Caught in a trap

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another day another ray of hope
Member Since: Oct 14, 2004

Right, so I'm recording my band, bass, drums and guitar down first, would seem pretty straight forward, right?

The studio has been hard wired from the control room, through two rat holes and into the rehearsal room: these are XLR leads and head phone extension leads.

OK... so I plug mics into their respective leads set up around the kit... mic up bass cab... DI guitar amp... hey presto ready to go... not. Nothing was working, not a single lead. This can't be possible that every lead has stopped working!! So I check the headphone leads, they don't work either... bugger.

No time to waste, so I get the stage snake out, I have about 50 metres spare and none of the doors now shut because the snake is a 24 lead loom and wedges every door open, great!

Still, tonight I am recording and nothing is gonna stop me.

Plug the snake in, it works!! this could be a success after all.

Guitarist plays drums, well, hits them very gently whilst rolling a fag and texting his girlfriend, so professional, while I get everything in phase etc. etc.

Bass man, lets get a sound on you.
"hey man" he says "I need new strings... forgot to get some".
Nice one!! Well at least he remembered to bring his bass, pointless as that was. He then looks at me and smiles. I remind him that he is not a puppy and that even looking at me at this moment in time is not a good idea.

OK, so it's now 2 days later and the bass player has re-strung his over sized chop stick and we are back on track.

A week or two of tuesday and thursday evenings later and everything is going quite smoothly, bass and drums done, lovely, guitar tracks done... sounding good... hang on, what's that clunk sound? Noooooo! it's on the tom track, and it's hardware knocking the mic stand.

Can I fix it?? dunno yet... can't think about it... if only hitting the bass player would help.

So I decide to move the control room around instead of dealing with the problem, it's the sort of thing that gets me excited and takes my mind off of things that I need to deal with.

It's great, Ive put up damping, changed the position of the desk and monitors, something I had meant to do for a long time, cleared a load of stuff out. Oh, and now I can get to the rat holes, let me check them out to see why the leads don't work.

It turns out that we have had a rat living in a hole that was ready made for him... the right size, hidden away, quite warm... the only problem for poor little ratty was that someone had filled those holes with cables, this would never do. Luckily for ratty, he has a set of handy teeth with which to remove such hindersome wires, that's good then. And remove them he did, every single one.

So while I ponder the placement of monitors, damping etc, and think about solving my "clunk" problem, it occurs to me that our little ratty squatter, although there without permission, got things done. He didn't mess about with excuses, he had no time to question the wisdom of chewing through cables, he just got on with it...

Hmmmm.... now if I could only teach him to play bass

Still pondering the clunk

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Jan 31, 2005 09:26 am

sounds rough, here are some thoughts:

- home improvement stores have these little plugin units that send hi pitched sonic frequencies that humans can't hear, it keeps away rodents, I had a mouse or two in my garage a couple years back, put one of those in, and boom, never had a mouse since.

- if you want professional results, you need to work with people that also want professional results and will act professional

- the clunk...bummer, see if you can find the frequency the clunk is at and EQ it out, or lower it, otherwise, you may need to redo the drum takes...that sucks.

another day another ray of hope
Since: Oct 14, 2004

Feb 02, 2005 07:23 am

That sonic rat scarer sounds like a brilliant idea, I think that might be the answer. The studio is on a farm so there are rats-a-plenty, cat heaven.

I wonder if it is because we have our own studio that there is a "layed back" attitude to the recording. If we were paying for studio time would the bass player have turned up without a set of strings? I'd like to think not, though it is quite possible that he may have. Like you say, it's about having that professional attitude towards recording that gets the professional results. But I sometimes worry that I am the band nag. I feel that it is I who is taking the fun out of the proceedings by trying to get the band into some sort of order, but I know it will be me who will carry the can for not getting the recording right.

As for the drum track, I think I will bounce it onto another track and mess about with that one and see if I can remove it without affecting too much of the overall drum sound. Luckily it is not all the way through the song, only on one particular fill. But I am reluctant to track again because it is such hard work with my band. So wish me luck.

Thankfully I still have some things to finish off re. the moving round of the control room

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Feb 02, 2005 08:20 am

Yeah, without direct money on the line can promote a sloppy attitude with some people...and hey, SOMEBODY has to be the band nag, it's a role that must be filled...or, at least the organizational person, which, by nature, sometimes winds up being the nag as part of job requirements.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Since: May 11, 2002

Feb 02, 2005 10:40 am

heh the first band I helped a friend record came in and immeadiatly started changing strings...the drum toms had holes in them and a freshly cracked cymbol. The drummer takes the entire band out to Sam Ash to replace the cymbol and he asks what he should buy... I say "anything you like except B8's" An hour later he comes back in with a B8 in hand...

Also when he played he had a hard time hitting the snare drum... and had absolutly no sense of timing.

The singer sounded like a dying cat with a sore throat. Even for hardcore it was bad...

The bassest "developed a unique plucking style" ...he pulled up on the stings so they would bang against the pickups.

There was no "nag" member to keep them in line... the bassest was a local celebrity as a DJ and nobody told him they sucked.

crazy canuck
Since: Nov 25, 2004

Feb 02, 2005 03:53 pm

dansaltdog, I know this isn't perfect but there is a plugin called "drumagog" that will allow you to replace your tom hits (or any other drum) with new ones. It works as a actually works quite good. Just a thought in case redoing the tracks is not an option. Good Luck!

Pinnipedal Czar (: 3=
Since: Apr 11, 2004

Feb 02, 2005 09:00 pm

It comes down to lack of respect for the people in the band, the studio, the art, and ones self . This subject hits very close to home for me, since I am currently in the process of disbanding a trio because of one member in particular, who thinks it's fine to show up with a buzz... take 20 minutes to tune his 12-string, just to be worthless after getting it in tune(among other things) . I started directly refering to him as Ms. Simpson, which is a shame because the guy does show major tallent when he 'wants' to .

When we were paying out 30$/hr for studio time, this was not an issue . After the hard work put into making a place to record,(buying the equipment, studying the methods, redesigning my freeking house, etc...) I find that fact a slap in the face, and decided that after this last gig,(18th of Feb.) we are Done .

If I had taken these steps 'just' for this band, I would feel more hurt, but since I'm in this for the long-haul, I am choosing not to let it phase me . This isn't the first band wrecked by a single member's selfish, and disrespectfull attitude, and it deffinately wont be the last .

Upon the last practice, I was informed that this band wasn't going to die because 2/3rds of it's members were leaving, that there were 'others' being considered for the positions... well, I sure hope they have a ton of patients, and enough money to cover their studio time, 'cause the rates just went up .

Sorry 'bout the rant... I admire your attitude about these things, and I hope everything works out for you Dan .

The bassest "developed a unique plucking style" ...he pulled up on the stings so they would bang against the pickups.


another day another ray of hope
Since: Oct 14, 2004

Feb 03, 2005 03:34 am

Thanks guys, I don't feel quite so bad now about being the nagging old git in the band.

The band I am in don't seem to realise how lucky they are to have the facilities that we have, most bands would kill for what we have, and here we are, can't even be bothered when it comes to recording... something that most bands don't have the chance to do very often, and when they do they have to pay for it...

One day this will all be gone for them and they will look back and kick themselves for not having made more of what they had.

The problem I have Hue is that it is a jointly owned studio. The band has paid for everything that we have so it is difficult to put sanctions on them. However, I did sack the manager on tuesday evening and I showed the band that I am serious about what I want to do and where I want to go... We are rehearsing tonight so I will see how things are going to pan out, but I shan't be taking any prisoners.

Thanks af, but I'm in analogue, and although I could use triggers I think the clunk is as loud as the drum itself. It's times like this that I see the advantages of digital :-)

Pinnipedal Czar (: 3=
Since: Apr 11, 2004

Feb 03, 2005 03:53 am

Yeah, I can see how things could get ugly quickly with the co-ownership thing . Maybe bringing in some new blood(good attitude blood!) would help them realize what they're there for ? Start a side project, perhaps ? heh heh... Cheat on them ! ; ) Really though, good luck tonight .

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Feb 03, 2005 07:46 am

argh, co-investments by the band.....bad idea unless youhave formal business arrangements, which few do.

another day another ray of hope
Since: Oct 14, 2004

Feb 03, 2005 08:09 am

Yeah it's never gonna end good when it ends.

But all the money has come from what the band has earnt over the years. We never used to take any money from the band just plough it straight back in so that we could have what we have now... and we've got a lot... We have a band lorry, a bloody great PA (all Trace Elliot), more lighting than Blackpool, recording gear, huge rehearsal studio... man we got loads... If ever we have to divide it up, or someone leaves, god knows what we are gonna do.

I like your thinking on starting a side project Hue. I've been thinking along those lines myself lately. The only problem is finding time to fit it in. But I think that is what I need to do, if only for my own sanity.

Sorry to go on, but I'm going kinda crazy here.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Feb 03, 2005 08:13 am

The bands I have been in we separated the money equaly and each member did with it as they saw fit, the guitarist would invest in guitar stuff, the bassist in bass stuff, the singer in bought his drugs, and a couple of us would bit and piece PA and monitor systems worked MUCH better and the breakups were better cuz it involved no money or anything...

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