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The recording technique of writing

 
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vvv
zen recordist


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 7977
Location: Chi

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:41 pm    Post subject: The recording technique of writing Reply with quote

It were suggested, here, that writing about recording is a good thing ...


So my old drummer called me up a cuppla months ago, and asked me to come over and record him playing drums, both to document his work, and because he knows I'll use the tracks to make songs.

And I met a bassist on CL, just before recording the drums, and he came over and we wrote a tune on some anonymous drums, and then I've had him playing bass on stuff from the drummer that I recorded onna 8-track Zoom R16.

It's stuff I'm writing with the drummer's stuff that I recorded.

So I have these drum tracks where the drummer laid down mebbe 8 measures of a verse, with a few extra changes, and a version of two of B parts and C parts, And I built up songs by cutting and pasting those parts into arrangements.

Then I wrote the music and recorded it, guitars, bass vocals, etc.

Then I sent it to the bassist to replace my bass, but stopped even recording bass; now I just send a rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, a lead vocal and basic BV's.

I've written 13 songs, and have enough drum parts for about another 10-12 (we recorded drums for 6 hours).

So where I'm going is, demoing these things for the bassist, I was just mic'ing up a HRDX and playing my Tele - broke a string, went to a Strat, changed to a Ampeg VT60 and used a Tiny Terror for a lead. Vocals is just ADK A6 what is lately always up on my desk, or a handheld Senn MD735, into either a Eureka or VC1Q; the guitars is through a padded PM1000 and/or padded ISA1, as some guitars are M/S.

There's a consistency about the sounds what is very cool in the basic demos, so good that when the bass tracks come in I'm starting to feel like mebbe I don't wanna re-record anything ... I mean, the guitars is good, the leads is hot, and even my vocals are 80% working.

The drummer and the bassist are both stoked - they wanna be a band instead of a recording project; we'd be a cop, a electrician and a office worker, all in our 50's, playing original rock. Yeah, that'll go far. Rolling Eyes

Anywhat, put this in this forum because I'm realizing the mebbe obvious fact that sometimes, just throwing up a cuppla mic's and going for it is the best "Recording Technique" of all. Twisted Evil
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A.David.MacKinnon
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 2924
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: The recording technique of writing Reply with quote

I've been 4 tracking a lot lately. It's really taken me back and opened my eyes. I've got everything set up, permanently mic'd and patched in my little mix room in the basement. Drums are 2-3 mics submixed, piano is a pick-up an a shitty Apex clip on condenser taped to the foot panel of a tiny Cameo ship's piano. Organ s a little hammond tube chord organ into a crappy passive DI. Vocals are a Beyer M700 into a Dano delay pedal. Mic placement for everything is super quick and arbitrary. Nothing is over thought or tweaked beyond adjusting levels in the various drum mics every now and then.
Mixes happen as soon as the tracking is done and I usually don't go back to revisit the decisions.
Shit sounds great. Because it's tape and I can't edit I end up focused on the performance. I run out of tracks before I can get to busy with the arrangements. It's simple. It's the basics. The sounds could probably be better but that is so secondary to the performance that it almost doesn't matter. Because really it doesn't mater. It's the song and the performance. It also feels dangerous and fun.
Very often simple and quick trumps everything else.
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Drone
buyin' gear


Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Posts: 595
Location: Uranus

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: The recording technique of writing Reply with quote

I got everything setup, and we just play.

If you have fun doing it, do it. No-one says it has to go beyond the basement. We're at the age where we know better Mr. Green
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Rigsby
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 2908
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: The recording technique of writing Reply with quote

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
I've been 4 tracking a lot lately. It's really taken me back and opened my eyes. I've got everything set up, permanently mic'd and patched in my little mix room in the basement. Drums are 2-3 mics submixed, piano is a pick-up an a shitty Apex clip on condenser taped to the foot panel of a tiny Cameo ship's piano. Organ s a little hammond tube chord organ into a crappy passive DI. Vocals are a Beyer M700 into a Dano delay pedal. Mic placement for everything is super quick and arbitrary. Nothing is over thought or tweaked beyond adjusting levels in the various drum mics every now and then.
Mixes happen as soon as the tracking is done and I usually don't go back to revisit the decisions.
Shit sounds great. Because it's tape and I can't edit I end up focused on the performance. I run out of tracks before I can get to busy with the arrangements. It's simple. It's the basics. The sounds could probably be better but that is so secondary to the performance that it almost doesn't matter. Because really it doesn't mater. It's the song and the performance. It also feels dangerous and fun.
Very often simple and quick trumps everything else.


Yup. My music had gotten way too complex and time consuming to make around 7 years ago, I just wasn't getting much finished and I wasn't too happy with it.

I took some time out, joined a band playing drums, did a bunch of improv, music for dance and workshops and so on. Six months later I found I was writing songs again, simple things on guitar and voice. I'd track both at once, maybe a guitar overdub, done, I'd move on. I was way happier and into what I was doing, and working faster.

I started working with a violinist and second vocal, over the next couple of years we swelled to a six-piece, everything got slow again, so I stripped it back again and things started to progress.

I've realised that things grow and you sometimes need to trim them back. We've made six albums in the last seven years, five of them are out, one's nearly ready. It seems to be that they alternate between 'produced' and sparce. The produced is where things have built up, gotten complicated, so the reponse album that follows is a product of that cutting back.

I dunno, I like both styles, but I know which is more of a pleasure to make.

IMHO VVV, if you're enjoying it there's little else to be considered!
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mjt335
alignin' 24-trk


Joined: 29 Dec 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: The recording technique of writing Reply with quote

I hired my drummer to come down and cut a track with me a couple months ago. We got together that afternoon and knocked out the track we were working pretty quickly so then we decided to put on a fresh reel and jam... just guitar and drum set. We recorded several short improv grooves, but each one had a form that we made up on the spot. We were concious of switching feels/parts/etc every 8 or 16 bars (or whatever seemed appropriate), and would bring back choruses, etc. Now I'm in the process of having the rest of the band overdub parts and it's actually coming along pretty well! I'll share some stuff when it's done.
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