new to recordng studios, what should i expect

george

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I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
foot inside a commercial studio
I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?

and surprises first time musos seem to stumble over
thanks
George
 
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in article g.p.gleason-64677F.17462826072004@netnews.worldnet.att.net,
George at g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net wrote on 7/26/04 2:46 PM:

> I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
> foot inside a commercial studio
> I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
> project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
> perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
> is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
> or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?
>
> and surprises first time musos seem to stumble over
> thanks
> George

George:

Make sure you're in tune to concert A, the day before, the morning of, and
check it when you get in. Mandolins often seem very subject to tuning
anomalies at the worst times. Also don't put on the new strings the day
before - either several days before and play 'em hard or just plain don't
change them.

Get comfortable, let them place mics.

Ask what they had in mind - it may be just bluegrass style chops, it might
be strumming (Maggie May sound) or it might be little frills and doodads.
Give yourself ample time to warm up in the studio, and if they like what
they hear you do then, they might say "hey, you wanna take a solo?"

Unless it's bluegrass or some other beat-heavy genre, it might be good to
ask for a click track to keep you right in the pocket. You ever played to
a click? If not, practice a bit several days before you go in.

Oh yeah, if you get the least bit nervous, ask them not to say things like:
"This is it! This is the TAKE! This is the one! Ya ready!? We're
ROLLING!" Don't be shy about being shy. Part of what they're supposed to
do is make you comfortable. You know, a buffet table, soft lighting,
groupies, etc.

Carlos
 
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George wrote:

> I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
> foot inside a commercial studio


I did this the other way around.

All I can say is the speakers are smaller and closer, but the music's
still important.
 
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In article <g.p.gleason-64677F.17462826072004@netnews.worldnet.att.net> g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net writes:

> I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
> project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
> perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can

Practice. Learn the tune so well that you can do it in one take. Then
if they want another take it will be because they want some different
ideas, not to correct mistakees.

Just play good and don't try to tell the engineer what to do unless he
asks for your suggestions in setting up to record. If he's not
familiar with the instrument, he might ask if you know what works, or
he might just pretent that he knows what he's doing. And if he has
some experience recording mandolin, he'll have his own ideas and the
producer (not you) should tell him if it isn't working.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
 
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George Gleason wrote:

>I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
>foot inside a commercial studio
>I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
>project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
>perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
>is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
>or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?
>
>and surprises first time musos seem to stumble over

My two cents:

Mandolin? Just keep tuned up(if it's possible with that instrument<g>) Let him
place the mics. If you are dead set on mic position I don't think it would hurt
anybody's feeling to make suggestions.

I think one thing to be aware of is to keep track of where you are in the tune
& also know where your phrases begin & end. This way if/when you have to punch
in a part it's easy to tell the engineer where to get you in & get you out. I
find that can be time consuming...just the semantics of the language between
the musician & engineer....
but if you get it all in one take........no problem!


Let's see, another thing is that people have the tendency to rush as in their
time. Mando, you're probably chopping backbeats mostly - so something to be
aware of.
Anyway, have fun!

>thanks
>George
>
>
>
>
>
>





Me at:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/5/andymostmusic.htm
 
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<< how should I
perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?
>>



Be polite and couteous. If you have specific ideas about how to best capture
your instrument's sound, offer them. The producer or engineer will have thee
final say, but I've been pleasantly surprised a number of times when players
have offered their favaorite ways to mic their particular instrument. Other
than that, just be prepared and have fun. That's what making music is supposed
to be about.


Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
 
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A couple suggestions from a bouzouki player:

Open the case and get the mando out as soon as you get there (assuming the
climate in the waiting room is the same as the studio). I've noticed that
both good and inexpensive zouks change pitch as they acclimate to
air-conditioned studios.

I've got in the habit of putting a tissue under the strings between the
bridge and the tailpiece to deaden the ring when I mute the strings. Maybe
ask the engineer if he thinks this is necessary.

Try not to move around too much -- small changes between mic and mando can
make big changes in sound.

If you're not hearing enough (or hearing too much) of something in your
headphones, don't hesitate to ask to have it changed. Most of the engineers
I've worked with are very good at making things the way you want them, but
you have to ask.

Check your tuning as often as they'll let you. When I record, I'll check my
tuning between nearly every take for the first song or two. Then I'll check
it between every song -- if it seems like it's settled.

Those are just a few things that have burned takes for me in the past.

It's very common to get nervous when recording -- even if you don't when
performing. I'll stick my neck out and say that if you *don't* get nervous
when you record, you're probably weird.

Other than that, be as prepared as you can.


Stu Venable, Jr.
 
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On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 21:46:21 GMT, George
<g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
>foot inside a commercial studio
>I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
>project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
>perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
>is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
>or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?
>
>and surprises first time musos seem to stumble over
>thanks
>George

Are you used to playing with other musicians who aren't listening to
you? This seems to be standard recording practice nowadays, and I
thoroughly deplore it. But if it must be, make the best of it ;-)

Be absolutely prepared musically. And be willing to try other ways
if requested.

Make sure the instrument is set up and tuned perfectly. Have spare
strings. If one is going to break, this is when it will happen,
either through you over-playing through tension, or just through Sod's
Law.

I don't know what an engineer may suggest re. set-up or playing
technique on a mandolin, but be prepared to try it. I'm thinking of
drummers who sometimes resist suggestions of kit tuning, damping or
using different weight sticks.

Having said that, it isn't your job to make the engineer feel good.
It's HIS to make YOU feel good and perform your best. You've been
hired to provide your expert skill. Ask for what you need, deliver
the goods as best you can.

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
 
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Be aware that things are done differently in studios than they are
live. Some of the things, like mike choice or placement, will be quite
different in the studio than what you are used to. The principles of
audio are the same, but the specifics of the recording situation and
the desired sound of the product make the process and techniques quite
different.

On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 21:46:21 GMT, George
<g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>I have been doing live audio half my life but never so much as stepped a
>foot inside a commercial studio
>I have been asked to add mandolin parts to a cd (not home studio or
>project, but a commercial release) what should I expect, how should I
>perpare to make the engineers job as smooth as I can
>is the ediquitte as far as suggestions I might feel qualified to make
>or do I just play the part beacus I am neither the engineer or producer?
>
>and surprises first time musos seem to stumble over
>thanks
>George

Willie K. Yee, M.D. http://users.bestweb.net/~wkyee
Developer of Problem Knowledge Couplers for Psychiatry http://www.pkc.com
Webmaster and Guitarist for the Big Blue Big Band http://www.bigbluebigband.org
 
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