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Tracking Live Vs One Musician At A Time

Brandon Drury —  March 12, 2012 — 1 Comment
Overdubbing vs Live Recording

Overdubbing vs Live Recording

What Kind Of Engineer?

If some people had their way, every chick model would look “perfect”. Via some kind of Photoshop manipulation or Eugenics experiment every girl would be “maxed out”. In a similar light, every rock recording would have the “best” guitar tone, bass tone, drum sound, and vocal sound.

The only problem with this is every chick would look the same and every band would sound exactly the same. When you leave room for individuality, you also have to throw out this notion of perfection or at least widen/complicate the definition.

Somewhere in there, an engineer/producer figures out that individuality is all we’ve got. We simply need to light it the best or maybe feed it some coke….or Pepsi. :eek:

The end result is instead of looking for things that aren’t “perfect”, we instead simply need to look for hindrances to intensity. We have to ask, “What would make this song rock harder or make this ballad sound sadder?”.

This could be anything from the wrong microphone to the wrong temperature in the drum room to a bass player taking a “wrong” approach in the second verse. This means we can’t simply memorize some stupid set of rules. It means the hindrances to intensity of a trance song maybe way different than the hindrances to intensity in an East coast hardcore punk song. This is why it helps to have a wide array of musical tastes.

So when evaluating any new band, you have to make sure you aren’t just forcing your views on them UNLESS that’s exactly what they are paying you for.

What Kind Of Band?

Some bands ARE live bands. What the hell does that mean? No idea, but these are bands that play live A LOT, have their sound down, don’t need you to create a “canvas” as they already have one. The canvas is the room and not necessarily the recording medium. It’s simply our jobs to create a few traps to capture that.

For bands with this view, it’s a disservice to even consider the notion of one-at-a-time recording under ideal circumstances. To deviate from this philosophy is to deviate from what the band is. Not every band has this strong of conviction towards what music is and is supposed to be, but when you find the kind of band that NEEDS to play live, you HAVE to let them play live.

Tracking Live Benefits

More Fun / A Social Event

When a band can play live and sound great, recording is a lot of fun. They grab their guitars and drum sticks. You hit record and away we go. There are at least four guys involved, generally. Sometimes they bring their girlfriends. It becomes a bit of a party. Most drummers I know turn it into exactly a party. (I counted 16 empty beer cans next to shards of drum sticks after one session. He sounded great.)

There is something fun about a full-band going for it, hitting stop, and listening back to a completed recording.

Faster

I recorded an album in an afternoon one time. It was a band kinda doing a classic rock thing. They just went for it. The recording turned out great. Because the band had the chops and the tones, all I had to do was toss up some mics, play with some faders, and call it a day.

There’s something about being able to record an album Saturday day and then still have the time to have a social life Saturday night that is very pleasing. A military General may use the word “sustainability”. When you spend 18 hours nitpicking over bs like editing bass tracks or tuning vocals day in and day out (often for no real musical benefit and for 7 fans to show up to the cd release party), you become unbalanced. You will wear yourself out no matter how tough you are. This matter gets more complicated when toss in having a family. (Something I’ll have to figure out very soon.)

In some circles there is some implication that in order to do it “for real” you have to put in 18 hour days. I’ve found this to be a viscous lie. There’s nothing legitimate about throwing your life away. The results speak for themselves. There’s no reason to think a live take isn’t “for real” unless it sounds like it’s not “for real”.

Less Tedious

When you listen to solo’d drums, you wear yourself out quickly. It’s not fun. It doesn’t even really feel all that musical. It’s similar to doing you taxes. The idea of having to plan ahead to imagine how a future guitar track would groove on top of those drums can be stressful. If you don’t hear it now, it can be your ass a week or month later.

With live tracking, there is no guessing. The band says yes or not and that’s the end of it. The microscopes, tax forms, and straining go by the wayside. In truth, I’d argue that listening in his fashion is closest to how the average fan listens….if you can get the band to shut up. A useless term to describe certain equalizers, the word “musical” comes up to describe this way of working. ;)

There are times when we need to take 3 hours per song for bass tracks. This is the crappy part of the gig. It’s when this gig becomes a job. For those of you who record for fun, I’d fight to the death to maintain the fun. If not, what’s the point?

It Just Feels Right….When It Feels Right

When you record a band live and the tracks on playback feel like a mixed record (give or take), there’s this relaxing something in your gut with an umbrella in your drink that says, “Ahhhh. This is the way life is supposed to be.”

When the tracks don’t go down in that way, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

Spontaneity

Here’s a video of George Massenburg discussing why he wants to track live vocals. It’s not hard to find engineers that want to track the band live, but you won’t find many that want to track vocals live. Obviously, Massenburg is working with a certain caliber of talent that most of us may not. However, the idea that if a bass player does a certain something and that something causes a singer to do something holds a lot of weight with me. It makes sense.

As a guitar player I struggle with never really doing the same thing twice. I don’t have that rigid kind of personality….and maybe I’m never 100% happy with my parts. A big part of the way I play is based on what I’m feeling from the other guys in the room. Sometimes a take calls for a pinch harmonic. Sometimes it doesn’t. This method has it’s ups and downs, but I can’t wrap my head around forcing a track to go down exactly like the script.

Not every person has that type of personality, but when recording one at a time you lose a bunch of that spontaneity. For some bands this is huge. For others it’s a non-issue.

Bleed

In a great room, the bleed between instruments on a great take is the kind of thing people pay for. It makes big sounds easier. It makes instruments sound more alive. It’s another one of those things that makes you put an umbrella in your drink.

Automatic Energy

Anyone who’s done any real work with electronic music knows why a ton of tracks are often needed. We may use 5-10 kick drums in a song because we are using sonic stuff to do what is often handled subconsciously by humans in band situations. Simply hitting the crash on the downbeat of a chorus is something that’s often handled by ultra-bright synth noises and such.

When you craft a song using 100% artificial measures (which I have zero problem with), you do find yourself scraping up techniques to create energy that a great band would do inherently. This includes natural manipulation of tempo.

Tracking Live Drawbacks

Bleed

When the room sucks, bleed sucks. Bad bleed wrecks a recording as fast as girlfriend on the cell phone. It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel like less of a person.
Not only is sonic bleed in a bad room capable of wrecking a recording, it also means that all musicians need to nail the take. With total isolation, it’s no big deal to punch in a guitar track. When 33% of the guitar sound is in the overheads, overdubbing becomes a mess. Simply replacing the single SM57 track never sounds quite right. Often the error can be still be heard.

One way around this is to bust up the song into sections where everyone plays the first verse eight times, everyone plays the first chorus eight times, etc. That’s not perfect either, but it can be a nice hybrid between the two ways of working if the song allows for such edits.

Balancing Fun Needs With Tightness Requirements

As mentioned above, there is something fun about a great band playing all at once. What do we do with the bands that don’t sound good all at once? I’ve got bills to pay and sometimes I take on gigs where it’s expected that I will put a little makeup on the band and maybe move the camera to avoid the fat rolls. (I have yet to encounter a band that didn’t benefit from at least some help in this matter even if it’s just volume automation.)

If a band isn’t satisfied with a recording they’ve done live, we have no choice but to abort. It’s unfortunate that some people have greater hurdles between them and creativity, but it is fact of life (and a good reason to make electronic music for those so inclined).

Some band don’t feel the need to sound as tight as Nickelback or Nelly. One man’s slop is another man’s dinner. As much as I appreciate tight playing, I have to admit that I enjoy the musical equivalent of a guy smashing a beer can on his head. That, too, has creative merit. The Keith Moon’s of the world come to mind among many others. Some toolboxes falling down the stairs somehow sound pleasing.

Unfamiliar Circumstances Kill The Vibe

The idea of playing live sounds great. A band in their practice space is a very natural situation. Everyone can hear everyone else (well this happens at least 3% of the time, anyway). There’s a comfort zone. Live playing with the cabinets in some iso thingy so you can’t get the guitar feedback you want really sucks. Just being in a different room from the drummer or maybe hearing large amounts of drum ambiance through a person off.

I recorded a live band with eight guys. My place ain’t that damn big. In order to accommodate all of these dudes, it was a disaster. You can’t record the Back To The Future orchestra in a garage. Something has to give. I warned the band boss that we were pushing the limits of my setup. He didn’t take my warnings seriously. The recording wasn’t great.

So just because a band is a live band doesn’t mean they will sound like a good live band when they aren’t hearing things and feeling things and seeing things they way they are used to.

Increased Gear Requirements

From a recording standpoint, there’s a whole lot more gear required for live recording. 16 mic stands and 16 mic cables add up. Don’t get the necessary channels on your interface, preamps, headphones, etc. It can get very expensive in a hurry and, worst off, it’s the kind of expense that you may not use that often. You may be able to get through 90% of your projects with 8 mic stands, but the live gig bumps it up to 16. Thats’s a lot of cash tied up by tools that aren’t used that often.

It’s not much trouble to have to have an eight channel setup. The same mics that work on your overheads are often great on vocals (not to mention your snare mic). The kick mic is often a great mic for bass. You get the point.

More Setup Time

If I’m recording a bass tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up when the bass player beats on my door. He’ll tune and I’ll have him hooked up in literally 3 seconds. No biggie. When the full band shows up, I usually need 2 hours prep to make sure everything goes well. Most of this is due to me trying to wedge a watermelon into something the size of a vagina. Those with adequate studios to easily record live bands may not have as much prep work to do.

When a band expects to turn the key and hit the gas as soon as the drummer has is round things all setup, it can be quite a buzz killer when we need to spend 20 minutes tuning drums. Which is more important? Tuning drums or keeping the vibe of the band? (There are tricks to do both.) Either way, it’s easy to let technical / sonic issues detract from the energy level in the room.

Some Music and Bands Just Don’t Sound Good Live

I’m a 100% believer in live bands sounding great live, but it doesn’t take long to figure out when it isn’t working. A good band will sound mixed with minimal effort. They’ve done all the mixing themselves in the way the songs are arranged, the tones they’ve chosen, etc. Some bands don’t have the chops for it. A lot of musicians who do have something musically creative and interesting to offer the world maybe aren’t as technically gifted.

In those times, I simply move to Plan B. It was worth a try.

Conclusion

There are some huge benefits to live bands being able to play live, but for every myth and urban legend out there touted by old timers who maybe did a bunch of live recordings at Cherokee, there’s a billion reasons that “bleed is good” doesn’t hold up and every one of them is bouncing around in your 10′x10′ room.

Ultimately use your ears. Try tracking a song both ways so you can make up your own mind.

Most of all, don’t let anyone push you around (one way or another) in regard to how you work. There are many ways to skin a cat.

Brandon

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Saved Comments

IMF OnSite Recording – 03-20-2012, 07:14 AM Edit Reply
I believe some of the best music is created on live takes. The main thing, like you said, would be room conditions. I’ve always liked to record live and then overdub and\or replace tracks afterwards as needed as long as the live take is a good template.

cporro – 03-20-2012, 11:49 AM Edit Reply
say 4 god musicians are playing together. it’s like a 4 way real time conversation. every one is listening and responding to each other. vocals start to become more intimate…drummer takes it down, bassist plays softer, etc. all the timing, dynamics, everything is a big 4 way conversation.

when you track separate there is 0% interaction. you can play anything you want but the other tracks can’t respond. imagine the difference between a real conversation between 2 people and a reconstruction of that conversation where each person read dialog lines and then you assembled them.

that’s the key difference for me.

i think brandon and massenburg both said as much but in a different way.

Ken J – 03-20-2012, 04:54 PM Edit Reply
Bleed over is the biggest problem when tracking the entire band at one shot. I have found that putting the drummer in the bottle “glass enclosure” helps take care of a lot of bleed over. You also have problems with the bass and guitars. Good mic placement helps things work out along with using acoustic boxes to cover the amps.

What I have found is that overdubs for vocals is usually the norm in a studio live setting. Most vocalists want them because of the effects and bleed problems getting into the vocal mics.

Remember when tracking the whole band at one shot, you can still do over dubs of every instrument and use that live track as a scratch track if things don’t work out.

feralnugent – 03-20-2012, 05:08 PM Edit Reply
a hybrid method of doing a live take first and then replacing instruments one or two at a time can produce a live feel and good seperation but your’e right it depends on the situation and what the ulitmate recording is for and how flash the muso’s are. cheers for the article FN

kakeux – 03-21-2012, 05:03 AM Edit Reply
I’m looking at live recording in two distinct ways….

It’s an heritage from the past when having 100 punch for a bass track wasn’t easy to deal with and/or even impossible. Nowadays, it’s simple as breathing..As everything old seems always good or better in the music world, it’s more a less like a fashion thing. I’m not fashion guy….so I won’t force myself to record live just because it is suppose to sound “cool”, “better” or whatever.

Live recording, when good, are carrying something that is called a vibe and band unitiy that is sometime hard to aschieve with one by one recording. It has sometimes subtle flaws that are a part of the vibes as well.

It is for me the same type of conflict between recording with a click track or not. Some players can’t handle the click and some can, but if both are recording in the way that don’t suit them. Then you only end up with a bad recording. Obviously live recording engender much more technical issue than click recording, but the analogy is still valid…at least in my mind.

So I would love to record live, but only live band that can handle it! I’m just whishing I had enough mics to do it.

Just for the recorded, I once hit record when some friends of mine where playing in my rehersal room. I only had two mic somewhere in the room, I didn’t set up the mics. Those guys are very good players…my two mics setup capture the essential of it, it was grooving like hell and things were sounding as a block. I don’t think I could have use this recording to mix a song, because they were some obvious flaws with my “mic” placement. This little storry to show that when players are good, it can be definitely become huge recorded live.

Nanowire – 03-21-2012, 05:01 PM Edit Reply
I’m glad this is out of the way. In my opinion you’d have to wait and see how good that band really is when playing all together. Some bands just don’t have it down and they benefit most from separate takes (to a degree). Some only start listening to one another when they do it one at a time. I guess when a band can do it live, it’s a blessing in the sense of time and effort. Being both a singer and guitarist I don’t like the idea of doing all in one take. I’d like to do my solo on a separate take and even redo my rhythm parts to be more in sync with the drummer if there’s any variances that I didn’t anticipate when the drums were recorded. Then when it’s recorded I can sit back and evaluate on how to do this live. It’s the only way for me to put a little distance between my ego and the material. Maybe I’m alone on that, maybe not. There’s always egos in a band innit?

milesjackson04 – 03-21-2012, 06:08 PM Edit Reply
Originally Posted by feralnugent
a hybrid method of doing a live take first and then replacing instruments one or two at a time can produce a live feel and good seperation but your’e right it depends on the situation and what the ulitmate recording is for and how flash the muso’s are. cheers for the article FN
The whole point of recording one at a time is to avoid bleed. I like to record bass, drums and rhythm guitar on the first pass. Guide vocals in the booth if necessary. I record the bass direct in the same room as the drums, and also record the clean sound of the (electric) guitar direct onto a track (so I can use Guitar rig to sweeten the sound later) and also a mic on the guitar amp to capture what the guitar player has in mind tone wise. Once we have a good feeling bed track, then it’s just a matter of overdubbing the other parts. This gives you total flexibility when you are mixing, and unless the band is very rehearsed, arranged and seasoned, you will always get better results using this method.
My 2 cents worth! :-)

2dogs – 03-23-2012, 11:46 AM Edit Reply
Every band has a different request of course. Whether they want a live sounding album or a highly produced product. One thing I must mention is that you as a producer must really make it a priority to spend the appropriate amount of time in Pre-Prod with the band. This is critical. This will give you all the time needed to identify the best approach to take with this band, for this particular album. I recently did an album for a live type band who wanted to capture their live signature. Being 1200miles from me made it difficult, so pre-prod was limited. I only flew there once. But it was enough for me to plan my approach, to prepare the band, tweak arrangements and help me understand how to work with them to capitalize on the band’s strengths for the upcoming studio sessions. In the end its about more than just recording. Attending their gigs, jams and getting to know them will give you insight that becomes crucial to your job as recording engineer.

It is true that a band’s interaction can result in fabulous recordings. But don’t let that be your only guide for squeezing the magic from the band. Setting the mood in the studio and understanding them as people can bring them to achieve the same results playing one at a time as recording them live. In the end you are the one responsible to bring it all together. I like what Brandon said once, set the mood by cracking some wise ass jokes or whatever before going to work. Music is about the human factor. That’s where it starts. You’ll be surprised at the results.

milesjackson04 – 03-23-2012, 12:34 PM Edit Reply
Basically, the difference between “all at once” or “one at a time” is this:
When you track “all at once”, go back and solo the drum overheads…. do you hear the guitar, bass, or vocals? solo the vocal track… do you hear the drums?
This isn’t a problem so much if the band plays a great take that doesn’t require any tweaking other than eq and effects.

But let’s say you need to do some editing. Let’s say there is a bad chord on the guitar track. Simple: just cut and paste from another part of the song, right? Yeah, except the bleed from the drums is on the track as well. Or let’s say you need to pitch correct the vocals, which have guitar bleed on them… The pitch of the guitar bleed is also changed, and will most likely sound awful when added to the original guitar track.

I am talking simple mechanics here. I’m all for the “touchy feely” approach… attending the jams, finding out the guitar player’s favourite colour and knowing the name of the singer’s pet chihuahua… but come on guys! This is not what we are talking about.

I know it’s important to preserve the “mystique” of the studio by promoting all this esoteric B.S., (“my guitar was made from the mantle piece of a 400 year old castle’s fireplace”) or the classic (“our amps go to eleven”)… But why not save it for the ego driven musos that will swallow that crap?

Ken J – 03-25-2012, 08:53 AM Edit Reply
Originally Posted by milesjackson04

But let’s say you need to do some editing. Let’s say there is a bad chord on the guitar track. Simple: just cut and paste from another part of the song, right? Yeah, except the bleed from the drums is on the track as well. Or let’s say you need to pitch correct the vocals, which have guitar bleed on them… The pitch of the guitar bleed is also changed, and will most likely sound awful when added to the original guitar track.

I am talking simple mechanics here. I’m all for the “touchy feely” approach… attending the jams, finding out the guitar player’s favourite colour and knowing the name of the singer’s pet chihuahua… but come on guys! This is not what we are talking about.
Bleed is the main problem when you have to edit. However if the gear used (mics, DI boxes, etc) were all set correctly including proper gating of the drums, the bleed is minimized and edits can usually be done to a point where most mistakes are not noticed. You must also make sure that the band understands that they can not crank the amps like they usually do and the drummer must control his volume.

Now tracking the band at a show is different. You get what you get because there is usually too much bleed no matter what you do unless you tie everything with direct boxes and force the drummer to use an electronic kit. But then you must still deal with bleed through the vocal mics.

It all comes down to, The tighter the performance, the better the recording. Tracking a band live that is not ready to be tracked live is a waste of your time and talent.

shameless dawg – 03-25-2012, 03:07 PM Edit Reply
RE: Tracking a band live that is not ready to be tracked live is a waste of your time and talent.

That’s it in a nutshell. I try to check out a band before I record at either a live show or at their own “environment”. The more I know, the better my decision.

Ken J – 03-25-2012, 05:53 PM Edit Reply
Originally Posted by shameless dawg
RE: Tracking a band live that is not ready to be tracked live is a waste of your time and talent.

That’s it in a nutshell. I try to check out a band before I record at either a live show or at their own “environment”. The more I know, the better my decision.
Maybe I said the wrong words here. Maybe not. If you can get the band to allow you to take complete control of the session, things will usually go much better. By control I mean the guitarist allowing you to control his amp volume and effects, making sure the drummer isn’t going hog wild as if at a show. (better drummers can control their volume on the kit). There are just so many factors and personalities an engineer has to deal with so having complete control allows you to make choices the band may not understand but yield a better result.

Nanowire – 04-04-2012, 03:51 PM Edit Reply
Originally Posted by shameless dawg
RE: Tracking a band live that is not ready to be tracked live is a waste of your time and talent.

That’s it in a nutshell. I try to check out a band before I record at either a live show or at their own “environment”. The more I know, the better my decision.
Some bands are completely clueless on what it means to be tracked. They’re better off just recording their rehearsals some more on any recording device they have and evaluate that a couple of times. So much you can learn from recording your rehearsals even if it’s not even half decent.

wireman957 – 04-14-2012, 05:51 PM Edit Reply
If a band is reasonably tight and rehearsed, there is no substitution for recording basic rhythm tracks at the same time. I personally like to record drums, bass and the primary rhythm guitar track first, add doubled guitar tracks, lead guitar, keys, whatever, later. The eye contact and interaction between competent players can make the whole song breathe. To this end, I will usually run the bass direct and I’ve got a 1/4″ jack the guitar player can plug into in my live room wall with another in my control room that I can plug into a v-amp pro module. The guitarist can get a sound that at least works for him (or her) and bleed is non-existent. If the guitar tone isn’t just what the guitarist wants, at least the vibe is there in the basic tracks making a dub easier. If the drummer can play to a click, so that edits and future punches are easier, then life is really good. If the rhythm section of a band can’t play together, what the hell are they doing recording? I do have solo clients who want to add musicians later, so I also record one at a time, but if the discussion is about a “band” rhythm tracks have to be recorded at the same time. I’m not dogmatic about much, but on this topic I’m pretty adament. Not likely to change my opinion, either.

Ken J – 04-15-2012, 06:19 AM Edit Reply
Originally Posted by wireman957
If a band is reasonably tight and rehearsed, there is no substitution for recording basic rhythm tracks at the same time. I personally like to record drums, bass and the primary rhythm guitar track first, add doubled guitar tracks, lead guitar, keys, whatever, later. The eye contact and interaction between competent players can make the whole song breathe. To this end, I will usually run the bass direct and I’ve got a 1/4″ jack the guitar player can plug into in my live room wall with another in my control room that I can plug into a v-amp pro module. The guitarist can get a sound that at least works for him (or her) and bleed is non-existent. If the guitar tone isn’t just what the guitarist wants, at least the vibe is there in the basic tracks making a dub easier. If the drummer can play to a click, so that edits and future punches are easier, then life is really good. If the rhythm section of a band can’t play together, what the hell are they doing recording? I do have solo clients who want to add musicians later, so I also record one at a time, but if the discussion is about a “band” rhythm tracks have to be recorded at the same time. I’m not dogmatic about much, but on this topic I’m pretty adament. Not likely to change my opinion, either.
In a nutshell, you do what works for you and the client. I do the same.

thugdrummer – 05-01-2012, 03:03 PM Edit Reply
Good point about eye contact.

Reminds me of a recording gig I had a few years back. The band I was in went to record in some basement studio. We were recording live, but there wasn’t enough space for the whole band in one room, so being the drummer, I ended up in a room by myself with no window to the other room, or to the control room, or even outside. Just me with headphones. After setting up, the rest of the band was spending a lot of time tuning, or working out mics, or amps or something, and I started getting bored. Looking around I saw the small rain stick in my percussion pile. I picked it up and held it to the snare mic and started the slightest trickle with it. It took a while, but I eventually heard the violinist say “What’s that noise I keep hearing? It sounds like water leaking somewhere.” Finally the engineer starts trying to figure it out, and I stop. Then I look around and see a kids toy chest, and there’s one of those little cans that you flip over and it makes a “moo” sound. I hear through the headphones “What the hell was that?” I was cracking myself up. Eventually the engineer stuck his head in the room and started laughing. He never told them. They eventually got their stuff worked out and we ended up tracking a whole CD’s worth, but it was kind of hard to get the groove going.

dudermn – 07-15-2012, 11:52 PM Edit Reply
i read this back in march. Sorry about not posting.
it was a great article …and still is. As i was still laughing at the fact that i found the only person on the planet that cant play if hes dong multi sessions recordings

adorian – 07-18-2012, 07:52 PM Edit Reply
Last analog tape record I did it was an expensive gig in a really good studio (i.e. lots of room for bands). All of us were plugged, live and with the right sound going to tape. All the guitar cabs were pumping with tube amps at 11 in iso booths with 3 mic on them (two close dynamics, either Shure sm57 or similar + one 440s feet or two away into 60s and 70s outboard preamps on a Neve lunch cart), bass was DIed into Avalon and also miked with big condenser feeding into some other tube thing. Drums were dialed in perfect, with even gates and everythign kicking in to track. So all we needed was a good performance. Tape was more forgiving and overloading it was actually a good thing. So a 5 song EP was done in 8 hours tracking time, with mostly live second takes, with lead and vocals as overdubs and some minor note fixes by the other performers, all edited by punching on 24 tape (Studer multitrack, BASF tape). Then the 5 songs were mixed in 3 hours on a motorized SSL console in the more expensive studio A. All together done on a $1500 budget and we walked out with a product in two days. A lot of the things could be nitpicked and overanalyzed but we let it go and it sold well. Well, CD’s still sold back then
I haven’t been able to capture that magic with digital ever since, even when trying the live band in a room setup.

Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of RecordingReview.com and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.
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One response to Tracking Live Vs One Musician At A Time

  1. Both settings can have aspects of the other such as giving everyone their own room (expensive), or recording drums with DI bass and guitar (which is quite standard really). There is also a combination of both which is good for embelishements, particularly with vocals done separately, and deciding whether you need some extra guitar takes or keyboards on top of a mix. You can split how you like really. If its a good band then a good live recording should be possible, miccing everything separately if there is more going on or complex sound that might clash on a recording but not live- to be mixed later.

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