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Post new topic First Studio Experience
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Author Topic:  First Studio Experience
Cameron Kerby


From:
Rutledge, TN
Post Posted 7 Oct 2016 4:36 am     Reply with quote

Here in the next few months I will go into a small studio to record on one of my friends albums for a few songs. He has never used a steel previously on any recordings other than light garage band stuff, but we play together a lot and I have pretty much 100% freedom to play what I want to for these songs.

This recording and mixing will most likely be completely out of my control, so my question is for my first studio experience, does anyone have any tips or suggestions on what I should be focused on while preparing for it? Should I use an amp and a mic or direct in? Should my volume pedal be used in a different way, or raised and lowered in mixing? Do you record the whole song at one time or do 1 fill at a time?

I'd love to hear others experiences and stories of the first time they went in the studio. Anything will be helpful!Thanks!
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 7 Oct 2016 5:55 am     Reply with quote

Play however you usually play. I have them mic my amp. If you are going direct make sure the di is after the volume pedal. Some guys who don't record steel think it should go before it.

For an overdub session have them hit record while you are doing your first run through and getting sounds. You might get lucky.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 7 Oct 2016 6:23 am     Reply with quote

What Bob says. Set up and play like you normally would.

also, someone other than you should really know ahead of time what it is they want you to add and where. It should not be a crap shoot. But, it can be, don't shocked if it is.

Typically, they will play the track while I am setting up so I can hear what I am getting myself into.

I play the entire song front to back recording, cause you never know, even if there are mistakes and wrong chords. Sometimes I get a chart, sometimes not. THEN, we go back and piece meal the song, different parts at different times. We record everything.

Some folks like to just do it all at once, some like to do it in parts. Both are right.

It's always good to ask if there are other Instruments to follow and if there are spots for HOLES for them.

Don't be afraid to make suggestions for phrases and where to place them. You are there to enhance the session, so enhance it !

It will be big time fun, enjoy !

Smile
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Bryan Daste


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2016 8:34 am     Reply with quote

My advice would be to definitely write out a chord chart if you don't get one (assuming this is unfamiliar material to you). Make it sound as much like your live sound as you can...use the volume pedal the same way as you normally would. Mike the amp for the most realistic tone. Although the engineer might ask to take a DI "just in case" for reamping...that's cool, but yeah, make sure it's post-VP and pre-effects, if you use effects. The engineer might also ask you to back off on the amount of delay and reverb you're using so he/she can add reverb in the mix to help tie all the elements together. Find a happy medium, but make sure it still sounds like "you!"
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 8 Oct 2016 6:23 am     Reply with quote

Yup I mirror what the other guys said. Just play as yourself.

Let the engineer figure out how to record you. If he doesn't do a good job then you'll know what you will want next time you record.

It's all about paying dues.

But if part of your sound is with a delay, maybe ask the engineer if he can split off to a DI after the VP and before the delay. You will have the dry track and the wet track to mix. During mixdown the engineer can bury your delay track if it doesn't jive with the rest of the tracks. Also try and get your delay off your rig tap-tempoed to the song. That will be closer to what the engineer would want to do with delays should he find your delay not keeping time with the song.
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Cameron Kerby


From:
Rutledge, TN
Post Posted 10 Oct 2016 5:07 pm     Reply with quote

Wow, Thanks guys for all the great info. I really like the idea of making a chord chart. I most likely will be familiar with the songs that I will play in, but there will need to be some collaboration between how intricate he would like each track to be.

So far a big part of my sound is just some medium reverb. I've been working with delay but I do not think I'll be ready to use it on these recordings. What most of you have said is that it will be better to record dry and let the engineer add the reverb. Will that give a better tone than an amp reverb or holy grail pedal?

And my only other question is about the VP. I've only played around with garageband and a very light version of protools. In both cases, I miked an amp and played like I usually would and noticed that sometimes when I played higher frequency notes with a louder VP position it would not always record them saying they were too high. Is there a way to combat this in a more professional studio setting? Again thanks so much for the input!
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 10 Oct 2016 5:22 pm     Reply with quote

Cameron Kerby wrote:
What most of you have said is that it will be better to record dry and let the engineer add the reverb. Will that give a better tone than an amp reverb or holy grail pedal?


If a reverb pedal is your way of getting your style or reverb from the amp then use it but as mentioned have the engineer take a direct-out off your VP before the reverb and/or the amp. This way you can be you and the engineer has a dry signal.

Are you going to an amp so you can hear yourself?

Present yourself as you and let the engineer work around you.

As far as what reverb he will use will depend on his DAW and what plugins he has in his list. It also depends on how good the engineer is at using time effects.
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Cameron Kerby


From:
Rutledge, TN
Post Posted 10 Oct 2016 5:38 pm     Reply with quote

Yes Godfrey I will be using am amp so I can hear myself.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 11 Oct 2016 1:07 pm     Reply with quote

Cameron Kerby wrote:
Yes Godfrey I will be using am amp so I can hear myself.



It's likely you can set up in the the control room with the amp in another room, you can hear yourself thru the studio monitors just as everyone else is , this also allows conversation between you, the artist and the engineer.

I don't do all that many sessions but when I do I usually set up in the control room. Thats where the coffee and fun is ! Sittin out in a studio with cans on can be pretty boring and lonely ! Sad
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 25 Oct 2016 6:40 am     Reply with quote

Something to think about...

There are three (not counting the vp) ways to control the volume at which you hit the recording machine. How hard you play, the level your amp is set at, and where the mic pre is set.

For me, these things vary depending on the feel of the tune and what you're trying to say on the instrument. Sometimes a fierce pick attack is the thing, and sometimes it's a light touch.

Playing with a hard pick attack is pretty easy to dial in. Just set your amp to where it sounds its best and play hard with your volume pedal engaged most of the way. The engineer will quickly know where to set the preamp and as long as you give them a consistent level it will be good.

Getting good levels while playing with a light touch is a little tougher. What you want to do is turn your amp up louder. That way the harmonic to fundamental ratio is higher and you'll hear all the subtleties in the recording. From the engineers perspective, they'll be most concerned about clipping the preamp so don't pick too hard when getting the levels.

This may be more than you need to worry about but the bottom line is to give the engineer a consistent level which will allow them to do their best work.
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