Thursday, August 8, 2013

Turd Polishing Is No Fun

I've been trying to re-record one of my project's earlier titles. It's got lots of acoustic guitar, but the issue is that I'm a bad player at best: fret noise, uneven plucking, you name it. So of course, I record my guitar layers, I listen a bit, find it good enough, proclaim to the world that I can jump to vocals and be done in the next 10 minutes.


I jump to vocals and boy does the whole thing just blow. I mean, it's a good song, it's got loads of potential, but me playing it is making things very difficult. I try to fix it in the box, with my DAW, and it's making things worse. So I decide to put my own advice to good use: get it right at the source.

I do my mics gain staging, I test the mic placement, I mark down the settings of my interface for "recall". Thing is, I don't have 4 hours to record multiple layers of acoustic guitar. I am a dumb hobbyist trying to make music. So I record my first layers, then stop. Come next day, continue. But in between, mics have moved a tiny bit, things change... and the sound isn't exactly the same. *sigh* So I re-record all my layers, and I think I finally have it down when listening to some of the tracks in solo, I noticed that different sections comped together sound pretty different: that's because I comped together bits recorded at different times.

Am I going to re-record everything? Nope. I'll just try to use what I have and be done with it.

Lessons learned:
  • Learn how the play the f*cking instrument or stick to bloddy electronic music
  • Record all layers in one shot with exactly the same mic placements and settings
  • Comp with headphones, not with the whole mix running

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