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TIPS FOR GETTING A GREAT RECORDING
AVOIDANCE OF SUFFERING
* The recording is governed by the performance
Your performance affects two areas of the recording: the emotional
impact and the sonic signature. Producer/mixer Ronan Chris Murphy writes,
factors being equal, better performances will always "sound" better, and bad
performances will never sound all that good. When a drummer and bass player
finally lock into a groove, the kick drum sounds better. When a singer really
gets the emotion of a song, the vocals sound better."
The Performance is King
and the Secret to the Bonham Drum Sound - article by Ronan Chris Murphy
* Seek a State of Bliss with your instrument of
I know, it seems obvious...but if your musical instrument sounds
hideous, you'll get a beautiful recording of a hideous sounding
instrument. Intonation and tuning problems lead us away from a state of
Sonic Bliss and may be the cause for Suffering when mixing.
Be at peace while you are here at Blueberry Buddha. We are honored
to have you record here. Enjoy the massage lounger, hang out, make yourself at
home, and meditate outside in our spacious patio and garden.
Stay focused on the music and your performance and you'll reach a state of sonic
* Drummers and people banging on things:
We recommend that if you change your drum heads before recording, that you do so
at least a week in advance will get you on the Path to Sonic Bliss. Bring extra sticks, padding for your kick drum
if appropriate, drum keys, duct tape, extra snares or cymbals for different
sounds, etc. Some drummers like to bring over their drums a day in
advance to let the drums adjust to Blueberry Buddha Recording Studio, and you are certainly welcome to do
so. Tune your drums and make them sound as good as possible. Please
note that we currently only record drums on weekends.
You are the one who achieves the balance of the drum set.
For example, if you hit the snare too loudly, it will leak into the other mics,
and your snare will sound too loud even when I bring down the snare mic.
Try not to hit the drums too loud. There's a point of no return in which the
drums are too loud for the room, creating resonance problems, rattles, and
other problems. Hit them loud enough to get good tone and no louder. And
be mindful to
hit the cymbals cleanly.
For most rock and pop, we record the bass and
drums simultaneously, with the bass cabinet in the same room. Then, either
later that day or on subsequent days, we overdub keyboards, guitars, vocals,
tuba, or whatever in one of the bedro-, er, Recording Room "B".
You can see some pictures of a typical drum
recording session here.
* Guitarists and people twanging on things:
Be mindful to change guitar strings at least several days in advance to
avoid Suffering. Bring extra
strings, cables, batteries, picks, power strips, and anything else you might
need. Make sure that your instrument is well-intonated. Tune, tune,
tune, and then tune again.
Sometimes playing with too much distortion may lead the guitarist astray,
leading one to the Land of Poor Guitar Definition. This can even apply to those playing hardcore.
Be mindful of this. On the other hand, if the song really calls for
this, distort away!
* Vocalists and people making noises with
Be mindful to bring throat lozenges and lyric sheets if appropriate. Warm
up your voice on the way over to Blueberry Buddha Recording Studio.
Choose The Middle Path of Microphone Technique, moving closer for more intimate
sections and pulling farther away when singing loud or belting.
Bass players and people on the down low:
We can reach Sonic Bliss easier if we mic your bass cabinet or go direct
through my Roland Bass Cube 30. Bring your cabinet, extra strings, and whatever else you might need.
Happiness is an instrument which is well-intonated. Tune, tune, tune, and
then tune again.
* Budgeting time
and money for basic tracks, overdubs, editing, and mixing:
Allow enough time and money in their budget for mixing,
editing or archiving. Mixing and editing one song can frequently take 1-2
evenings or more, even if trying to work very quickly. Mixing and editing
often take longer than basic tracks and overdubs. Budgeting enough to back
up your recording sessions will bring a Buddha Smile to your face.
Be mindful that a session begins at the time the
client booked it for, whether they are present or not, and continues until the
recording has ceased and clients are preparing to leave. This includes
rmaking CD-Rs rough mixes.
Much of the engineering work begins as you start
setting up (setting up mics and "Where do the drums go? Where should I put my
amp?") so showing up on time is always a good thing.
* Please do not tap on the windows to gain the
attention of the Audio Monk:
You may set off the security alarm, bringing Suffering to all Sentient
If you allergic to cats, please
prepare accordingly. We have two of these Beautiful Creatures on our
premises. We can also place an air purifier in the room that you are most
likely to be recording in to try and alleviate your allergies.