What I am doing here is basically a One-Man show. I decide everything, from conception to recording. While it is great to have a hobby where I am my own boss, total freedom comes with total responsibility.

Along the life of a song, I make dozes of decisions, and each of them could be critical for the reception of the end product*. I am currently getting acquainted with the recording process, so I'll make a list from the top of my head:

Which guitar should I use (I have my usual Western Guitar, but sometimes the Telecaster Copy might be better)? Shoul I use a plek or not (here I switch a lot)? Is it time to put on new strings already (the clarity of strings gets worse, but only devilishly slightly, over time)? When I record something, for example a guitar or a voice, when is the right time to stop agonizing over unperfect details and just live with what I did?

Does the track need some percussion or not (my principle here would be to think simple first)? If so, which drums - A rock kit, more jazzy, or Bongos (I tried all of them in my first songs)? I could also try to come up with a little Bass riff, so should I? I also have to decide if backing vocals would be helpful - you see, "helpful" is difficult to define, and what sounds awesome today could sound like too much next month. I also need to decide which tempo is best - until the reording I played like I felt like, but now it has to be a number: 120? or 130?

The loudness problem: My recording should be as loud as possible, because people intuitevily like (comparatively) loud songs better - but too loud, and I get distorted peaks... How do I trade between peak control and uncompressed clarity of the sounds? If I optimise the sound, for what kind of speakers (there are cool Hifi-setups, but also Laptop-speakers and earphones and they all make a song sound totally different in certain aspects)? Shouldn't I start to write down my perfect setup for loudness, from the distance between the guitar and the mic to all channel settings in GarageBand? By the way, what is the perfect distance for my guitar to my mic? There is so much to know here - what else is there to achieve the general feeling of high-quality mastered music? And when should I just stop bothering and enjoy life?

I already mentioned the decoding question in my last post. Interestingly, while recording, I sometimes decide that the song should be faded out. Will I think that is cheesy a year from now?


Maybe I should make such a list about the writing phase, too. But I have abstained from writing so long (I swore to first record all old stuff) - I'll just wait until I  am in that phase again. It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference to walk a song through the whole process, from writing to recording, in a couple weeks, without this big brealk in between.


*by that I also mean the reception by myself later on

19 Oct 2009 - 19:44
# lastedited 19 Oct 2009 add a comment  
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