Q: What recording formats are possible?
A: Our current interface allows us to record at 16 or 24-bit depths with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kHz. We always mix internally at 32-bit floating point.
Q: How many tracks can be recorded at once?
A: We can record up to 20 tracks simultaneously, although this is only rarely necessary. We like to record drums using 4 to 14 mics depending on the requirements. A typical band can be recorded at once using 7 to 20 tracks in almost all cases. With much music in the pop/rock vein, overdubbing is used and this allows the tracking procedure to concentrate on one instrument or group of instruments of a time.
Q: How should we record our rock band (drums/bass/guitars/vocals)?
A: Different scenarios are possible depending on the song and your band’s experience. One method is to concentrate on getting the bass and drums recorded first together with ‘pilot’ guitars and vocals. A ‘pilot’ is another word for a guide track. In other words, the pilot vocal will be a take that the singer records along with the rhythm section to give them a sense of the song and to spur them on emotionally. This is often more effective than recording the rhythm section to a click track with nothing else.
Q: Do you recommend recording with a click track or without?
A: Again it depends on the song and the band’s experience. A click track is inhuman and brutally accurate in a sense that only machines can be. Human time (even at the top level of musicianship) likes to ebb and flow. So it’s natural to want to push forwards on certain sections of a song and then relax on others. Highly experienced musicians are able to do this with a click track but less experienced musicians can struggle with this. In fact, a click track can also weaken the performance of a band by distracting attention from the song towards the click itself. So there is no easy answer to this question. That said, the benefit of using a click track is that it makes the overdubbing process much easier and it also help tremendously with the editing procedure.
Q: Our track uses a range of tempos, can you program a click track for us?
A: Yes we can and this is sometimes an excellent way of avoiding the mechanical sound that a click track imparts on a track. In fact, it is also possible to create tempo maps with different tempos in each section and it is also possible to program accelerandos (speeding up) and decelerandos (slowing down) with various ramps. Of course, this requires working out the arrangement in advance (i.e., number bars in each section, tempos for each section). One way of doing this is to start by recording a rough version of the track without using a click track. We then measure the various tempi of the song and create a tempo map to which we then begin recording the final version.