How to Make a Great Recording at Bad Racket Recording Studio in Cleveland Ohio
How to Recording Really Good … errr … I mean How to Make a Really Swell Recording or album or something like that. A great recording always starts with a great artist. From day one, you need to work hard at perfecting your work, and for the most part, a great sounding recording comes from a great sounding song. Almost anyone would rather hear their favorite song on a really crappy stereo, than a terrible song on the best sound system, and the same goes for the material you write. Determining the very best arrangement is important to having the song translate to other peoples tastes. Every little detail, from the tempo, to the key and chord progressions should be tweaked, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Try a little faster, or a little slower, or play around with different notes. You don’t want to be wasting time later, or have to rewrite new parts once you start recording, and getting the tempo just right will make you learn the song faster, so you can play with ease.
….a lot…and then some more… After the song is written the next important phase is practice. Recording studios typically charge by the hour, so unless you have a ton of money to blow, you want to be well rehearsed with the full band, practicing to a click track or metronome if appropriate. This gives you a chance to double check your composition and arrangement and begin to think about how to record the song. Think about what’s important in the song, and what shines through as defining characteristics and make sure those parts are showcased in an obvious way. The average listener may not notice the nuances of your composition, so some artists find that exaggerating some of the elements will make the song’s different elements really shine. Think about what parts could be doubled or layered. Determining whether or not to record live as a band, or in a more stripped down version is also a careful consideration.
When the band is well rehearsed, it almost always sounds better if the band is tracked live, with proper isolation between the different sources. However, sometimes it makes sense to replace something later or to usually at the very least, re-record the main vocal. The original live track is called a scratch track. For a lot of recording projects, you could consider everything except the drums on the live take as a scratch track, which can be replaced, but more often than not, a punch-in can save a biffed note or bungled chord. Punching in is where the musician just records one or two notes over to fix a track. You hear the original track being played and you play along, and then the engineer punches-the record button in as you go over the fckered part. Awesome! After the tracking part of the record is done, the artists listen back to the tracks in the control room. You should always get a copy of your work each day before leaving, that way you can check for buggered parts and little things that might need fixing in the upcoming sessions. Don’t be afraid to voice concerns early (like immediately!) because sometimes bungled notes can be subtle and now is the time to fix them. We want you to get the very best performance possible!
The next phase is usually mixing and further editing. I like to do the mixing on a separate day, where I can really concentrate on getting the right tones and feel of the song without having to worry about the chaotic live tracking of the band. It’s essential to carefully review the mixes, tweak the EQ, and adjust the dynamics for each track. We sculpt a tone pocket for each instrument and pay careful attention to production details. It may he helpful to have a few youtube or vimeo examples of music that you like to help explain the feeling you want to achieve. For example, you could pull up an old track, citing the way you love how the vocals soared over the mix, or the way the balance feels full and wide. Get crazy with it.
Mastering is the final stage where all the songs from the album are put in order and the overall tonal character is adjusted for optimal listening. The song beginnings and endings are tweaked. Mastering is taking the stereo mixes and adjusting the overall equalization and dynamics of the whole mix in a pleasing way. The overall volume is adjusted, as well as the overall tone of the song. If the song is part of an album, the volume levels between songs should be consistent, without one song much louder than the others, or a very quiet song. In addition, the song might end up being part of a playlist with other artists that are similar, so volume should be consistent with the genre and sound ok in a playlist with similar material from other artists within the same genre. To summarize, Mastering is a process where the final touches are made to the stereo mixes to make them ready for release.
Getting it Out there
Well now how in the heck are you going to get people to listen to it? The big record labels will tell you the industry is dying. “There’s no money in music anymore. It’s all available for free on the internet. Nobody pays for music anymore!” We’ve heard it a hundred times, especially in the early 2000s, but it just isn’t true. This is a great time for musicians, as well as consumers. There is more variety than ever before. Yeah, we don’t have record stores anymore, and the nostalgia for vinyl is still alive, but virtually any type of music imaginable is available with a few clicks of the mouse. Even material that was once considered rare, is widely available, and it’s great for the emerging artist too! There is a plethora of free resources that are available to get your music out there. bandcamp youtube Cd Baby iTunes Spotify Pandora Facebook Twitter and a host of many many other websites and applications are available to distribute your music to millions of consumers overnight. Many of them are free or nearly free…and the big labels are using those tools too . They might have millions of dollars more than you, but a youtube video can get millions of views in a short amount of time. Your facebook likes could go through the roof for no reason, suddenly, millions of twitter followers, hundreds of thousands of downloads, millions of plays. It could all happen with just a few clicks of the mouse. Sometimes you have to just make it happen for yourself. Nobody’s going to sign an artist without at least a decent following these days anyways. In fact, the number of signed artists is at an all time low. Why should they risk investing in your band, if they can make 20 million dollars off the next Kanye West song anyways? If you’re looking for label interest (and I might add that this isn’t even entirely necessary) you have to make it a no-brainer for them. In other words, you’re making it happen for yourself already, and just need some help reaching your full potential. Use what you have and make it happen in whatever capacity you can. Make demos with your phone. Practice and make even crappy recordings of your work and don’t be afraid to change something if it isn’t working. Think of a musician as a painter, and every recording is a painting. You have to get at least the first couple out of your system and out into the world before you get really good. Back in the day, recording was expensive. It cost thousands of dollars and rooms of gear. Today, recording is cheap. So book your session already!