First, thank you for trusting me with your art. My goal is to make you as happy as possible with your project, and these are some steps that we can take to ensure you have the raddest time possible and come out with songs that you’ll love every time you come back to them!
Before The Studio:
- Rehearse your parts, and know them well, good performances are absolutely critical for a good sounding song.
- Let’s talk about your gear and figure out what you need to bring. You can find a list of all of the gear I own below, which you are more than welcome to use!
- New strings: Having fresh strings and also the proper strings for your tuning is crucial to a good guitar tone.
Estimate 1 pack/song for guitar and 1 pack/2 songs for bass
- New Drum Heads: If you aren’t sure what to buy let’s talk about it and find the right head for your sound!
Estimate 1 set of heads/5 songs, potentially 1 head/2 songs on snare
- Good Quality Cymbals: Sorry drummers, I know recording is expensive, but if you want this album to sound like your favorites we have to prepare like them also. No cracked cymbals allowed, take the time and make the investment in some good quality cymbals that will last you for a few years after recording.
- Vocalists: Be practicing as much as possible leading up to recording, we want to make sure your voice is in shape before you get here so it doesn’t get stressed or weak once we start recording.
- Bring sleeping bags, pillows etc - and groceries are always a good idea.
- Buy an external hard drive so you can have your stems/sessions to take home and keep safe.
Recommended: WD - Elements 1TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
In The Studio:
MEGA ULTIMATE #1: No Ego Allowed
My goal is for everyone to be comfortable, have fun, and to make the best music possible. These are my 2 basic rules to follow to make sure we accomplish just that.
1. Whoever plays it best, records it. It doesn’t matter who wrote it, who plays it live, or who has the shiniest guitar. All that matters is the song reaches it’s full potential, and we can’t let pride get in the way of the songs. Commonly, one guitarist will track all of the rhythms for a full song, if they are the most confident with that song it will help the song be rhythmically consistent. Sometimes the guitarist will track the bass, and there may be times where even I play an instrument on a part of a song. All of these are normal, and as long as we all have the goal of creating the best songs possible, we can all work together to achieve that.
2. Don’t make fun of someone’s mistakes. Making great art is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable. No one wants to feel stupid, all ideas are welcome, so try to avoid laughing at someone if their voice cracks or they miss a note. That doesn’t mean we can't have fun, but just be aware of the people around you.
1. Pre Production
- Let’s take your songs, analyze them, and make them as strong as possible. This will also generally involve drum programming, and you’ll see why at #5.
- Most songs are built around the guitar, so we generally start here.
- The most overlooked part of recording. This will take time and patience, but it’s the glue to the song.
- Vocals will likely start at some point during guitar or bass tracking, but the bulk will take place after, focusing on nailing the parts that everyone will be singing along to.
- Chicka chicka wut? Last!? Yes, in my studio experience, ideas can change as these songs start to come to life. By doing drums last we have ultimate flexibility to change song structures, tempos, and any other aspect of the song. This also gives the drummer extra time to practice their parts so when it comes time to record they’re hitting with power and confidence.
6. Post Production
- This step is generally happening throughout the entire recording process, but I like to reserve time to add in any special details that will make the songs shine and stand out.
That’s it! After tracking we move onto mixing and mastering and soon you’ll have something that I hope you are forever proud of!
NORTHARY STUDIO INSTRUMENTS & AMPS
Halo Merus 7 - Bareknuckle Juggernauts & Evertune
Halo JH6 - Lollar P90’s
LTD MH1000ET - Evertune
Ibanez RG7321 - Dimarzio D Sonic
Ernie Ball Stingray Bass
Dingwall Combustion 5 String Bass
DW Performers Series Kit
8x12” Rack Tom
14x14” Floor Tom
18x22” Bass Drum
Studio Snares vary depending on drum tracking location*
- Amps, Cabs & Pedals:
Mesa Oversised 4x12 V30’s
Marshall 1960A 2x12 G12T75’s
Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb
Strymon El Capistan Analog Delay
Matthew Effects Astronomer Reverb
Boss Blues Drive (JHS Modded)
Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer