What to expect when you come in
to record at Big Time Studio
In most cases bands/ artists come to the studio with a pretty
good idea of what they want, but other times they're looking
for some direction when it comes to overall sound or even
arrangements. I like to take an active roll in the production
process and will make suggestions such as changing a kick
drum pattern in a particular part or adding a harmony vocal
here or there. Some times I'll throw an idea out and it sticks
and sometimes it doesn't. I have no ego attached to it. I
will defer to the artists and let them make the call. My general
philosophy is to always do what best serves the song.
Doing the Session
l like to record a band as
"live" as possible. In all my years of producing
and engineering I've found that the energy is always better
if the whole band or at least most of the band is playing
along while recording the tracks. Many times we start with
the intention of replacing the lead vocal, but when we get
to that stage we find that the intensity is not there. There
is indeed an art to achieving that same intensity as when
performing with the band, sometimes we get there, sometimes
we end up liking the "scratch" vocal better. Sometimes
everything is fine except for one or two lines, in which case
we can punch in and replace those. You can do amazing things
Tips for preparation
Make sure your gear is in good shape.
Change drum heads and have them tuned up and such...change
strings on guitars too, unless you just really dig the way
they sound with old strings. I've found that guitars intonate
better with new strings.
After the recording and mixing is complete,
your songs need to be mastered to even out the levels from
song to song so you're not having to turn one song up to hear
it and the next one down etc. also to push the level of all
the songs up to where your CD is as loud and punchy as your
favorite major label artist. I do this with compression and
And finally, sequencing the order of the songs and getting
the spacing between them right.
How long does it take?
I've had bands come in and record,
mix and master their entire CD in one day. I've had people
who will spend a week mixing one song. A lot depends on what
you want to get out of it
is it a demo, is it a full-fledged
CD project? I have a very efficient system and I know it well,
so how long it takes depends more on you than on me. It also
goes without saying, the more rehearsed you are, the quicker
it will go.
What about Artwork and Duplication?
We offer CD art services. Using Photo
Shop and Illustrator, we can lay out the CD art and get it
ready for print. We'll give you the files on CD, which any
duplication facility will be able to open up and work from.
We also have a number of duplication businesses that we can
refer you to.