I received the files from him and loaded them into Pro Tools and got to work . . .
Oh . . . .
Yikes . . . .
Let me tell you what was wrong. No it wasn’t the mic., it wasn’t the preamp, and wasn’t even the DAW; surprisingly enough. It was the source.
To a certain extent, no amount of mastering, fixing it in the mix, or anything is going to polish what’s on the hard disk. So what do you do?
Music Lessons. Taking music lessons is a fast-track way to get your singing and playing to a higher level. Find a suitable teacher who will point you in the right direction, who’s honest with you, who will encourage you, and propel you forward.
Practice. Lock yourself away in the woodshed and get to business sharpening your skills. Instead of recording thirty-six takes of one vocal phrase, so you can later comp the consonants and vowels, take a break from the insanity, practice the part, then record it. Your Pro tools editor will thank you!
Quality Gear. You’ve practiced a lot on your Barracuda Strat copy, it’s time to buy a great guitar. If you can’t afford one yet, rent a great guitar for the recording sessions. This also goes for bass, drums, keyboards . . . er, you can just use software synths . . . kidding!. . . and some nice tube amps. If you’re a guitar effects addict like me, take an honest assessment of your pedalboard and determine what needs upgrading.
Strings and Things. Put on some fresh strings, put on new drum heads, polish the cymbals, change the amp’s tubes if needed, and buy good quality patch cables.
When it comes to making the best recordings, what’s on disk is absolutely the most important component of the recording process. The source is king and it’s essential to get that part right if you want your recordings to sound awesome.
Check in next time for Part 3: Acoustics