Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“Untitled” by DBruce


Recording. It can be a tedious process. It can be invigorating. It can be disheartening. It can suck you dry. It can raise you to a mountain top. Recording.

I started by getting a rough recording of Greg playing the song – that, and a lyric sheet and chord chart. Listening to the recording and following with the chart I recorded the number of measures for each song section (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, etc). With these numbers I was able to create a template in my digital recording software and drop in drum loops to fit the song. These loops fit with the rhythmic feel of the song and will be handy to follow while recording the guitar tracks (guitar being the key instrument). I will likely use a good portion of these drum loops in the final mix, along with other percussion.
I find that the beginning is the toughest – particularly when recording acoustic guitar. Typically, what sounded “pretty good” when playing live takes on a more defective tint once the microphone is turned on. All those little string buzzes, thumps and other mysterious noises that would never be heard in a live situation are captured by close micing and preserved in pristine digital format for all to hear. Ugh.

As I recorded my first take of the 8 measure introduction I was inspired to switch from a strum to a picked pattern and back again. A great idea, I thought, but the level of complexity increased and with that, the number of 'little problems'. The mic revealed that sometimes certain strings would buzz a little bit, changing the tone. I guess I need to press those strings harder. Now I am focusing on removing the buzz by pressing harder and I find that I miss my timing on switching from strumming to picking. Sigh.
Although tedious, the good thing about this process is that I am becoming a more precise and overall better guitar player.

But 75 takes to get 8 measures lasting 10 seconds or less?

My wife has commented on how I tend to be obsessive at times. Not so good in some areas of life, but it sure increases the quality of music that I put out.

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David Mellor