View Full Version : Recording a fast and technical song....
07-31-2008, 02:18 PM
Hey guys,use to post here quite alot as chucklivesoninmyheart....anyway.I'm using sonar and got the drum track for my song,but the guitar is pretty wacky and off the wall,lots of tempo changes 4/8+3/8 e.c.t and its pretty long.If one note is scratchy(it involves tremolo picking)or I miss a 16th note..well lets just say it would take a few weeks none stop of retakes just for the first guitar track.
So I'm trying to do it riff by riff,but trying to move the clips close enough to have the transition sound natural(without a bump in volume with the first down stroke of the pedal tone for example)and using the scissor/cut feature makes it sound unnatural.It is driving me just as nuts as much as 100 takes(frustrating to be half way through the song,thinking "almost there" and screw it all up).
Any tips on how to go about recording a song full of goofy fast,but extremely tight riffs?I won't settle for anything less than perfect.
Using sonar home studio XL.Have no idea how people go about this.Do I have the wrong idea or appraoch to cutting in "melding" the clips to sound like natural transition(my timing is fine to end and begin each riff,it just appears to make a very discernible difference riff to riff,volume mostly or a slightly abrupt end to the riff and an abrupt beginning...no matter how accurate I begin the next.)
Thanks for any advice!
08-01-2008, 05:35 AM
I don't use Sonar but the theory is pretty much the same with CUbase SX3 and Reaper I assume. Make sure you have 'snap' on so that if you drop in to repair a phrase or simply want to record each riff or section seperately everything will match up. Without snap things go out of time very easily and it is nearly impossible to edit anything properly.
If you are recording something very difficult then you are better off breaking it down to its component parts and recording in sections. Don't just play a riff once and copy it out to loop sections - that never sounds good. It's the little variations in timing, harmonics and transition notes that keep things interesting and organic. Get the part you want perfected then save it to track 1, then move on to the next part on the next track. Do as many takes as you have to to get the part right. When you have two perfect parts on seprate track then edit the beginning and end of each wav so the start and stop at exactly the same position. Then move them onto your master track (eg Rythym Guitar 1), highlight them and hit 'cross fade'. This will add a bit to the beginning and end of each part so they overlap and fade in and fade out of each other - make sure the cross fade is very short so that the transition sounds natural. That's how you do it. It doesnt really work that well for lead becuase everything is so precise - for lead and harmony parts just make sure that you only cross fade at the end of defined sections. Chopping and cutting throughout a set of arpeggios or in the middle of a shred run is almost impossible to do.
When you get a section down for 'Rhythm 1 Left', go straight about recording onto a fresh track 'Rhythm 1 Right'. Hard pan each track to give a beefy sound. The reason this is so important is that from the very beginning you will get a much better idea of what works and what doesnt, plus you can contruct the riffs on the fly to make them more interesting - add in 5ths or 3rds etc for rhythm harmonies just like Chuck used to do, whatever works. Using the same princiapl you can multitrack at various degrees of pan using reverb and other effects as plug-ins. Try to keep all of your effects for post recording as VST plug-ins, there is nothng worse than playing a part that sounds cool with a flanger or delay on that takes 150 attempts to get right only to discover that it doesnt work in the final mix.
Re volume differences etc... are you micing an amp or cab or re you going direct? It's much easier and more practical to go direct if you are recording over a number of days as an amp will sound different everytime (unless you have it set up in an isloation box but even then air temperature will affect the tone). If you are using a mic'ed amp even a 1cm change in the position of the mic will alter the tone. Also, I often notice that my picking hand will inadvertently hit the volume knob from time to time and the volume will edge down (changes the tone too) - worth checking its at full before each take. Compression can help to smooth out volume differences within reason but nothing can fix tonal variations so be carefull with that. That's why I always go direct (either Mesa Boogie Triaxis to Mesa poweramp to Palmer speaker simulator or a Rocktron Prophesy II) - I used to go direct from my amp via the 1/4" headphone socket but the sound wasnt the best - still more stable than I could manage by micing over days/weeks though.
Anyway, hope that helps - post back if you need any other help.
08-01-2008, 08:55 PM
yea, what superhuman said. hah.
if it is really as technical as you're describing, it sounds like you need to know the material a bit better. i do the same thing...i challenge myself to record these great riffs in a short amount of time and i end up putting down something sub-par. i'm STILL recording "far beyond the sun" by yngwie malmsteen and by the time i got halfway through the song, i re-recorded everything i already did previously because i was just more comfortable playing the riffs.
this probably doesn't help but me thinks you should know the material like the back of your hand by the time you want to record your takes. what about doing a rough version of the song, but just swapping out new lead tracks in a few weeks when your fingers are more confident?
08-13-2008, 11:42 AM
Thanks guys,I completed the song(no lyrics yet)but managed to do it riff by riff for the most part,with a few difficult exceptions,but I think it came out good.The solo was no problem at all,it hit me that the last note in the first phrase in the solo could ring out(and slowly fade using an envelope) while the second phrase(sweeping)could ride right in and sound beautiful.
And yes I'll be honest,I'm too lazy to play the tune until I'm sick of it...I can play it fine live if it gets to that,but no ones going to hear the ultra quick scratch or skipped 16th note...well,except for you two!
here is a link to the tune.
08-13-2008, 06:02 PM
wow, this is absolute madness! i love this kind of crazy, blood-boiling metalcore. the main riff was a nice change of pace with that odd time sig. great job on this dude, something to be proud of. the solo sounded okay and i probably only found small issues becuase i was listening much more intently than the average person. the lines themselves were slick and there were more than a few parts were i cracked a big ol' grin as a result of the transitions from riff to riff. it's so weird because i don't even drink the same water as you do when it comes to creative forces, seeming as i've never written anything approaching that ferocity. but it's so awesome to see people excel in areas i'm unfamiliar with.
if you ever want to collab, you know where it's at. i love me some intricate riffage.
08-14-2008, 02:01 PM
Wow...dude...Thankyou so much for that encouragement quickfingers.Really.
Its strange,if I push any harder than that to make a technical riff,it usually ends up sounding contrived,or "just for the sake" being tricky or flashy.I find just playing what I want lets that more melodic bit of riff out and speaks from me instead of being just notes.
I listen to alot of death and black metal,but have trying to lighten up a bit,to a more radio friendly sound.I'm obviously not there yet,but my next tune should be radio friendly...even if its a college campus.
edit:oh yeah here is the URL to my myspace,contact me on there if you wanted to put something together down the road.
vBulletin® v3.0.17, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.