What Track to Lay first

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ruserious
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What Track to Lay first

Post by ruserious » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:24 pm

I'm a guitarist/vocalist so I am used to laying down those tracks first and then filling everything else in. I've been told that i'm doing it backwards, that you should always start with percussion and then lay everything on top of that? I can see a point to this as doing it my way can get out of time. Any opinions out there on this?

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by nickbatzdorf » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:28 pm

My opinion is that you should record the guitars and vocalists first, since that's what you want to record first. If you need to use a click, fine, but there is no "backwards."

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by davewalton » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:57 pm

Since the end result is the goal, how you get there is usually never an issue (or anybody's business). In golf if I hit my tee shot into the weeds, hack it out into a sandtrap, duff it up onto the green and somehow make my putt, I record a "par" for the hole and that's all that counts in the end.Sometimes I get inspiration from drum/percussion tracks, sometimes I have a musical idea and then audition different drum/percussion tracks on top of the music. Both ways have yielded good results.Be one with the universe,Dave

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by zink » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:10 pm

I think this depends on what you want to pull off. If your recording a song that you've written in it's entirety on the guitar(and the vocs too), then Nick's suggestion makes sense. However, if your having issues with things locking in, then you "may" want to start with scratch guitar/vocs with a click, add bass/drums, then go back and re-record the g/v. This would make help alleviate any locking in issues since it's easier to match the feel of your guitar(your main instrument?) to everything else.If, however, your experimenting with an idea(perhaps you have a concept for a song that you can't quite get right), then anything goes. Also, you could lay down drums first(as Dave suggested), and experiment with different feels for a track. (This may depend on how you "fill everything else in." If your using loops, programing, hiring studio peeps...) It's really easy (and inspiring) to have a beat for a track and play it with different feels if your programming, not so easy if your hiring people.Being as versatile as possible is probably the best thing. You may write something you didn't know you had in you!$/50 (my two cents)Zink

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by nickbatzdorf » Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:09 pm

The only law is that there is no law.

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by 53mph » Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:35 pm

Hi Ruserious, Are you talking about laying down a track during the writing stage or the final recording stage?When I write, I record with only guitar, vocals and perhaps some piano. This is my personal way to start hearing what the song sounds like. I don't worry about clicks, drums etc...as this will often get in the way of that free flowing feeling that sometimes comes with inspiration.Once I have this track, have listened to it for several days, tweaked it, rewritten vocal/guitar parts, then I approach the next stage of recording.At this stage I get out my click track because I want everything to be as in-time as humanly possible. Then I start recording the song track by track over the click, often starting with the drums, then the bass, then guitar and then vocals.Personally I prefer not to use a click when laying down guitar and vocals...by this stage I want to have a decent drum track to work to....why?...because it's very hard to get a good performance to a shrill...'tick'...'tick'...'tick'....in your ear.I've reached this stage after many years of trial and error.I used to record the guitar and vocals first without a click and then lay everything on top, but the problems I had trying to sort out timings was way too much trouble. You can waste days and days trying to sort out a problem that could have been resolved at the beginning....days that could be better spent working on the next song.Basically, try things out for yourself and see whats most comfortable for you.

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by nickbatzdorf » Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:42 pm

"it's very hard to get a good performance to a shrill...'tick'...'tick'...'tick'....in your ear."It's much harder for me to get one without it! You can always program a basic drum pattern if the click bothers you.

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by 53mph » Wed Nov 09, 2005 5:05 am

"You can always program a basic drum pattern if the click bothers you. "I agree, but if, like me, you are predominately a guitarist/singer then you may want to get down a song in raw form before even thinking about drums.It's possible to lay down a basic drum pattern but from experience I've found the drum pattern can sometimes influence your performance. For example; lets say I have a quiet verse section and then a heavy bridge-chorus, if the drums are plodding along at the same beat and velocity as they were during the verses I can sometimes over/under compensate with the guitar in these parts. I think for the final recording it's better to have some variation in the drum sections of the song already in place (eg: hi-hat closed during verses, open during chorus, or switching to the ride etc) otherwise I end up having to redo all the other instruments again.Another problem is selecting a basic drum pattern that can be totally inapropriate for the song. If I do that from the outset it can often kill the song for me.I was not saying my way is the be-all-and-end-all of laying down tracks, I just think the laying down of drums should be done in well thought out manner to make the most of your time and get the best performance possible....after all we're not all session musicians.

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by nickbatzdorf » Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:26 am

There are no magic answers; you know what the choices are.My personal opinion is that it's not very difficult to learn to play musically with a click, and having everything in time makes life a lot easier when you start adding other parts later. I always use a click, and never start with drums.But 'sall good. As long as you remember to call your mother...

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Re: What Track to Lay first

Post by ernstinen » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:41 am

Quote:My personal opinion is that it's not very difficult to learn to play musically with a click, and having everything in time makes life a lot easier when you start adding other parts later.Agreed. IMHO, if you can't play to a click track, you have some serious musical issues. Ern

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