Welcome to the first of my many blogs on music, recording and all things studio related. Hooray.
I'll start at the beginning. If you're thinking of recording with myself (or anyone else) then there are some things you can all do before you drag your kit through the doors that will really help save time tears and tempers in the long run.
TAB OUT YOUR MATERIAL
The worst thing on planet earth is not hunger, famine, war or disease.. It's when for months and months you've all been out gigging and rehearsing and both guitarists AND the bass player have all been playing slightly different versions of the same riff(s). This, in turn when hitting the studio will lead to the most hilarious (for me) arguments and re learning of sections you thought you had in the bag ages ago. More often than not one person will end up jumping on the guitar and tracking the sections that everyone else learned incorrectly. Bad habits form over very short periods of time and that little bit of a twist in the riff that you do that the other guy doesn't do might be fine live or at practice, but under the repetitive microscope of the trusty SM57 on your cab it's going to stick out like a sore cock. Obviously character in a player is a good thing, but if when you're listening on playback it sounds sloppy and not particularly tight together then there's been a problem between writing the riff, showing everyone else and maintaining the correct technique and composition of said riff.. Tab it out..!!!!
DEMO YOUR MATERIAL
Laying down early versions of songs or ideas is the best way of finding out how well you play your own material. Fact.
You all love that mega heavy breakdown section or ultra tech chorus in your new favourite track you've written but how well do you really play it..? Is it going to be good enough when you finally come to record it..? If the answer is "Errr, It should be ok.." Or the infamous "I nail it at gigs and practice, so yeah.." Then you should really be looking at a brutally honest reality check and just make sure you aren't bloody delusional..
A decent computer interface isn't that expensive these days (especially with eBay at your fingertips) and it will serve you far better to grab one between you and see where your weaknesses lie. We all have them but a quick recording session at home with a clean (yes, I said clean) tone will highlight what sections you as a player need to work on. There are lots of free audio software tools available online to help achieve this too. This also goes back to part one.. Tab it out. Learn it correctly and make sure you're all playing the same thing. In the event of harmonies and little lead sections this again will help immensely. You'll learn to zero in on things that might sound ok in the noise of rehearsal but in actual fact don't sound very good. Everyone has their own taste and ideas of what notes work together so being able to listen back to sections helps elevate the quality of your compositions.
SETTING UP YOUR EQUIPMENT
If you've bought a guitar or bass guitar to the studio with the intention of creating the next Nevermind or Master of puppets but you've never had it set up by a professional beforehand..? I'm probably going to spit in your tea..
Unless you have a fully functional Evertune Bridge installed you're going to need a basic set up on your guitar at least before recording. Most brand new guitars should have had a set up when being built but doesn't hurt to get it serviced every 6 months or so, especially before a tour or recording session. Second hand guitars will more than likely need a service depending on the life they've lead before sale. I've had instances where I've had to autotune sections of guitar because the guitar wasn't set up correctly and the pitch falls either flat or sharp when you hit certain chords or notes up the neck. If your intonation isn't correct or your strings aren't set correctly on the neck it's going to be very noticeable when we start tracking other instruments.
There are some great Luthiers both locally in Northamptonshire and nationwide in the uk so it's well worth getting in touch with a few and discussing what your guitar needs to ensure it maintains maximum playability and tone.
Plus I WILL spit in your tea.. And don't ask "your mate who's done it before" to do it. Get in done professionally.
Right.. That will do for now.. I'll be uploading more stuff soon with the odd video vlog too so keep your eyes n ears open for me sharing things on social media..
Until then.. Do all of the above.. IMMEDIATELY..!!
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