I spent last weekend preparing and recording one local death metal group, and mostly only preparing, since the guys cancelled the Friday. Finally on Saturday we were on location in my studio (two hours late of course) and started to set the things up. Fortunately we have a huge double bass drum heavy metal drumset ready at the studio so we only had to pull the cords and plug’em to the mikes.
We started with demoing the songs the guys were supposed to send to my e-mail AT LEAST A WEEK before we’d start the sessions.. Well not a big deal, just a few amp-modelling devices and di-boxes later the guitarist and the bassist were also ready to go. After the first song down I remember what the guys had told me in the meeting a month ago..
Me: “Have you guys been to a studio before?”
Me: “Is this your first band?”
It’s fun to watch people record music in a small room when their concentration is mainly focused on the moves rather than actually playing the songs in time according to the other musicians. So we ended up with a really crappy sounding demo which we couldn’t possibly use in any way later. Then we did the other five songs.
There we sat on the couch with the really old-school sounding six-song demo. We decided we are going to record the vocals, so the guys called the singer. A while later the vocalist phones back, asking directions to the studio. We found out he was actually something like 4 kilometres away from our location.
Another while later he showed up and we began recording the demo vocals. Nowadays it seems also irrelevant to be silent when recording someone else than yourself. The guitarist applied this new-found rule everytime we pushed the red button. He was talking in the phone, walking in and out of the room, even after we told him not to. Well.. they were only the demo vocals, so no big problem here.
Sunday began with a cup of coffee with only the drummer. It seemed like the best possible desicion to leave the others out while we’d record the drums properly. We miked the drums again, this time leaving the other bass drum alone, just applying a double pedal. Nothing special with the microphones this time, two overheads, two mics for bass drum and clip-ons for all the others.
I tried to make some kind of a click track for the drummer to follow, but during recording the first song I realized it wouldn’t be necessary. Actually it was impossible to use any computer created tempo maps, because the drummer laid the tracks down with good precision just following himself. There wouldn’t even have been a need for recording the demo’s in the first place, because he did the songs in such a good manner <sarcasm>(without paying any attention to anything that was on HD already)<end of sarcasm>
We didn’t spend more than four hours preparing and recording the whole lot! We sent the drummer home and I was left alone with the editing. On Friday we’ll start putting the low-end in place, so next stop: Death Metal Bass Destruction.