Whilst creative recording processes are pretty common place, I’ve found that outside of an “effect”, tried and true methods work and are the default.
But I had some success the other day by making a snap decision that changed the course of a song we were recording.
The song was one that was written fifteen years ago and was always a live favourite. We had recorded the drums back then and a few years ago added guitar and bass.
We recorded the vocals. On three separate occasions over a couple of years. Each time, it felt like something was missing. Our wives mentioned that it just wasn’t the same as when we used to play it live. Strangely, the drums were recorded live to no click and I’m one take - hmmm
A month ago, the singer tried yet again. After a verse and chorus, the comment “it just doesn’t have the same energy as the live recordings we have”.
Bing!!! Light inside the head comes on.
I grab a 58, hand it to the singer, set up a Facebook live stream and tell him we’re going to record this live three times and that he can move around the studio as much as he wants.
All three takes were better by a long way compared to what we previously had. They had forgotten words, bun notes a lot of mic noise from it moving in his hands, but the energy was there. It also sounded way more muffled and dense compared to the sm7 that we normally use.
But, by the time I cleaned it up, it was ten times better than before.
Below is a video of part of a take.
Now, what I did was not a stroke of genius and creativity in the studio by any stretch - but it was something different that we had not done before in order to solve this problem.
What have you folks done that is a little different for you to solve a recording or mixing problem that you normally would not do?
The clip (skip to around around 1:40 as the song is a little slow and low at the start)