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Author Topic: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)  (Read 2686 times)

Bo

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Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« on: May 06, 2005, 10:53:00 am »

I figured I'd copy the format of J.Hall's thread about releasing a record, with a thread to document, and allow critique/comments of, my adventures in tracking and mixing two records with poor equipment, but with a whole lot of attitude. hah.

I'm an ametuer recordist in Fort Worth, TX.  I am a poor seminary student, so gear is less than perfect.  Signal path is typical for a home guy: 8 ch. M-Audio preamp-lightpipe out/Digidesign 002Rack-lightpipe in, firewire out/MusicXPC dedicated audio PC-firewire in.  Everything is mixed in the box.  Monitoring is 002/dbx DriveRack Studio/Alesis RA500/Tannoy Reveal Passive Shielded Monitors.  I'll get to the mic list later on.  

Here's the background info on the projects.
Paint the Sky(soon to be changed?) - 5 piece (heavier indie rock) band from Denton TX.
This is going to be a 5 song demo/ep to sell at shows. Basically, we're going to track it in the bass player's living room.  Which is horrible and beautiful.  Horrible as it's completely untreated, and next to the campus of UNT (lots of bg noise).  Beautiful because it is a challenge.  We're talking about 16'x12' room, lots of rattling windows, and 8' ceiling.  Oddly enough, I'm really excited, as I am going to try using "underheads" instead of overheads for the first time.  And to really make things interesting, I'm thinking about tracking the band live.  But we'll see how I feel next weekend when I wake up that morning.  I am a moody ametuer recordist, doing everything by how I feel at the moment - which can be rewarding or constricting.

Ever/Rest - a two piece acoustic act from random places in TX.
This act is acoustic guitar, chello, keyboards, and vocals.  The plan is 9 2-3 minute songs of quirky indie-pop.  We're going to track it in my room at the house.  Which is totally untreated of course, but has nice 12' vaulted ceilings plus I don't have to lug my rack anywhere.

I'm going to do some weird things on this record.  I've decided to experiment with piano contact microphones, as well as boundary mics - along with the more traditional condensors and dynamics.  I'm hoping for some weird cool noises and textures.

Stay tuned if you will - I start the projects next week.  
 
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j.hall

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 02:18:34 pm »

will you be posting mp3's?

i can give you the server space if you need it.....

looking forward to hearing all this, i've always loved your spur of the moment approach to getting sounds.

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Bo

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2005, 02:20:49 pm »

j.hall wrote on Fri, 06 May 2005 19:18

will you be posting mp3's?



yes, I will be posting mp3's  Smile
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drumsound

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2005, 11:39:25 pm »

Two words: packing blankets

THe cheap and easy way to do some acoustical control.

I can't wait to hear some of this stuff.
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takeout

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 09:52:33 am »

Flashbacks of shoving mattresses against windows...

Shoot - if the window starts rattling, mic that.
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brandondrury

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 10:11:05 pm »

Quote:

I am a moody ametuer recordist


Who isn't?  I never do the same thing twice.  It's the only way to learn your gear and how to get the results you want.  Then again, if you find something that works, it never works twice anyway so what difference does it make.

I'd like to hear the mp3's as well.  Your gear is completley sufficient to do some great things.  It's all about the music.  Don't get so excited about your production methods that you forget this.  Make the music work!

As far as the rooms go.  I wouldn't do anything to the rooms until you've recorded the band first.  Listen first.  Too dead is a problem (although an unlikely one in this case).  You may be suprised (you may not).

Be very picky with Mr. Emo drummer. Make sure he plays on time.  You may consider using a click as this forces the drummer to play tightly (sometimes too tightly) if he or you can't hear that he's drifting.  I wasn't obsessed with timing until I recorded a few bands with a click track.  It's a magical thing when it works correctly and it makes tracking overdubs a breeze.

Brandon

takeout

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2005, 12:48:26 pm »

Sometimes "too dead" is "just right".  Some of my favorite drum sounds would make you guys cringe if you heard them out of context.
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brandondrury

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2005, 10:13:59 pm »

Quote:

Sometimes "too dead" is "just right".


Good point.  I still would rather look at it as sometimes too dead is too dead, though.

Brandon

Bo

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2005, 12:24:13 am »

well well well.

Started the acoustic session tonight.  It's tough - gear problems (I'd give anything to sell PT and use anything else) among other things.  Room isn't great, but should be workable, as I've recorded acoustic here before and its done okay.  Hmmm.  The guy (who's really cool to just chill with) talks about "clean" and "perfection" in what he's looking for.  Well, I can't play your guitar for you.  I think with acoustic guitar, you start to see when someone is excellent or average.  Average is not a good thing in my book.  A lesser player (to his credit, he was a keyboardist & drummer first) drives an engineer nuts due to fingerbuzz and moving around while playing.  Great tone became impossible.  I was just looking for anything usable.  I'm not even sure I got that.  I was wishing for a nice dynamic, like a RE20 - as someone walked with my 57, and the condensers couldn't hide the defects.  I ended up randomly pointing the mic 45
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bloodstone

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Re: Bleed, Bleed, Bleed (adventures in home recording)
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2005, 08:57:58 am »

I've been doing the live living room recording thing for a few years now.

Last session findings:

Bass bled into the kick really bad even though I had the bass amp turned down low and in a hallway.

Vocals bled into drum OH really bad.  When we tried overdubbing voice the "ghost" vocal was too audible for my taste, but it was kind of an interesting effect.

Drums bled into the lead vocal so much that when I tried to use scratch vox to mix the tune the drums triggered any fx I tried to put on the voice, so I had to reduce fx level.

Despite the above, I thought the work has appeal.

When I record my own group this way, I tend to mumble the words into a 57 that I'm practically eating for lunch, and use a tiny electric guitar amp that's turned way down.
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