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Old 11-30-2016, 11:27 PM   #369
Human being with feelings
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 389

Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I have to be transparent here. If I were in my twenties, I'd not have produced it a bit better myself, probably far worse. I simply didn't know then. All I knew was some songs sound good, others don't but how to do it, just keep making stuff up sort out of natural and expected ignorance and if one suddenly sounded good, we didn't really know why LOL.

Now, decades later, it all sticks out like a sore thumb. That damn sure doesn't make me a good producer/composer but it does make composing/orchestrating much less of an aimless stab in the dark. That's why I think home recording is great for musicians, it forces you to think that way when you are coming up with parts. Since you played them all, you start noticing when part A is stepping all over part B so you rewrite part A. I used to spend hours trying to say pack 10 guitar tracks in with all of them feeling like they belonged there without stepping on each other and no two playing the same part.
I barely remember my twenties. That said, when I went to audio school at 26, the way I learned editing was when the engineer handed me a reel, a single-edged razor, and a wax pencil and barked "get to work!" It was the cusp of digital, and ADAT had just become mainstay. However, most of my learning was on 2" Ampex and Teac machines - and when I mixed, it was always me and at least two other people riding those faders as best we could. From there, it was my Tascam Portastudio cassette deck - and now, for the last 15 years or so, all computer with some outboard.

Regardless of the technology, the simplest path is best. Just like everyone here is pretty much agreeing, spend the time to get it right at the source. Spend time working with mic placement, amp placement; get to know your space. You know whether or not you've recorded your best performance. If not, do it again...and again. Then, take a day off, and revisit it.

When I first meet with any client, it's not usually at the studio - most times, it's at a cafe or even my kitchen over coffee or beer, depending on the time of day. We talk, we listen to music, talk about our favorite records, whatever. Once you get inside that persons head, you can have some direction. But when you're recording yourself, you're so often focused on getting it to sound like what's in your head - but in isolation, that can be really difficult. When I write anything for anyone, whether it's for a licensing deal, or just writing a birthday song for my wife, I always include someone else in the process to keep me honest, and to critique me along the way. Otherwise who knows what'll turn out, right?

A good song is a good song is a good song. Whether John Lennon sings an acoustic version of 'Cold turkey', or puts together a kick ass studio band to play it, it's still a damn good song. And maybe this guy, recording in isolation, really had no one off of whom to bounce an idea. Maybe he performed and recorded the whole thing himself, then assembled a band to promote the album - a band of musicians who hadn't recorded or written or took part in arranging any of the music.

Anyway, it's quite late where I am, and I think I lost my original train of thought, so it's a quick sip of bourbon, then bed for me. Already downloaded and set up the next competition session so I can have a go at it this weekend if I find the time.
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