Recording Crazy Makes You A Little

Hours of recording in studios does send you a little stir crazy. Not that Dave Grohl needs any extra help! The Foo Fighters decided to record their latest album with as much analogue recording equipment as possible.

It’s pretty interesting stuff and if you’ve not familiar with how recording used to be done before the days of hard disc recording check out this article from Electronic Musician which details how they went about recording and producers “Wasted Light“.  While I’m not sure how productive a revisit to the retro recording process might translate to the $ and time poor muso, I can’t help but like the basis for why they did it this way.  It was to be more about the performance.

We spent a big chunk of the Easter holidays working on the new Stellas Kitchen EP.  We made the brave decision to start again!! A bit daunting but we were confident we could take what we learnt from our first EP and what we’d recorded so far and make this EP much better. We also have some new gear and ideas for recording. After planning out our schedule for the recording of the songs at pre-production meetings the first step would be to put down all drum tracks.  This was essentially full band live takes with the focus on the drums using the clicks to guide us either initially or for a whole song.

For a couple of the songs put down complete “click” takes and non click takes, however each song always started with the “click” to set up the groove for the song. It was interesting to see that when compared to a “click” track, a non-click track would sometimes vary in tempo in sections of the song, but in total track length there was sometimes not even a total second in difference.  This is something we were glad to achieve because we made a conscious effort to master tempo in the drum tracks but really didn’t wanna lose any feel or groove.

 Next up its filling in the songs with guitar and bass parts. We planned out an order of recording these parts which was determined by what each song “needed” for it to grow. This could be something like if the guitar part or tone was the more crucial element of a song we’d do this before bass.  This can be in the voicing of the instruments and tonal frequencies relative to each other. For example the main guitar sound for a song and how it sits in the tonal frequency range may determine what sort of bass sound I can use to compliment it or to cut thru it. It can also work the other way round too if its the bass tone or part which dictates to the (pesky) guitars.  The earlier you can define this the better it is as it saves on having to go too mental the EQ later. For me in my bass parts where there is scope for adding my own creative bits,  I draw a lot from what the drummer is doing and especially the vocal parts.  So having the rough vocal guide track to me is pretty critical. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve headed down the road of bass effects kinda backwards, however over the past couple of months I’ve built up my bass pedal rig. I’ll post more details of whats on my board soon.


  1. Hurry up with the ep guys!! New songs rock and want another cdLuv jen

  2. thanks Jen! so do I!! hope it'll before before the end of the year!

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