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Recording Equipment and Questions, Advice, Etc.

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27 minutes ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

All good info. My roommate once dropped everything, got a sound engineer degree, opened up a studio as his dream and while that's cool and all my God is he broke and struggling for years now.  He's kind of lazy/sloppy too so I just don't see how that can work as your lead engineer.  Unless you just want to record high school bands.

But it seems you have to go in one to make it now unless your really good live act gets you noticed somewhere. Someone's self recorded/produced/mixed will never get picked up by a radio or anything, too much of that out there.  I was just getting the idea from reading about that Amy Shark chick, she kept going in a studio and then eventually a song got picked up by radio there and got her semi-big.  Seems like you have to nowadays to go anywhere, assuming your music is worth a damn.  Too many friends I know will spend endless hours trying to do it themselves, push SoundCloud/Bandcamp/etc from their own mixes.

But a guy I met does $50/hr and has a really good track record, bright guy/not a douche.

Yup. With the technology today you can get a song out with almost no budget, recorded on your laptop. Most of that music is the rnb/rap/electronic stuff. 

I went to a studio in 2010 with my band, got a package deal with the label, that had studio + mixing price. I heard that the studio has been closed and the engineer is working as a electrician. Really sad. It was one of the largest label here, but it was all bands and my guess is with all the rap scene thats huge here the bands are struggling. 

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1 hour ago, Reginald said:

Yup. With the technology today you can get a song out with almost no budget, recorded on your laptop. Most of that music is the rnb/rap/electronic stuff. 

I went to a studio in 2010 with my band, got a package deal with the label, that had studio + mixing price. I heard that the studio has been closed and the engineer is working as a electrician. Really sad. It was one of the largest label here, but it was all bands and my guess is with all the rap scene thats huge here the bands are struggling. 

So you are suggesting against it then? For bands I think it's necessary.  So much goes into it from positioning the mics to, equipment, mixing

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39 minutes ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

So you are suggesting against it then? For bands I think it's necessary.  So much goes into it from positioning the mics to, equipment, mixing

I think its def necessary for bands yes. Just for what i do, is i always go to a professional studios for drums. Then i own some studio equipment to record the rest myself and save money. Usually all i need is a preamp and 1-3 mics. You can make a good sounding record that way, given that the preamp and mics are decent. 

I’ve had songs handed to me where the artist obviously wanted it to be fixed in the mix and is bummed when magic doesnt happen in the final product and doesnt understand why it doesnt sound like this or that.

But if you dont own equipment you should go to a studio. its expensive as fuck. I wouldnt expect anything below 10 grand minimum for a full album. Few hundred bucks for a song if you get it and get out. 

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21 hours ago, Reginald said:

I think its def necessary for bands yes. Just for what i do, is i always go to a professional studios for drums. Then i own some studio equipment to record the rest myself and save money. Usually all i need is a preamp and 1-3 mics. You can make a good sounding record that way, given that the preamp and mics are decent. 

I’ve had songs handed to me where the artist obviously wanted it to be fixed in the mix and is bummed when magic doesnt happen in the final product and doesnt understand why it doesnt sound like this or that.

But if you dont own equipment you should go to a studio. its expensive as fuck. I wouldnt expect anything below 10 grand minimum for a full album. Few hundred bucks for a song if you get it and get out. 

Wait 10k if you're buying all your own equipment? Or studio?

I was seeing rate, for a quality place, listened to the porfolio/example and the dudes background was $50/hr so about $500 for a few guitar/vocal/drum songs I'd recon.

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19 minutes ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

Wait 10k if you're buying all your own equipment? Or studio?

I was seeing rate, for a quality place, listened to the porfolio/example and the dudes background was $50/hr so about $500 for a few guitar/vocal/drum songs I'd recon.

I paid a little more than 10k for my album (studio time). Which isnt really that much. Got an awesome deal because the manager loved the music he said. 

50$ per hour is a good deal. If you’re going in for 5 hours i wouldnt really expect more than 1-2 songs unless you’re playing it live and no over dubbing and fills and such. 

In my experience for a song (given EVERYTHING is record ready):

drums: 30-60 minutes depending on how good your drummer is. 

Bass: 30 minutes

guitar: 2 hours approx

vocals: 1-2 hours depending on how good the singer is and how many background vocsls. You always want to try different takes and do things again to get a better performance. 

 

So thats my experience/guess with if a band comes in, only recording those instruments and is well rehearsed and not recording the whole band live and doing things proper. You can always come in, record the whole band live, do 2-3 takes on each song and call it a day. But thats always lacking some quality. 

It all depends on what you want to do. 

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1 hour ago, Reginald said:

I paid a little more than 10k for my album (studio time). Which isnt really that much. Got an awesome deal because the manager loved the music he said. 

50$ per hour is a good deal. If you’re going in for 5 hours i wouldnt really expect more than 1-2 songs unless you’re playing it live and no over dubbing and fills and such. 

In my experience for a song (given EVERYTHING is record ready):

drums: 30-60 minutes depending on how good your drummer is. 

Bass: 30 minutes

guitar: 2 hours approx

vocals: 1-2 hours depending on how good the singer is and how many background vocsls. You always want to try different takes and do things again to get a better performance. 

 

So thats my experience/guess with if a band comes in, only recording those instruments and is well rehearsed and not recording the whole band live and doing things proper. You can always come in, record the whole band live, do 2-3 takes on each song and call it a day. But thats always lacking some quality. 

It all depends on what you want to do. 

Thanks for the info, seriously man.  I would think a full album off the bat would be overkill, 2 of what we think are the best songs, toss in 2-3 others done in one live take or elsewhere cheaper (friend who's an """audio engineer"""), make a good EP, use it see where it goes, get good gigs from it (know some venue owners, but won't market for you if it sounds doggy).   Over 1K is just over ambitious for a new formed band...gotta test the waters first with the studio and the people.

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48 minutes ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

Thanks for the info, seriously man.  I would think a full album off the bat would be overkill, 2 of what we think are the best songs, toss in 2-3 others done in one live take or elsewhere cheaper (friend who's an """audio engineer"""), make a good EP, use it see where it goes, get good gigs from it (know some venue owners, but won't market for you if it sounds doggy).   Over 1K is just over ambitious for a new formed band...gotta test the waters first with the studio and the people.

No problem at all. Love talking about this stuff!

Yes for sure. If its a new band, some quality demos are a good start. But i’d still try my best, within the price range, to make it sound good because the music scene is so crowded, and maybe you decide to try to get radio play. 

And never think something will be fixed in the mix. ALWAYS spend time to make it sound as best as you can.

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14 hours ago, Reginald said:

No problem at all. Love talking about this stuff!

Yes for sure. If its a new band, some quality demos are a good start. But i’d still try my best, within the price range, to make it sound good because the music scene is so crowded, and maybe you decide to try to get radio play. 

And never think something will be fixed in the mix. ALWAYS spend time to make it sound as best as you can.

it's definitely a difficult issue, I think. 

You have to invest so much money to get something that sounds quality but the likelihood of people listening is still pretty damn low.

My band are going to record a single and release it with a video, do that angle for the online push, but try and get some straight live demos semi well recorded to do very cheap CD runs with, to just give to people or to hand out after bigger bands gigs in the area of a similar genre. 

Can't really expect anyone to buy a CD for a band they've never heard of anymore, but people like free - plus the professional single will do the push online to start with. do a few dip in singles to gain popularity and then go in to record a proper EP when you know there's an audience there.

at least that's my tactic this time around. no more DIY 'punk as fuck' record yourself and it sounds like ass products. 

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5 minutes ago, Kay said:

it's definitely a difficult issue, I think. 

You have to invest so much money to get something that sounds quality but the likelihood of people listening is still pretty damn low.

My band are going to record a single and release it with a video, do that angle for the online push, but try and get some straight live demos semi well recorded to do very cheap CD runs with, to just give to people or to hand out after bigger bands gigs in the area of a similar genre. 

Can't really expect anyone to buy a CD for a band they've never heard of anymore, but people like free - plus the professional single will do the push online to start with. do a few dip in singles to gain popularity and then go in to record a proper EP when you know there's an audience there.

at least that's my tactic this time around. no more DIY 'punk as fuck' record yourself and it sounds like ass products. 

that's a great plan, kay!

it has been two years since my band released their last album and we just got out even at this point. So we're basically ready to go in debt again for the next album 😅  Recording a full record

as an upcoming artist makes no sense anymore, so Kays plan is quite smart and i hope it will benefit you.

 

I love bands that put out full lengths, and i want to be a band that i would love...

 

If you want to record, then go and do it. but don't do it with hoping for a financial gain. you'll be disapointed. do it for the experience.

 

 

Also: Great posts in this thread

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4 minutes ago, NealMcBealTheNavySeal said:

that's a great plan, kay!

it has been two years since my band released their last album and we just got out even at this point. So we're basically ready to go in debt again for the next album 😅  Recording a full record

as an upcoming artist makes no sense anymore, so Kays plan is quite smart and i hope it will benefit you.

 

I love bands that put out full lengths, and i want to be a band that i would love...

 

If you want to record, then go and do it. but don't do it with hoping for a financial gain. you'll be disapointed. do it for the experience.

 

 

Also: Great posts in this thread

I feel like that too but it doesn't make sense to sink money we don't have into something no one wants to hear yet, that's my take. We literally have done nothing yet, totally new so it doesn't make sense at this level. whilst the artist in me would ideally do that, the pragmatist in me is buying a house and thinks it's bloody stupid to do that. 

the pragmatist mostly wins lol 

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no it's not smart financially, but in my head, the artist in me wins.... I don't believe i'm gonna make it big as a musician either way, but when i'm 60, atleast i'll have a couple records on my cupboard to be proud of. at the end of the day, i do it for myself

But I'm pretty sure that will change if i get married  and definately if i ever have kids.

 

I don't know how it is in other countries but in switzerland, there are tons of ways to get money if you're an artist.

There are a lot of foundations that will give you money if you can prove you're worth it. We payed around 25 grand in total for our last record, and about half of it was funded either by the goverment or private institutions.

 

Genuinely interested in how that stuff works in other countries... how did you pay for recording @Kay?

 

 

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2 hours ago, NealMcBealTheNavySeal said:

no it's not smart financially, but in my head, the artist in me wins.... I don't believe i'm gonna make it big as a musician either way, but when i'm 60, atleast i'll have a couple records on my cupboard to be proud of. at the end of the day, i do it for myself

But I'm pretty sure that will change if i get married  and definately if i ever have kids.

 

I don't know how it is in other countries but in switzerland, there are tons of ways to get money if you're an artist.

There are a lot of foundations that will give you money if you can prove you're worth it. We payed around 25 grand in total for our last record, and about half of it was funded either by the goverment or private institutions.

 

Genuinely interested in how that stuff works in other countries... how did you pay for recording @Kay?

 

 

As far as I know, we have nothing like that here. I've looked before, things like that have a lot of requirements you need to meet. the UK in general is really shite for musicians to be honest. 

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5 hours ago, Kay said:

it's definitely a difficult issue, I think. 

You have to invest so much money to get something that sounds quality but the likelihood of people listening is still pretty damn low.

My band are going to record a single and release it with a video, do that angle for the online push, but try and get some straight live demos semi well recorded to do very cheap CD runs with, to just give to people or to hand out after bigger bands gigs in the area of a similar genre. 

Can't really expect anyone to buy a CD for a band they've never heard of anymore, but people like free - plus the professional single will do the push online to start with. do a few dip in singles to gain popularity and then go in to record a proper EP when you know there's an audience there.

at least that's my tactic this time around. no more DIY 'punk as fuck' record yourself and it sounds like ass products. 

I think this is the far the best option right now.  People only have time for one song. Everytime my friend releases a 15 track CD, they're great, no one has time for it. If anything it scares people off they don't know where to start.

Not too long ago it was full CDs you'd check out based off of a cover even...I used to at least...then it was 5 track EPs to get started, now it's legit just like singles and a vid.   One at a time.  Problem is you're putting a lot into one song which doesn't represent an artist fully at least imo, ik we talked about this in another thread on another topic, but me personally I want that one slower song and also that 2 minute punk song...so it's like what first? Can you withstand the judgement based off the first one?

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1 minute ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

I think this is the far the best option right now.  People only have time for one song. Everytime my friend releases a 15 track CD, they're great, no one has time for it. If anything it scares people off they don't know where to start.

Not too long ago it was full CDs you'd check out based off of a cover even...I used to at least...then it was 5 track EPs to get started, now it's legit just like singles and a vid.   One at a time.  Problem is you're putting a lot into one song which doesn't represent an artist fully at least imo, ik we talked about this in another thread on another topic, but me personally I want that one slower song and also that 2 minute punk song...so it's like what first? Can you withstand the judgement based off the first one?

It's a good point and it's caused a lot of discussion our end, but it's still the best option atm. I'm happy with the one we've chosen. 

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Advice on brand new guitars from manufacturer: when  brand new guitar purchese is shipped to you, are there things that you need to get 'set-up' properly at ur local shop (assuming I don't know how to myself), or would it be ready right out of the box? Sure I know the strings wouldn't be tuned out of box, but I've heard words like 'action', 'inntunation', 'truss rod', 'set-up', that I don't fully understand and not sure if it should be looked at to make sure it's 100% ready for proper use. (Especially if shipped in post could throw things off)

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12 hours ago, Marik said:

Advice on brand new guitars from manufacturer: when  brand new guitar purchese is shipped to you, are there things that you need to get 'set-up' properly at ur local shop (assuming I don't know how to myself), or would it be ready right out of the box? Sure I know the strings wouldn't be tuned out of box, but I've heard words like 'action', 'inntunation', 'truss rod', 'set-up', that I don't fully understand and not sure if it should be looked at to make sure it's 100% ready for proper use. (Especially if shipped in post could throw things off)

Yes, you should get it set up in a shop.

I'm not a guitar expert (my knowledge is pretty damn poor actually) but the 'action' is the how close the strings are to the neck, the further away the strings the more effort you have to use to play them, put quite simply. most electric guitarists have quite low action, with thinner strings. acoustic the action is usually a little higher, with thicker strings. If the action is too low though it can cause problems, so it needs to be set up professionally.

intonation is essentially the accuracy of the note positioning. so on a fretted guitar, if you should be playing C# on the fourth fret, A string but it isn't actually hitting that note, that means that something in the set up is causing problems. could be the the nut, the bridge, the frets themselves - at a shop they'll be able to test it and work out the issue, but it'll cost money to fix.

ideally a guitar out of the box should be ready to go but frequently some things go a bit off or it could get knocked in transit or something, it's worth getting a full set up done regardless so that it's ready for recording. full set ups shouldn't cost *too* much and your guitar will be a lot better for it. all a full set up is them checking over the main elements of the guitar, fixing minor issues and restringing. 

9 hours ago, Vera Mathews Band said:

Don't judge me for this, but what about renting a nice guitar and returning it after you're done recording? 

Douchey? Yes.  Efficient? Maybe.

I actually don't think that's a terrible idea, you could probably spend less to rent a better quality guitar which'll sound better on the record - never rented a guitar before though so I can't comment on the quality you'd get from it. 

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16 hours ago, Marik said:

Advice on brand new guitars from manufacturer: when  brand new guitar purchese is shipped to you, are there things that you need to get 'set-up' properly at ur local shop (assuming I don't know how to myself), or would it be ready right out of the box? Sure I know the strings wouldn't be tuned out of box, but I've heard words like 'action', 'inntunation', 'truss rod', 'set-up', that I don't fully understand and not sure if it should be looked at to make sure it's 100% ready for proper use. (Especially if shipped in post could throw things off)

It's definitely playable right out of the box but Yes, like anything it requires some 'breaking in' to be fully proper.  A shop, tutorials, or experienced musician can help you. 

Join the Taylor club on here. Never got too inspired to song write until I got one of those bad boys.

3 hours ago, Kay said:

I actually don't think that's a terrible idea, you could probably spend less to rent a better quality guitar which'll sound better on the record - never rented a guitar before though so I can't comment on the quality you'd get from it. 

Sorry, that was my drunk self thoughts posting. I meant buy a guitar, keep the receipt, then return it.

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Oooh yeah no don't do that haha

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Used a pro studio for first time with a popular engineer, took 4 hours just for the 2 guitar tracks and a fast edit.  Engineer was very good and quick, so I'd imagine it can't go much quicker than that unless straight singer/songwriter type music.  That was $150, so looking at $450 a song.

I will say, I like the indie/darker type sound of home studios, it's more raw obviously, but it definitely sounds way tighter during aggressive parts at a good studio.

It costs a lot, bottom line, but sometimes it's easier to just be the artist and not the the recorder, engineer, producer, mixer, markering, distribution, etc.   Anyone who goes to a studio without the songs completely ready are at a loss though, couldn't imagine that.  It was also just exciting to leave there with a cd quality MP3.

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