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How do you track?
Old 16th June 2002
  #1
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
How do you track?

Is there a certain system you use when tracking?

I tend to track drums on all songs first with the whole band playing and set up for keeper takes (if any). With most bands I work with, everything else gets overdubbed (sigh) and I finish one song at a time after all the drums are recorded. I find it keeps everybody more focussed on that particular song and the sounds get treated differently for each instrument on each song. I don't like to record i.e the rhythm guitar for all the songs one after the other, then the solos, then the vocals etc. It also keeps the band together in the studio and not just the guy who is recording at the time.

I would love to be able to mix right after each song is finished, but the studio gets setup in a different way for mixing and it would be a PITA to go back and forth between mixing and recording setups, even with the recall on the Sonys.

Also, if it's a complete album project we end up having a ruff mix after a few days and can live with that for a few weeks. I then tack on a week of "fixes" before I start mixing.

Do you guys take a break between tracking and mixing to get away from everything? How long is a normal project for a 10-12 song album? How much time do you spend on the mix part.
Old 16th June 2002
  #2
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i track it all -vox live. usually a guitar or three gets od'd and solos et al [shakers, tambs, percussion, pads, other assorted ****]... and then vox, no wait, vox before any solos but after "thickening guitar parts". most of the time all the initial tracks are keepers, but occasionally i will replace parts or whatnot. i prefer the live vibe over everything else [including perfection, musically or sonically]

after everything is tracked, i do rough mixes as i go to listen to for a few days at least, if not a week or two just driving around or whatever... then come back to that project and mix it. its not odd to have 5 projects going on consecutively so they all kinda work round robbin style.

also. i DONT mix with the band there. most of it is boring until the song gets balanced and the creativity can begin. i usually take it all the way out to the end and then when the band comes in to listen to the finished project, if they want something different or minor changes, i just instantly recall it.

i generally spend about twice the time to mix as i do to track... depends on the project. how long it takes to do it depends on the band. i had a band come in and do 13 songs in 4 hours INCLUDING setup, with another day for guitar od's and vox, and then 2 days to mix all 13 songs... but then i have bands who take 10 hours to do 2 songs from start to mix time... and that was rolling on the project nonstop. then i currently have a project that took a whole session just to do one guitar part.
Old 16th June 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

Like both of you, I try to record the whole lot as keepers. I also try to get a flat mix ASAP, spend an hour or two just to get a real nice live mix and give them that to take home. As I cannot fix it in the mix most times. Then it is up to the band the order of overdubs, normally fix what is stuffed in the tracking, then guitar then vox then B Vox..

Mixing I do not mind the band being there, okay those who will contribute the rest can play Playstation. I always find a lot of bands I do under estimate the time and run out of money for mixing. Even though I will tell them it will take around 1-2 days a song they think 2 songs a day as we can do 5-6 for a demo in 8 hours.

Its amazing who you get stuck on one thing for hours, I did over 1 and a half hours on a three word harmony in a bridge last month.
Old 17th June 2002
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I get the whole band set up and I go for keeper tracks from everyone. With a four piece band I'm usually rolling tape in about 3-5 hours after they walk in. Even with unlimited time to get sounds I don't know if I'd need more. Once the song is done and we have "the take" I'll do any obvious punch-ins and then move onto the next song. If we're going to redo all the bass, rth gtrs etc. I'll set up and blast through those one song at a time.

For mixing I take about 3-5 hours per song, sometimes faster but not if I can help it. Sometimes when the budget is limited I'll go with my gut and I'm going for an hour or two per song. If I need to move faster then that I won't work on the project. Genereally by the time a project is done we're looking at a song a day for something that everyone can be really happy with, it might go a little faster but not always.
Old 18th June 2002
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I get as much as possible during the basics. I've even has singers in the control room and gotten lead vocals with the basics. If I'm overdubbing vocals, they come after the basics and fixes. I want to know all the ear candy parts will work with the lead vocal/melody. I only do rough mixes if it is a must. They usually are work mixes, so the guitarist can come up with parts, or backgrounds can be written. I like a little time between tracking and mixing. Even if it?s just a day or two. When I'm busy I like to track a project, track the next, mix the first then mix the second.

In my new room I think I'll have the space to track everybody in the same space. I can't wait to try that!
Old 18th June 2002
  #6
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subspace's Avatar
Last thing I tracked was a single song for a comp last Thursday. The band showed up at 5pm, we set up the drums, bass, and 2 guitars in the live room using gobos, and had them miked with headphone mixes by 6:30pm. I set the console up in a split configuration, but using all input modules, so the 10 mic inputs were on the far right, while the tape returns were coming back to the left on channels 1-12. After running the song down once we had to move the kick, snare, and both guitar mics a bit, and we ended up taking a line out from one of the player's amps to the studio Boogie for a beefier tone. A couple false starts later we had the keeper. Next, we overdubbed the sax part, which we had to do a couple takes of in spots. For vocals, we did the verses first, which went through a megaphone set up in the hallway. We had to try a few different mic positions before finding one that fit in the mix. Then we cut the rest of the parts on a hand-held 57, as that's what the vocalist was happiest using. Finally, he laid down a doubling track on all the hand-held parts. On playback, I asked him to re-do the first refrain as it didn't hit like the second one, which he did on both tracks. I had gotten a mix together in the control room during tracking that I was pretty happy with, so I popped a CD-R in the burner and ran it down for them. It was 10pm, which is my working cut-off time, so the band went home to listen, leaving the set-up in place.
We reconvened the next day at 5pm, talked over the mix and a couple of changes before starting at 5:30pm. They were happy with the overall sound we had, so we were just punching one break on each guitar, and doing edits. We replaced one soft snare, and had to replace the first upstroke on one of the guitars during each verse because his amp would drop off in volume during channel switching. He sounded late on every one, and yes, it was the same POS we bypassed the power section of during tracking. After that, we tweaked the EQ on the toms, guitars, and sax, added some 1176 to the snare, and some delay and automation to one clean guitar break. After that, we worked on vocals for the rest of the mix. The megaphone sounded good with some 1176 smoothing, but the hand-held required some automated rides before the 1176 (guess what my fav compressor is?) to get consistent. It also needed a de-esser. Finally, I suggested a vocal arrangement where the doubling was off for the pre-chorus, used as low backing on the chorus, and a full-on double during the sustained notes of the refrain. The singer was a little double happy, but came around after hearing it. I added a touch of Lexicon chamber to the hand-held vocals and snare, and the mix was finished at 8:30pm. I ran off the master and the band's copy while they broke down, and left by 9pm.
I really like working this way, as the decisions we're making on mic position, amp sounds, etc, are based on getting things to fit for this particular song, using this particular mix. There's always something about that first mix I put up as I'm hearing a song for the first time live. It's nice to be able to carry that on to completion without starting over at any point. But for the record, yes, I've tracked, overdubbed, and mixed 17 songs in one evening session, as well as spent 2 years working on the same 10 songs. I would rather not, but if that's what the client wants...
Old 18th June 2002
  #7
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by davemc

...........okay those who will contribute the rest can play Playstation.
Yep ... this unit is a must for any studio. To keep bored musicians out of the control room.
You just have to avoid the temptation to get invovled in the competition going on in the other room !
Old 18th June 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Kev


Yep ... this unit is a must for any studio. To keep bored musicians out of the control room.
You just have to avoid the temptation to get invovled in the competition going on in the other room !

yea, tell me about it .... that kinda warning should have been printed in capitals on the Box when you buy it .... hmmmmm .... maybe I can file a complaint against Sony in the old fashioned American court kinda way .... have them pay me for lost studio hours / days .... months ..... evileye
Old 19th June 2002
  #9
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts

.... have them pay me for lost studio hours / days .... months ..... evileye
I have been addicted to Grand Turismo since GT1 and I can't kick the habit .
Old 19th June 2002
  #10
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 

Re: How do you track?

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Is there a certain system you use when tracking?

Do you guys take a break between tracking and mixing to get away from everything? How long is a normal project for a 10-12 song album?
I like to mix as tracking progresses. Whenever it's feasible, I like to mix before the next project begins. More than once, I have had a band's tracking dates spill over into their mix dates. As a result, the mix gets pushed back to the next available chunk of dates. Obviously, this means setting up the console, outboard etc for something else. Almost every time this happens, it takes so frickin long to get things back to where I wanted them in the first place, and when it does, the reference scratch mixes usually sound better to me

Some album projects run extremely smoothly; others, not so smooth. I had a band in once that tracked all the rhythm section basics for 13 songs in a day and half. The guitars however ended up spread out across almost 9 months due to touring commitments and some other miscellaneous hassles.

The bands I work with are folks who have day jobs, so things that could be done in a 40 hour week sometimes end up taking closer to a month to do...evenings, weekends etc.

- Jon
Old 19th June 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Kev


I have been addicted to Grand Turismo since GT1 and I can't kick the habit .
Then there was the drummer I had to turn the lights off to get him out, as he was playing Resident Evil from the time he hit the last beat to the end of the overdubs and mix. He did not even come in and complain about the drums not being loud enough during mixtime.
Old 19th June 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I have a Playstation 2 and an N64 at home. I'm kickin' it old school at the studio with a Sega Genesis and the classics. Golden Ax, Shinobi, Paperboy, Altered Beast, NBA Jam, Frogger, Marble Madness and about a dozen others. It's great because everyone remembers those games and can figure out how to play them. I'd love to have one of those bar table Ms. Pac Man games. That would be the ****!
Old 19th June 2002
  #13
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs

I'd love to have one of those bar table Ms. Pac Man games. That would be the ****!
Yes agree'd.

A freind has a table Space Invaders in storage.

The object is to get more than on game into it.
Frogger,
Galaxian,
Pheonix,
etc

There are emulators available (Mame32 etc ) and it would be nice to uses this technology to bring new life to things.

Even at 20 cents a game it could end up making more money than an O/D session.yuktyy
Old 20th June 2002
  #14
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Sega Genesis and the old original Arcade style "Defender" at WireWorldrollz
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