RockHouse Studio SessionWorks

Typical Session


Get the Basics Overdubs Rough Mix Mix Session
Once we've got everything setup, and we're ready to record, we can begin to track the basic stuff.  What we're interested in doing here are two things.  First, to get the basic rhythm tracks down tight, and second, to make sure that the drummer gets their part down super-tight.  The idea here is to make sure that we get the basic rhythm section tracks, with a solid drum track.  (The pressure's on drummers!)  The drum tracks are important at this point because it's very difficult to "punch in" drum screwups.  Once we have the drums down good, we can worry about fixing the other goofs if any.

We'll work hard on getting your sound that you like, but sometimes, to reproduce it in the studio may require a vastly different setup than you are used to .  Your stage rig might not work in the studio.  We have several options to get sound you are looking for.  Don't panic if we suggest that you run thru our Sans-Amp or directly to the board.  We will work with you to get the sound that you want, and the sound that will work best.  We'll make suggestions, but don't take it as criticism!

When we're ready to record, we will tell you that the tape is rolling.  At this point, you should be as quiet as possible.  Don't move around, don't goof off, and do everything possible to not make a sound.  We will then signal you that we are ready to have you start playing the tune.  We recommend an 8-count start-off before each song, done by the drummer.  Remember to be as quiet as possible during the count-off.  Don't worry about the "clicks" he makes with his stick while counting the song off, we can kill that at Mix-down or Mastering sessions.  

Right now we're wanting to get the basic tracks down.  Go ahead and take a lead break if you want, or we can overdub that in later.  We'll also usually have you sing a "scratch" vocal, just so everyone knows where they are in the song, and to help with timing.  We'll worry about the "real" vocals later...

At the end of the song, let the notes fade out completely.  While they are fading out, you still need to remain as quiet as possible.  You can use your volume knobs to fade out, or we'll worry about that at mix-down.  We will let the tape roll for about 5 seconds after the last note dies completely before stopping the tape.  You should remain quiet until we tell you that the tape has stopped rolling.  Now you can breathe.

If you make a mistake, play a wrong note, don't panic.  As long as the drums are good, we can usually punch in just about anywhere to fix mistakes.  Even if you have to play your entire part over again, we can do so without having to record everyone else.

Mistakes happen, so don't lose your cool.  If we hear a disastrous mistake that the whole band made, we'll bring it up for discussion.   The other thing about mistakes, is sometimes they work.  You'd be amazed at how many incredible recordings are out there with "mistakes" that sounded extremely cool.  

Perfection is impossible.  So don't expect it.  Though you are looking to get the best performance possible, realize that you can nit-pick everything to death.  Your going for the overall best performance of the track, the one that has the energy and the life.  For example, you may play a song that really rocked and it felt great.  But then you realize that the drummer missed a cymbal here, or that the bass player rushed the chorus change.  Sometimes these are acceptable because the song just has so much energy.  You can also play the same exact song with no mistakes whatsoever and not have the energy.  Remember, you're going for the overall best performance with the energy and attitude you had originally designed for it.  If that "killer track" really rocks, but has a slip up in it, it may be worth keeping anyway.  And usually, you'd have to point out the little "oopsies" to the casual listener anyway.  Be objective.

Once we've got the basic tracks covered for all the tunes, and everyone is happy with them... we'll move on to overdubs.

Time - Basics - Overdubs - Rough Mix - Mix Session

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