Recording guitars to an album, is it right time for a change, part 2

In this post I will go through recording guitars for STUD's third album. I already discussed recording guitars for our two previous albums in my post "Recording guitars to an album, is it right time for a change, part 1", which you might also want to check out. However, on the third album I took a complete different route, and therefore the question: "is it right time for a change?".

Some of you have read my post "Make the best out of your band's demo, part 1", where I told that I used Scuffham S-Gear plugin for guitar, when making the demos for our new album. By the time it was time to start recording backing tracks for the album, I asked myself a question: could I make the record using S-Gear instead of real amps. At first, I thought that it's not a real deal if I didn't have my amps blasting through microphones, but little by little I started to really like the idea.

Already, while making the demos I noticed that the guitar sound I was …

Recording guitars to an album, is it right time for a change, part 1

In this (and especially the following) post I will discuss how I've recorded guitars on STUD's upcoming new album. However, I will also go through what I did with our previous two albums "Out Of The Darkness" and "Rust On The Rose". Although difficult to admit, I've made some elementary mistakes along the way. Listening back to all three albums, I feel that the overall sound has evolved album by album, and that goes for the guitar sound as well. With each album I was quite satisfied with my guitar sound, but by the time we started to record the next album I felt that some changes must be done. I quess it's learning by doing.

When we made our first two albums, we booked a studio for few days and recorded drums, bass and rhythm guitars together playing live. Once we got a good take for drums, we did fixes to bass and guitar tracks if necessary. Guitar was always doubled and panned to left and right. Clean guitars were always recorded separately. Some …

Make the best out of your band's demo, part 2

In my previous post I went through how we did the basic tracks (rhythm guitars, bass, drums and keyboards) on the demos of STUD's upcoming 3rd album. In this post I will go forward and discuss the rest of the demo phase.

We always do songs one at a time. The plan was to make the basic tracks and sometimes even the guitar solos on one Pro Tools session, and mix them down to a stereo track. Until this stage everything was done at my house. Next steps required the equipment to be carried to our rehearsal room for the vocal tracks. For this it was essential to have portable gear that was easy to carry back and forth.

For the vocals I used a second Pro Tools session. The stereo track of the basic tracks was imported to this session and the vocals were recorded on top of that. This way there was no noticeable latency when recording, since all the tracks were audio tracks with minimum plugins used. In my previous post Getting the basic equipment for your recording project I went through …

Make the best out of your band's demo, part 1

Before starting to record an album it would be a good idea to make a demo of all the songs that you're planning to record. However, making a demo may be very time consuming thing to do, so, that's why it's important to make the best out of the time spent on the demo. In my earlier post The best decision to make before starting a recording process I already discussed how we used the same tempo throughout the demo, recording and live performance.

Before going any further to explain the demoing phase on STUD's last album I briefly tell what we did differently with our two earlier albums. With the earlier demos we recorded the basic tracks, that is rhythm guitar, bass and drums, live in our rehearsal room using a simple Zoom H2 stereo recorder. The stereo track from Zoom was transfered to Pro Tools and synced to a click track (the basic tracks were recorded playing to click). After that the vocals, guitar solos and keyboards were added, and the whole session was mixed down…

Getting the basic equipment for your recording project

To make a professional recording by yourself will require certain amount of equipment and other tools to have available. For myself to be able to take the recording process as far as possible without assistance or a need to borrow equipment has been mandatory. That has given us a total freedom to proceed at our own pace, and ultimately have a good sounding demo before needing any outside help.

I've basicly had the same equipment from the time we made the first STUD album "Out Of The Darkness". So, we've used the stuff already on three albums, which I consider a pretty good investment. One key requirement was that the recording gear must be portable, so that I can work both at home and at our rehearsal room, and where ever else we decide to work.

Before starting to work on our first album in 2012 I got myself a MacBook Pro with enough power to run the software needed for the work. I've got Pro Tools 10 as a DAW, which really has been a wonderful platform to grow w…

The best decision to make before starting a recording process

Many people would argue against using a click track for recording. For us it has been the best decision we could have possibly made. We are lucky to have Stenda Kukkonen as STUD's drummer. He's been playing to click for a long time and that allows us to do the same when recording.

Before starting to record the tracks to a song it is very important to have the tempo of the song right. The best you can do is to play the songs with the band and try different tempos to see which works best. Even the smallest adjustments can matter. If the tempo is not right, playing the song can feel forced, whereas once you get it right, it feels easier to get into the groove of the song.

Getting the tempo right should be done even before you start to make the demo of the song. Here's why: setting the right tempo and using the click track in both the demo and the actual recording, you can use some parts of the demoes for the real tracks. We did just that. Whole bunch of vocals, guitars and ke…

13 steps to take when you're recording and publishing your bands music

Since I’m going to mention different persons involved with the project of making STUD’s 3rd album by their names, it’s fair to briefly introduce myself and the other guys in the band. I’m Mika Kansikas, the guitar player, songwriter and the producer of STUD’s albums. I’ve also done big part of recording and mixing the albums. The other guys in the band are Ari Toivanen (vocals), Jyrki Partanen (bass) and Stenda Kukkonen (drums). Besides being great musicians and friends for life, they have done their share of adding flavours to the songs here and there, doing the background vocals and percussions, and of course being the most important judges of the end result.
Enough said about us. Let’s jump back to the topic. After my last blog post I started to think that I really didn’t answer my own question: How is it possible to spend 2+ years recording an album before anything is released? So, let me try again. One big reason, of course, is that we have our day jobs, families and other involve…