View post (Making a Home Demo)

View thread

Registered User
Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602
Registered User
Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,602
01/08/2014 12:46 pm
Originally Posted by: hdoranAll

I have a 5 piece band (two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals) and we are trying to make a demo using equipment we have at home.

I own a Tascam 1800 and plug this into a Mac with Garageband. We have captured our live sound and done some basic mixing, but there is some bleed and we want to experiment and see if we can make a better demo by laying down tracks individually.

I have 0 experience in doing this and am seeking some advice from those who have done this before. Here is a rough draft of how I was thinking of doing this.

Can you correct me where I might be wrong or suggest other ideas?

1) First make a scratch track of the whole band playing the song

2) Second, have the drummer play by himself and record him only while listening to the scratch track using headphones

3) Third, now add in the rhythm section. I was thinking of doing both the bass and rhythm guitar at the same time. This is where I get a little confused. Should the two guitars also listen to the scratch or should we play along to the new drum track somehow

4) Now, mix these parts together and then have the lead guitar lay down a track

5) Last, mix them all and then lay down the vocal track

Does this make any sense?

First, go here to get the best advice on home recording. It is awesome.

But it depends on how much bleed you have. If its a a little ambient bleed, in a way, it is somewhat desirable. If it is too present when you move the fader up on that channel, then you should look at doing distinct tracks.

Some of your questions are hard to answer without hearing the track itself. For ultimate ability to mix, recording everyone separate from a scratch track is ideal.

As for mixing, you should not spend much time mixing while recording tracks and that includes the vocals. When a track is laid down, just give it a very quick rough mix and then record the next. Including vocals.

A very key thought on recording: Frequencies you record want to compete with each other. Mixing is the art of removing the frequency overlap. That is the different in a clear, clean mix and a muddy mix. Because of that, before you mix in ernest, have everything recorded.

Go to the Recording Revolution and learn about Gain Staging, Mic Placement, Mixing Balance, Subtractive Mixing and about anything else you think applies. It is a great resource and he focuses on people like us that are not able to have $1000 microphones and the perfect room to record.