Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recording Engineer for hire

This past weekend I was asked to record my friend Tad's new band, Broken Ocean. It was the first time that I recorded a project that I was not a performer on. We got a late start Saturday night and realized that we were a bit unprepared with the necessary equipment to do a proper recording. With a little improvisation I was able to record some very basic tracks.

The challenge we faced was we were in a tiny room, had no instrument isolation, and didn't have enough headphones, or cords long enough to properly set up and record against a click track. We ended up tracking the music live with no vocals into Protools. 4 songs later we called it a night.

I feared the worst so I didn't listen to the recording for 2 days. Last night I sat down and began roughing out some mixes and was surprised that the material I had to work with was recorded fairly well. We had a couple of minor issues, one issue being we left the monitoring PA on during one of the tracks so you can hear some PA interference in the low frequencies, but other than that little mistake the recordings were usable.

The recording was dry and clean, and each instrument's track had very little bleed from other instruments. I couldn't believe this considering the room we recorded in was no bigger than 12'x12'.

The fidelity of the recording and the performances captured aren't appropriate for an official CD release but it is suitable for a demo CD and/or the band's MySpace page. As I learn more about microphones, different audio treatment effects (outboard and plugins) and become more efficient with engineering I think each recording I work on will get progressively better. I think in a couple of weeks we will try to do a fuller recording, layer in vocals and some additional guitars.

I was pleased that this very fast and rough recording rivals in sound quality some of the very early recordings I did with The Superlatives.

If the recordings get posted online by the band I'll be sure to link to them.

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