Recording Experimentation

We have been having a great time playing live shows! Lately though we have been pondering doing some studio-style recordings of some of our songs. We are not yet ready to tackle recording a full album – we’re not finished writing all the songs, for one. But we would like to try our hand at recording a few of our songs just the same. Maybe as singles or for an EP.

Doing so will give us a taste of a few challenges we didn’t have on our first album. Recording our chip-synths hasn’t changed much, but everything else has an acoustic and open-mic element which is both exciting and daunting at the same time. For this go-around, we decided to try a few approaches:

First, doing a live-style direct to stereo recording off our mixer. This would be much like a live show but with some modifications to our setup (we could use condenser mics, for instance). It’ll capture the best essence of the band, though it also means the result will be the most raw. It does open up the possibility to do a full analog recording while keeping things affordable, however.

Second, doing more like a “Live Studio” recording wherein we still play together live, but multitrack the recording, instead of the two-track approach noted above. This would be a digital recording (we can’t afford a multitrack analog setup or studio time right now). That’s a bit less fun, but will still capture much of the essence while giving us some room to work on some post production aspects.

The third is doing the cheatiest modern approach we can which is to track each instrument directly and do a lot of digital post-processing, mixing/mastering. It’ll likely sound the most professional, but also the most sterile and boring. I’ll go on record as being not a fan of this approach and, in fact, I don’t think any of us really are. It’s also somewhat cumbersome to track instruments this way and it captures really none of the band as the band. Far too many recordings are done this way these days. But, for completeness, it’s something we are looking at.

After all, the end result is meant to be a pleasing set of sounds that have a bit more quality than just a straight live show. Regardless, whichever method we choose now will likely shape how we approach the full album in the future. It gives us tangibles to work towards in terms of equipment we may need to procure, etc. Granted, if we somehow could amass the funds to record the album in a real studio (preferably using a tape-based method), we totally would. But keeping within the current realm of possibilities, the above is what we are looking to try.

Worry not – all this is in addition to our continued writing of songs and live shows. We have no live shows on the docket at the moment, but hope to have something put together for a show here soon!


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