Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Little Recording Studio


Most musicians are gear-heads. In fact, there are acronyms for it. GAS is the biggest one. It stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
I used to have it, but actually, I think I'm mostly cured now. I have pretty much what I need. Mind you, it took 19 guitars on the wall and 5 amps and the recording studio setup you see here to get me over my case of GAS - which has lasted over 30 years so far.
I decided to put this post up because I know other musicians are always interested in what other musicians are using. So here it is - for my musician friends!

I record here in this dedicated room in my house. So far, I have 10 albums of original songs. I record alone by layering one track at a time.
Usually I start with a click track and then I add rhythm guitar. Then I add drums and bass, and vocals, and finally lead guitar. Then keyboards, harmony vocals.
Often I do many many takes and go back and redo a track after I've done other tracks. The tricky thing that most people don't realize is that when I am recording each track, I am not playing against the whole band sound - because it isn't there yet. I am playing against a band sound in my head. I have to imagine what it will sound like and keep that vision in my head while I write and play each new part.
Some of my songs have 16 vocal parts. Often, I have 3, 4 or more guitar tracks. Many songs have all 32 tracks being used.
On the last album, Soft Lights, I have had Mike Wynn doing drums. The way we work it is that I write and record the whole song, including a click track and a full drum sound that I make on my drum machine. This drum sound is just a placeholder though until I get Mike's version.
Then, I record a special version for Mike with the drum tracks muted and just having the click track instead of drums. I load both to my website at valserrie.com.
Mike then downloads them, and loads the click version into his Pro Tools system in his home studio. He then writes and plays a drum track to go with the song, and then loads that final drum track on his website in full uncompressed form.
I then download his drum track to my Mac, and import it into my Pro Tools session and synchronize it with the song. and viola! It sounds like he was playing along with the band!
This is tremendous fun.
Wouldn't it be great to make a living this way? Ahh, we all have our fantasies...
To see all my albums and listen to any of my songs, or to buy any of my CD's please visit my website at http://www.valserrie.com

1 Comments:

At 1/20/2017 9:10 AM, Blogger mark sehgal said...

Amazing post

 

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