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Old 5th August 2009
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ButchVig's Avatar

Originally Posted by rishi View Post
I was wondering what your thoughts/decision making process on tracking bands together versus individual parts (drums first, then bass, guitars etc...)? I assume that it mostly depends on the group. A lot of producers say they like getting at least the rhythm section to track together. With that said, there are a lot of people who track each instrument separately. If you do track groups together, do you isolate the amps, or do you just let it all bleed? I have done both and have received good results both ways, but I was always curious how the pros do it. I find that when I track groups separately, I have to do more automation and build in the dynamics of the track more than when I get the group to track together. I am particularly interested in your process for Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day if it makes things easier to discuss by using examples. Thanks!
Nirvana: tracked all in the same room, guitar and bass cabs isolated...kept the bass, some of the basic guitars

Sonic Youth: tracked all in the same room, lots of bleed, kept all the basics, overdubbed more guitars on Dirty than Experimental Jet Set

Smashing Pumpkins: on Gish, just Billy and Jimmy tracked, with Billy standing 2 feet away from Jimmy, only kept the drums, Billy overdubbed all the guitars and bass.
On Siamese Dream, they were all set up in the live room, with cabs islolated...on some songs all 4 played, some just Billy and Jimmy.

Green Day: all 3 setup in the live room with cabs islolated, but usually I was just going for the drums. Both Billie and Mike like to overdub in the control room. There were a few songs were we kept Billie OG track.

One of the reasons I like to record the whole band is to hear how the drums will sound against the guitar and bass....if you record only drums, it's hard to make know you should eq them if they are not competing against other instruments.

I also like to record the whole band for the vibe, I like to hear the big picture when tracking!