5 Things You Can Learn From a Marathon Recording Session

live studio recording session

I’m gonna let you in on some of the things I learned from last weekend’s marathon recording session.

I can’t believe we tracked 9 songs in 5 hours but when you surround yourself with incredible musicians they make it look easy.

I’ll be giving away a much more comprehensive report of the whole thing to my Recording & Mixing Strategies customers so if you want the detailed report you can grab your bundle here: www.audio-issues.com/strategies

1. I break my own rules

I talk a lot about how things “should” be done. Well, sometimes you just can’t.

You want complete separation and total tonal control? Well you can’t have it so you just gotta adapt.

That happened to me when we recorded the brass section.

2. The plan ALWAYS changes

My pre-production mind map served me well because I could get a broad overview of everything before I got started.

Then when things needed to change I could look at my plan too see which parts would change and which stayed the same.

I had originally planned on using a large condenser on flute but then I used it for the drum room instead. That meant something else had to go on flute so I just referred to my plan to see how things would change.

3. You never have enough mics

I ran out of condensers in five minutes.

Sure, maybe we could’ve gotten more condensers if we really wanted(I’ve since told the owner he needs to get more before he buys another pre-amp), but we just decided to make do with what we had and made it work.

4. Awesome players will give you awesome recordings

9 songs in 5 hours all tracked live. It’s not possible unless every single player knows his schtick.

‘Nuff Said.

5. When in doubt, do research

I wasn’t really sure how to approach the brass section so I hopped on the internet and instantly become wiser. The reason I decided not to use any of the condenser mics was because their frequency response all had a boost in the high mids which would over-accentuate the honkiness of the trumpet and saxophone.

So I ended up with the SM7B and RE27 dynamics instead. The sound was a little darker but nothing we couldn’t handle in the mix.

So there you have it. A short tease preview of my live studio recording report I’ll be giving out to all my Recording & Mixing Strategies customers in the next couple weeks.

If you haven’t already, grab them here and I’ll be sending it out to you as soon as it’s ready.

  • Wow! 9 songs int 5 hours, that’s a good job! It sure helps to have work with great, well prepared musicians. Not only when you have limited time. It always helps if the performers are prepared and well rehearsed.

    This post points out a few great points. As an producer or engineer, you should have a plan for the recording session. But you should always be prepared to step away from that and improvise if things doesn’t go according to plan. That goes for everything, tracking order, mics, preamps etc. etc.

    To working as a producer or engineer goes hand in hand with a lot of guesswork. When you’re planning a session you’ll have a rough guess on what equipment to use. When it’s time to tracking you try it out and if it doesn’t work you reassess. As you get more experienced your guesses should get better and better.