How to record music.
Back in the early 1980s and up in to the mid-1990s I owned and operated a recording studio. Recording all sort of virtuosos, song writers, small bands, big bands, country, Bluegrass, gospel, rock and you name it bands. I recorded harps and harpsichords. Choirs and even one woman laughing. I recorded them all. Then I once had to give a young lady the bad news of keeping her day-job and go try something else.
Never the less there is a certain technique in multitrack recording. It’s best to start with recording the rhythm section first. Drubs, bass, and rhythm guitar or something like that. Depending on the style of music and instruments used in the band. Sometimes just an upright bass fiddle and mandolin. Whatever.
The idea is to separate the sounds by padded sound baffles or by distance. Miking each instrument separately. Which gives more flexibility in equalization and level control all in the final mix. Then you overlay that with a lead guitar, keyboard, and/or voice. Then you are ready for the final mix down. All this gives the tune recorded clean and clear sounds of instrument and voice. Are you following me?
However, many of the local bands coming in I had in my studio had no clue how recording is done. Their thoughts were “just mic us up and let us go.” Not so disconcerted breath.
Almost half their arranged studio time was me instructing the band or individual how recording techniques work. Techniques that may lead to a brighter and clearer recording. Allowing the listener to distinguish one voice or instrument from the other. A good separation of sounds.
Then one day a Laotian gentleman came in and wanted to record his Laotian band. Obviously, there was language hoops to jump through. Again, the man and his band from Laos thought all one needed to do is mic us up and let us go. Again, not so. However, after attempting to explain the recording techniques over and over as best I could it was best just given in and mic them all up at once. what made it difficult was the drummer was their only singer. Making it most difficult to separate the drums from his low volume voice. So, we did what we could. Mixed it all down, took their money, and gave them the final mix on a cassette tape.
Now my favorite foreign language band was several Latinos from Joplin Missouri. And once again only one band member could half way speak English. This time I was successful in explaining the step-by-step process of separating sounds. Recording rhythm section first and so on. But what made this project fun was their music. They chose Oldies songs from the late 1950s and 1960s. We recorded an old tune often heard on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. “Let’s go to the Hop in Spanish. “Vamos al salto de salto. Just like Danny and the Juniors sang back in 1957. Right?
Later on, wife and I converted this business into an advertising specialty business. Recording messaging for business phone systems. Call directing answers and on-hold messages. We started off with over 3000 State Farm agents. This receipt of monies made up for all the premiums I had paid to State Farm in the past. And the business grew from there.