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How do you go about recording a song/songs

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I've tried several times to record my songs using a band and it never seems to work out, getting everyone happy with there takes, tones, together at the right time. I had more success trying to record them by myself but I've was just making a list of originals that I need to record and it's in the neighborhood of 30 songs. I've got a small protools rig now and I'm getting ready to get into "record" mode but I was just curious how you'd go about recording that many songs or even one song. I'm thinking about just doing rhythm tracks and lead vocals on everything and then going back adding bass, drums and whatever else to each on so I can get all of them done about the same time. I think that's a better idea then recording each song complete from start to finish so that once I get an acoustic sound I like I can keep it pretty uniform thru out, same with vocals or any other instument that I use. Any thoughts of what works best for you are welcome.

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Sweetpicker    1

Well i use Music Creator 5 and I record my tracks individually...since I don't have a band (I'm solo). For my personal example I'll play a blues 12 bar blues progression in the Key of A

1. I start with the drum track. I like to start with drums because it gives me a feel of having a metronome. And I have a solid foundation to build on.

2. Next, I add the bass track. I like to playback the drum track and then play along with the bass to get a feel for it.

3. Next I add in Keys. (keyboard) For instance I may add in a few chord accents to fill out the sound of the bass.

4. Next (my favourite part) i add my lead guitar. So on a so forth for each instrument....

Thats how i do it anyway, pretty much I like this method because you are in complete control of each band members sound. Each band member only has to get there part right without the interference of others in the band. I would reccommend communicating this to your band. The bad thing is that you cant please everyone. And with about 30 songs to cover, it won't be long before someone is ready to call it quits.

Edited by Sweetpicker

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Sweetpicker    1

And if you need help actually getting some of your bass or guitar parts off paper and into a real mp3, feel free to post them or send out a score or tab and maybe i can try it for you. I need the practice. :laughingg:

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Thanks for the offer, I'll see how it goes. I know I can cover the guitar parts, drums and vocals. Bass gives me fits because I have zero technique. I've tried too many times to get anything done with a band so this is going to be my "solo" project with help as I need it. I don't think I'll use a full band again to record.

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Tekker    1

Are you going to be playing 'real' drums or are they going to be programmed drums? This makes a big difference.

If real drums:

1) Do a scratch guitar/vocal track so you have something to follow while drumming.

2) After recording the drum track, scrap the original scratch guitar/vocal tracks and record all your tracks to the new drum tracks.

3) The rest of the instruments can be recorded at your preference (whether it's guitar, bass, keys, etc.), the main issue is to get the real drums recorded first since the drums are what all the other tracks will lock in to.

If programmed drums then it doesn't really matter which order you go in because the drums will be 'perfectly' in time anyways and won't drift at all like a human drummer would (unless you quantize the real drums). So you can either do the drums first or you can record other parts to a click track and then go back in and program the drums later.

Another thing to keep in mind is you may not want all your acoustic tracks, vocals, etc. to sound the same on every song. For example, if you have a song with a lot of instruments and is mostly electric guitar driven, you will probably want to distant mic the acoustic guitar instead of close miking it to make it sit further back and sound "thinner" so it doesn't compete with the main instruments in the mix. Whereas just the opposite if you have a largely acoustic driven mix, you will want the acoustic to be up front and sound full and close miking the acoustic will use the proximity effect of the mic (proximity effect = the bass response increases as the mic is placed closer to the sound source) to give the guitar a fuller sound. If you can map out the arrangement before you start recording (what instruments, which ones will be dominant in the mix, etc.), this will help get the kinds of sounds you want because you will have a general idea of the techniques you will need to use to record each instrument. Same kind of thing with vocals, to make background vocals sit behind the lead vocals take a step back from the mic so you have less bass and sound further away so they sit behind the lead vocals. Of course you can do a lot of this kind of stuff with EQ, and reverb, it helps greatly to record the tracks just the way you want them to sound so you have to do less "mixing" and most (if not all) recording engineers will tell you the sound will be much better if you can get it right at the mic.

-tkr

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Thanks guys, that some stuff to go with. I think I'll try the scratch-live drums-acoustic guitar-lead vocals-other instruments. Everything is probably going to be what my roots in guitar are, rhythmic acoustic rock, for the most part. So I think once the I get the acoustic set it should rock and I can get moving on this stuff. I'm noticing that I'm easily distracted in what I want to do musically. In the last year I've put deep thought into acoustic rock, singer song writer, Hip Hop, Motown, country, psychedelic rock, jazz, 90's pop rock and everything in between. So hopefully I can get this done and start marking all those off my list in the next year.

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carol m    64

I'm easily distracted in what I want to do musically. In the last year I've put deep thought into acoustic rock, singer song writer, Hip Hop, Motown, country, psychedelic rock, jazz, 90's pop rock and everything in between.

Ugh, distractions! I'm with you on that list, except for jazz and Motown, but I have some others as well:

delta blues, open tunings, lapsteel, slide, singing, blues harp, didgeridoo :) penny whistle, and working out how to properly use my RP150 and the Yamaha keyboard I can get to use if I'm good.

Learning how to play the keyboard with the fingers and not relying on its software would be sometime after that. Sometimes I wonder if a set of bongo drums and/or a cello might be nice.....I'm not sure where to place clean and reliable barre chords in the list.

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carol m    64

I forgot one - ear training - it's not working for me at all (Fretsource's app in his Lessons) which is really discouraging so I don't do it enough.

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