a pitfall of self-recording: how would you deal with it?

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RefD
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a pitfall of self-recording: how would you deal with it?

Post by RefD » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:00 pm

i recorded some acoustic guitar tonight on a tune that's been percolating in my head and on my computer since middle of last year.

used the so-called BBC mic technique with my go-to mic for the guitar i employed and the sound came out as i'd hoped.

but, when going back to listen, i noticed that at the coda where the tempo guide drops out a few bars in, i started drifting...and while it still worked with the other instruments, it sounded REALLY OFF against the click.

now i know i can compensate for this when i track the parts coming after this but it bugs me so much that i feel quite agitated and bummed out by it.

why didn't i notice it while i was playing?

was i that tired and foggy-brained when i recorded?

i think the result can be worked with and integrated into the feel of that part of the tune, which is a sort of floaty and dreamy coda that drifts out to a ringout.

but part of me wants to delete it and have another go cos i feel pretty disgusted with myself.

GAH.

so, the question i was gonna get at with this thread:

how would/did you cope with similar scenarios?

stories/anecdotes/advice/rants, please!
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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Post by tunesbybill » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:00 pm

I know how you feel. I think that anybody that has ever done any recording on their own does too.

So how to deal? You said it was digital so could you cut out a section earlier in the song and copy and paste?

Personally, I would record the rest of the tracks ( if this won't impede them) and see if I like the sound. You may find that a little mistake makes the record just that...a record. And if you don't like it...redo it. I know that it's not usually very fun to redo something that you think is done, but if it must be done...

Just my two cents.

Good Luck.

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Post by JGriffin » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:00 pm

My thoughts:

If it sounds good against the other instruments, but not the click...and the click isn't gonna be in the final mix, leave it.

If it's gonna drive you nuts, retrack it.

I'd retrack it, but that's just the anal-retentive nature of how I approach this stuff. Remember how long my CD took to make!

I think you're a good enough player that you can nail the part, despite whatever happened while you were playing it this time.
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Post by vvv » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:37 am

You could punch or overdub the guitar in just the coda, or (obviously) maybe just drop it out.
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Post by msmith » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:21 am

Honestly, I dont see a problem. If it bothers you ,redo it and never look back....I think its crucial to not let ideaology or fear dictate what goes down with a record. Your gut tells you to redo it, redo it. You wrote the part. Youll play it. Done...

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:42 am

situations like this are exactly WHY i always tell people they are fools for trying to make records on their own at home. i mean seriously, do you think this would've happened if you were in a real, professional recording studio, working with a proper record producer making a legitimate product?

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Post by RefD » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:41 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:situations like this are exactly WHY i always tell people they are fools for trying to make records on their own at home. i mean seriously, do you think this would've happened if you were in a real, professional recording studio, working with a proper record producer making a legitimate product?
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:12 am

i've been recording myself for years now and I still have a love/hate relationship with the process. On the one hand I'm too cheap to hire someone to do what I can do myself. On the other hand I hate recording myself and find it hard to be an objective engineer and a performer at the same time.
If you can find someone to press record it's a big help. They don't even need to know what they're doing, just set everything up and show them the basic transport controls. It helps alot to be able to stay in the performing headspace and to not have to move from your spot once you're there.

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Post by RefD » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:22 am

junkshop wrote:i've been recording myself for years now and I still have a love/hate relationship with the process. On the one hand I'm too cheap to hire someone to do what I can do myself. On the other hand I hate recording myself and find it hard to be an objective engineer and a performer at the same time.
If you can find someone to press record it's a big help. They don't even need to know what they're doing, just set everything up and show them the basic transport controls. It helps alot to be able to stay in the performing headspace and to not have to move from your spot once you're there.
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Post by greatmagnet » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:50 am

I think the one thing that's not been said is a STRENGTH of recording yourself...in spite of all the weaknesses...is that one is often much more relaxed without that other person in the room, and therefore willing to do as many takes as-necessary to get a part right. As opposed to "that's good enough...I don't wanna waste your time or bore you, Mr. Button-Pusher". Which is a cop-out that can happen even if it's a really good bud of yours.

Back to the formal question, very few people have that perfect meter in their head that can keep you on-tempo even after the click goes away. VERY few. What happened to you is beyond normal. The good thing about that is, there's really something to be said for the "pregnant pause". ANY record that is cut live-in-the-room is gonna have tempos fluctuating all over the place and it's almost always driven by the emotions and dynamics of the song: people WILL slow down during a soft, dreamy part and vice-versa...it's a GOOD thing. It's theatrical, dramatic, and relevant. Just shove your other tracks (where the rest of the band comes back in or whatever) forward on the timeline to match and call it done.

If you absolutely MUST "stick to the click" I would imagine your recording program probably allows you to time-stretch or time-compress tracks as well? Stretching often leaves shitty artifacts but if you're running a bit long, time-compressing the tracks won't fuck anything up sonically most times.
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Post by majortom » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:23 am

More space echo: ?people are Fools for recording at home?

What? I think that's a very foolish statement.
I have recorded 2 full cd's at home and the knowledge I have gained is enormous!

When I do go into the studio and or just talk to an engineer about recording/mastering the knowledge I have gained from what mics work well on my voice to having an informed opinion on what set up works well for me when I record drums( I could go on forever) will always makes for better recording no matter where I record! AND Yes, this situation can and does happen in the studio all the time, unless you happen to be such a great musician that you time never waivers.

...and you're writing that on the TAPEOP forum?...ya gotta be kidding. Tom

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Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:34 am

majortom wrote:More space echo: ?people are Fools for recording at home?
I think he's actually doing a Jeff Robinson impression.

Since no one knows who the F* Jeff Robinson is unless they browse the TOMB on a daily basis, it's a pretty obscure reference, and I recommend the use of emoticons in such cases.

I've found "half-smiling-winky-guy" :wink: to be very effective in clearly up misunderstandings on the interwebs. Sure, emoticons ain't too hip, but I guess I'd have to advocate function over form in cases like these on a public forum.

I make my living recording and mixing other people's stuff, and even I'd never say a word against home recording. That said, remember that collaboration is one of the greatest things in the world. It's unlikely that the majority of your favorite albums were recorded in a vacuum.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by drumsound » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:36 am

The answer is already in the other posts so I will add this.

When I'm tracking a band with a click I don't listen to the click in the control room. I think of the click like the lines on the highway. There's a little space to move side to side, but they keep you from going too far. If I don't hear a problem without the reference of the click, the take is fine (speaking only of tempo, other things are evaluated as usual)>

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Post by RefD » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:38 am

i forgot to mention there was already another track of guitar on there that was pretty much spot on and i was mostly playing to that at the end after the click dropped out.

that guitar was split hard left and right with a quarter note echo that had repeats...but i had the track with the echo muted when i recorded the acoustic.

(i'd printed the echo cos i'd used a hardware delay with alot of character that i like.)
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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Post by majortom » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:44 am

Space echo; if you were kidding sorry for the reaction, but it seemed like a long post to be just kidding, I hope so.

Fossiltooth; thanks, in no way do I think recording should be in a vacuum, my experience has been that in trying to figure out the how's/why's of doing it yourself you expose yourself to a ton of new people anf info. Thanks, Tom

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