Thursday, 28 May 2015

Remotely Bass



The recording process has changed a lot in recent times for all but the top  rock and pop acts.

In the old days we used to book a studio usually for 3 consecutive days on 4 consecutive weeks and completed an album in that time.   It was costly but exhilarating to be so immersed in the recording process.

Nowadays, because CD sales have dropped dramatically and online sales are negligible, recording budgets need to be controlled more tightly.   It's relatively easy to have a small studio in your own house if you know what you're doing and have good microphones and equipment.   We've had Ballyneddan Studio for nearly 10 years now - it's perfect for acoustic projects and for spoken word recordings.  Tom's a great engineer and our house is in a really quiet setting.  It's only one room but we sometimes use all the other rooms in the house to separate the instruments.

It's lovely being able to record at home, but there is a downside - everything else that you're doing takes precedence over your own creative process or practice.  Everyone else's needs take priority - teaching, recording, promotion, editing, family etc.

The plus side though is that the recording process is totally in your own control.  So if you complete one session with a musician and something needs to be changed on your own tracks then you can go and fix it.

I know there are some young singers and musicians who read here from time to time, so for you here's a bit of clarification.

A session is where one instrumentalist comes in and records that instrument on multiple tracks.   Sometimes, like with guitar for example, that instrument may be on almost every track on the album so the session may last as much as 3 days.



James, adding bass to our songs
But with bass, we are only using it on 4 songs on this recording.   So with the wonders of modern technology we were able to send the tracks by email to our bass player, he plays and records his parts on to those tracks and then sends them back digitally.  Wonderful:)  All of sudden the songs are taking shape and it's a delight.  





14 comments:

  1. That is great you can do it at home. I sang on a CD and a short animated film as a teen and they were so strict on us because of the cost of recording, I remember accidently coughing, it came out before I could stop it and they stopped recording and furiously coming into ask who'd coughed. I was terrified. X

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    1. Oh no Kez how awful. They were strict here too but not quite that bad.

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  2. Wow, I loved the know about the process! I remember seeing an interview, where The Beatles talked about that, that they had some days to record all, and if one made a mistake, everything had to be re-recorded - all the 4 instruments. And all was live in the studio.Today things got "simpler", I mean, one can record the bass and send it digitally. I think I like both ways. All is music! And soul's expression! So nice that you have a studio!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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    1. Yes that's the problem with live recording- one mistake and everyone has to go again.

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  3. How fun to read this, Fil. I come from a very non-musical family. I sing in the car, but my daughter seems to have inherited my "loves to sing" gene. I've never been part of the music making process but I think it would be fun. My daughter and I amazingly love the same music (she's 14). It's fun to have that be a thing that connects us.

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    1. There's a lot of good music around at the minute. It's brilliant that you and your daughter like the same thing 😀

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  4. Well I'm damned. I figured you still all got together and played the music - doesn't it affect the "feel" and cohesiveness if you are all only doing your own little bits. Like doing a play showing different characters on different nights or days or whatever.

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    1. Not really Jo- the basic part is me and my guitar - and that's live - the others then play to me. It's different with a band though - they would have to go all together. And these guys are so talented anyway.

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  5. Oh this is so interesting Fil. I'm pretty clueless with all things musical and the recording of albums sits smack in the center of All Things Magical. How fun to get this peek of what's really happening.

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    1. It's still magical for me Deborah 😀

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  6. Hi Fil - you must have seen so many changes .. but what a great investment the recording studio is .. as you can go with the flow and changes. Also as you say the internet process does make life easier ...

    Talented couple ... just enjoy and I'll enjoy the listening .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm loving it Hilary and the goalposts are in sight now.

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  7. I too didn't realise your bass player would be somewhere else recording his own bit and it would get added later! It's lovely to catch a glimpse behind the scenes but I can see how difficult it is to maintain the focus when you are "working" at home and not let other things around the house get in the way :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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  8. Trust me Pempi stuff around the house gets ignored a lot of the time 😀 I hope I haven't spoiled the mystery for everyone by giving away these secrets 😀

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