The main reason we decided to go the home recording option was because our good friend Matt, who we recorded our last album with at the Arthouse studio, is no longer recording bands. Recording with Matt was the most fun I've ever had recording. I think a lot of it was to do with the very reasonable rates he was charging whilst still having confidence that he could get pretty close to the sound we wanted. We had absolute faith that he would understand where we were coming from and be able to get that recorded. Being close friends obviously helped with that – Bodes is well aware of all the horrible music I'm into, ha ha. We were absolutely thrilled (yes, thrilled) with the way the last album came out...click here to check out some of the videos we did for a few of the songs. After that experience, the thought of recording with someone else wasn't very appealing, even though in the past we've had fun in other studios...the problem was always having to look at the clock and be thinking how much it was costing, which is not a pressure you want when you're trying to get a tricky guitar part down. So there it is – I guess it mainly comes down to money...we don't have enough to hose in a studio. It will cost us less to buy most of the stuff we need than it would to go to a studio – simple. If it sounds like shit, then it's wasted money, but you might as well give it a go! Of course we bought secondhand and pretty much bottom of the line stuff, but let's face it, none of us have been in bands where subtlety of sound meant shit. If you were recording jazz or classical or something where you needed to hear every minute detail, and you were recording in a great sounding room, then maybe it would matter, but we're recording in a friggin' lounge room. I don't need a thousand dollar mic to pick up all that horribleness. I think the main thing that makes or breaks home recordings (besides the song, of course) is the performance itself. If you play like a motherfucker, you're half way there. That's where recording at home comes into it's own – we can redo shit til the cows come home to get the right take. Hopefully when we're finished it sounds alright, or I'm going to look like a complete dick here, ha ha.
I already had a computer that was (just) adequate, and a usb drive that I was using for something else, so here's a price breakdown of other home recording stuff:
Recording interface and software (digi 003 with Pro Tools 8) – $550
Behringer ADA8000 preamp (for extra 8 channels to record drums) – $200
Behringer studio monitors – $250
Senheisser headphones – $100
AT2020 microphones x2 – $200
Behringer B1 mic – $100
Shure 57 mic x2 – $200
Cheap drum mic kit –$200
Mic leads – $80
Mic stands – $60
Drum replacement software – $90
$2030!? That's about the same amount that my old band paid for our 'No Room For Apathy' album, and that was back in 1997! Hopefully we'll be able to record quite a few albums on this stuff and that's where the real savings will be...unless I become a gear junky...that won't end well.
Like I said, all of that is irrelevant if it sounds like shit. I've never done this before, so there was a good chance it WOULD sound horrible. I wish that all those times I'd been recording in other people's studios that I actually paid attention to what they were doing – mic placement, compression, eq, the list goes on. I never cared to know how they got the sounds. What a fool. Luckily we have the internet now, so I've spent the last 8 months researching how to do stuff. One site in particular was of great help therecordingrevolution.com The bloke who runs it has an easy to follow style of teaching in his videos. None of the songs featured in his videos are comparable to what we're doing musically and they all seem to be religious in lyrical tone, but he doesn't push that angle, so it's all good, and he's got some good advice. The most important advice he gave was – just start doing it, now. Don't worry what interface or software you should buy, just pick any one and start. So we did.
That intro was longer than I though it was going to be. Hopefully future updates on our home recording project will be more succinct!
Up Next: Recording drums