One Man/Woman Productions - What Are the Biggest Things That

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

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gimme a little kick & snare
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Location: Seattle

Post by WillMorgan » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:06 pm

I am in an interesting place on the issue of to be on a team or not to team. There is also the question of hiring a team, or growing one organically.

I spent five or more years thinking I should make a record in my basement, I had the songs and have enough skills and tech that it was quite conceivable I could. I watched five years go by without anything other than rough ideas being recorded to disk. A lack of drive and discipline, encouragement... juice.

I bit on a kickstarter offer of mixing that got me an end date. I hired a room and an engineer, I hired some players, I hired artists for the album.., People were stoked and added so much to the project, in nine months I got me a brand spanking new awesome EP!

Now I have to put my salesperson hat on and get it out there. Partly because I _hired_ the band, as in work for hire, I am the only person interested in promoting the thing. My friends and family having bought as many copies as they are likely too...

Being alone trying to market the thing makes me want to go back to the idea of doing all the music making parts myself for the next one, it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper / more affordable that way!

Must rally to get it out to the local radio station at least though... register the songs so lightning can strike by means of covers etc... and keep on chooglin'..
- EP "Built Some" released 12/13/13

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banana brains
gettin' sounds
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Post by banana brains » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:04 pm

I'm with you WillMorgan. I am going through the same thing perhaps from a little different perspective in that I don't have a finished album. I have gone into the studio recently to work with session players. I find going into the studio gets me focused and gets something committed to tape. Its really helpful not worrying about the technical side of the process, better gear to use, plus having someone who is helping you and adding to the process just by working along side you. Its huge, and probably the way to do it.

That's not it though, I came home from a session today and felt like I should just go back to doing it myself. Its probably me being a control freak but I feel like I lose control of my vision for the song when I bring others into the process.

I sucked today, by the way. The session drummer was awesome. My guitar playing and vocals were so stressed and sloppy.

I'm not giving up though. I'm spending this year actually doing an album. I don't care if no one likes it or listens to it but me. I've been trying to do this for too long. I want to explore as many options as possible and put something out and to bed!

Soldier on brothers and sisters.

alignin' 24-trk
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Post by mangoose » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:59 pm

So nice to read some of these posts. I can relate to a lot of you.

Story of my life: began writing and recording at 14 as a one kid/man thing. Did it for 10 years. At some point in my mid 20's I hit a wall and decided I needed a band. That led to other stress factors, but it forced me to really hone my song-writing and musicianship. We lasted a few years but never got a full-length done, due in no small part to my perfectionist nature. I couldn't play drums better than our drummer, or bass better than our bass player, but i could hear that their parts and playing weren't up to snuff. They always say "find a better [insert instrument here] player" when you know things aren't right, but we know how band dynamics and the friendships involved makes those things tricky. So we broke up and I went back to making music on my own.

I love it now. The important thing is to have a few confidants you can share your progress with. Their advice and input is crucial to keeping morale high. Just don't get defensive when the moment of criticism comes. Listen to your friends. They will often open their critique of your work with a "I love the vibe/catchiness of this tune, it sounds great. I wonder if the hi hat is a little distracting..." Remember...they have no idea you spent 5 hours perfecting a hi hat track! Face might have been wasted time. This is not their fault!

The best thing about advice is that it is free...and you don't have to take it! They might be dead wrong about that hi hat track ;) but no need to fight those trying to help you.

Also, one of my biggest tricks when self-producing is save EVERY bounce/rough mix. Go back and listen to earlier versions of stuff. Make sure things are moving forwards and not laterally or god-forbid - backwards. If they are, STOP.

Oh, and mix through a limiter friends if your music is to compete with commercial productions. You can always take it off when printing final mixes for mastering. Don't waste your non-pro audio friends' time with mixes that sound nothing like what we are used to hearing.

zen recordist
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:25 pm

all of that is great except the last can be helpful to pop a limiter on and see how your mix responds to a basic loudenizing, but i don't think you need to/should have one on the whole time (mixing through a compressor is fine). just make a good mix and trust your ME to get it as loud as it needs to be.

there's lots more to 'commercial loudness' than just cranking a limiter.

Balcony Falcon
audio school graduate
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Go with what you know?

Post by Balcony Falcon » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:17 pm

For me, the biggest obstacle at the given moment is the dual-reality of sticking with (what little) I know vs. obtaining new knowledge (or heeding opinion). Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between the hare-brained "accidents" that work and what I find to be universally accepted.

I recently moved my recording setup (Tascam 388 w/ FMR Really Nice Preamp & RNC Compressor) into my rehearsal space. Upon hooking everything up I connected the RNC through the RNP instead of into the inserts which kind of gave the a live sound a pumpy sort of "King Tubby/Dub" feel which was pointed out to me after the fact. I reinserted the compressor into the inserts which made it less of an effect, and I really miss the dark murkyness it caused previously. I've always been in bands that had studios backing the project or other members dealing with the recording, so I'm fairly new to this whole thing. Some outside perspective would be nice, that takes considerable resources.

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