The way we record has definitely changed over the past 20 years – and we could debate if that’s for better or for worse – but the basic process has remained that same and for good reason.
To cut to the chase the key is to first understand that recording IS a process, not an event. Many people come to the studio and I record their parts and they can’t understand why it takes “so long” to hand them the finished track. Is it a money grab? What am I doing? After all, it’s already recorded. And if we were recording back in the 40s and 50s they’d have a point. Back then you through up one mic for the WHOLE band and another for the singer. You recorded the finished song. It would still need to be mastered so it could be put on vinyl but that was it. Now even in home-based studios it’s not uncommon to have 12 mics on a drum kit, 3 mics on the guitar amp plus a DI, and on it goes. I regularly am working with 30+ tracks and have done upwards of 80 all in a home-based situation. That’s a far cry from the Beatles having only 4 tracks to record Sgt. Peppers.
So what IS the process? It’s important to understand it BEFORE you step foot in any studio, large or small as it will relieve a lot of stress and frustration. I’ll get into each one in a bit more detail but basically there’s pre-production (writing the song), recording (broken down into tracking, editing, and mixing), and mastering. Click on the links to find out more.