So there a few new members in your band and you are thinking about adding an electric viola as well. By reading this buying guide, it will be easier for you to decide which model you should purchase. However, having the right instruments doesn’t guarantee complete success when going to the studio for a recording session. We recommend you to keep reading this article to find out some useful tips for you and your band.
Make sure you have the right gear
Besides the instruments and amps, you need a laptop capable of running digital audio workstation software. An interface capable of taking multiple XLR inputs is also required and 8 should be good enough for drums, room mics, and amplifiers.
Since a lot of XLR cables are needed, take your time and label each one of them so the signal paths don’t become confusing. Also, bring some extra strings, guitar cables, and patch leads so you will not waste time by going to the store.
Before going to the studio, make sure you chose a song (or songs) that everybody enjoys playing and which the band plays well live. Since you will be recording everybody live you need them to be at the top of their game so the band dynamic is as good as possible.
A good idea is to leave the solo part and vocals for another recording sessions so the band’s first experience in a studio is not too tiring. Having a friend with a solid engineering level will save you time and a headache. You can ask him/her to check the equipment’s settings and start/stop the recording.
If you can’t afford to go to a professional recording studio, you must pay close attention when choosing the recording place. It could be your regular practice place or even a small village hall. Just check if there is enough room to position the band and if there is excessive undesired reverb.
How to position the band’s members
Because you will use more than one microphone to record the song you are playing, there will be ‘spill’ or ‘bleed’ between some of the mics. This happens when an instrument on one microphone picks up the sound of another. Most of the spills that take place in a recording session are caused by the drums since they are such a loud instrument.
Because of this, you should record the vocal parts in a different session instead of having a sensitive condenser microphone picking up instruments.
How to lower the bleed’s level
It is possible to minimize the bleed caused by different instruments by placing the band members in a horseshoe shape or a semi-circle. This way, there is enough space between them but they are close enough to communicate. Also, amps should not be facing each other as this will cause feedback.
Recording the drums
If you are using a classical four-mic setup to get a clean sound, begin with the overhead microphones first. These have the role of getting the sound of the kit being played and you will obtain a clearer cymbal sound.
The mics should be placed around six feet above ground level and oriented toward the drumming kit. It is of great importance that they are fixed at equal distances from the drums to avoid mic phasing. This takes place when the same sound is reaching each of the mics at different times.
Recording acoustic instruments
The ideal method of recording acoustic instruments is to use a condenser mic. However, the risk of bleeding is too high and would negatively affect the overall recording. However, you can still play with your band even if you are an acoustic player. The key is to use an acoustic combo amp.
Recording the vocal parts
When recording the instrumental part, don’t forget about how vocals will fit into that song so band members should play as they would do in a live performance. For example, they need to lower the intensity of their playing when the first verse comes in.
The singer needs to get comfortable with the band recording and should try a few run-throughs before starting to record. This way, he/she will warm up his/her vocal cords and it will be easier to get an idea about the instrumental’s dynamic.