What You Should Know Before Going Into the Recording StudioApr 01, 2022
hey guys this is Clint with gang tactics and this is the first episode so I'm really excited we're
goingto discuss the topic of bands
studio. I'll break it down into three categories, basically
whatto prepare for the questions bands need to ask themselves before going into the
shouldexpect once they're in the studio and also what is expected of them and just as importantly, what can they do the bands after the
recordingso i went to sacramento california to talk shawn stacks fat cat recording studios and ask him some of these questions you yourselves might have and more importantly maybe these are questions where they haven't thought yet so please get some great perspective and I hope you enjoy the video and get a lot out of it.
Outside of that, Shawn, give us a little introduction about yourself, who you are, what you do, and why you're so handsome, among other things, it's the hair, obviously, I'm not, I'm not, engineer, producer, a fat cat filming in S. acramento I have been a musician all my life since I was a little kid, I started playing guitar, I played drums, keyboard, bass and everything, so what inspired you to become an engineer? The first time I went into a studio it was a home studio. for one of my friends, his father had it in the studio. I heard it again.
How can I make it sound like the record? What styles of music come through your studio and I do everything I've really done. band and I'm thinking about going to the studio, what are the main things that
shouldworry me the most? price on location we're probably the biggest right off the bat but he talked to us about some of the other questions that you
knowbands should be considering and talking to each other to test themselves before they decide to pick a venue if they dump you, no you can take a lot of time off from work to travel somewhere for the weeks you
knowsome bands do to travel to LA or wherever it is we are far from where they are so yeah location if you want to find a good local studio that helps keep overall expenses low, then because you have no travel expenses, you don't have to be eating out all the time and doing all these things so you let the bands come and live with you when they travel from outside of the city so they can scale back and i get that project going if you're looking for local studios you can compare i'm serious it's really worth comparing or side by side like the product the final product and hearing what not just that studio but that engineer exactly because there are some studios that have platinum records on their walls for whatever issue they had but it was like the guy literally pressed record while some great produce was in the room telling everyone what to do and then it was mixed by a guy who charges you ten grand a song so I mean you're going to get a very different product obviously if you're a small band because you're on a budget that I'm not bringing to these top dogs so the main thing is to compare what those real producers, those local guys have done right and figure out what it is and if it's anything it's a kind of sound you go right you know certain people specialize in certain sounds more than others you know everyone has their style what about the studio team you have a beautiful DW boy yes I'm a drummer I'm a drummer and I want to come ing pray and use your stuff, what about the da W or the programs you use to record?
Is there something for a specific genre that would fit better or is it like you know if I'm a folksinger? and I walk in and you're wearing something that you know is more suited to rap. I don't know if that's what matters. I understood you a little. You know that most UW software is pretty comprehensive in what it can do. the way it's a standard crafter thing yeah so I don't think the da W itself matters as much as the way it's used you know there are some better ones some are geared towards things like the fruityloops type or whatever the reason. the software has been led to create more beats and they think and they may not have the same kind of depth of audio editing on the same kind of mixing engine it's kind of like what Pro Tools does but if the person making it executa knows what they're doing, they can get a good sound, so when a band comes along and they have a proposed dates, they want you to know, record a whole album or an EP or just one song, are there any legal aspects that should be your? know considering before and going in and putting something you know recorded and recorded and distributing and making money off of it and you want your band to agree that you want it and you know along with who gets what percentage of a profit you mean who you already know , sort of breaking up from ok, woody, what are you responsible for? 99.9 percent of everything and that would be stated there ok this person is the head writer this person is entitled to more percentage of that guy from you so its good to know that you keep everything in order and keep your friendships intact no matter what happens.
You know because I've seen things happen where money is made and then people threaten lawsuits and things happen here you get involved with the best intentions and have fun and then things get serious and then you come back Realize you know it's you can make money and you know you get something good and we're going to do something bigger exactly when there's real money on the table. Things can happen copyright-wise and all that. a lot of issues with like oh we didn't copyright our song now someone is ripping us off I don't see that much go in and do a cover, record a cover and then if you're going to release it and sell it then you have to make it clear who know this would pay whatever percentage it is to the writer, whoever owns it, of that part you can the record covers as much as you want, then once you start selling them that's one is you start making more , yeah, okay, the products are exactly right, so the bands are preparing to enter the market.
They found a studio they like. You come to record with a sense of what bands can do to prepare for the studio environment when they decide to record well, a lot of that is having your song dialed in because inevitably things are going to change in the studio you're in. you're going to try things, you're going to add layers and doubles of things that you normally wouldn't have, obviously, but to have this song as the core of the song more or less there and how you know how to record when you're practicing, how to put a little bit of you know your iPhone or whatever is in the room, record it, do a little demo, yeah, any kind of demo where you can hear it because when you're playing it, it's adrenaline pumping, it feels exciting, but it's going to be different than what the audience hears . someone listening to it is not as enthused as you are about your music so you want to make sure that from the listener's perspective the songs on there another thing is that usually most modern styles of music are they record to a metronome, sometime it's exactly in s Get everyone in the band to be able to play their track, whatever they play, just sitting there listening to a click, you know for a while they should be able to play it front to back without listening to any of the other tracks, you shouldn't.
It doesn't have to be, oh, I trust this for that signal or whatever, because when you're in the studio you might not have like you're layering things, you've got your drums, you know, put your foundation first, it's possible that you don't have whatever track you're used to having live or it could be a visual head you know usually most things get overdubbed nowadays so you're not going to have that view, you mean you really should be able to play front to back and not even think about yeah what would be the kind of standard for when bands come in?
Do you know if you can choose to record live all together or is it something like where do you start and where do you start layering? genre if it's mostly modern styles and most sounds that's all it's usually not fully recorded live you know rick you'll have a click track and maybe have rhythm guitar recorded on the click track or with a voice, whatever is needed for reference and then the drummer's place. to that yeah and then you're going to re-record everything individually make sure you get the best tone and performance out of all of that if it's a bluegrass band that's like you meet three very traditional guys around one mic and it's probably better having three guys around a mic of course it's more that and it's their performance that comes into play because you can't go back and fix things yeah in general most bands I watch especially if it's a young band and have no studio experience is going to be getting the foundation so record the drums to those scratch tracks i mentioned then edit the drums hard and then record from there either the bass or the guitars It depends on what you want.
I'm doing, I'm sure I've done boulders, any work and the vocals tend to come last or, you know, after that, if it's a normal band like drums, bass, guitar after all they've done , you'll do the vocals and then you'll do it. Come back and do more production elements and stuff. How should I prepare in terms of equipment? The tuning goes to the drums. You know? bring a kit and they will play it and it will be a great drum they are playing this kit and they make it sound great so it will work sometimes not so much and so you know I will have them use the house kit here and we have a DW kit that is pretty much the standard works for just about anything um as far as you know preparing your own drum kit to bring along you'll want to have at least a new snare head and sometimes people have their yes like that's like the bare minimum and hopefully a new tom heads in the schematics are just the sides of the batter ok if you haven't changed your resident heads since you bought the kit ten years ago then that might be a good idea too yeah that's the bare minimum , obviously if you can have fresh heads Great no broken cymbals that's a great thing because broken cymbals will sound terrible and then you can't help it and then you know the same goes for other instruments for strings, bass, that kind of of things, you know that you want. have new strings obviously they need to be stretched a bit so we don't have them we don't have the strings as new as possible the main thing with that is intonation they need to be set up correctly and so you know when you hit the twelfth fret is the note you it's supposed to be your place the 7th fret whatever wherever you play it's not necessary then note you want it to be more like it's out of tune you're going to go through all the gibberish of having to waste a lot of time What's your money yeah?
So do you find yourself not only as an engineer but also as a coach to meet new bands or as burgeoning bands that haven't been in this environment before let alone play their instrument at all? So whether they pay pay for the time they played on the metronome they performed well I know working with you and Jay previously you guys really push you know all of your clients in each of the band members really they perform at their best quality to me it's about getting the interpretation right from all the band members and then obviously we do the editing work and make sure you know I mean everything is very meticulous to make sure that everything sounds right and right and a lot of it you know is just i know i'm a nice guy i could talk to people and i'm fine okay i'm not a complete jerk but you know i mean it's different people respond to different things and so it's a lot of that it's pushing some people you can tell them hey that sucked do it again yeah and there's a psychology involved especially with singers because your voice is their instrument so what e is something very personal, so you know in many of us, yes.
I like to push and if I feel like I can get a better opinion of someone I'll just try to figure out how we can get that opinion, what we can do so that some bands don't respond well, some artists don't. respond well to being pushed yes some like it yes yes some because they take it personally and don't know maybe they have a different idea of what something should sound like other people other outside opinions they say and that happens, you know? some artists don't like that, so if you're in a band and you want that information, you're very open to it, make sure that the studio you choose or the producer you're working with is someone that will give you that that will offer that it will bring because that is a value that they bring, you know and if you are not looking for that, if you are looking to go somewhere, take it recorded and then you can find a place that that is what they are doing how is the conversation with your customers you know if you did they pay everything up front or do they pay you when they get an actual physical cd from you how does that work for most studios there is a deposit you have to pay to secure your time so you lock in your dates and yes it's usually 50 percent percent of the initial selection when finished, you know that manyof them are his fans.
I'm wondering, well, how long will it take, you know how long, how much money okay, we're looking at it and I've told the bands that they did sort of an analogy, it's like, well I can tell you that you're going to climb Mount Everest. in two weeks fine but if you get bad weather who knows now that you might be stuck there you know you might have a pair for mt everest sure sure so you should come prepared i mean i know how long it would take me in ideal conditions to make a record. certain kinds of things, but I thought that working with the band is impossible to say for sure.
A good rule of thumb, if you want to know it's a really good quality modern sounding recording, is to go a 12 hour day at least up to twelve hours a day per song, yes, and then a lot in three to five hours for mixing. mastering whatever it takes, so the band comes in, they've passed, you know they shopped, they picked, you recorded their album, you really push them to become better musicians and recording artists. so now they have a solemn agreement, well, what do I do with it now? So how can a band go through the whole album recording process?
How can they prepare or develop some kind of strategy to actually do something with this physical to product or digital or whatever to get it out and actually, you know, get it heard and start making money or whatever, whatever be their goal I think and that's kind of important if it's a serious band trying to get away with what they're doing you know it's not just a fun project for them then you really need to have a plan and we need you to spend money , yeah, you know, making the physical copies of the album you even have to have because if you're on tour you need something to sell marketing the record like bands you don't realize but you can spend and you have to budget you know pretty much what you paid for the record you should try to budget that amount if you can on top of that or market the record so you'll want to make some physical copies that you can sell I mean a lot of it is now electronic and of course you'll put it on iTunes, that goes without saying. right now but it's like then you need something that shows you need something that if people become your fans they'll want to come to your show to buy this and then you know the bands need to make a plan they need to figure out okay I am we're going to do this we need to build some kind of if you don't already have it in your online presence you need you need hype I've seen some hit and miss things when it comes to a publicist because you can you can you know talk to people who have that kind of pay for their service to take you to blogs and stuff maybe have contacts with that so that can still open the air it's not a sure thing yeah I mean it's never sure and that can work or can it let you know that it might work it might not something else is just throw it yourself blogs read it try to feed them to some blogs i mean obviously if you if you just give it to pitchfork and you ain't the best in the world C they're not going to play it but if so if it's some smaller blogs you can post it you can start to push it something I've seen that's been really good lately it's been like remixes like DJ mixes shut down your band rock music, get snippets of their songs. and then send it out to some you know so this would use your artist contacting these DJs with yeah yeah like contact songs and like hey check me out you know this could be great for your next exactly some of these Vijay Singh Elgar will. they have millions of views on youtube they will have millions of this and that and so you can you can get that out and that makes your band bring you you know it brings fans yeah I've done stuff on my staff. music like bands I've been in and sip that I've created where we've worked with the publisher that has music in commercials yeah a lot of different stuff it's really cool it's a good opportunity for bands like that if you're an unknown band and you don't have money and a label behind you they used to find a publisher that you know believes in what you're doing they're looking for something obviously you have to make your music marketable there are usually certain prerequisites for that like it has to be recorded on a click so they can they can cut, because they're the editors, they're going to take sections and they can loop, so it has to be very, very tight to finish, you know, like you could and this is hard, but if you could just like summarizing or giving advice to up and coming bands who really want to kick start their career um i mean it's hard but what would be the one piece of advice you could give to someone who i say they stand strong and work hard and even when things that they know seem bleak keep moving forward, they know that they can understand that things won't always work out the way they want.
I've seen bands that have gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment, yes. put in them and then the rug was pulled from under just a few months later and you know the difference between bands getting that chance again and ones just fading away is being able to stick with it and knowing you know a band is a relationship temporary Members will come and see that abscess you know I understand if you want it move on it's a young man's game so I know if hopefully you can date while you're young and you have the right mix of luck and and and hard work , you don't have that meeting and you know otherwise we all love to play music, so it's one of those things where, well, worst case scenario, I have this record that I'm proud to have made these records and you're stuff.
I like it and I can look back on all the records I've done on tour and Steffan says yeah it was amazing like I wouldn't trade it for anything yeah so it's like you know it's the worst case scenario really it's like a win-win if you think about it you know' it's like hey don't be heartbroken if you're not the next rock star but understand you have to do something a lot of people never get to do yeah so just We want to wrap up and I want to say thank you to all viewers if you want to reach out go ahead and if you have any questions or comments please go to Band Tactics calm or email me directly at Band Tactics in Gmail. the one who answers your emails and also if you have any ideas on topics you'd like to see covered please let me know and I'll be sure to include them in the next video update please subscribe and like this video if you enjoyed it and if it was informative for you please like and subscribe to the channel stay updated on latest ban tactics videos thank you thank you.
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