You might know by now that we are focusing on recording ourselves, but how do we do that?
We learned from the best
Last week, we told you guys about being down at KMGLife Studios to record two years ago. The Kimbles were amazing at telling us how they approached recording, and we learned so much from them and were so inspired. The equipment we used while there was top-notch, and the processes we learned were instrumental (ha!) in developing our future endeavors.
We had begun dabbling in home recording early on in our relationship, and had a few projects under our belt, but this new inspiration was a game-changer. We did our homework, asked a lot of questions, and recorded our first EP Equine 1. (Go listen!)
While it surely isn't perfect, Equine 1 was a great experience for us all. We had content and drive- nothing could slow us down!
We took our new CD with us when we later went to record our new single Prospect down at The Spot Studios. After finishing recording, we sat down with Glenn and Rich and showed them what we had made, and got some helpful feedback and encouragement.
Now while I can't get too in-depth in the mixing and mastering side of things, I can surely tell you about the basics of how to record your own music at home, and how we record here at Diverted Studios.
Tracking a song
Things are actually pretty straight-forward:
1) Track the drums.
If your drummer is worth their salt, form shouldn't be too much of an issue. It is pretty common however to record a full-band scratch track including vocals to make sure nothing gets missed when the drums puts down their track.
After getting a good take, take your time to quantize that track! Having a solid foundation will set the tone (ha!) for the rest of the recording session.
2) Track the bass.
Bass and drums go hand-in-hand, they are arguably the most important part of the entire band. The rhythm section needs to be as together as possible for anything else (even rhythm guitar) to work out well. So take your time in getting the right sound and rhythms out of your bassist.
After tracking, quantize that shiz. Seriously, take your time and make it great before adding any more instruments. You'll thank yourself later.
3) Add other rhythm instruments.
This means your rhythm guitar, your other background tone-setting instruments (piano, etc.).
We know you want to get to those vocals and solos, but trust me here. Those things aren't much without support.
Get it perfect, and quantize it.
4) Track those melodies!
Once you have your ground work taken care of, you can move on to the fun stuff (though we think it's all fun)!
Depending on the song, you might decide to do the vocals or solos first. Whatever makes sense to you (every song is different!). We tend to start with our vocals here.
Record your lead vocals, then add in the backups after the leads have been edited (autotune is important, guys. Trust us. You haven't heard a song on the radio in like the last 20 years that HASN'T been vocally edited like that).
It's important to do lead before backups, so that the backups can really base their performance on the lead. Tone, rhythm, dynamics, overall style. If they don't match it can really detract from what the lead is doing!
Again, this depends entirely on the song. But basically, do all your pre-mixing edits now. Get everything in there before moving on to any heavy mixing.
This means those samples you've been dying to try, little sprinkles of extra instruments, reverb, you can really fall into this rabbit-hole. But setting a scene with non-musical ideas can really enhance your project.
6) Heck yeah. Get that thing mixed and mastered.
Righteous. You have a raw file, you're feeling great. You have a couple of options moving forward, many groups will send their recordings to studios to have them mixed and mastered outside.
This is a service we offer here at Diverted Studios, so shoot Jack an email and let's talk.
Or you would like a studio to do all this recording in, we can help there too. 😎
You can see this process in action on our YouTube page, check out this week's Date Night video! We recorded a song start-to-finish this week with your ideas during the livestream. Thank you everyone who helped!
Let us know below if you have any questions or thoughts, and leave a like to let me know you read!
As always, we appreciate you so much more than you know. Without you, we wouldn't have much! Thoughtfully and respectfully from all of us in Fat Stallion-