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Tracking Mistakes
Old 19th November 2002
  #1
Gear Nut
 
MickeyBee's Avatar
Tracking Mistakes

Gearsluts,the golden well of information.

This is a question i would like some input on if any.

In todays digital world many bands with a limited budget
can be tempted to track everything at thier own place and bring
everything to the studio for the mixerguy to run the tracks on some
expensive gear and come up with a great result.

Whats the common mistakes they make that just ending up with
the engineer has to fix problems ?
My guess would be overcompressed stuff, midrange boxy vocals or
bleedin mics on the drums.
Old 19th November 2002
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Whats the common mistakes they make that just ending up with
the engineer has to fix problems ?
My guess would be overcompressed stuff, midrange boxy vocals or
bleedin mics on the drums.
I end up with some tracks like these sometimes.

#1. One thing I see all the time is DAW tracks that are absolutely freekin quiet. Sometimes they seem to have no level whatsoever! Then of course you turn them up and they sound like crap (largely because they've got poor digital resolution & thus very high noise to signal ratio. This is most likely a result of no outboard gear (and of course lack of experience). But also - people seem to be afraid of tracking loudly on digital because of Digital "overs".
#2. The opposite problem - digital overs everywhere. And analog "overs" too. The band is playing (not watching levels) so the mic pre gets crapped out - and nobody is there to see the red lights! Then when they hear it later (if they hear it) they don't know what it was.
#3. here is my least favorite one - incorrect or at least mis-guided bussing. For example - you pull up the track labeled "Bass" and its really some Bass with an even louder Hi-hat along with it.
#4. no labeling of any kind, anywhere. "which vocal was the final - I don't remember !"
#5. Digital popping and clicking everywhere, because they've got several digital devices - but don't know what a word clock cable is for.
#6. Everything is already sub-mixed onto 4->8 tracks - but they're looking for a better "mix" from you.

I could come up with a lot more - and maybe I will - later.
Old 19th November 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Re: Tracking Mistakes

Quote:
Originally posted by MickeyBee

Whats the common mistakes they make that just ending up with
the engineer has to fix problems ?
My guess would be overcompressed stuff, midrange boxy vocals or
bleedin mics on the drums.
Phew .... that IMHO is only the tip of the mountain. Overcompressed, sucked every life out of it is very common but at least as bad it gets when those same people count on you to make it sound great. I mean, If the sound of the tracking sucks to begin with .... how in the world do you expect even the best engineer to 'save' it ????

Sure, things like 'soundreplacer' jump to mind for example and autotune, but those alone are definately no guarentee what so ever for a good sounding mix.

A good sounding mix starts with good sounding tracks -- as a side note good musicians too of course but that's nopt the point of discussion here ---- . To record good sounding tracks you need good equipment like AD convertors / pre's / mics / ... of good quality and a guy who knows how to handle them.


Here's what I would do if I were in that kind of situation and I didn't have the budget to go tracking in a good studio. I would rent some key equipment for the tracking days. At least eliminate as much possible elements that can screw up your sound. High end rental is affordable.
Old 19th November 2002
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Oh - I just can't wait.
Smart bands don't record the vocals - just the band.
Even smarter bands track the drums at a real studio. Buy one nice mic and one nice channel strip and then record all the guitars and basses and vocals at home - then return for mix.
If you do this well only real disadvantage is that the band really can't all play at the same time and have it still sound good.
Old 19th November 2002
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
To record good sounding tracks you need good equipment like AD convertors / pre's / mics / ... of good quality and a guy who knows how to handle them.
Here's what I would do if I were in that kind of situation and I didn't have the budget to go tracking in a good studio. I would rent some key equipment for the tracking days. At least eliminate as much possible elements that can screw up your sound. High end rental is affordable.
This could be false economy if you don't have that guy who knows how to operate the gear. What good is the stuff if you don't know how to use it. That being said - there are some guys out there who have good ears and brains and no money.

The big mistake I forgot to mention.
You've got to have some impartial guy there to tell each of the bandmembers when they suck and why! tut
Old 20th November 2002
  #6
Gear Nut
 
MickeyBee's Avatar
And how about this :
Does it happen that they give you a cd of thier favourite artist and say - We want to sound like this.

Or instead of submixing tracks they have lots of, lets say
lead vocal tracks for you to cut and paste the best parts
but the singer decided to sing in so many different
styles/expressions that it´s impossible to make something out of.
( thats my experience that made me wonder what might come up
in the future)
Old 20th November 2002
  #7
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Usually, the common problem is the tracks just plain don't sound good!

(Performance aside)

Bad rooms & acoustics, bad mics, bad positions, bad pres, bad compression, bad converters, bad clocks, bad engineering, all combined....

And especially with drum tracks! My goodness, home drum tracks brought to me just never sound good. Even ones done in decent STUDIOS rarely sound good. YOU NEED A REALLY GOOD, EXPERIENCED ENGINEER FOR DRUM TRACKING WHO KNOWS HOW TO GET THE SOUND YOU'RE AFTER! (Actually, not just for drums).

Sorry to shout.
Old 20th November 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by MickeyBee
And how about this :
Does it happen that they give you a cd of thier favourite artist and say - We want to sound like this.
Oh yes .... that's a classic .... dfegad grggt
Old 20th November 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
....... (Actually, not just for drums).


phew .... started to doubt you there for a sec Jon .... glad you think it is not only for drums.
Old 20th November 2002
  #10
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

heh

Actually...the usual "make me sound like this CD" bit doesn't bother me...as long as the tracks sound OK to begin with!

Drums and vocals would definitely be the weak spots tho. Paul is right...

dfegad grggt dfegad grggt
Old 20th November 2002
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'll ditto Pauls list. Some people also have really tough times with percussion, I've gotten lots of roomy shaker tracks or stuff that's clipping or way too bright.
Old 20th November 2002
  #12
Gear Addict
 
mitgong's Avatar
 

Tracks - especially vocal takes, of course - in which every punch was recorded on a different day, different mic, different input level, different room. This is truly frustrating.

The bright side of "problem" tracks is that suddenly you have license to get creatively radical. "Well, I guess we'll just have to run these drums through the SansAmp, my friends." "Oh, the Leslie will cover that up." "Let's play the track backwards!"
Old 22nd November 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

out of 100 , 99.999 times it would be faster to record all the tracks again instead of trying to mix some audio .

i cant stand that sentence anymore " now today in the world of digital .... " .
if a band wants to record in their rehearsal room ... setup 2 nice mics and a dat <-- works great .
a band should work on their fundaments and basícs . its not a good idea wasting 4 weeks in the rehearsal room thinking about 33 different vocal harmonies ... most times theres just one singer anyway.
if a new band has access to all kinds of different medias it ends up that the whole bands sitting in the rehearsal room , the drummers programming drumloops , the guitar player wants to have his backwards guitar solo and the singer figures out he cant live nomore without autotune .

rehearsal should be fun

and studio should be fun

go practice well , get prepared so you dont have to spend $$$ in fact of studiotime . as a bonus you`ll spend some time with experienced people bringing your talents and your sound to another level .

so dont let the studios die , its all up to you



" you cant do it all on your own "

dont get me wrong , just my opinion & experience

what i want to add : if you really know what you want and how to prepare it , its a great option to go to a nice studio and let a experienced mixer "mix your music" . but thats the usual way anyway , most recordings arent mixed in the place they were recorded .

peace
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