Recording

Command Studios has everything necessary to create high quality professional recordings both in house and on the road.

In House Recording- Command Studios has a small studio location suitable for singer/song writer recording sessions, and instrument overdubbing, including a full drum set and several guitars and basses.

On the Road- Command Studios is portable, and can meet you on site wherever you are, for live recording, or a studio recording in your practice space.

Getting Ready to Record:

Prior to recording, we will meet and discuss the project, what sort of music you are doing, what sound you are going for, and what instrumentation you are using so we can make decisions about how and where to record to ensure that you get the best recording possible.

Things to Consider:

Click Tracks - Before you start recoding you have to decide weather or not you will record to a click track. Recording to a click track is largely a matter of personal taste. Some people feel that it impedes the artistic "flow" of the song, by preventing the natural ebb and flow of the song's tempo. Other people think that it enhances the recording by tightening everything up, locking everyone into a common tempo, and keeping the song from "running away." Both of these are valid points, so the decision to use, or not use a click is ultimately up to the artist. Here are some things to consider when deciding.

If you use a click, you need to have musicians (especially the drummer) who are used to playing to a click track. If you have never had to play to a click track, try practicing with a metronome prior to recording. If an instrument deviates from the click too much, it can throw off ever other track recorded after it. Also, be sure that musician recording the first track knows the song well enough that they can play the song without having to pay too much attention to the other instruments, so they can focus on the click (i.e.: if the drummer has to watch the guitar player for all of the transitions, then he is following the guitar player, not the click).

If you are not using a click, you need to bear in mind that you will not be able to "cut and paste" within the project, because no matter how tight your band is, there will be tempo variations.

 Mixing

We view mixing as a vital part of the artistic process as well as the technical process. To do it properly it should be done in phases, where the first is to get a mix that everyone is happy with, and then leave it for a couple days. Listen to it on every source you can think of, in your car, on your iPod, on your laptop speakers. Live with the mix for a couple days, and then come back and make adjustments.

If you have tracks that you recorded yourself, or that were recorded in another studio, Command Studios can help you get a mix that you will love.

Remember, once your album goes out to print, you have to live with it forever. Take the time to do it right.

What You Need to Mix:

  • In order to be mixed properly, you need a separate audio file for each instrument. For tracks recorded by Command Studios, this will all be done already, however if you are bringing tracks in from elsewhere then each instrument, or channel from the original recording needs to be bounced separately to it's own WAV or AIFF file.
  • When you bounce the tracks, make sure there is something in the track that will allow you to synchronize it with the other tracks (this can be a measure of click at the beginning of each track, or a brief passage copied from another track to the same point at the beginning of each track, or the easiest way is to simply make sure you bounce from the very beginning of the original project file each time, so that the leader is the same length on each track.
  • When you bounce the track they should be as un-processed as possible. All of the plug-ins should be bypassed/disabled with the exception of guitar amp modelers, phasers, and delays that are critical to the sound you are looking for that instrument. Remember that any effect that is bounced into the track is there permanently unless you go back an re-bounce.

Mastering

Mastering is the most misunderstood and most neglected phase in the production of an album.

Those who understand what mastering is can skip this paragraph, for those who don't, look at producing an album like baking a pie. The music would be your recipe, and recording would be making the crust, and the filling. Mixing would be assembling all of your ingredients into a pan and making them look pretty. Mastering would be the baking. Before you bake a pie, it looks like a pie, it even tastes like a pie, but you would never serve it that way. An un-mastered album is the same way. It sounds like your song, and may even sound good enough for a demo, but it should never be published that way, and if you listen to it next to a mastered track, you will hear the difference.

Command Studio will master any album we mix for FREE as the final step in the mixing process, and will master any other albums for a moderate fee.

Tips for Tracks to Be Mastered:

  • Tracks to be mastered should be a high quality (WAV, AIFF, or CD format, not mp3 or mp4) stereo bounce of the entire mix.
  • There should be no compression on the main mix (individual instruments can be compressed as part of the mix process, but the overall mix should be uncompressed).
  • Leave space on each end of each track. Part of the mastering process is setting track transitions, and spacing, so extra blank space at the beginning or end doesn't harm anything, but cutting off the tail end of the final note (or worse, the first part of the first note) can be troublesome.