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Vintage-styled recording process.


Sancho Panza

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I've been thinking about for awhile now, but is it any band that actually recorded in the garage? Do we have anyone here on the forum who was in a band that actually did it? Some of the records that I listen to actually sounds like it could've been recorded in a garage or a basement. Or maybe it just was bad equipment that they recorded on.

 

The idea of recording in a garage has hit me more than once, but I have NO knowledge what-so-ever about recording. I would love the record like they did in the 60's, mostly to get the "sound" that they did, I know that it is virtually impossible to get the EXACT same sound, but more "dirtier" than the stuff played on the radio today. I don't want to record on a computer, I was thinking and was getting the advice of recording on a reel-to-reel player, is it anyone who has experience from recording on those?

 

About setting up the "studio", should I record into one mic, like a live recording or?

 

Could someone please help me?

 

Thanks in advance for any answers,

 

Sancho

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Guest FarnsBarns

What you are kooking for is kown as Lo-fi. There's loads of info about. I am no recording expert so I'll leave opinions out but look around for info on lo-fi recording.

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In the digital age with all the recording software, it's possible to record almost anywhere. I've recorded lots of different ways but I did an album late last year where each instrument was miked, but we played live in the same room with no seperation (except a little for the drummer). It was the most fun I've ever had recording, and it 'feels' great. It was a 'performance'. I say, songs and instruments were meant to be played together. Not pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. Go for it.

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I've been thinking about for awhile now, but is it any band that actually recorded in the garage? Do we have anyone here on the forum who was in a band that actually did it? Some of the records that I listen to actually sounds like it could've been recorded in a garage or a basement. Or maybe it just was bad equipment that they recorded on.

 

The idea of recording in a garage has hit me more than once, but I have NO knowledge what-so-ever about recording. I would love the record like they did in the 60's, mostly to get the "sound" that they did, I know that it is virtually impossible to get the EXACT same sound, but more "dirtier" than the stuff played on the radio today. I don't want to record on a computer, I was thinking and was getting the advice of recording on a reel-to-reel player, is it anyone who has experience from recording on those?

 

About setting up the "studio", should I record into one mic, like a live recording or?

 

Could someone please help me?

 

Thanks in advance for any answers,

 

Sancho

 

Start experimenting to discover what setup pleases your ear best. The simplest method is one mic recording everything, live. It will take trial and error to determine optimal mic placement and direction. If you really want a lo-fi recording, use your cell phone as a mic. The sound pressure levels (SPL's, aka volume of what you're recording) will be way too hot for the terrible mic on your cell phone and will distort like crazy. At first, maybe too crazy. Experiment with where you place the phone in the room-- 10 different spots could very possibly give you 10 very different flavors to the sound of the recording. Also try placing the phone face down vs. face up (this will teach a lesson on using a 'Directional Mic"), or putting a pillow or bowl or hat over it to filter out some of the extreme SPLs. This will be help you learn to use an 'real' mic also.

 

At J & M Studios in New Orleans, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and tons of others recorded most of the early rock and roll with one room mic in a janky little room that was definitely not built for recording. So have fun, who knows maybe your recordings will revive rock and roll around the world!

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Seems as if I recall Sun Records in Memphis got "echo" in a tiled stairwell back in the 50s.

 

When Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did "will the circle be unbroken" album, it was '72, Roy Acuff made a point that everybody should think about what they were doing and just get one take as in the old days.

 

That was pretty neat stuff but points out how things had changed by the early '70s.

 

m

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Yep the story is they had Elvis sing in the stairwell. At Motown (which is a converted house in Detroit) they covered the big ol attic's walls with some sonically reflective material (masonite? dunno), creating an reverb chamber. They stuck a playback monitor & a mic up there to add reverb in 'post-production'. Creative trick.

 

Check it out, listen closely:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b5HXZRQFss

 

Listen to the snaps:

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Here's an old recording of my band in 1983 which was done in a garage and bathroom. A college student produced the whole thing.

 

The equipment he used was an old 8 track 1/2" TEAC (80-8), and he used a 4 track Fostex 1/4 reel for the drums. All the music was done live.... Laying down the tracks was easy, but watching him put all the tracks together just looked like a nightmare. My Tascam Neo24 is so easy to use compared to all the reel stuff

 

The vocals were recorded in the bathroom where the lead vocals and the back up vocals were done on the same mic at the same time [biggrin]

 

Everthing was mastered down to DAT

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oTOkmOYcWw

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I guess another point I'd make is that not matter what you say <grin>, it proves to me that people who care will count more in getting an interesting recording worth listening to than in the quality of the equipment.

 

A good piece...

 

m

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You guys have left some nice tips that I have to check out, thanks for that !

 

I think I will just buy a reel-to-reel tape record and record. Simple as that :D

 

The best advice I can give is invest in a nice porta-studio, the price point these days is very affordable for most musicians. Certainly there's a learning curve, but it's not as bad as one would think. My Tascam Neo24 is a little intimidating, but after perusing through the operation manual, I was able to lay down tracks the same day of receiving it. Reel to Reel is fine if you have someone to help with the Engineering aspect, but if it's just you, you'll need to grow two more arms.

 

At the end of the day, one can have mucho dollars in expensive recording gear, but if you lay down a 2 cent performance, it will still sound like rooty poop

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How hard is it to record on reel-to-reel tape? Don't you just push record and the record it?

 

Not that easy friend..... And with any recording project, there's just tons of preparation.... I would get something easy to use like a 8 track portastudio. Then you can decide if Engineering a demo is for you.

 

As an example, I've been working on a 6 song demo for 7 months, and pretty much doing everything by myself..... It hasn't been easy

 

Also keep in mind with reel to reel masters, you must store them properly. I made the mistake of leaving one of my old bands one inch masters in the garage and almost ruined it. It cost me $1200 to get it serviceable to where it could be used again for remixing [cursing]

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