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The Antfarm Dogma
What do you get when you work with me? I will try to tell you my views on the subject of recording music...
I am the kinda guy who will make a "bands album". I like to always make the bands ideas the starting point of the production.
I want to try to make every record something special, and I would hate for all my records to sound the same. If I always made you play with MY guitar amp, use the sound I say is the right one, and never listened to your ideas about sound, everything would always end up sounding the same, and that would be a great shame I think.
Your music is meant to sound like YOU! therefor I don't have a preference as to wether I like this or that amp, prefer 2 to 4 guitar tracks, doubletrack vocals or not etc etc... Its all about the sound that WE want to achieve for this particular album!
These days there is a tendency to let the computer do the work for you...
My belief is that Music should be played by Musicians, NOT computers! I believe in letting you play your parts with your own hands, to capture the essence of what is YOU, and not straightening you out to just like a machine without a heart.
IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE TO PLAY MUSIC!!!!
This does not mean however that I am not willing to help you out here and there. I am not an asshole.... or at least so I like to think...hehe.
I can of course only talk about the records I have recorded myself, but you generally think of them as being played from start to finish... By Humans!
When I am only mixing...
It is very hard to tell you what to do and what not to do when recording yourself or in another studio.
I have to say, follow your ears and do what you think is right.... BUT!!
If you are recording on a Mackie/Behringer desk or the likes.. Don't touch the eqs. You are going to mess up more than you win.
Always get the sound at the source! Wether it is drums, guitars, bass whatever, Get as close as you can at the source and get it clean into the computer... or tape...
So TUNE those drums!!! Tune those guitars!!! Sing in tune!!! Autotune is the enemy!!! Don't make your expensive vocal mike/singer sound like a piece of plastic.
Of course there is help to get if everything else fails, but NEVER rely on the computer to turn shit into gold! Its NOT gonna happen! Shit in, shit out! so do it right. And remember; we can fix a lot of things, we can construct good music that will sound alright in the end... But you're still going to look like a jerk on stage afterwards if you don't do your homework.
Don't assume things on my behalf. Stuff like: "It's going to be alright once he puts a compressor on it and some reverb". If it sounds like shit now, its still going to sound like shit when its done.
I would like you to record a DI signal of the guitars as well as a miked signal. I will always start by using your sound. The DI track is only for worst case scenarios...
If you have enough inputs get DDrum triggers and record those clicky signals they make on separate tracks for snare(!!), toms and kicks.
Don't do vocals two meters from the mike in a reverb hall type room. You better believe I am going to compress the shit out of your vocals and that means tons of natural reverb if you didn't record it right. (and that is NOT a good thing)
When you name the tracks/audiofiles use CAPS ON, titles without spaces and please use the same track names for all tracks in different sessions that are the same. (KICKIN, KICKOUT, SNTOP,SNBOT,T1, T2, GTRL, GTRR, etc..)
Don't leave stuff in the sessions that I am not supposed to use. Who knows if I think the noise in a break sounds cool, but you don't like it... so don't give it to me. If you consolidate the tracks, dont do fades. It affects the way compressors work. If you leave it unconsolidated its good to leave those fades in...
If you are not recording in Protools you have to consolidate all the tracks so they start at zero. You can use .wav, aiff, sd2 16 or 24 bit. NEVER 32 bit!!
Make sure ALL the files are there!!
Send DVDs or a harddrive. It takes forever to download files for a whole album even though I do have a very fast connection, it's still a drag... big time. And its not really faster than FedEx anyway.
When I am travelling to you to record, make sure to supply me a link to the studio(s) we are working at so I can check what equipment I need to bring myself.
Print the Dogma!
Download PDF and print it as a checklist, if you like... Dogma.pdf