For those that record themselves...

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shedshrine
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Post by shedshrine » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:32 pm

Half assed most assuredly,

In my band, I play bass and thats my focus.

On my own stuff, songwriting is usually on guitar or keys.

Some'll be from some guitar concept I'll stumble on that inspires me to practice it, and then about a week or whatever later, flip on record and if I'm lucky this three to five minute string of changes and variations based on it come flying out ready for lyrics. Or not

more often it's20
Looping that riff you cant' get out of your head, and jamming over it vocally and instrumentally til either you tire of it or the next part comes bubbling out. Or not .

Messing around with effects to make a landscape and then adding what lives there. etc. etc ad infinitum.

I'll listen to whatever I've got so far on the ipod or minidisc during the commute to and from work and at night before I fall asleep and try to hear the whole next part would play all the way through, and record it asap.

It's really been about capturing that initial spark and moving it along aways. It was finished whenever the next inspiration came. Then I got obsessed with the recording chain for awhile, and ended up not recording much of anything. Had to get back to the simple joy of a cassette four track and go from there....


Some of my "completed" stuff I even like to listen back to from time to time :) :D 8)

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Post by EVIL HOOK » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:10 am

For those of us who record ourselves at home, me being one of them. I have no other choice unless there are no drums involved. I have a drummer come in and we bang out 8-10 tracks. After he goes home I work out the songs at my own pace jumping back and forth between them.
"Definitely an antisocial type. Woof, woof, woof! That's my other dog imitation".

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:48 am

I've had "writer's block" for going on 3 years now. But when I did record myself, I'd come up with some sort of riff, lyric or idea and write it up track by track on the computer. My only real goal, usually, was to have it sound like a real band, playing live off the floor, when I was done. At one point I could sortof play each instrument compensating, in my head (and playing) for all the instruments that weren't recorded yet. Lately, the negative voices in my head have put the hammerlock on my solo musical creativity.

I've got the best room/studio/equipment/skills that I've ever had, but now, when I go down to record I usually just move a mic around, or try a different setup on my guitar rig, or drum mic'ing. Then I record about 30 seconds of something and go "yeah, if I had a song to record, that would be the drum tone." Then I sweep the floor or something and go back upstairs. I've been trying to put a band together for years, but I think I'm too much of a misanthrope to work well with others. Although having other dudes coming over to play seems to at least bring out the work ethic in me.
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:15 pm

I think it depends on the material. If there's a common thread in instrumentation and arrangement it makes sense recording the common elements in one go. If you have 10 songs and 8 of them have drums, bass, guitar and organ, you probably want to wait and record them with the same production values and tones (assuming you WANT that). With solo material though you may have songs that are just vocals and an accompanying instrument, which I think is just fine to record as you have them and mix in with other material when you sequence the album. It's only really efficient or inefficient depending on what your goal is. Figure out what your common elements are sonically and work it out accordingly.

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Post by vvv » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:49 pm

Mang, but I love how threads take a pause for, ...


... eh, ...


... 3.5 years!
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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:25 am

The pause that refreshes.
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

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Post by getreel » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:17 pm

Funny, I never saw this thread back when it was around the first time so I'm glad people brought it back.

I've been recording my bands, recording my own demos, and recording other bands for many years now. These days, I'm married with 2 kids so I found that having to wait around for other musicians schedules to work out was a pain. So after I went digital in early 2008, I started just playing everything myself. Sure, I had to get better on certain instruments to do it but it's been fun and rewarding to know I can make kick ass recorded music without any help. I tend to write a lot in general and I keep a sketchpad of ideas on my cell phone. I do, at times, finish out a bridge or something as it's being recorded, but mostly I have all the parts and then record them. I start with guitar or piano depending on which is the main instrument which I record to a click. Then I'll usually play the drum part next followed by the bass so I can lock it up to the drums I just put down. Then I'll record all the rest of the guitar parts, sometimes re-recording the scratch instrument from the first take and sometimes not. The only odd thing is that I won't write any lyrics until the basic parts of the song are recorded. I guess it's because I was always in bands with other singers before and I would write music and they would put lyrics to it. Now I have ideas for melodies and all that when I record but the lyrics I'll write while trying things out over the recorded tracks. Also, the Trazport DAW remote has been my friend while playing everything myself. Doing things this way has also pushed me to learn more instruments and play the ones I knew better. Good times.

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Post by KennyLusk » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:12 pm

I record as I write, it's not a luxury you have when you're in a band.

Moments come, you record, then the moment may be gone...but you caught the moment of the inspiration.

If the final mix turns out to be "scratchpad" and you want to re-structure and do it again with more purpose and form...you always have that option.
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ofajen
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Re: For those that record themselves...

Post by ofajen » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:20 am

curtiswyant wrote:...what's your work method? I'm debating whether to record songs as I write them or "build up" a collection, then record all at once.
I guess my method is to "push record." Heck, I have a hard enough time with one piece of music at a time, much less building up a collection. Sometimes even one tune has to percolate thru a bit of mindless noodling before something better emerges that is worth recording. Besides, I figure each piece is it's own thing. No need to have one too much like another, or one is redundant.

Cheers,

Otto
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jgimbel
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Post by jgimbel » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:13 am

I tend to record as I write, then re-record with better micing and such. When I first have an idea on guitar or drums, sometimes bass, I'll either record through my laptop's mic into Audacity. Sometimes if the part is relatively intricate I'll setup mics and that kind of thing, but really only to make sure I'm getting a decent representation of it to make sure I can figure it out later. Usually when I write I come up with one thing and almost immediately come up with another part. So when I have the first thing I record it, then keep working and get more to the idea, then record that whole idea including the first thing and whatever else. I tend to write using mostly just made up chords, so the easiest way for me to make sure I'll be able to figure out what the hell chord I was playing in the recording is if, before recording the song idea, I just play through the single chord or group of chords one string at a time, so even if I have to figure out what my finger position was I'll be able to know what note each string was playing.

Then when I'm ready to put out an EP or recording I redo everything. I rarely use anything from the "demo". If I were in a different setup I imagine I would, but in mine I have to hook up my Firestudio Project, turn on my monitors, get mics out of my mic cabinet, get cords out of where they're organized, let a preamp warm up a bit, etc., so when I've got a really interesting idea doing all of this makes the chance possible that I'll have forgotten the original groove of the idea by the time everything is set up. Sometimes I'll record in Audacity as quick as I can, then go right to set everything up with mics and whatnot. If my setup was more quickly ready-to-go I imagine I'd use a lot more of the original recordings, but oftentimes I change the song a lot from the original idea anyway so it's not really a possibility.

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Post by capnreverb » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:03 pm

Thats what I have been doing mostly for years. Lately, Its been me behind my Ghost, sitting and playing my bass and watching levels while we record our improvised post rock epics. At times there are two guitarist, two electronic/laptop guys, cello and drums. Its a lot to keep track of and keep going. Sometimes I have to stop playing and mess with peoples levels when they get too hot or lost. The funny thing, when I am mixing it back, I never feel like the parts when I stop are bad or the piece drops dynamics at those points. A key to good improvistation is often playing nothing at all.

My other improv groups that are acoustic I do the same thing. I will get levels and press record. I can be playing my sax and watching levels at the same time. Sometimes it can get too hot in the red and thats just how it is. It's nice sometimes when I record at places and don't have to do both at the time, but I am so used to it now.

I can't multitask worth shit at my day job, but put a mixer and my instruments in front of me and I am good to go.

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Post by sir hills » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:27 am

I try to do it different for each album or ep of songs. My first solo album developed from 4 track cassette sketches & accidents of acoustic, maybe voice & room mics of nearly complete songs. I didn't know what to do with them so I figured just start, keep focus, fill up tapes & let chance finish. Good things happened. Dumped to Nuendo, added drums & bass then had a couple friends stop over to add solo parts that I couldn't do (like piano) or wasn't quite inspired to do.

The second album was pretty much finished song ideas, acoustic recorded first or acoustic & voice if I felt I had the vocal parts worked out well enough. Then bass, electrics & solos. Kinda weird but I did all the drums last. None of the stuff was recorded to a click so there were tricky tempo moments but I just had to learn where things might drag or push a little. I'm a drummer first so my temps were decent to begin with.

My last solo album I started by always having Cubase running & just rocking electric guitar whenever I had the chance. If something felt like a good idea I would fire up a click & start recording...let parts develop but try to keep focus enough to come back to something. After a month or so of that (& notes for real good stuff) I would comb through & say "hey that sounds like a good song structure" & start layering. On a few pieces I did cut parts up...maybe one verse was a cycle too short & just couldn't live without it...& since I did it all to a click I could "fix" it. So got 8 or 9 solid structures down, added drums & acoustic...maybe a second electric & bass. Sent files of a majority of them to a friend across the country to lay electric piano parts. Then I wrote & put vocals on followed by percussion. That seemed to be the hardest set up for me...cause it came down to writing & developing vocals which I had no concept for, which was/is the hardest part of writing for me.

I'm working on new stuff now & am going back to album 2 style of structure but will perhaps do the drums earlier...or who knows, not at all. That should be fitting for a drummer's solo album. Also, kind of beside the point, I always throw out at least one song if not 2 or 3 from collections toward an album...usually toward the end, find something just isn't doing it for me.

Most of all I love that what I do as a solo artist (recluse) affords me the time to do things like rip out kitchen cabinets completely saturated with mold & remodel someone's kitchen. That's what I'm off to do now...but it will most likely supply me with some interesting lyrics so I'm getting way more out of it than just monetary gain.

dgrieser
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Post by dgrieser » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:18 am

Here's a thread over at the Reaper forum on producing yourself. It's mainly focused on how to get things from idea to finished state. Some good ideas.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=32580

Started by Yep, the same guy who is continuing the "Why do your recordings sound like ass" thread over on the Reaper forum.

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Brian
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Post by Brian » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:55 pm

I thought I commented on this thread the first time it was around.

Oh well, I used to be good at it, but, I got writer's block (kids/wife/health issues) for 15 years and now I start all over again. I have been collecting and learning to fix/mod gear, I've modded everything I have now. Some new tunes but no new songs.
Harumph!

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Post by bobbydj » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:06 am

Snarl 12/8 wrote:I've had "writer's block" for going on 3 years now. But when I did record myself, I'd come up with some sort of riff, lyric or idea and write it up track by track on the computer. My only real goal, usually, was to have it sound like a real band, playing live off the floor, when I was done. At one point I could sortof play each instrument compensating, in my head (and playing) for all the instruments that weren't recorded yet. Lately, the negative voices in my head have put the hammerlock on my solo musical creativity.

I've got the best room/studio/equipment/skills that I've ever had, but now, when I go down to record I usually just move a mic around, or try a different setup on my guitar rig, or drum mic'ing. Then I record about 30 seconds of something and go "yeah, if I had a song to record, that would be the drum tone." Then I sweep the floor or something and go back upstairs. I've been trying to put a band together for years, but I think I'm too much of a misanthrope to work well with others. Although having other dudes coming over to play seems to at least bring out the work ethic in me.
Ideas are piss easy. The time to get them down? Not so much.

Anyway - you've kept this tomb return pretttyyyyy damn quiet man. I is watching you innit.
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(The Crudballs, Tyrone P. Spink, The Fuxx, Shitters, The Geighs...)

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