Last week my band was rehearsing in a studio owned by a friend of ours named Steve. Many times he leaves us be as we hammer out songs but last week he came in and said he needed to get his recording equipment set up and could use the practice in recording us.
We were working on our four songs for the Battle of the Band contest and decided to take him up on his offer.
The world has changed in the years that I layed off music. Whenever we had to make a demo tape, it was just that – tape. Big reels spinning majestically as the needles on the mixing board bounced around. I spent a lot of time in recording studios, although I can’t say I can run the stuff (although I’d like to learn how).
Now everything is digital. There is no tape – the sound gets recorded onto a hard drive. All our lovely tones get stored as 1’s and 0’s. My amplifier (Line 6) was miked into the board, while the bass went a direct line in. Drums were miked.
In a normal recording session, the songs are recorded in layers. Usually drums and bass first, then guitars and keyboards are added. Then the singer sings the song. Then solos, if any, are recorded. Maybe strings added, maybe more background vocals.
Since we weren’t doing anything to be released, we just went “live” – the whole band played at once. Steve was running back and forth to make sure mics were placed optimally. Of course there were the usual false starts, etc. But we hit our four songs and went into the booth for a listen.
I was amazed at how good we sounded. There were some mistakes on some of the songs, but the energy was up and everybody was on. I did a guitar solo in “Rock and Roll” (Led Zep) that Steve really liked. We had already been playing for an hour when he recorded us so we were warmed up and ready to go.
When he’s done mixing the songs, he’s going to transfer them over to a CD for us. This is a real treat to have something of better-than-average quality to play for others. I’ll have to get it onto the Brazen MySpace page where ya’ll can have a listen and tell me what you think.