The Recording Process

We at Troubador Music look forward to working with you, together capturing your music. We look at your recording as an historical time piece that you can enjoy for years to come. If this is your first time recording in a studio, or if you’ve had limited recording experience, we would like to explain our process of recording. We want this to be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for you.  Years ago when bands recorded their songs, everything was done in one room. Microphones set up, recording levels set, push record. With everyone in the same room, they were able to enjoy the process together while communicating visually. This method was great unless someone made a mistake, which caused many frustrations and start overs. Isolating instruments to record individual tracks made the “live room experience” easier.  Many early groups such as The Beatles, The Stones, etc. Recorded “The Live Room Experience” way. This type of recording emerged again in the 80’s.

We at Troubador music, have taken on this “live room experience” in a good portion of our recording format. Here’s how it works.

20160813_120745-2Step # 1:

The first step of the process is to get the instrumental part of the recording. Separating instrumentals and vocals allows us to focus on them more individually.

– Load in time/set up your instruments in the studio. Drums are in the large room and all amps for guitars etc., are isolated in separate rooms.
– Chords are run to instruments/effects/then to the amps, leaving all musicians in the main room.
– Microphones are placed for drums, amps etc.
– Levels are set for drums, then all other instruments
– Microphones are set for singers to get scratch vocals (actual vocals for the recording will be laid down later).
– Multiple recordings (passes) will be made to achieve the best take possible
– If mistakes were made we will then overdub (punch in and out) individually to fix those problems.

This is the most important part of the process. The better the recording the easier it is for us in the final two stages. We set up a four hour session. Longer sessions can become quite tiring and tedious. If we need to record the next day, we ask that you leave your instruments (less guitars, basses etc) set up.  Going in the next day is easier with everything set and levels will be the same.
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Step #2 Vocal Recording

In step #1 we had scratch vocals in your headphone monitors to keep everyone together. These vocals were not recorded into the instrumental mix.

The vocal process:

Depending on how many vocals will be done, vocalists are either placed in our isolation booth or set up together in the main room with the instrumental track played into the headphones. We use our quality microphones and pre-amps to get the desired vocal warmth and depth.

– If multiple vocals are done, such as harmonies with other singers, we put each person in the large room in either a triangular or diamond pattern with sound baffling for each person. This gives separation while maintaining visual contact with each other and listening through individual headphones.

– Multiple passes are taken so we have takes to choose from.

Step #3 Mixdown

dsc_0014-version-2After the instrumental and vocal takes are complete, the pieces of the musical puzzle start to come together.

– Instrumental and vocal parts are picked through the passes that sound best for the song/s
– Peaks and low spots in the tracks are leveled out to get a good consistency.
– Effects such as noise gates, low cut filters, reverbs and compression etc., are added
– Editing of beginnings and fade outs to tracks are added.
– If pitch correction is desired, it is added in this stage

After this stage is complete, a meeting is set up with the band/artist/s to make sure that the product is desirable before mastering.

Step #4 Mastering

After initial mixdown the following is done to the project:

– Final adjustments made with mix if any, per Mixdown meeting
– All tracks adjusted to same volume level
– Masters pressed.
– Final project given to client (please see our recording contract on pricing, payments and policies).

See our Recording Tips page to help you get the best recording possible.

Copyright @2016 Troubador Music