Here’s a small collection of questions that get frequently asked. Click on the plus marks to expand a question and read the answer.
Still something missing?
Let me know if something is missing, or you think I could improve on some of the explanations. Much appreciated!
Can We Record DI Tracks At Home And Re-Amp Them In The Studio?
Yes, you can! This is a very popular option nowadays, since recording DI tracks only involves a laptop with recording software and a good audio interface with DI. Get in touch to discuss details.
What Is Re-Amping?
Re-amping is the process of playing back the originally recorded direct guitar or bass tracks, also called DI tracks and sending them to a guitar amplifier, set at high volume. The guitar amplifier is connected to a real cab and the sound is recorded with a microphone. Nowadays DI tracks are often re-amped using an all in one solution like the Fractal Axe-FX or Kemper, both of which are available at the studio.
What Is A Click-Track?
A click track is a special track in the recording software that plays back the metronome into the musicians headphones while recording, so they can keep up a steady tempo. The click track can be freely programmed to accommodate tempo and time signature changes. Using a click track has some benefits in the recording and editing process because the whole song is recorded with the tempo grid laying underneath it. Corrections in timing can easily be corrected and re-arranging or stitching pieces of the song (takes) can be done much faster.
Do We Have To Record With A Click Track?
No, you don’t have to. Especially when the drummer has never played with a metronome before this can be very confronting. However, I do advice every drummer to get acquainted with playing with a click track as it will largely improve drumming skills and tightness of the performance over time. Once a drummer is comfortable playing with a click track, the previously mentioned benefits can be used.
What Are Overdubs?
Overdubs are all additional tracks recorded after the initial performance in which these were not, or only partially present. For example guitar solo’s or harmonic melodies, a second layer of lead vocal, etc. The initial recording is played back and the overdubs are recorded.
How Long Does It Take To Record A Full Album?
In my experience, a full length album of a typical 5 piece rock band can be recorded in four to five days. Most of the time one or two days is needed for drums; two days for all guitars / bass and another day for vocals. Shorter sessions over a longer period of time are possible, especially for vocals this might apply. When the musical arrangements get larger, more complex or demanding for the musicians, the recording can take up more time.
Do We Play Together As A Band Or Individually While Recording?
Both is possible. However, it is not possible to put all amps on full power in the same room as the drums. This would cause too much leakage of signals in the wrong microphones. This results in less control over the desired sound during mixing. To solve this, the guitars and bass direct output signal will be recorded at the same time as the drums. For the correct feel while playing though, temporary amp simulation software is used. After the recording, all original and direct guitar and bass signals are re-amped.
I Want To Record Myself At Home. Can You Help Me With That?
Sure I can! Recording at home is fairly easy nowadays and I encourage artists to do it. It will definitely improve your musicianship and it will obviously save some time in the studio once you can get professional results yourself! Just get in touch and I will help you get started.
MIXING / Editing
What Is Mixing?
Mixing is the art of balancing all the recorded tracks containing the individual instruments or instrument parts. The balancing takes place in several domains: loudness, frequency, dynamics, stereo position or panning and depth. It is not a matter of fixing all tracks on a set value for each domain. The values will continuously alter during the song (automation) to get maximum impact towards, and emotional engagement from the listener. For music recording, the result of mixing will be a stereo file (left and right channel) of each song on its own.
What Is Editing?
Editing is all activities related to the correction of the initial performance of the musicians, using the recorded material. This can include timing errors, tuning errors etc.
Can You Mix Our Songs That We Recorded In Another Studio?
Yes, I can! Fill in the quote request and we will take it from there! Obviously I require the individual recorded tracks of a representative song to be able to judge the quality and determine what needs to be done. In some cases I provide a free test mix.
What Is Mastering And Why Do I Need It?
Mastering is the art of balancing all the recorded songs. Again, the balancing can take place in several domains (see mixing). You need mastering to give each song the same subjective volume and frequency balance so that the resulting album will feel like it is a coherent piece of music. Mastering will also take care of the required loudness depending on the required medium (CD, vinyl or online streaming) and other technical aspects of the recorded file (dithering, bit depth, sample frequency, etc.)
How much will it cost?
This question is so frequently asked that I added a dedicated quote form to the website:
Fill it in, send it and I will get back to you ASAP!
Can You Put Our Songs On Spotify And ITunes?
Yes, I could but I don’t do this, simply because anyone can do this themselves. Just check www.cdbaby.com or www.distrokid.com. There are a few others. Google it. Make it work!
Do You Provide The Service Of CD Re-Production?
No, I don’t. I provide a single master disk or DDP file which is a link to a zip file containing all the required information for the label or CD pressing plant. I will provide digital WAV files for vinyl or online streaming.
We Need Someone To Do Our Artwork And CD Layout. Can You Help?
Yes, I can! I have several contacts in the industry doing this type of work. Get in touch for details.
We Need A Record-Label. Can You Help Us?
Although I do have several contacts with labels, I think all initiative should come directly from the band. The music and everything related should be directed to the music fans in the first place. Go out, gig, build your brand, gig even more, grow a fanbase. After that…the labels will come to you!
Still have some questions? Get in touch and I will help you to get them answered!