Saturday, April 24, 2010

On Recording Music

If you have listened to the demo of "Hard Rockin' " which I posted, earlier, you have heard an example of one guy (me) multitracking a recording to build a song, track by track. While some artists, such as Steve Winwood and Prince, prefer to work this way, I really would rather record with other musicians.

I like the give-and-take that comes from multiple musical outlooks and playing styles. Recording on my own, and doing the mix by myself, is similar to writing unedited. I am afraid that I hear what I want it to sound like, rather than what it actually sounds like.

So, I hope to have others involved in recording the final version of this song (and the others). Maybe we'll do it in a live band set-up, maybe with discreet tracks recorded separately. We may end up doing a bit of both, depending on the song and the situation.

I'll certainly have other ears in the room when mixing the master tracks. I know that my upper-range hearing loss will probably not lead to the best-sounding mix if I don't have someone else to listen to it with me.

I think the recorder is going to work well. I was a bit reluctant to go digital, as I am pretty well known as an analog guy. But, having done a bit of research on digital recording in the professional world, I figured out that what sounds less good to me is not the actual medium onto which the music is recorded. Rather, what sounds off to me is the compression that the mastering services apply to the tracks. They do this to make the song play well on the radio (it's similar to what the commercial producers do to make the ads louder than the shows on TV).

I tried hard to retain a bit of ambiance in the mix on this demo, and I was pleased with that aspect of it. I think my little low-ceilinged house is actually a pretty good recording space, too. I don't know how much the neighbors will like it if a whole band is playing, though.

Of course, it's not like playing on stage. We don't have to turn everything up to ten, to record. Small amps and damped drums work just fine when close-miked, so it might actually work out. If not, I have to find a rehearsal space to use. Problem is, that costs money that I don't want to spend.

I'm really excited about the project, and I have a couple of guys who seem interested in working with me. I hope to end up with some listenable music, and have fun producing it.

Stay tuned.


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