Getting ready to record (1 Viewer)

KCBagHead

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I have a friend who has a studio -- and I have a few friends that will back me up -- if I don't get furloughed (seriously) -- I am plunking down the money to get it done.

I am doing all original songs...mainly so that I don't have to pay for licenses(plus I kind of like my own songs) --I am still researching reproducing the CDs and what format. I am looking at starting with 200 cds.

I'm curious if anyone has gone through this process and what kinds of lessons learned you would pass on.
 

donato

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You will lose money. That's the lesson. Do it for your own enjoyment and if you can afford it.
 
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KCBagHead

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I absolutely do not think I will make money or break even.

It's more for the personal enjoyment of it.
 

St.Fury

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Studio recording was always one of my favorite parts about being a musician. And I've done it quite Aaron few times for my own bands as well as with other bands. that's the luxury of being a horn layer.

My advice would be to be very pick in the pre-recording process (rig placement, Mic placement, type of mics, how many, room size, etc) as well as the actually receding process (your performance). These things will save a lot of time by cutting down on editing time. Im a big fan of getting it right so that you don't have to edit. I want a true product. Not something that was pieced together.
 

Hedon James

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Studio recording was always one of my favorite parts about being a musician. And I've done it quite Aaron few times for my own bands as well as with other bands. that's the luxury of being a horn layer.

My advice would be to be very pick in the pre-recording process (rig placement, Mic placement, type of mics, how many, room size, etc) as well as the actually receding process (your performance). These things will save a lot of time by cutting down on editing time. Im a big fan of getting it right so that you don't have to edit. I want a true product. Not something that was pieced together.
What Fury says!

I did this about 10 years ago in a friend's studio. It was a great experience and I was happy to memorialize my contribution to the musical integrity of mankind. As a studio virgin, I did a lot of things right, but I learned what NOT to do also!

Advice for ANYONE/EVERYONE:

When you're paying for studio time, you pay by the hour. Doesn't matter if you're behind a live mic with faders up, or getting high on the couch in the control room. The meter's running. So make them productive hours. Have fun and enjoy the experience, but it's way more enjoyable if you're not watching the clock going "dayuummmm.....we're not gonna get this part done today."

Along those lines, friends are great, but not if they're the "high on the couch" variety. Don't use the studio to "practice", "learn", or "work on the arrangement" of songs. If you can help it, lock them down TIGHTLY before you go in, and resist the urge to make "alternative" arrangements or "extra" tracks, just to see how it sounds. Unless you somehow catch lightning in a bottle; in which case, chase the lightning! Just remember that not every song is lightning in a bottle just because it's being recorded and you're listening in a different way than when you were writing, practicing, and performing it. And sometimes a "mistake" is cooler than anything you meant to do; the rest of the time, it should be re-done or over-dubbed as appropriate.

My personal opinion:

Go as "live" as possible to capture the "feel" of your tune. Do NOT record one track at a time and build up the layers to make a song! It takes too long, it's too expensive, and most importantly, it's nearly impossible to catch the "groove" and lock into each other. You'll never catch lightning in a bottle this way! If you can record ALL basic tracks in one take, do it! If the bassist can't make it for that session, record all the tracks but bass (or consider a studio replacement - see above!) and punch the bass in afterward. Do NOT spend an inordinate amount of time polishing out the music; leave it as "raw" as possible, as that is where the emotions are. There is a fine line between polishing something into a shiny diamond, and polishing into a sterilized, synthesized, and anesthetized commodity. I've heard lots of music where I thought "great tunes, even though it could've been more polished" and I've heard music where I thought "this is so polished, it sucks." Ideally, you have great tunes and perfect polish. If you have to choose, err on the side of less polish. But what the hell do I know? That's just my opinion!

Lastly, I had the master pressed into a CD. Can't remember who did it, but they were linked with Musician's Friend catalog. I sent them mastered music, album art, etc... and they sent back 100 professional quality cds. I absolutely recommend them. FWIW, they will NOT enhance/change your audio tracks in any way; they will NOT enhance/change your artwork in any way. What you send will be burned, printed, and returned to you in a sweet little package. Looking back 100 wasn't enough, I shoulda done 200. Looking forward, I question whether you need CDs or whether you should just upload to a site like Soundclick or even MySpace. Although people are more likely to give your music a listen if you hand out a tangible CD and say "check this out" than if you say "tracks available for listening & download at ____________." Only the truly curious will go to the site and check it out, but EVERYONE listens to a CD in hand. So, again, my opinion is to get the CDs!

Good luck my friend and perhaps you will "tease" us with some sample tracks to whet our appetitites?! Except for me...I'll be expecting a free cd for all my wonderful advice and guidance!!!
 

2009ring

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Make sure you file the copyrights for all your songs. I think it's about $30 a pop. I've only done a few but you need to make sure you do it.
 
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KCBagHead

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I've already got about half of the songs copyrighted -- I will do the others right before we start.

My friend has said that he will charge me $250 to record, mix, and master the songs. i think I have enough musicians to play on it and all they ask is credit on the cover -- and i will probably take a photo of all of them as well.

What i'm envisioning is to give a rough recording of the songs to the musicians ahead of time so they can figure out an arrangmement. It's pretty simple...vocal, rhythm guitar, bass, lead guitar, maybe steel, or lap steel and possibly a keyboard.

I'm only looking at 6 songs...which i'm told is an EP, not an LP -- and is commonplace in this age of CDs and digital music that isn't dependent on the 5 songs per side format.

the big CD question is replication or duplication.
 

St.Fury

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$250 to record? Is that per day? If that's for the entire album, I'd question how well this friend knows what he's doing. That's extremely cheap for an entire album, even in today's digital world.

Does he have the proper mics? You don't need $5000 mics to record a good album, but you do need the proper kinds of mics for various instruments in order to get the best and rawest tones onto the recording. You don't want any background or extra noises and you want to avoid using a certain mic because is gives the instrument a 'cool sound' (unless it was always intended to be that way). Those things can be added afterward, if needed.

It seems as though you're going with a CD just to get yourself "out there." For that purpose, CD duplication will probably be a cheaper and good option.

The difference is this: duplication would be just like burning a CD on you home computer. Professionals can mass produce them relatively in expensively. Replicating on the other hand would be putting the data onto the CD during the actual CD making process. Duplicating = burning. Replicating = glass master and stamper.

I've used both. I wouldn't really recommend replicating unless its a full blown album that you are mass producing.
 

St.Fury

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Also, the great part about going through a CD production company as opposed to just burning them yourself is that most companies give you the option of adding a bar code to the CD case. That will be necessary if you plan on selling them on Amazon. You will also need to prove that you own the rights to the songs..
 

2009ring

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I've already got about half of the songs copyrighted -- I will do the others right before we start.

My friend has said that he will charge me $250 to record, mix, and master the songs. i think I have enough musicians to play on it and all they ask is credit on the cover -- and i will probably take a photo of all of them as well.

What i'm envisioning is to give a rough recording of the songs to the musicians ahead of time so they can figure out an arrangmement. It's pretty simple...vocal, rhythm guitar, bass, lead guitar, maybe steel, or lap steel and possibly a keyboard.

I'm only looking at 6 songs...which i'm told is an EP, not an LP -- and is commonplace in this age of CDs and digital music that isn't dependent on the 5 songs per side format.

the big CD question is replication or duplication.
I have tunes I recorded over a year ago I'm still tweaking.

Honestly having them "figure out an arrangement" is recipe for disaster and frustration. You wrote the songs, have an arrangement in mind when you write them or what you'll end up with is a $250 rehearsal and arranging session....
 
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KCBagHead

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Sorry...I wasn't clear at all -- he said 250.00 per song...regardless of time. that includes mastering.
 

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