Friday, February 18, 2011

New approach

For most of the tracks in album 1 and 2, the recording was done in a spare room in our house.  This helped us have access to the setup whenever we wanted, and allowed us to learn in a more controlled way.  The acoustics of the room were pretty good for guitar and vocals, but not as great for a big drum sound.

The main exception was recording the organ parts.  The organ is in our church, Stone Chapel.  It is a Hammond organ hooked up to twin Leslie 122 cabinets, and you don't turn down the opportunity to have an instrument like that in your music.

The church hall itself has fantastic acoustics for live music, as many people got to hear during the now defunct Stone Songs series.

From my reading on recording, there are 4 elements that affect your music.

1. The artist
2. The instrument
3. The room
4. The recording method (equipment / talent)

The first two are the same.  We upgraded the second two.

The Room - Get the right sound

We are recording everything in the church this time, and it has a huge impact on the sound.  We have learned a lot about capturing our instruments over the last year.  I am very happy with the initial recordings.

The Method - Lock in the right beat

The other main element we've changed is the metronome.  Our previous process had Matthew playing guitar to a metronome in the room.  This worked OK, but guaranteed we could not use that guitar take.  He'd have to go over it later, after my drums were done.  Also, it was difficult for me to hear the metronome when playing drums along to his part.

So, now that I've learned more about the software, I understand how to set a tempo for the song using the program's metronome.  This lets us do two things:

1. Record without the metronome sound.  It just comes through the headphones for the recording or for playback.

2. Use the measures that the software automatically creates to your set tempo.  This way if I have a goofy hit on the drums, I can simply copy and paste from another measure, and you'd never know the difference.

Maybe all this is rookie, but for me it is a major revelation and time saver.  I simply didn't have time to figure it out before when I was learning the basics of the recording process.

Anyway, here are some pics of day 1.

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