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Lessons From My Band’s Single #3) Limit Your Options

February 5, 2014

This is part of a segment of lessons I learned from recording Layton Harper Band’s cover of “Oceans.” Here’s part one and two

We a had nice open space to record drums. We added a room mic for awesomeness.

We a had nice open space to record drums. We added a room mic for awesomeness.

The third take-away from the recording session was simple but hard to apply: Limit your options.

Some of you might be protesting that last statement. “What? Did you just say ‘limit‘? How dare you ever suggest I limit myself!”

I get ya, but hear me out. In this case, limiting yourself is a good thing. Because it gives you more focus.

What am I blabbing about? Well, let’s look at recording the drums.

The drummer for the session, we’ll call him Kristian, is an awesome drummer. So I knew it would be easy to record him.

If there’s one subject I’ve studied more than anything recording-wise, it’s drums. I love drums and I love drum sounds. You can bet that every time I get in front of drum kit with some mics in my hand I want to go crazy. There are so many ways to record drums and I want to try them all every time. Spaced Pair, Coincident, Recorderman, ORTF – I could go on and on!

But I didn’t.

I limited my options. As much as I wanted to spend all day getting drum sounds, I didn’t have all day. I had work to get done so I tried only two and picked the best one. Boom. It sounded good, Kristian liked it, and we went with it. Guess what? Still sounds good.

If I hadn’t limited my options, I’d still be trying to decided between the best technique. Too many options can slow us down, so give yourself two/three and get to work. 

At the end of the series of posts, I’ll attach the finished LHB song. You’ll be able to “hear” what I’m talking about.

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