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Music Performance & EnsemblePreparing to Record Drums Bass & Guitar Part 2 Chris Baker www.musicstudentinfo.com
Preparing to Record Drums• A solid rhythm foundation is essential.• Without it, people wont engage with the track.• The rhythm section starts with the drums.• Drums usually get recorded first.TWO elements are vital to a working track.1. Drum Sound2. Drummer Performance
Preparing to Record DrumsThe essential ingredients in good drum sounds are:A good player, drums, drum maintenance, a solid hit, and goodsignal.•Consistency is everything.•If the drums sound good in the room this is a good start.•The drums themselves are important.•The various brands of drums all have different effects.•Take the time to try different drums.•Get advice from a session pro or producer/engineer.
Preparing to Record DrumsDrum Heads•For harder styles, Hydraulic heads or clear Emperor weightheads on toms.•They give a "thud" with a sustain that works good in the mixwith little processing.•Coated heads give more stick attack.•Kick heads run the gamut.•A thinner head will give some more responsiveness.•Bass drum beaters - Wood gives more attack, Wool or Felt willgive more warmth.
Preparing to Record Drums The Drum Kit• Locate buzzes and rattles.• Rubber tubing on the cymbal posts keep rattles down.• Tape ringing drums to taste.• Keep heads fresh but broken in.• Learn to tune drums.• Time permitting, tune the kit to the track.
Preparing to Record Drums Processing•Bass Drum some compression to get a consistent performance.•Toms expander or natural unless its a heavily processed stylebeing aimed for.•Getting things right in the beginning will make everything elseeasier.•Click Track using a click is recommended in pop music.•It gives options, such as editing sections.•Find what works in terms of sounds and loops, and requestthose in the headphones.
Drum Performance• Be very aware of timing & song form.• Often the verse, chorus & other sections should feel different.• Listen to how the drums outline the structure of the song.• Do all the down beats come in solid after fills?• Are the fills working with the rest of the track?• Be aware of what the song is trying to convey.• A good “can balance” is essential.
Preparing to Record Bass• Get the instrument set-up.• Check intonation, electronics, and strings.• Check noisy pots and electronics that add noise & not gain.• Often bass guitars are DI’d (recorded direct)• Unless the amp is really characterful.• Tube DI’s and high quality pre-amps make the bass powerful.• A good quality DI sound is the starting point.
Preparing to Record Bass• Your instrument should match your style.• Rent or borrow different instruments if necessary.• String selection - Round wounds, flat wound, bright or mediums?• Get some advice.• Sometimes a heavy gauge in the studio produces the low end & feels more focused.
Preparing to Record Tracking Bass• Bass is often “laid down” with drum tracks.• Its important to pay close attention to the "lock” with the bass drum.• Editing can get time consuming.• Bass and the kick drum are competing for a similar range of frequencies.• A lot of this depends on the style of music.
Preparing to Record Bass Performance• Pay attention to how the bass part moves relative to the kick drum.• Its important to keep in mind how the guitars are moving on top.• If the guitar is filling in around the end of vocal phrases, its probably a good idea to keep the bass part simple, or vice versa.
Preparing to Record Guitar• Get the instrument and amp setup by a professional.• Understand the differences in instruments and amps.• Know beforehand what you want.• Try to have several types of guitars.• A Strat, Tele, Les Paul, Music Man, Ibanez, and PRS are regular favorites.• Be aware of the tonal differences.• Marshall and a Fender Amplifiers cover most bases.
Preparing to Record Guitar• Matching the guitar and amp to the style being recorded.• The key to an excellent recording is arrangement.• For power, a single rhythm guitar track wont be enough.• Picking sounds & rhythms that you layer is essential.• Doubling & panning will be a critical factor.
Preparing to Record Guitar Tracking• Present a strong stereo image.• Panning slightly different parts helps create space.• Smaller lines can create more depth.• Contrapuntal lines gives excitement to the ear.• Special lines that accent certain phrases make recordings memorable.• Have a sense of development throughout the song• These are all issues that a great arrangement will help with.