How many songs? How Long?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
Locked
twitchmonitor
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 7:00 pm

How many songs? How Long?

Post by twitchmonitor » Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:37 pm

I keep getting these bands that want to cram 10-12 songs in a recording/mixing session. So that would be like 2 days of tracking and oh 2 or three days of mixing or so. I think that most bands would be better off cutting down the number of songs and really letting themselves focus on getting everything right. At this rate, things have to be rushed on both the tracking and mixing side. Do one song, move on. People usually end up with a product that isn't all it could have been. Lately, I've been havings bands do mixing in many half day sessions instead of like 2 all day sessions, so they can lisnted to the mixes at home and make notes on their own time, and when they come back, make any changes. It helps a bit, but still....

What do you guys think?

User avatar
industrystandard
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 3:24 pm
Location: anchorage, ak

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by industrystandard » Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:09 pm

from a home recording/recording your friends' bands standpoint, where you don't have 8 hours a day 5 days a week to devote to the project, i prefer doing 3-4 songs at a time. otherwise you miss things as you hurry through all 12 tracks..

on the other hand, if you get good settings for everything you can just make minor tweaks for each song. i dunno.

the bands usually want to do 10 songs so it doesn't matter what i think anyway. :roll:

cgarges
zen recordist
Posts: 10855
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:26 am
Location: Charlotte, NC
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by cgarges » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:32 pm

I'm right between doing two days of cutting nine songs. Eight hours a day, starting at 10AM. I'm learning the tunes at the studio and the producer and artist are working out arrangements. The artist apparently only has the budget to hire me for two days, but dammit, he wants to do nine songs. It's looking like we'll be forgoing any sort of percussion overdubs, which is a real drag. The songs really lend themselves to it. Why people have to do a shitload of songs in a short amount of time is beyond me. I've never been able to get that.

The other side of that is the project I was working on tonight, where the guy is playing all the instruments, has spent two days per song so far, and isn't moving on 'til the first two songs are done. He's making absolutely sure he's cool with every part and that it all feels right. This is one I'll still be listening to after it's done.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Last edited by cgarges on Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
I'm Painting Again
zen recordist
Posts: 7050
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:15 am
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:46 pm

tell them they are being cheap, naive scoundrels..then threaten to set your crotch on fire..problem solved..

I gess the only thing you can do is talk with clients about it..

thenumber
steve albini likes it
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 7:18 am
Location: redmond, wa
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by thenumber » Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:02 pm

It really depends on the band. I usually do one full day just for getting sounds, so the only thought during the actual sessions is playing the songs well. If the band is well rehersed, and the drummer has decent stamina, 12 songs in 2 days for basic tracks is a possibility. Never count on it, but it has happened. Including overdubs, and maybe vocals, allocate 1 day for every 3-4 songs. 6-10 hour sessions. At least, thats the equasion that works the best for me, so far

Rigsby
mixes from purgatory
Posts: 2908
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:34 am
Location: London, England
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by Rigsby » Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:54 am

Do you think it'd help to play clients something you hacked out with a group and something that more time was spent on so they can here the difference before tracking?
The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.

rigsbysmith.com

bobbydj
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:58 am
Location: astride the vortex console
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by bobbydj » Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:26 am

Yeah Rigsby - that seems like a pretty good idea. The only potential problem is that it wouldn't be the same band. So it's apples and oranges. I mean, if I was in the position of the band listening to 2 recordings - one rushed, one not - by 2 different bands I would not know how much of the difference was down to more careful engineering/performing etc. or, conversley, just the fact that the better sounding band was, uhm, better. So if it could be done with the same band I think this would be a good tactic. But I suppose that makes it much more difficult from the POV of the studio and/or engineer.
cgarges wrote:Why people have to do a shitload of songs in a short amount of time is beyond me. I've never been able to get that.
Well, I dunno. To me it seems very obvious. But that's almost certainly because I'm coming at all this always from the side of the writer, rather than the engineer. All too often a band has a more material than they can record, but they still want a record of that stuff. They want to be able to draw a line under it and move on. Recording is a great form of 'closure', I suppose. Much more so than, say, playing a song live. That's just one stage in the process, albeit an important one. And I will say this too - almost every band I've known is a really fragile thing. Not just because of ego shit - but because the members cannot always give long-term commitment to the endeavour. This can create a certain kind of fatalist psychology, basically along the lines of "if we don't do it now, we never will". This leads to the kind of mind-set where everyone wants to record as much stuff as quickly as possible before implosion occurs.

But anyway, recording really does help to give a sense of "oh yeah - that's better. Now we can move on."

It may be countered that what is better?? To have 3 very well recorded songs or 12 badly recorded fuckers? Well, yeah. I dunno. That is such a difficult question. I really do change my mind on this, even from week to week, and have never had a consistant position on it.

I've been at both ends of it, band wise. On balance I would possibly say go for 3. But it really depends on the studio and the engineer. If both are great, then I'd be inclined to say go for quality. If they are at the budget end of the world, I would say take the quantity route. Don't ask me why - that's just how I've been thinking about it in recent times. Cos I have had cause to consider it, for various reasons. It's a tough one.
Image

Bobby D. Jones
Producer/Engineer
(The Crudballs, Tyrone P. Spink, The Fuxx, Shitters, The Geighs...)

Rigsby
mixes from purgatory
Posts: 2908
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:34 am
Location: London, England
Contact:

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by Rigsby » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:29 am

Yeah, i guess that's all pretty true. What to do eh? I know i've learnt my lesson that the things i rush will only annoy me everytime i listen back but, well, everybody's got to be their own dog. Shit, this dog's got to get to work... :shock:
The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.

rigsbysmith.com

Ian
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:54 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: How many songs? How Long?

Post by Ian » Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:24 am

My band went in and did 12 songs in 2 days,3 days for over dubs. We created one of the biggest piles of shit I have ever heard. Why? Because
they thought more songs done is better than a few done well. I think 3 songs in 8 hours for basic tracks is a good estimate, grouping songs you want to have the same overall sound works well(high energy big drums) on one day(acoustic small kit ) on another. When you do it all at once you tend to settle on sounds that don't always serve the song.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests