7 day recording retreat

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:19 am

A friend and I are organising a 7 day recording venture. He lives in a fairly remote location and has access to a decent amount of kit with a decent space to spread out. His weapon of choice software wise is Renoise and he has some nice converters and access to a reel to reel.

I live about a 600km away from him so I need to be organised and have everything with me as I can't really just duck back home and pick something else up that I forgot.

So, I was just wondering whether anyone has had an experience with anything like this and what are things we should consider before venturing into this?

Tips on consideration of things to do with music, equipment, head space, food or other wise is also welcomed.

Thanks

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:00 am

in all honesty, minimal is the key

best thing I ever did was put a bigger HD in my Macbook so I could fit all of my NI Komplete and Ableton suite stuff on it plus my whole music and projects collection.

Probably worth taking a spare HD for extra room, but so long as you have your laptop with decent software, a decent mic or two + audio interface to plug them into your laptop - or mixer if you want to sum to stereo first (not ideal, but if you're going for live stuff then still plenty useful) then assuming he has ok monitors, take your headphones and leave it at that

limitations are usually a good thing anyway in my experience as they force you to be creative and do things according to your means and not just because you can.

too many options can waste a lot of time and inspiration. 2 nights ago I recorded some Brazillians singing a really nice Brazillian song through the macbook internal mic purely because it's all I had. I haven't listened back yet, but I couldn't care less how good the quality is, I'm just glad as fuck I got it down.

distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:14 am

Yes, capturing the moment is something we wanted to focus on.
Hoping to do more "Live Recordings" than automation and midi programming.

Only gear I was considering was;

Laptop.
Ableton Live.
Reason.
Audio interface. (M-Audio Fast track Ultra)
1 x mic.
Novation SL MK2 49
Bass
3 fx pedals.
Microkorg.
Cables.
Headphones.
Picks.

Main sticking point I think will be connectivity with his gear.

Reason for this arrangement is the fact we have been working on my album together for quite some time(I write the tunes and record, he give production guidance and does mixing & mastering). I just want to see whether this arrangement yeilds some different results in a quicker timeframe.

He had created a great result with a piano recording he did of a baby grand in a dining hall with a shitty dynamic mic and 1 hour. Hoping to get some of those 'Capture the moment' recordings.

Tone Deft
Posts: 24154
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by Tone Deft » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:25 am

shrooms.
In my life
Why do I smile
At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?
-Moz

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:43 am

yep. just remember rome wasn't built in a day.

And not so sure about shrooms but a decent supply of good natural
(non hydro) weed prolly wouldnt go astray

distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:48 am

Well I just hope that Rome was built in a week.
Cos that is all the time we have, and we are aiming for at least an EP out of it.

No shrooms or mind altering substances will be present.

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:58 am

distaudio wrote: No shrooms or mind altering substances will be present.
prolly for the best

But I had a really similar thing recently with my teacher/guru in the country playing sitar/murdungam and had a week of musical bliss

but to the naga babas in India Ganja is sacred, like for the rastas..... Ganja was born in central asia and is yearly offered to Shiva...... just one of the many names for god..... not that fucked up genetically engineered shit mind you, btut the real deal that also contains as much CBD (which is anti-psychotic) as THC.... too many people these days going psychotic smoking ganja that has been fucked with so that nature's own way of preventing psychosis is perverted by manipulation

Q: "God, why is there so much suffering in the world"
A: "didn't you find the ganja?"

flippo
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by flippo » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:02 am

just spent 3.5 days with a mate doing some work. Think we got 4 tunes down, or at least on the home straight. I took my whole studio (which I immediately regretted when I realised the studio was UPSTAIRS :()

Big problem for us was reconciling discrepancies between monitor and placement. I had dynaudio BM12As close to the wall and he had Event SP8s out in the open, they sounded so different it was quite jarring to compare material - vibes were completely different. Ended up trusting his because mine were just too close tot he wall and were booming, sounded very 'cluby'.

Taking breaks definitely helped a lot. The first night we just set things up and talked about musical ideas and work-flow logistics, which I think also helped - made sure we were on (relatively) the same page. We also listened to some other material to get ideas flowing.

Headphones were also a must to increase productivity so that we could work on individual parts when needed. Mixing things up with live recording was great too, and is generally much more productive with more hands when tracking/recording etc so take advantage of that.

An example of workflow was me playing some synths for 5 mins, then sending the stem over to him. HE loaded the synth up in cubase, added some FX and kick drum etc, and then bounced the stems back to me. I loaded them up in ableton and jammed out the tune with the APC40 in dub production fashion, lots of sending and riding the faders etc.

I then bounced those stems back to him and he ran the mix through the analogue desk to tape. All came together over a few hours.


As soon as you're not feeling something, stop and either take a break or start a new project. Come back to it later. It can really kill the vibe if someone is getting sick of some sounds and gets grumpy. You're better off having a dozen ideas jotted down and coming back later to clean them up when sober, on your own with no distractions. Mixdowns are more of a one man job compared to composition imo.

Communicate to make sure it's ok to let the other know when you're not feeling an element at all and get it nutted out early beofre you end up with a nearly completed track that has a part in it you hate, but also remember that you're going to have to be a bit less of a fascist than usual and there will be some parts of the colab that aren't precisely what you had in mind - take good with the bad.

distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:20 am

Thanks for the tips flippo.

We will be using his house most likely so his setup will be the master work horse for processing and recording. Just wanna make things comfortable for both him and myself. So using what we are used to using at home is a good move.

I only use a laptop so my studio is pretty portable, which I love. So the idea is for me to write musical/song elements using Live and Reason on my laptop. Basically just using it as an external instrument and maybe doin some sample manipulation in Live.

All the mixing and arrangement work will be done on his PC.

One main thing I am concerned with is converters. He has some Mytek ones that are apparently nice, but I'm not sure how everything is going to go coming out of my M-audio Interface. Might be time for an upgrade to a audio interface with better converters.

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:26 am

flippo wrote:

Taking breaks definitely helped a lot. ..... We also listened to some other material to get ideas flowing.
Absolute +1
flippo wrote:Headphones were also a must to increase productivity so that we could work on individual parts when needed. Mixing things up with live recording was great too, and is generally much more productive with more hands when tracking/recording etc so take advantage of that.
Totally agree... even the surreal experience of both of you communicating through mics/headphones is quite inspiring.

We had this whole argument for a while there while I wanted him to just PLAY with no restrictions, no click track, nothing and to my total surprise he argued that he needed teh click track..... dude has spent much of his adult life living in India learning from true masters and I in my naivety thought this meant I had to record him with no click track and so we tried for a while with no click track and kind of fumbled around for a while, then he said to me "No I'm sorry, we need the click track. God is in the click track". From that moment I understood exactly and the album is now going to be called "God is in the click track"

It amazed me that this guy who has played Tanpura in remote villages in darkest India with Cobra's circling around him....not exaggerating either.... he actually wanted the computer generated click track. As soon as I put in the click track he started playing "around" it - putting in feeling and groove in places that weren't happening before. It made me understand then and there that God really IS in the click track. you have to have a backbone to work around. That is where God is.
flippo wrote:As soon as you're not feeling something, stop and either take a break or start a new project. Come back to it later. It can really kill the vibe if someone is getting sick of some sounds and gets grumpy. You're better off having a dozen ideas jotted down and coming back later to clean them up when sober, on your own with no distractions. Mixdowns are more of a one man job compared to composition imo.
agree 100%

Sessions like this can be some of the best musical experiences of your life if you are open to the natural flow of things. Don't be too much of a control freak and allow some room for "God"*


*disclaimer:
alex.the.forge wrote: Meanwhile I'm drinking Kilkenny for $5 a pint (good price here) in some random suburban Australian pub posting this on my macbook with 3G wireless

distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:42 am

alex.the.forge wrote:
flippo wrote:As soon as you're not feeling something, stop and either take a break or start a new project. Come back to it later. It can really kill the vibe if someone is getting sick of some sounds and gets grumpy. You're better off having a dozen ideas jotted down and coming back later to clean them up when sober, on your own with no distractions. Mixdowns are more of a one man job compared to composition imo.
agree 100%

Sessions like this can be some of the best musical experiences of your life if you are open to the natural flow of things. Don't be too much of a control freak and allow some room for "God"*

Yeh, I think for every shit idea. There is a time that can be wasted on it or 20 other good ideas that could take its place. Not wasting time if I dont "feel it"
alex.the.forge wrote: *disclaimer:
Meanwhile I'm drinking Kilkenny for $5 a pint (good price here) in some random suburban Australian pub posting this on my macbook with 3G wireless


Kilkenny?
$5?


What suburb?
I'm in Brisbane CBD, I'll be there in 5 minutes.
Last edited by distaudio on Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:44 am

distaudio wrote:
alex.the.forge wrote: *disclaimer:
Meanwhile I'm drinking Kilkenny for $5 a pint (good price here) in some random suburban Australian pub posting this on my macbook with 3G wireless


Kilkenny?
$5?


What suburb?
I'm in Brisbane CBD, I'll be there in 5 minutes.


:D

Cleveland Tavern

usual price apparently

distaudio
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:27 am
Contact:

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by distaudio » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:49 am

alex.the.forge wrote:
distaudio wrote:
alex.the.forge wrote: *disclaimer:
Meanwhile I'm drinking Kilkenny for $5 a pint (good price here) in some random suburban Australian pub posting this on my macbook with 3G wireless


Kilkenny?
$5?


What suburb?
I'm in Brisbane CBD, I'll be there in 5 minutes.


:D

Cleveland Tavern

usual price apparently



Kilkenny at 3.30pm on a Monday afternoon.

It's a hard life for an Ableton certified trainer :D

alex.the.forge
Posts: 1424
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:29 am

Re: 7 day recording retreat

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:59 am

distaudio wrote:

Kilkenny at 3.30pm on a Monday afternoon.

It's a hard life for an Ableton certified trainer :D
ha ha....should remove that from my sig for the sake of professionalism.....

lets just say been a rough couple of weeks


Post Reply