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Recording Full Rhythm Sections
Old 16th August 2002
  #1
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Recording Full Rhythm Sections

Here's a question about typical recording methods - who regularly records full rhythm sections or whole bands with the intention of keeping the bulk of the tracks they play together? And who usually works either on the 'one instrument at a time' approach or in a typical session, sequences, loops, or otherwise builds the final tracks from sources other than live instruments?

I know that some guys will let the whole band play even though they only intend to use the drums (while everything else will be replaced), but I know at least a couple of guys on this forum who do record whole bands in what is close to a live situation (and then there's Steve Remote, who does it in real live situations).
Old 16th August 2002
  #2
Plan a - all live (but rarely vocals)
Plan B - Drums & bass -
Plan C = Drums only

I feel I need to be 1 to 1 with the 6 stringed guitarists MOST times to do my producer job. I am an ex player and have a lot to say on their parts & performance.

Genre - rock / alt / indie - always live drums
Old 16th August 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I usually keep most of what's cut during basic tracks. If some kind of huge flaw is discovered later I'll try and punch in or we'll just replace the whole track. I hate the feeling of asking the drummer to go for the keeper track when everyone else is just kind of sloshing through it knowing that their part is going to be redone.
Old 16th August 2002
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I usually keep most of what's cut during basic tracks.
Yeah, I figured that you were one of the guys who would. That's where the fun is, of course...
Old 16th August 2002
  #5
Gear Addict
 

I try to track everything at once and then replace the scratch vocal. It also depends on how much pre production the band has gone through because, like Jules, I want to work on the the guitar stuff with the player, so if the part is well defined we go with it but often we listen to the bed tracks and rework the guitar tracks and cut the vocal. I alway track horns later as well simply because I don't have enough iso to get them out in a decent sized room. I also don't punch much unless it's a small glitch. If someone is unhappy with their part I keep it and have them do a complete redo and if they can't produce a good track in a couple of takes we go back and punch the original. take care Logan
Old 16th August 2002
  #6
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e-cue's Avatar
 

I go for all at once with the Drums and BASS iso'ed like a mickey-fickey. I go into every live session thinking mentallity as if I'm going live to 2 trk. (Which I sort of am since I roll a dat wild) If you just track drums & bass, sometimes the guitarist (depending on skill) never gets that pocket right. I usually give the Vocalist a 58 to jump about the control room & take a scratch track. Seems to work best for me since the members act as cheerleaders for each other.
Old 16th August 2002
  #7
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subspace's Avatar
I record the full band as if we're recording a live performance. Been working on using less isolation and getting "better" bleed through mic position and instrument orientation, which necessitates keeping most of what's played live off the floor. We might decide to have a guitarist lay out somewhere we want to do an overdub with a different sound, and the vocals are always discrete enough to re-cut. I'll usually set up a gobo next to the vocal mic with another identical mic on the other side, so if we decide to use the live vocal we can blend in the room sound on any punch-ins.
My latest pet peeve working like this is channel switching amps. I spend a lot of time cleaning up those transitions, and usually find one of the tones can be improved by re-cutting with a different amp. I'm thinking of setting up an A/B box so we can switch between, say, our Twin Reverb and Mesa Boogie amps during tracking, getting the tone and balance right while it goes down live. We'll usually add backing tracks to enhance the sounds, but I like the live performance to be the crux of the track.
Old 16th August 2002
  #8
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

not only do i track all live [-vox] but i so much intend on keeping it is full on bleed as well. at least for a lot of the projects.

the last tracking session i did however, i intended on capturing the drums and leaving everything else to work on later due to certain circumstances.
Old 16th August 2002
  #9
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

I allways try tp get as much at once as possible when doing music that benefits from a live vibe ( ie: music I like )

for programmed POP stuff I transfer all the MIDI stuff over, then do Guitars, then VOcals and then let the Drummer come in and play last.. they seem to really enjoy playing off the entire track
(someone should have fun on those sessions)

When tracking a band, everything is treated as a final ( even the Vox being cut in the control room on a 57) I have gotten some killer takes that way.
Old 16th August 2002
  #10
I just experienced my first 'we godda get a session guy in' experience with a band..

The drummer was a genius - Keith moon style, pretty damn faultless, the bassist was a nervous wreck, for good reason, his skill level was WAY junior to the drummers.... So we tried for an evening to get his bass down on 'the big bass number' but he fluffed it...

I called in my chum who is my favorite bassist...

He ruled!

Management helped take care of the guy so I didnt have to have epic talks on the issue, anyhow he is cool aparantly, I will burm him a CD with bass on one side and the band on the other for him to learn.

Many folks on net newsgroups shout 'just get a good player in' but they dont understand the "band" dynamic...

Anyhow, now I've done it, I will do it again if needs be...

Old 17th August 2002
  #11
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Oh I forgot to mention that if the band seems to have trouble at all, I will forget all about bleed is cool and get as much iso as possible...
Old 17th August 2002
  #12
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I just experienced my first 'we godda get a session guy in' experience with a band..

Many folks on net newsgroups shout 'just get a good player in' but they dont understand the "band" dynamic...

No, a lot of them understand it - they just learned what you just learned earlier in the game. A couple of times a year I get called to a particular studio in town to either replace or simply track all the basses for British country bands who come here to do their record. Apparently the studio owner (who also engineers and produces these CD's) makes the band understand that there is a time limit on how long the project can take (determined by the band's budget), and his job is to get the record done within that time frame. The band's understand that if any (or all) of the musicians aren't capable, then session guys get brought in.

The worst part about playing on these sessions is that the bassist whose parts I'm replacing is usually sitting in the control room. And he usually doesn't understand why my half notes are better than his half notes...
Old 17th August 2002
  #13
Gear maniac
 

i feel that you need at least three people (like three legs on a table) to create a stable rhythm

sometimes i will play with just the drummer, if i need a looser feel

very rarely, i will cut the basic track by myself, if i want the tempo to fluctuate (i play guitar)

everything is recorded with the intention of keeping (even the scratch vox), but enough isolation to discard if necessary (i don't mind if a little guitar bleeds into the overheads, even if the part gets replaced, it just adds interest, imo)

ideally, though, the best energy comes from playing together, and in my no-budget environment, the energy is the best currency i have (+ time i can spend on recording/editing), so i aim to keep all the basic trax
Old 17th August 2002
  #14
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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It depends on the band and the producer.

I like to have as many people doing final takes with the drummer as possible if it is a band situation.

What I usually see happen, though, is that all perform, but just the bass and drums are kept (or often as not, just the drums)...then edited...then the other guys do one on one overdubbing. Much slower.

Jon
Old 18th August 2002
  #15
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davemc's Avatar
 

I setup to do the live at once thing. Vox room, drum room, guitar iso closets. The same idea as a lot of you?
The band plays/rehersals/vibes as a unit and if you then just get them to play one at a time to a click (they are not used to) then the vibe aint there. Funny a lot of vocalists (even those with no instrument) will not want to try for a keeper track(or just sing it properly at all), after a few takes they work out that if he/she is not giving a **** the rest of the band are vibe of there negative attitude.
Old 18th August 2002
  #16
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sonic dogg's Avatar
Unlike a lot of you, I have no iso rooms ...pretty much rely on gobos and good mic placement...always theres bleed but we try to make it 'nice'...all of my recordings are of the same bunch doing our songs and an occasional demo for bookies so we can werk a bit...these guys are onlys 'cents'off of any track so if we dont want to keep a track due to vibe or some little change its easy cause the next one is going down in time with the others...my room is not a 'box' its actually a very cool ramblin-around-the -fireplace-70's-kinda thing....40' long and different widths throughout...in a chevron shape...if it was mine(i lease) it would make a fine studio room with proper treatments and such...anyway...the question...yeah its live all the time...although someimes i'll put....peace up a basic beat on the drum machine and play all the parts to that....we usually then learn the song from this and then do it all with everyone involved
Old 20th August 2002
  #17
Gear addict
 

"nice" bleed

subspace, you mentioned going for "nice bleed." i generally record small projects in one nice-sounding room, and i'm still very much learning how to get a good balance between micing individual instruments and micing the room. assuming that everything played will be kept, can you give any tips on making the bleed work for the recording?

thanks, jonah
Old 21st August 2002
  #18
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Yeah. Take lots of time to experiment and move things around. If it doesn't sound good and balanced in the room it'll never good and balanced on tape. 95% of the battle is getting things into the right place in the room and not letting any one thing get too loud. I spent some of my early years of recording doing it all live in the same room and then overdubbing vocals. It's way easier to throw the amps into seperate rooms but it isn't as much fun.

What I usually do is put the guitar amps in iso booths and leave the bass amp in the same room as the drums. It just works for me and seems to help "tune" the kick to the song. Unless someone has an objection everyone stands in the room with the drummer so there's full eye contact. If the singer is also a player I'll throw a 58 in the room with them for a scratch vocal. Once or twice it's been a final vocal and a room mic for the drums. If the singer is just a singer they'll go in an iso booth and we'll try to get a keeper track while the band is cutting basics. Hardly ever works like that for some reason.
Old 21st August 2002
  #19
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
If it doesn't sound good and balanced in the room it'll never good and balanced on tape.
Double Dog Damn Donkey Ditto. Turd polishing (Turd = Live Room, Polisher = Control Room) in the tracking stage is counterproductive.
Old 21st August 2002
  #20
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David R.'s Avatar
 

Really depends on the projet. Much of the work I get is the solo artist piecing together the songs. My studio is one room so this works very well. When I do bands, I take a bunch of gear to where ever and record there, sans vocal. There might be some fixes or even taking guitar/whatever from take two and flying to take 3 (did that last night), but I love the feel of a band playing live.
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