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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, you're new to recording audio be it a band or ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for film or voice over recording,
but you're not too sure how to run your new session effectively? I will give you a few pointers on how to have a successful
recording session with just about anybody!

1. Be set up and ready to go
: I prefer to have all microphones selected and on stands before the band or individual arrives, this accomplishes two things:

  • less set up time
  • more time to properly mic instruments (especially drums!)
There are other minor things this allots time for such as getting levels and any small EQ adjustments that may be needed.

2. Have your input list created
: The input list is your saving grace, second in importance for a smooth and speedy session
(if all your equipment is set up properly and has no issues in the signal chain). This allows you to determine what instrument
mic will go into what channel on your mixer and leading into your DAW of choice, be it Pro Tools, Sonar, Reaper or Logic.
Here's an example:




The session will go even smoother if you can have all your mics plugged into your mixer and
line tested to make sure there are no issues with any XLR cables/mics. Leave them plugged into your mixer.

3. Have your DAW session ready
: No matter what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you are using, be it Pro Tools,
Reaper, Logic or Nuendo, have the session set up and ready to go! Create all necessary tracks and have them labeled,
also make sure you are recording at the highest fidelity your workstation can muster (if your interface can record 88.2k/24-bit or
96k/24-bit bit that's perfect!) Even if you can only get 48k/24 bit, go with it.

Do not forget to make sure that the input list you have created is identical to your DAW track list!
These three tips are absolutely VITAL to having a smooth session and will allow you to have MUCH more time focusing
on the actual placement and getting sounds for a great tracking session. This is all a part of the pre-production process and will
cause you to be much more prepared for the session and everyone involved will be much more relaxed and ready to go.

Rushing a session is not something you want to do, even if you're already a famous mixer dude! They all follow these rules
as they are so very pertinent to a successful recording session. Newer folks who want to enter this field tend to rush due to
nervousness. (I can speak for that statement!) Do these steps a day or two before the session and you will feel less nervous,
more prepared and less stressed!
For smaller sessions such as an acoustic guitar session and overdubs, you can generally
get by "on the fly" using your knowledge of microphones and placement techniques.

Have fun and make consistent use of these techniques for smooth, successful sessions. :T
 

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good stuff.

When I was at college, you had to check out every single mic, cable and stand from the stores for your session. You only had two hours per session, so if you didn't get it right the first time, you could waste half your session running back to the stores to get more kit and sign bits of paper.

It taught me to visualize the session in my head beforehand - and write it all down using good old fashioned pencil and paper.....

What do I need? What cables? What channels will I use? DI boxes? Stands? What plugins? What presets? Where will the drummer set up? How many toms does he have? Who plays that little flute bit in the chorus - the guitarist?

By the time the session starts, you should know exactly what you need, what you need to do, and where you need to do it.

Over time a lot of it becomes second nature through repetition....
 

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Good information!

I also do write on paper everything I need (I mean EVERYTHING, every cable or adapter needed) while preparing a session.

I regularly record live shows, and those can get pretty big (50 simultaneous tracks is not rare), while having no remote truck, I have to bring quite everything. So I have to be very, very careful on preparation, as there would be no way to find that special MADI adapter that i'd have forgotten when I'm there, 200 kms from the studio...:yikes::doh:

I usually also do a small sketch of the wiring diagram, starting from the mics on stage, all the way to the monitoring speakers. That way I find it easier to think about everything.
 

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Good point, Astral. I even go so far as to have templates set up in my DAW (Sonar) for what kind of session I'm planning. Do I need mic's, DI's, MIDI, etc? I set up the templates for basic miking 8tr/16tr. I have another template with 8tr/with 2 MIDI chs. Will I need a session drummer plug-in, etc.

Prep is the key and paper goes a long way.

Nice tip!:T

Pep
 

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Could not agree more with this methodology. I have a journal for evey recording session that describes room layout (sketch and maybe photos), mic choices, channels, cabling, setup of equipment etc along with notes during tracking. This journal is also used in mixing to document the tracks selected from the takes and anything that needs documenting during the process, particularly any routing and setting of outboard gear. Also for notes during production meetings and auditions.
 

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3. Have your DAW session ready
: No matter what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you are using, be it Pro Tools,
Reaper, Logic or Nuendo, have the session set up and ready to go! Create all necessary tracks and have them labeled,
also make sure you are recording at the highest fidelity your workstation can muster (if your interface can record 88.2k/24-bit or
96k/24-bit bit that's perfect!) Even if you can only get 48k/24 bit, go with it.


Good ideas, yes. But I think you have to match your Bit Rate as well a Sample Rate. Cause otherwise you might have to perform a downgrading of both in the end, that can cause timing issues. Unless af course you record everything at the same settings. Also I can't call re-recording of the Instruments same as ADR.
Cause ADR is particular term for a Dialogue Replacement. :T

Kirill
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good ideas, yes. But I think you have to match your Bit Rate as well a Sample Rate. Cause otherwise you might have to perform a downgrading of both in the end, that can cause timing issues. Unless af course you record everything at the same settings. Also I can't call re-recording of the Instruments same as ADR.
Cause ADR is particular term for a Dialogue Replacement. :T

Kirill
The mastering engineer handles conversion of bit depths and such...I also never
said that it was the same thing. I can see how you might think that though. I couldn't imagine
why someone wouldn't record everything at the same settings either, I think that's how we
all do it.
 
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