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2004, 05:34:43 am »

Most of the bands I record just book a few days to do a demo or a self-released EP or something, and they're almost always rock bands. So I tend to track everything live except for the vocals, I overdub them later. I EQ most of it on the way in, partly to save mixing time and partly so that I know I've got a good sound going to tape (or rather DAW). I'd rather do that than say "It's not perfect but I'll EQ it in the mix" and then get to mixing it and find actually there's not much I can do with it. I compress the drums on the way in too.

If I'm recording myself, though, I record everything separately and flat, and spend ages fiddling with it later.
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j.hall

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2004, 09:49:08 am »

rvdsm wrote on Fri, 03 September 2004 17:16


Do you often compress and eq going to tape....?




ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!

i started off being conservative with comp EQ to tape years ago, then went to all flat tracking.....got sick of boring tracks, the band getting used to that sound and not wanting many changes in the mix......hence sterile mixes.

plus, it just isn't the way i like to work....

now i just go for it.....

it typically takes me 2 to 4 hours to get drum sounds.  we start by moving mics getting a good tone off the kit and it's pieces, then i start compressing and EQ'ing to tape if i want to.

from there i try to track every one at once in iso booths.  i'm really hoping for drums a bass to be nailed together....

i'll give them a click if things are awful, or they ask for it....but i'm so sick of hearing "perfect" records.  i want to hear records performed by humans and not coputers.

the record i'm on now the whole band was laying down basics together.....one guy blew it, they started over

they are tight, well oiled, and impressive.

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spankenstein

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2004, 10:08:09 am »

I track flat... I don't have any considerable amount of good outboard gear so that's that at the moment.



Quote:


i'll give them a click if things are awful, or they ask for it....but i'm so sick of hearing "perfect" records. i want to hear records performed by humans and not coputers.



Often the bands I'm working with aren't able to play to a click so it's nto even an option. I still prefer the looseness of live and really like to track all the instruments at the same time.
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JPRisus

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Re: "Vision" quest: How do YOU track?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2004, 04:17:39 am »

a good reason to get the sounds you want during tracking is for perspective... easier to hear how everything works together when everything is closer to the real deal. Of course what seems right at tracking may not be right later on, but thats an experience/instinct thing. Gotta learn some how, so get yer hands dirty and don't be afraid to screw up some tracks! After all, it ain't rocket surgery...
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