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Guerrilla Recording

Lesson 23 of 23

Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts

Beau Burchell

Guerrilla Recording

Beau Burchell

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Lesson Info

23. Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction and Overview Duration:11:29
2 Getting the Right Gear Duration:30:05
3 So What Do I Need? Duration:35:39
4 Single Mic Demonstration Duration:37:49
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Pre-Production Duration:21:10
2 Getting Drum Tones Duration:27:27
3 Recording Shells and Editing Duration:41:52
4 Recording Cymbals Duration:34:34
5 Tracking Bass Duration:22:31
6 Tracking Guitar Duration:19:30
7 Guitar Overdubs and Doubling Duration:30:12
8 Mixing Guitars Duration:25:07
9 Recording Keyboards Duration:21:04
10 Replacing Tom Samples Duration:17:55
11 Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts Duration:24:45

Lesson Info

Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts

Ok, so let's talk about the slides and things to do and what to take away from class prepare um you know what I was going when I did the uh that session at apogee for the for the drums where I showed all the different mic placements and all that um you want to prepare and kind of go over everything you know, like the little list thing that you think you might need there you should bring um like what I was talking about dude blew through a kick drum head you know? I mean like and you know, just like today I mean imagine you come here and it's like quote blew through kick drum had well recording stops, you know? So you have to come kind of think of anything that you might need to kind of keep it going um whether that might be an extra snare head or you know, extra kick drum head might be asking a lot especially like you don't have an endorsement you're looking at like, what, forty five, fifty bucks for a ticket so I mean, you know that may not be realistic but definitely no extra sticks,...

you know, like gaffe moon gels, extra drum key um lug blocks I think are really important for tracking drums especially, you know, um that's there didn't really seem to sag too much but um a lot of the times as you if you're especially when you have guys that are just wailing on a snare you'll notice that if you listen to this narrative beginning the song for the end of the song you'll definitely hear it drop in pitch a lot and that will also affect the way like we're talking about the room with your overhead mike's um the way you position your overhead mike's actually affects the pit you know, the phase of that is affected by the pitch of your snare drum and you know, because of the different resident the fundamental frequency of that snare you may want to lower raise your overheads accordingly depending on what it is and I think that's something to really pay attention to as you're tracking um paying attention to ok did the snare drop or did it not ok well let's take a break to go back up and a lot of the times I'll have the drummer just kind of at the beginning of the session start kind of jamming on the kid you know kind of like having it what I was having to doing this kind of boom boom boom ball kick kick kick and that kind of gives you a nice reference pitch of like, all right, well we got our drum tax this is the team that we all thought sounded great so we can always go back to that and referenced those those pitches because you'd be surprised especially after you know if you have the band you know all in the same room and your years of just getting blasted and then like two songs in all of a sudden your snare is just it sounds like a floor, tom, but by that time you're just like, well, it's near sounds so sick man it's so thick you know and when you're working with lower pitch snares, they have intends to drop even faster you know, we're cranking them up kind of high it's like they normally kind of stay there but you know, when you're in that kind of other register, sometimes they can slip a lot, so be prepared everything from, you know, making sure you bring your I locked to the studio to like, you know, your mouths like for instance, I like trackballs and I know every time I go to a studio if they don't have a track ball, I'm just sitting there like cursing the whole time like, what was the freaking mouse man how you use looked like savages over here? This is horrible, you know? And then when someone comes to my place, if they if they're used to a mouse, they're thinking the same thing we'll do you should've brought your mouths little things like that it would ruin your day um prepare over the songs know exactly what you're gonna do have a good idea with the band is what you hope to accomplish um be nice but really though you know like what I was saying it's like a lot of this stuff you're gonna really benefit from being able to borrow things from other people um and I find that you know, just in general I think if you're just a cooler due to people on if you're nice to people then they're going to be way more willing to let you borrow stuff um you know and even if it's something of like hey, you've got something and like can I borrow that and like dude, I'll come over to your house and like, help you clean up the studio or like if you need me to like, come over and wind some cables for you or like if you if your buddy has like, you know a slightly cooler home set up and he's recording a different band it's like hey man like tell you what like how about I come over and like be your assistant? You know, like all move some microphones or like I'll go like kind of be a runner for you for a day but like in return can I borrow it like you're jason eight hundred you know for a day some like that um all that stuff really is going to help you get your recording better and I know it sounds like it's not like your end goal is to make yourself you know, to get these things out of people but you know, just being cool it's like, you know, having friends really really helped you know and they can be supportive um doing the work it's it really is a lot of work, you know, and hopefully what I'm trying to really kind of like grind in is that none of this stuff is easy it unless you have um you know, a really good producer doing the work for you this stuff kind of sucks you know you're you're constantly tuning you're constantly working against everything you know, if you look at all those you always hear about the bands that like on neil young just like one into a studio and recorded a whole record and one day and then they were done mixing and everything you know it's like, well, yeah, you don't have that rad studio with the team of people you know and like professional dudes that know exactly I don't like everything up perfectly you're in your bedroom and you know, you also don't have like there was anything about you is like your arrangements of your songs like sometimes they may not be played on the proper instrument, you know, like if you have this cool little lead part maybe it might if you have too many guitars stacked in there you know and it's like friends today like as we started stacking guitars I started noticing you know like okay well some of these tones air wrong if we're going to start stacking things you know the way cooler to kind of like blow something is that making way more ambient so it's a little more lush and like more of ivy but you know, for the purpose of this down and dirty kind of gets the point across so a lot of things can be the arrangement and spending time in preproduction um being original I think it's important for you guys to um you know get your get your own sound you know I mean like nobody nobody wants well I guess people do like to go watch cover bands but you know I mean it's like if you think about it like that like no one it's not exciting to hear you know like all cool there's this band they sound just like this person it's like well what is like where is your value in that then you know I mean like if I could just listen to them why would I listen to you um and I think the same goes for you know, an engineering and production style I think it's important for, you know, establish your own kind of thing that you do and you know, as you get into it, you know, you may at some point, um, you know, if you're looking at it, like as a career type of thing, you're definitely going to lose some some gigs based on the fact that, you know what? I'm not really willing tio to make you sound just like another band, you know, that's not really what I'm into and then they're going to go somewhere else, you know, and chances are that record will be huge because it sounds just like something else. But, you know, in the end, I think it's more important for you, for, in my opinion is more important to have kind of integrity and what you do and say, well, I'm about this this is what I do, and if you're not into that, like, I don't think we're a good fit to work together, um, and I think that, you know, hopefully, you know, other people would respect that, but in the end, it also doesn't matter if other people respected it's more about yourself and like, what you're happy with, and I think that kind of goes to, um with your with your tracks and you're you know if whatever it is you're mixing your performance is all that I think you need to set your own bar as far as what you think is good enough you know and even if you know it's that whole kind of like mom thing you know is like when your mom walks in and sees your band of course they're going to say like oh my gosh you're the best bass player I've ever seen like you're just so good we like cool mom like I'm not even playing bass right now I'm playing keyboards oh you know and it's like you know I mean so set your own bar as far as what you think is acceptable so if your friend's band comes in you're like oh my god you're so good that's so tight you know or that's that has such a good feel if you don't think it's good then we do it you know and keep keep going at it um and I think that kind of goes with like the whole like I had touched on kind of like plug ins to like don't don't be don't be falling into that trap of you know I need to get these plug ins because some other guy has that there are some cool ones out there that you know you can kind of recommend or use or things that other people like to do and you know it is interesting to kind of like you know use those tools if you are trying to go for a specific thing but in my opinion I don't really think it's that you know it's not like cool to use you know oh cool here's like this near drum preset I'm just going to use that and then just forget about it um you know try to try to kind of establish your own sound you know and I think it personally those air kind of the coolest records where you can kind of look at those records where it's like you know I think that dude um was face I think the name's dave freeman he does all like kind of like the flaming lips records you know it's like that dude totally has his own sound and I think that's so cool you know and I think those are the producers where it's like you know all we want to sound like this we should go to this guy because that's like totally his thing you know and I think that's really cool um document I didn't really touch on this too much um and I wish I would have but we just didn't really have time um or do I have time to touch on this a little bit yeah okay um although we don't really have any amp set up anyways I guess just talking about it documenting your your everything I think it's important. I wish I would have done this a lot maur when I was starting out and asking more questions to not necessarily tryingto you know, I feel like when you when you're starting and you're kind of in this position of you know, if you if you are at the point where you're starting to record someone else's band um, you know, stay positive and, you know, it's like, dude, what kind of speakers you got in there? Cool and, like, you know, maybe, like, secretly write it down in your phone or something like man like this dude's rig sounded really good. Okay, he was using, you know, finished thirties or greenbacks, you know, like and kind of start mentally cataloging like, oh, well, he was using vintage thirties with, like, you know, an orange head. Well, which orange head? You know? And then you start to realize that, like, oh, man, well, I like I like this particular model of orange head a whole heck of a lot better than I do this other model, you know, and it's because it's very easy for you to kind of just get stuck in that kind of okay, cool, yeah, that sounds cool wow, really stoked on like the just like the randomness that we just really landed on this cool guitar sound today and then you go and try to dial in and tar sound later and you can't figure out why it's not happening and the reason is because you hate vintage thirty speakers or you hate greenbacks you know and you realize that and you're able to kind of combat that with ok well maybe we should try a different cabinet or maybe we should try this um so documenting things not only as far as like the gear using but also where is so like I said, if you're if you're recording at a friend's studio or if you're at your studio and you um like you guys said you had been working on these songs for quite a long time you know and chances are you may not remember exactly where you put the microphone on the cabinet you know, like down to like the to that even like eighth of an inch which in reality really does make a difference in the tone and if you guys have ever tried to you know you've tracked apart and he tried michael pure guitar part again and then you just like why does my guitar not sound the same as it is? I'm pretty sure it's in the exact same everything this is how I always have my settings they haven't changed you know and that could be any any number of different things I mean especially tubes you know like your tubes khun b among older and you've been on tour now and you come home and they just are not reacting the same mean, maybe maybe they need to be revised maybe just you just need new tubes, period, but it is important to document those things and write them down because let's say you go to your buddy studio and you're you know like I said, you're borrowing his answer he got like this brand new awesome and you go to his place to track guitars you spent all this time on your d I performance so you just bring your die over there so you don't have to worry about wasting time and punching in and all that you bring the died in his place he tracked the guitars is a really good idea to take pictures of that maybe like I mean I had them even bring a tape measure because I was like she's going to go over it, you know, kind of like, oh, cool well, I know that you know from the border of this and you know, it's like, you know, three inches off the corner and like three inches down from the top and like take pictures of those you know because when you go back and you get these tracks home and you're listening on monitors that you're comfortable with um then you look at you like oh my gosh, that sounds nothing like I remember and then you can go back there at a certain point and then you can realize that man like that guitar sound I got like two inches off the edge was this way too dark I need to bring that in so now you can actually use that as you know, a measuring tool and like go in and you know where to start from um I think that's about it for document document all of like your pre empt settings um all of that stuff is really important especially if you think about like, snared, you know especially drums, you know, yesterday in my opinion, like showing the difference between, um, hitting a pre empt hard and kind of just like hitting it just tickling it huge difference in the overall tone and those air things as you're punching in or you're you're kind of going throughout your process to me make a huge difference in this game of inches that we're kind of all trying to get ahead listen and read do as much research as you can there I mean, there is so much more information out there now, like then when I started when I think when I started doing this there was like in granted this tells you how long goes is like like the most technologically advanced people out of my friends had sidekicks so it's like and even that was, like, pretty rare it was like, if you had anything more than a pager than it was like, whoa, dude, you're like rich, you know, you have, like, a like a sidekick that's expensive man is crazy, you have the internet on your phone so you know, this information just wasn't out there, you know? So now it is out there, um, I would say do is much reading and searching as you can there's so many been, unfortunately that the bad part too, because you go on youtube now, or or whether the youtube reforms and like I said, you have all those dudes on that issue, like, man, this is all you need, you need this like to get a killer like, you know, and it's like, and this is the thing it's, like you're sitting there trying to get some sort of, like, periphery guitar sound, you know? So you're you know, granted, if you know how to google, you're not going to fall into this trap, but like, you know, you're looking up how to get it awesome rock guitar sound, you know, and you stumble across like, you know, guitar player forum and you have a dude on the other hand that I'm really looking for an awesome guitar sound like really heavy rock sound, and the first thing you get is like, man, here's, what you need, you need a single coil like fender stratocaster plugged into, like a fifty watt fender princeton and that's it's going to just kick so much, but, man and he was like, oh, god, that's totally not what I'm looking for. Um, so my point is that there's so much information out there, we kind of have to take as much research as you should do. You kind of have to take everything with a gun assault teo, and just, you know, listen and try things yourself and figure out what what works for you don't do this procrastinate. Um, I procrastinated a little bit when we started this session yesterday, and I didn't thoroughly read what I had to cover and totally blew the whole first section. Um, and, you know, I think the more prepared you are in any situation, especially with all this stuff, you know, like think about every time you've like, packed up gear and go to a show, you know, I mean, when you've packed it up. Ahead of time and you have time to kind of go back and do those dummy checks like, ok, do I have my cable guy, my speaker, cable don't have my aunt cable don't have, like, a spare nine volt battery don't have all these things that extra picks um, you know, you're gonna be a lot more confident going into it, and you're going to be prepared for the other things that are going to go wrong, like bad power at the club, pia cutting out the fact that, you know, like the guy only has enough cables toe to do vocals, you know, like no keyboards, you know, things like that there's so many other things that are going to go wrong, like, like, not knowing how to get, like, the mix of things to send out to the stream properly, you know, there's so many things that can go wrong that you want to prepare for everything on your end that you can s o you don't, especially like I said, if you're going into a situation where you're you're kind of like under a time crunch to get things done, whether it be your tracking, anybody's rehearsal spot or you're actually in a real studio, the last thing you want is oh man, like I totally didn't even think of that and now we're kind of stuck here and we're paying all this money for a studio and we're just not doing anything um don't be a jerk I guess that kind of goes along with you know, being cool people um and don't settle leader like I said set your own bar and don't stop working until you get there I think um I think that as a cz much as I want to say don't really worry about comparing yourself to like these million dollar records that you hear you know, they're just like engineering and producing masterpieces I mean at the same time I mean, those are the records that I feel like when I tried to get to those points those are the things that really pushed me toe to try to get to that next level, you know, so that's it as much as I want to say don't worry about those records, you know, if you're the type of person that is inspired by while look how much better that is I want to be there um then you know, don't settle until you get to a point where you're there don't copy settings that kind already talked about that um when I said don't buy expensive mike's I mean, you know, make sure you make sure you're utilizing the gear that you have to its full potential before you start kind of throwing money at expensive things just because you think you should buy them um I don't I wouldn't recommend just buying you know like oh man like well I heard that you know this band used the u forty seven and that's why they're vocal sound sounds good so I should go spend ten thousand dollars on a microphone it's like I'm gonna go sell my car but by unlike phones like no that's ridiculous you know it's like first off take singing lessons that will probably help weigh more than getting an expensive mike um you know are there are way better things that you can do besides spending tons of money if you're at the level where you know you're you're kind of like a a lower budget home studio it's like the microphones aren't really going to help as much as the gear itself you know and hopefully I've kind of shown some of that today in the sense of you know like you know, tracking things with like a bunch of fifty seven's you know or like on that kit at apogee you know like showing the difference with fifty seven overheads and eighty seven overheads like that was pretty hopefully some people should look at that and say oh wow that's that's pretty crazy I don't need to spend thirty eight hundred dollars on a pair of overhead at this point in my life um don't give up like I was saying, just just keep going. Don't settle. Um and I think that kind of wraps it up. Is there any questions at all from anyone? Have a couple questions. We have one question. What are your thoughts on analog summing into use any something mixers, air amplifiers, or even a budget mixer to use to some and had headroom to the mix? Would you ever do that? Okay, yeah. Um so I mean, I know. Is it ok to kind of get out of gorilla world for a little bit if these questions or kind of you know what your towards that? I mean, if the question is about me personally, yes, I do use a something mixer in the sense of I have, like, a seventies harrison console. So, like, you know, the same council they used for, like, thriller and all those rad records I have that same console, it's it's. Kind of. My particular board is like a cross between, like, a the pre empt that I have another modified priam, so they kind of sound like a cross between an even a p I see you have kind of like the speed and the punch of the fbi, but you have the big thickness and saturation of a naive, um and I also have some modifications that I've done so it's pretty it's pretty awesome console so running things through there I wouldn't say that I necessarily get more headroom I would say that I get a little bit more saturation out of the mix being ableto you know, kind of like what we were talking about earlier if you look at you know when you're saturating the pre empts on like those near tracks you know it's it's by no means any louder likas faras so and especially when you're getting into mixing side of things, the saturation can really help because your peak level you know, within your master fader you've got the ceiling and you can't go above it so anything you can do to get the overall level of everything up that's going to make you makes feel louder the same as when we were slamming that snare it was like, well, the original stare that's not hitting the pri of heart is actually speaking louder than the saturated snare but saturated snare just feels and sounds way louder um so that's what you're able to kind of get out of those things but yeah, there are some cool something boxes I think that the shadow hills one they have is great um spl ah company the same company that makes the transient designer if you guys are familiar with that they make a great something mixer but you know, you're getting into kind of, like, price your stuff, um, but I do think those air really cool, it takes a lot to put these courses on s o we have some thank you's that I want to go through real quick, and we're really grateful so everybody at creative live that makes it possible for these courses toe happen, a lot of preparation goes into them, and we have a full crew behind the scenes working, so we're really grateful for that. In addition, all the artists that submitted work pig snout and our parliament both great bands, so check them out as well and low there. Do I see my brother, who is in the studio with me right now, who we've been tracking all day? Fantastic band, be sure to check them out as well we're really grateful for them and last but not least I have to think bo you for being here, it's been awesome, having you here a creative live and we really appreciate you coming all the way up and hanging out with us for two days and sharing your knowledge. It's it's been awesome to also we have specter studios and for the back line for the some of the gear I want to especially thank them for bringing that stuff into

Class Description

Find out exactly what you need to get a great recording on a super tight budget in Guerrilla Recording with Beau Burchell.

Beau is a vocalist, guitarist, producer, and founding member of Saosin – his discography includes credits on songs from The Bronx, From First to Last, and The Bled. In Guerrilla Recording, Beau will show you how to walk into any recording situation and make the most of it.

Whether you are making do with with 1 mic, 3 mics, or a fully staffed studio – Beau will help you focus in on the details that will really make a difference on your track. You’ll learn best practices for recording vocals, guitars, drums, and bass on the cheap. Beau will also talk about workflow and how to listen to your track to make sure you captured the best sound.

You don’t need a big budget and high dollar equipment to get a quality recording. Learn the gear and techniques you need to get the sound you want.

Featuring a live studio tracking session with Beau and Seattle band Lo, There Do I See My Brother


a Creativelive Student

A lot of great info here! Awesome getting to see Beau's workflow and hear his thoughts on the methods he uses. Would love to see him do a class on micing guitars, bass and show his methods in more detail/time. He gets some of the best raw tones in the game. Feel like this was more of a great overview and would like more time for details seeing as he is a very knowledgeable dude. Thanks Beau for the great class and for sharing this info with us.