It’s never easy…..

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When you have finally written a song, and have taken the time to strive to come up with an epic arrangement – if you are like me – then the next step is to record the song!! It’s never easy – but it is a lot of fun. Ya, I know that sometimes it can drive you crazy, especially if you are on the 20th take of a guitar rhythm part and you just can’t “nail” it down….but the feeling of accomplishment you get when it is done is awesome. Recently, I had a vocalist come to my studio to record some tracks. He thought we should book at least a 6-8 hour session at a time. My reaction to this was “Really?” Now it’s not that I’m a slacker, but there are certain limits that we should expect of other people when recording. There are also limitations that we should also put on ourselves. Unless you are recording other people in the session as back up singers, it is almost impossible for most vocalists to be their “best” when recording past the 2 hour mark. Instead of pushing yourself to sound good, after a certain amount of time – your energy is spent and the result is a sub-standard sound and performance.

When I’m recording my own music, or doing tracks for another artist/band – I try to do it in 2-3 hour chunks of time. If the 20th take is still off….I know I need a break – whether its going out for a walk, sitting on the couch and watching some TV with the kids, or even resolving to come back to it later that night or the next day. It doesn’t matter what equipment you have in your studio, how much software you have, what matters the most is the actual performance you are recording. The whole concept of “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in the mix!” is a myth. You can play with the sound and tailor it in the mixing stage, but in about 90% of the cases, if it sounds bad – the mixing could make it sound worse.

Has this ever happened to you in the past? The best example of this was when my band (“The Result – don’t bother Googling it…none of our stuff is online….YET!!) recorded our first full CD. We had an instrumental song called “Hyperion” – and the Spanish acoustic guitar solo would have made Yngwie Malmsteen jealous (ya…over time ya exaggerate…LOL!) but I spent two 4 hour sessions trying to “nail” it and was totally frustrated. Our producer (Nelson McCrossan – I owe him a lot in terms of what I do now…) told me that he knew what I was trying to do, but I should simplify it and it would be amazing. What did I do? I went in with nothing and “nailed” the solo on the first take. I was doing a solo for the solo sake and not for the good of the song. If you have ever had a similar experience, please share it with us – I’m looking forward to some stories!

I have also had a lot of emails from members of our community about panning. Panning is an important part of mixing and can help to take your mixes up a notch. There is an amazing article on this here – http://www.uaudio.com/blog/studio-basics-mixing-stereo/
It is a basic article, but I find that in my own audio education, that reading material like this once in a while helps you keep things in line when tracking or mixing. I know that there is more to panning than this article explains, but for a lot of people who are new to recording – this should make a big difference.

With all this being said – yes – we are now having an “official” call for music for “Praising Him Loudly: Volume Four” (PHL4). I asked whether our community is interested in doing another project and I was greeted with a resounding “YES!” The deadline for this will be December 1, 2014 and the release date will be tentatively January/February 2015. Please be aware that:
1) Each band or artist can submit up to two (2) songs,
2) That the songs submitted must be unmastered,
3) That the only format we will accept will be .wav files, and
4) All songs submitted should reflect the theology of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and should reflect it in the lyrics.
More information will be shared over the next week or so – if you have any questions, please email me at dave@catholicmetal.com and I’ll get back to you asap! I hope that roughly 3 months is enough time for those that want to submit music. It can be a new song or an older song….as long as the older song has not been released by Catholicmetal.com in the past.

Like I said, more posts will be coming soon…

Yours in Christ,

dave

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