Recording a Demo: Part 2
In Part One of Recording a Demo we gave you our top tips on how to prepare before you join us here in the studio! (If you missed it, you can give it a quick read here.) After following our top tips, you’re all prepped and ready to get going with the recording session!
On arrival, you will have decided whether you’ll be recording as a band OR laying down a guide track and overdubbing the individual parts afterwards. If working to a click make sure you have the tempo’s and have practiced to the click together!
So, once the equipment is set up, mic’s are in place and everyone is happy we’ve got the sounds right from the drums and amps, we move onto the headphone mixes. One of the most overlooked parts of the recording process is monitoring for the artists. If a musician or singer cannot hear what you need in the headphones, then the vibe and performance is guaranteed to suffer.
We take a lot of care at this stage to make sure everyone has got the right balances of each instrument in relation to their own. It’s well worth taking a little time here, and requires honesty from the artist if they aren’t happy with their mix. Musicians new to recording may find the sensation playing with headphones on a bit strange at first, but it’s worth persevering with. The engineer will be communicating with the band/artist via this method in addition to the audio from the session.
In the case of the Petrafied showreel, they wanted to record 3 tracks and have an audio/visual showreel for management. Two of the songs were full band recordings and one being a solo vocal to a backing track. The video capture was also required on the same day so it was vital the session moved along with minimum interruption. We took initial guide recordings concentrating on the drum performance and feel of the two full band songs. It is really important to get the foundation of the song recorded as well as possible, and will show through as the overdubs stack up so pick the best take of the drum tracking to work off.
The next jobs were the overdubs and editing:
- Guitar parts first to ensure correct tuning
- Bass parts to fix any timing/performance issues
- Final lead vocal overdubs.
- Edits and compiling of final takes
Rough mixes were being done as the session continued until the band were happy with balances and the overall performances. We would not advise signing off finalised mixes on the day of recording so these were completed in the next couple of days.
The video side of the showreel was captured by JP Productions late afternoon. We set the band up in our large live room and fed the mixes down to a PA. This enabled the band to perform to the days recording while it was still very fresh in their minds. Once the mixes were signed off they were sent to JP Productions for syncing with the video edits. A great job in a very short amount of time and a happy band!!
If you’d like to record your demo with us, take a look at our demo and showreel page for full services and more examples of previous demos we’ve produced! Get in touch to book your studio time with us here!