Table of Contents:
How do I prepare for a recording session?
First of all, practice makes perfect. Don't make the mistake of showing up for your session unrehearsed. Practicing on your own time is much less expensive.
Also, practice with a metronome of some kind. Once you find the right groove and tempo for your song, practice it that way. People generally get some adrenaline going while recording which usually causes people speed up the tempo. A few beats per minute can really change the feel of a song.
If you want another ear, we can provide help with the arrangement of your song. Some of our clients book a short session for arrangement and song layout before recording. We can even provide original music for a song if you only have lyrics.
Put new strings on your guitars a day or so before the session. There isn't a button on the console to fix the sound of "dead strings". Also put new drumheads on your kit a few days before your session and tune it to the best of your ability. Remember that good sound starts with the source. Try to get your kit to sound like you want it to for the finished product.
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How does the recording process work?
There are several ways to approach a recording. The most basic explanation is that all of the individual instruments, guitar, bass, voice, etc. are recorded to separate tracks. Then the project is "mixed down" to a stereo format that the consumer uses, like a cd. Oftentimes a group will record the fundamental tracks first, Bass and drums, a basic rhythm track like guitar or piano and a cue vocal along with a "click track" (a metronome). Then they go back and do "overdubs". In this phase they can add other instruments or fine tune one instrument. Recording gives you the ability to take a vocal track for instance, and then go back and fix a portion of it without re-recording the whole track. We can also take several passes through on a song and then pick and choose pieces from each take that best work together. After all the tracking is done we mix all the tracks together, adding effects, eq, compression, etc. and create a final mix. We can give you this mix on a cd, dat, or output it to different formats for use on the web.
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What is the difference between an album and a demo?
The biggest difference between an album and a demo is time. A demo is normally used to show off a group without spending a lot of money. It helps to book gigs if the client can hear a group or artist before hiring them. Usually a demo project has 3-5 songs. We often record a complete demo for a band in 6-12 hours. However, it takes a lot less time to record an individual vocalist who is using a single instrument or soundtracks. We've completed a demo for an individual vocalist using a single instrument in 2-3 hours.
A complete project that is produced for release takes more time. Each track is honed to perfection and the mixdown process takes more time. Its hard to say how much time an album project will take. It varies greatly depending on the instrumentation of the group, the complexity of the mix, and the ability of the talent. It also has a lot to do with where the "bar" is set. If a group is happy with their fist take it doesn't take that long. If their looking for something particular and they don't stop until they get it, it can take quite a while.
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