Guitar Lessons - Piedmont -San Francisco - Oakland and the Bay Area

RECORDING WORKSHOPS usually follow an ensemble workshop that has become good enough to make a reasonable demo recording of their material. In a recording workshop, the students are encouraged to record their own rhythm track and then overdub more parts, or try a one-off live take version of the material.

Before tape (or hard disk) starts to roll, the group polishes the tune in preproduction. Then, there is the "getting of tones" and making sure every microphone's signal is going to the control room and then back again to the headphones of the players recording, and generally what one would call a bunch of "tech" stuff that goes on with the control room engineer. At this point, the group has the option to record everything at once - a "live" recording! This is quick, and fun, and you get instant (if less than perfect) result. Less than perfect is fine if the vibe is good.

The other option is to build a song up from a rhythm track. This means that the drummer, bassist, and rhythm guitarist record their parts without the singer or the solos. We take a step back at this point and ask if those players have had a chance to rehearse their parts without the singer. Sometimes it's easy to use the vocal as a guide for playing parts to a song, but in it's absence, recording that song without hearing a vocal can be difficult for a rhythm section (that may not have had that experience).

After we have a basic track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar on tape. We then invite the vocal overdubs and any extra instrumental parts that should be added.

This 2nd option to recording obviously takes more time. This recording approach allows individual control over each added performance as it goes to tape. If the vocal or guitar part were a bit out of tune during a live recording, for example, we would have to ask the entire band to try the song again.

Once you have a solid rhythm track, the vocalist can take multiple tries at the vocal part without bothering the band to record the song perfectly on a repeated basis (that's a lot to ask of ANY band).

Building a song has been the preferred road for recording that takes a bit more time but can yield the better results.

Recording Ensemble Audio Samples  
Recordings with overdubs  
"This Year" Shayna Brown  
Recordings with no overdubs  
"Love my Little Woman" Chris Hemmeter  
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