Hello. This collection of articles is a set of experiences that every recording engineer goes through when recording an ambitious (or not so ambitious) rock band at his/her low-to-middle class studio.
So I'll put you, my dear reader, through all the nine blazing hells of this unnerving, sweaty process of confronting the musicians' Red Button Syndrome (RBS) and having some quality records in the end.
I'll try and describe both basic approaches to making your band's records sound good and some little tricky things I find important to mention because they would probably make your work a little easier and more conscious.
Also I plan to supply you with any kinds of hard evidence of my words not being a home-brewed blabber, but actual steps leading to the end product.
So here I am at The Den studio recording what’s gonna be Castaway Angels’ debut album, and we’re ready to roll.
Please note that all the characters mentioned below are fictional - any resemblance with real persons should be considered coincidental unless otherwise stated.
Here they are - a bunch of sweaty, farting, burping and making silly jokes ugly-ass guys all wrapped up in a rock star mojo. One of them is paranoid, another one is slow, two of the rest pretend to be gay the last one is the singer. You can’t tell, however, from the looks of them, which one is the talent and which one can kick your ass having seven years of Kung-Fu training behind. So its time to set up some basic rules for yourself if you want to make it any further and at least look professional:
Rule #1: Be polite... and remember their names, goddamnit!
All of them! Well, its pretty native. There is no Ronald who likes to be called, say, Roland... or “hey you, the big one!”
Rule #2: Stay calm
Yeah, just like they say in a cop movie. You’ll have to maintain yourself at all times ‘cause nobody likes to see you getting pissed off by his actions no matter what he actually did.
Rule #3: Listen
Its as simple as that. Your job here is to listen to everything around you and to everything your clients say even if its hard to make contact with them at first. You’re here to make their dream come true so don’t set up any obstacles on the way of understanding it first.
Those were the most important things you have to get really familiar with in my opinion. Every creative process involving a bunch of different people (and they’re all different) is a personality soup. So as long as you try not to get onto someone and try to understand what he (or she) wants, you’ll be just fine.
Thats it for the small heads up. Watch out for the updates from The Den - next time we’ll talk about setting rules for everyone else which is much more enjoyable.