Less is more in the studio

When it comes to recording, my philosophy is typically "less is more".  Especially when it comes to choosing how many songs to record in the time your budget allows.

I had the opportunity to record in a "real" studio for the first time in my life in the 1990's, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  A local studio ran an add in one of the music rags offering a "Four Hour Demo DEAL!!" for $150.  My band spent two hours trying to decide which songs to record, because of course, they were all potential hits. After much debate and two large pizza's, we decided that four songs in four hours sounded about right. 

The engineer rolled his eye's when I explained the four song plan for that night as the band loaded in.  At the time I didn't get it, but after running my own studio for several years, I finally understood the thoughts deep in his brain behind the whites of his eyeballs that night. Not only would he have to try to make our less-than-adequate instruments sound good, he now had to rush the recording process.  The engineer had less time to capture the best sound possible and the band had less time to execute solid performances.  The result....sub-mediocre recorded product. 

The next time you record, go for quality, not quantity!!!  Hits are not recorded in and hour.  Looking back, my band would have been better off recording one or maybe two songs and allowing time for optimizing all apects of the recording process (see below).  In almost all cases, a band will secure more gigs, impress more fans and sell more product with a couple well recorded song vs. multiple average songs. 

Everyone gets excited to capture and share their creations with the world, but by recording fewer songs, the artist and engineer have more time to focus on the following key aspects of the recording process resulting in more professional sounding recordings:

Tuning, Mic Selection/Placment, Tone, Musical Performance, Phase Coherence and Timing

I recently had a band come in to record one song in eight hours and it proved to be music to everyone's ears!


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