How do I record my band?

overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
edited September 2009 in The Rock Band Network
I was planning on doing RBN but I need to record my band's songs first!

Does anybody have any idea how to do this?

Comments

  • GNFfhqwhgadsGNFfhqwhgads 99% Washed Up
    edited August 2009
    overdriveguitarman;2925795 said:
    Doesn't that cost an arm and a leg?
    My friend's dad is recording right now, and he rents for...$60 an hour.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited August 2009
    GNFfhqwhgads;2925809 said:
    My friend's dad is recording right now, and he rents for...$60 an hour.
    That's pretty good actually, but I would be VERY intimidated being in an official recording studio :(

    We don't even have enough songs to use for a full hour!
  • GNFfhqwhgadsGNFfhqwhgads 99% Washed Up
    edited August 2009
    overdriveguitarman;2925865 said:
    We don't even have enough songs to use for a full hour!
    Yeah, but you'd be recording one part at a time, plus mistakes and stuff.
  • voodoo618voodoo618 Headliner
    edited August 2009
    GNFfhqwhgads;2925910 said:
    Yeah, but you'd be recording one part at a time, plus mistakes and stuff.
    In other words, probably two hours for one song, depending how complex the song is. :p
  • N-PlayN-Play Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    voodoo618;2925926 said:
    In other words, probably two hours for one song, depending how complex the song is. :p
    Then it Took dream theater 6 Years to make "Octavium"
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited August 2009
    overdriveguitarman;2925865 said:
    That's pretty good actually, but I would be VERY intimidated being in an official recording studio :(

    We don't even have enough songs to use for a full hour!
    It will take you longer than 1 hour to record 1 song. It's not like you just set up, play the song, and you're done. You don't all lay down the tracks at the same time. And even if you do, there's going to be punch-in corrections made by vocals, lead guitar, etc. later.

    On average, it takes us about 10-15 hours altogether for 1 song. That includes not only recording itself, but mixing time as well. If you want, I could try to give you a timeline description of what gets recorded in what order and such.

    Look at your local Craigslist, usually local studios will advertise there. There's a bunch around here, most of them are guys who created a studio in their garage, shed, basement or whatever. A lot of them will often offer really cheap demo deals, like $100 for 3 songs.
  • voodoo618voodoo618 Headliner
    edited August 2009
    N-Play;2925941 said:
    Then it Took dream theater 6 Years to make "Octavium"
    Octavarium.
  • voodoo618voodoo618 Headliner
    edited August 2009
    davidshek;2925942 said:
    It will take you longer than 1 hour to record 1 song. It's not like you just set up, play the song, and you're done. You don't all lay down the tracks at the same time. And even if you do, there's going to be punch-in corrections made by vocals, lead guitar, etc. later.

    On average, it takes us about 10-15 hours altogether for 1 song. That includes not only recording itself, but mixing time as well.

    Look at your local Craigslist, usually local studios will advertise there. There's a bunch around here, most of them are guys who created a studio in their garage, shed, basement or whatever. A lot of them will often offer really cheap demo deals, like $100 for 3 songs.
    ****, I was just estimating. :eek:

    OP, Tabit is still an option.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited August 2009
    voodoo618;2925948 said:
    ****, I was just estimating. :eek:
    Yeah I know, sometimes it irritates me how long it takes the other members to record their parts. I can usually nail my drum parts in the 1st or 2nd take, and then I'm done. I think it actually took us 20 hours to record "Rx", and probably half of that was Carlos fiddling around with his guitar solo until it was exactly the way he wanted it to be. :rolleyes:
  • voodoo618voodoo618 Headliner
    edited August 2009
    davidshek;2925964 said:
    Yeah I know, sometimes it irritates me how long it takes the other members to record their parts. I can usually nail my drum parts in the 1st or 2nd take, and then I'm done. I think it actually took us 20 hours to record "Rx", and probably half of that was Carlos fiddling around with his guitar solo until it was exactly the way he wanted it to be. :rolleyes:
    How do you guys write your songs?

    Pencil and paper?
    Computer program?
    Garage jam?
  • timmay9timmay9 Washed Up
    edited August 2009
    davidshek;2925964 said:
    Yeah I know, sometimes it irritates me how long it takes the other members to record their parts. I can usually nail my drum parts in the 1st or 2nd take, and then I'm done. I think it actually took us 20 hours to record "Rx", and probably half of that was Carlos fiddling around with his guitar solo until it was exactly the way he wanted it to be. :rolleyes:
    Drums are usually the fastest to be done, so :rolleyes: to you.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited August 2009
    voodoo618;2925994 said:
    How do you guys write your songs?

    Pencil and paper?
    Computer program?
    Garage jam?
    We all write the music together. Usually somebody will come in with a riff, and we'll expand on that. Then Maria will either find some lyrics she had written previously that fit, or she'll sit there and write new lyrics while we're hashing out the music and structure of the song.
    timmay9;2925995 said:
    Drums are usually the fastest to be done, so :rolleyes: to you.
    That's not true at all. They are, however, typically the first instrument to be recorded, leading to the common misconception that they're the quickest.

    I've seen plenty of drummers take hours and hours to lay down their tracks too, particularly ones that never practice with a click track and then have to record to one in the studio. That screws up a lot of drummers if they're not prepared for it. :)
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited August 2009
    Hmm...

    Thanks for mentioning the Craigslist thing, I was just about to admit to myself I would never be able to record a song.

    I might just have to do that tab thing vodoo showed me, for now, until my band is like professional. :)

    (lol, ten years)
  • Alvarado6411Alvarado6411 Dethbringer
    edited August 2009
  • CheesePopcornCheesePopcorn Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    Definitely don't be afraid to check out a small, "do it yourself" type home studio. Today you can make awesome recordings pretty cheap. I own a small studio like this.

    If you want to go the "do it yourself" route, that isn't a bad thing either. I would suggest going a DAW route. Use the best computer you can (which ever band member this consists of) and a really decent computer soundcard for cheap. Those are so easy to come by today. Pick whatever software you'd like to use. Free is always nice... but there are Pintos and Ferraris in softwares. (meaning some that are decent, slow and will get you there and some that are pretty streamlined and speed up the process) Software suggestions will vary for everyone. But since you're doing this for RBN... perhaps Reaper would be the way to go. Kill two bird with one stone... so to speak. Don't forget to try and find some helpfull plug-ins. These aren't the cure all or anything but they will help you. I know some of the plug-ins can be MAJOR $$$, but there are a lot of decent free ones around too.

    As for recording tips... there was some very good suggestions from everyone else. These are the ones I would give you from my experience.

    RECORDING
    1. Practice the song a LOT before recording. Practice with a click track or metronome as much as possible if you can. (You may already do this.)

    2. Find the tempo or BPM for the song in the software.

    3. Record a rough version IN TIME (all instruments together if you need to) with this and outline your arrangements in the software. Most have flags, markers and such.

    4. Then go back one instrument at a time and record with this "rough" version. I find this helps most bands who aren't used to recording multitrack or for a band member who doesn't remember the arrangements or play solitary well.

    5. I find this order goes the best with most bands. Drums > Rhythm Guitar or "Main" Guitar > Vocals > (at this point you can usually STOP using the rough version you recorded all together and go by the new tracks) Piano/Synths/Other > Lead Guitar or Solo Guitars> Bass Guitar> Any Others.

    POST PRODUCTION
    1. Be sure to clean up the tracks. Cut out dead air or hiss when the instrument isn't playing.

    2. Add panning for separation. This can be done a LOT of different ways. There's tons of articles and how to(s) online. Experiment and depend on your ear and what sounds the best for/to you. (If you keep everything center you're most likely gonna get a muddy mess unless you have a very sparse instrumented song.)

    3. If you can use most of your FX here (Reverb, Delay, Chorus) the better you will be. You'll have more control and it will be cleaner since they won't be processing all the NOISE you cut out earlier. (If you HAVE to use FX in the production stage "aka: Guitar player uses a reverb, modulations 'chorus, phaser, flange' or delay on his guitar' make sure it's IN TIME" also make sure you don't OVER saturate it. You can usually boost it afterwards as where before... the egg is already in the cake and can't be removed so to speak.)

    4. EQ sparingly. Always try to take surrounding frequencies away instead of harshly adding them. Find an EQ frequency chart and what they do and how they effect most instruments. These are pretty abundant online. Use it as a "guide." Again go with your aural interpt here.

    5. When you mix it. Try this... play the song and get everything in a relative slider position that you want it to sound. (It's most likely not going to stay the same from part to part do to natural dynamics in playing, but get it close to the point where you can play the whole song through and it be decent WITHOUT tweaking any of the instruments volumes through the slider.) After this try using the Volume, Pan envelope nodes most software have today. Try to give things balance by taking volumes DOWN as well as UP on individual instruments. (Example: During a 'Guitar Solo' take the rhythm guitar volume down a bit. This should help the solo stand out more without a lot of volume increase for it.)

    There aren't any set rules naturally because things can be achieved differently in many different ways. There is TONS of info online so don't be afraid to get your "eyes" dirty and go read.

    I hope this helps you somewhat on doing it on your own. Good luck with the recording and getting it in RBN! :)
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited August 2009
    CheesePopcorn;2926887 said:
    5. I find this order goes the best with most bands. Drums > Rhythm Guitar or "Main" Guitar > Vocals > (at this point you can usually STOP using the rough version you recorded all together and go by the new tracks) Piano/Synths/Other > Lead Guitar or Solo Guitars> Bass Guitar> Any Others.
    That was a really great post, CP. The only part I disagree with is the part I quoted there. I've found that going "Drums -> Bass -> Rhythm Guitar -> Vocals -> Guitar Solos" works much better most of the time.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited August 2009
    CheesePopcorn;2926887 said:
    Definitely don't be afraid to check out a small, "do it yourself" type home studio. Today you can make awesome recordings pretty cheap. I own a small studio like this.

    If you want to go the "do it yourself" route, that isn't a bad thing either. I would suggest going a DAW route. Use the best computer you can (which ever band member this consists of) and a really decent computer soundcard for cheap. Those are so easy to come by today. Pick whatever software you'd like to use. Free is always nice... but there are Pintos and Ferraris in softwares. (meaning some that are decent, slow and will get you there and some that are pretty streamlined and speed up the process) Software suggestions will vary for everyone. But since you're doing this for RBN... perhaps Reaper would be the way to go. Kill two bird with one stone... so to speak. Don't forget to try and find some helpfull plug-ins. These aren't the cure all or anything but they will help you. I know some of the plug-ins can be MAJOR $$$, but there are a lot of decent free ones around too.

    As for recording tips... there was some very good suggestions from everyone else. These are the ones I would give you from my experience.

    RECORDING
    1. Practice the song a LOT before recording. Practice with a click track or metronome as much as possible if you can. (You may already do this.)

    2. Find the tempo or BPM for the song in the software.

    3. Record a rough version IN TIME (all instruments together if you need to) with this and outline your arrangements in the software. Most have flags, markers and such.

    4. Then go back one instrument at a time and record with this "rough" version. I find this helps most bands who aren't used to recording multitrack or for a band member who doesn't remember the arrangements or play solitary well.

    5. I find this order goes the best with most bands. Drums > Rhythm Guitar or "Main" Guitar > Vocals > (at this point you can usually STOP using the rough version you recorded all together and go by the new tracks) Piano/Synths/Other > Lead Guitar or Solo Guitars> Bass Guitar> Any Others.

    POST PRODUCTION
    1. Be sure to clean up the tracks. Cut out dead air or hiss when the instrument isn't playing.

    2. Add panning for separation. This can be done a LOT of different ways. There's tons of articles and how to(s) online. Experiment and depend on your ear and what sounds the best for/to you. (If you keep everything center you're most likely gonna get a muddy mess unless you have a very sparse instrumented song.)

    3. If you can use most of your FX here (Reverb, Delay, Chorus) the better you will be. You'll have more control and it will be cleaner since they won't be processing all the NOISE you cut out earlier. (If you HAVE to use FX in the production stage "aka: Guitar player uses a reverb, modulations 'chorus, phaser, flange' or delay on his guitar' make sure it's IN TIME" also make sure you don't OVER saturate it. You can usually boost it afterwards as where before... the egg is already in the cake and can't be removed so to speak.)

    4. EQ sparingly. Always try to take surrounding frequencies away instead of harshly adding them. Find an EQ frequency chart and what they do and how they effect most instruments. These are pretty abundant online. Use it as a "guide." Again go with your aural interpt here.

    5. When you mix it. Try this... play the song and get everything in a relative slider position that you want it to sound. (It's most likely not going to stay the same from part to part do to natural dynamics in playing, but get it close to the point where you can play the whole song through and it be decent WITHOUT tweaking any of the instruments volumes through the slider.) After this try using the Volume, Pan envelope nodes most software have today. Try to give things balance by taking volumes DOWN as well as UP on individual instruments. (Example: During a 'Guitar Solo' take the rhythm guitar volume down a bit. This should help the solo stand out more without a lot of volume increase for it.)

    There aren't any set rules naturally because things can be achieved differently in many different ways. There is TONS of info online so don't be afraid to get your "eyes" dirty and go read.

    I hope this helps you somewhat on doing it on your own. Good luck with the recording and getting it in RBN! :)
    That was awesome! I'm going to subscribe this thread, and when I'm getting ready to start recording, come back to this thread!

    Thank you very much!

    I just don't understand one thing...

    What are plug-ins? :p
  • CheesePopcornCheesePopcorn Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    davidshek;2927447 said:
    That was a really great post, CP. The only part I disagree with is the part I quoted there. I've found that going "Drums -> Bass -> Rhythm Guitar -> Vocals -> Guitar Solos" works much better most of the time.
    Thanks. That's cool, disagree away. ;) We all have different experiences. Maybe one of our suggestions will help. If not then they should experiment with different ones. Good opposing advice.
    overdriveguitarman;2927567 said:

    What are plug-ins? :p
    If this was just a funny.:rolleyes: LOL

    If not, then it's actual mini-software that emulates certain gear and FX. Some companies make software that emulate reverbs, delays, modulations, eqs, distortion, amps, analogue tape harmonic distortion, tube saturation harmonic distortion, mic preamps, even Neve and SSL channel strips. (Yes this can be explained much better/accurately, but he can search it too.)

    These can be used to effect, correct and sweeten your sound. They're a big help. If used correctly, creatively and smart... you can change a dry and harsh digital recording into something that can stand on it's own with big industry recordings. (With some good mastering) These aren't a "cure all" mind you. You still need to do the best recording you can, as clean as possible, etc, etc.

    Good plug-ins cost $$$. But you can also get free plug-ins that are pretty decent from the web.

    Just like "davidshek" pointed out there are TONS of different views and experiences. If something doesn't work for you, read and try a different approach.

    Hope this has helped. If I can help anymore just ask.
  • CheesePopcornCheesePopcorn Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    AKALink;2929620 said:
    "AKALink's" sugestion is a decent low priced soundcard/audio interface. There are TONS of options in this department. Everyone will use and stand by something different. Your needs will obviously factor in and determine your selection too. (Not everyone needs midi built in or a lot of outputs, etc.)

    Here are a few suggestions at the $200 range you could consider too.

    Mackie Onyx Satellite $169.00
    96Khz/24bit 8 Inputs/6 Outputs Firewire
    (Comes with Tracktion 2 Software)

    Line 6 POD Studio $199.00
    48Khz/24bit 6 Inputs/2 Outputs USB
    (Comes with Line 6 Amp Farm and A

    PreSounus FireBox $199.00
    96Khz/24bit 4 Inputs/6 Outputs Midi Interface Firewire
    (Comes with Steinberg's Cubas LE Software)

    Be sure to shop around. If you can find it cheaper on other sites... always try to make sites you trust "Price Match." I've even made companies like MusiciansFriend, American Musical Supply and Sweetwater price match small local stores.

    If you can give more details into what you need or want to try to do everyone can contribute more suggestions.
  • NSIYusukeNSIYusuke Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    Alternatively, I take it that you're the guitarist in this band, so this might be helpful:

    Does your amp have an "Audio Out" jack on the back of it? Or do you use footswitches for your distortion and tone? If you do (either one), you're in luck, because recording at home for free is pretty easy to do with a little practice. xP That's how Bluefusion rolls, yar, and we have pretty decent sounding recordings; they're good enough to get accepted into RBN; seeing as we're already signed.

    First things first, you'd need a computer with quite a bit of free space; recordings can take up a buttload of harddrive space, just a forewarning. Second, you'll need to find out if you have a Line-In port on your PC. You know where you plug in your computer microphones and speakers and stuff? Is there a blue port next to them? If so, that's the line-in port, We'll need that to make good quality recordings without extra background noise going on, so you can talk and have as much noise going on around you as you want, but only your guitar will be recorded. Anyway, if you've made sure you have those, let's move on.

    You'll need a Instrument Cable-to-Headphone jack adaptor. No biggie; go to a local store, they'll probably have them for $2-4, easy. Depending on if you use your amp for tone or not, you might need an extra instrument cable to go from your amp, into the adapter, into the computer. If you don't use your amp for tone (Like BF doesn't), then just take the cord leading to the amp and plug it into the adapter, then into the PC; you should be able to use your computer speakers as an amp.

    Then you choose a program to record with. If you want free, I suggest Audacity, as it's rather powerful for a free program, and it lets you multitrack, which is absolutely needed for RBN. There should be an option in the upper right corner or so, that has a little microphone icon and then a drop down menu with "Stereo Mix", "Microphone", "Line In" "Mono Mix", "Phone In", etc, You'd pick "Line in" from there.

    Hit the big red "RECORD" button, and you're already getting your stuff done. You'll need Lame_Enc.dll in order to export your song as an MP3, but .WAV is what Rhythm Authors or similar companies ask you to export to anyway, so whatever. If you notice that your recordings are going out-of-sync as you keep recording, don't sweat it, just hit Alt+Ctrl+Del (if you're on a PC) and find "audacity.exe" in the processes tab, and set it's Priority (Right click) to "High" or "Real Time". That should fix it.

    =) If your track is still a little bit too dull, try adding reverb (Not TOO much) in Audacity, it gives it a nice clean studio effect that's really cool.

    Hope this helped; this is how oldskool Bluefusion did it's recordings. Now we use (the not so free) Adobe Audition, but yeah! Best of luck, share the recording with us once you've finished it! =) I'll Explain how to do a decent drum recording after a few more posts.

    EDIT:
    [Audacity] (Free)
    [Lame_enc.dll] (Free) (Optional, if you wanna make MP3s instead of .Wav)
    [The "Instrument Cable-to-Headphone" adapter I was talking about earlier.] ($2-4)
    [Additional Instrument Cable(s?)] (Optional, May need it, though.)
    [A Computer] (which you already have, that has enough memory to hold your recordings. Anything with more than a Gigabyte of free space should be good, so don't worry.)


    EDIT 2:

    Fun Fact, Bluefusion doesn't have a real bass guitar in use in the band at all; we use pitch shifting to make a clean (acoustic sounding) guitar one octave lower, and that simulates a bass. It's not the best sounding bass, but the overall sound of the song WILL sound better with that "faux Bass" in it anyway, So I suggest trying to pitch shift a clean guitar track down to emulate a bass track. If you don't have a pedal that's capable of doing it on the fly like I do, use Audacity. =)


    EDIT 3:
    Also, I'll potentially save you some trouble, If your amp or foot pedal has a "Stereo Mixer" Output on it anywhere, use that instead of "Amp Out", while going into a computer; it's much better sounding quality. I wish I'd have realized that for Fighting Spirit. oops.
  • overdriveguitarmanoverdriveguitarman The Walrus
    edited August 2009
    You guys are amazing!

    Thank you so much for all the help! I really appreciate it! :)
    Internetz Cookies for Everyone!!!
  • JediDrummer17JediDrummer17 Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    NSIYusuke;2934641 said:
    I suggest Audacity,
    Will Garage Band work?
  • AKALinkAKALink Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    Get a boom stand, I know its like $40, it is worth it.
  • serberus190serberus190 Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    davidshek;2925942 said:

    Look at your local Craigslist, usually local studios will advertise there. There's a bunch around here, most of them are guys who created a studio in their garage, shed, basement or whatever. A lot of them will often offer really cheap demo deals, like $100 for 3 songs.
    is there anything cheaper? me and my band would like to record but we dont have a lot of money
  • CheesePopcornCheesePopcorn Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    serberus190;2954602 said:
    is there anything cheaper? me and my band would like to record but we dont have a lot of money
    You should/might be able to find "Home" studio owners who will record for a cheap price. But be prepared, it might not be what you're expecting.

    I've seen/read of small studios recording for really cheap prices... but rarely.

    You can always go a more "Guerrilla" type recording like the suggestions from "NSIYusuke." Which were pretty good.:D Most of us start out something similar to the way he stated. Just search "Guerrilla Recording" in Google and such. You should find tons of stuff that may help.

    Knowledge is your BEST FRIEND!! So don't be afraid to read EVERY SINGLE THING you find. A lot will be repeated content but you can find some awesome advice. This advice goes to NO ONE in particular. This is good for everyone to do. If you want something bad enough that you can invest a week(s) of hard research in... then you've got the drive to make it happen and you're already on the path to start gaining the knowledge.

    Definitely STUDY UP and shop/look around to try to get a good idea of what your options are. There's plenty of knowledgeable people on here to help you with questions, but you need to do the leg work. :cool:
  • KoolkittiesKoolkitties Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    overdriveguitarman;2925865 said:
    That's pretty good actually, but I would be VERY intimidated being in an official recording studio :(

    We don't even have enough songs to use for a full hour!
    You could get a three hundred dollar digital recorder.
  • NSIYusukeNSIYusuke Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    JediDrummer17;2952350 said:
    Will Garage Band work?

    DEFINITELY! I hear that Garageband is actually AMAZING for doing this sort of thing.Much better than Audacity, or so I'm told.
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited August 2009
    serberus190;2954602 said:
    is there anything cheaper? me and my band would like to record but we dont have a lot of money
    like cheesepopcorn noted, you can oftentimes find home studios that can do a rather good job for a very reasonable price...

    i know when i was first getting into home-recording i recorded no less than 10 albums for 6 different bands i wasn't in for free (usually got some free pizza, booze, and merch though), and while i was an amateur all but the first few of those albums turned out sounding pretty damn nice if i do say so myself.
  • Lizard_KingLizard_King Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    I got one of my songs accepted by RA, and all I had at my disposal was an SM-57 mic, a vocal mic, and two drum mics. the rest ran through a MOTU Ultralite. Recorded literally in my garage. Then again, i also use Logic Pro 8, so that helps too. But GarageBand can work, but you wont get a professional mix unless you really tweak it hard.
Sign In or Register to comment.