What happens in a typical band recording, mixing, mastering project?

After the initial discussion of the project with the client, the first recording session would be booked. If necessary, this would be a simple recording of guide tracks to be used to cue in the rest of the recording. Although a simple click track will often suffice, a more appropriate ‘human’ feel can be created by using a bare-bones version of the song (clean guitar and vocals) to cue in the rest of the band.

With guide tracks in place, a session can be arranged at the live room for the drums to be recorded. A full multi-track recording of the drumkit parts for the project will be made – it is usually preferable to record at least two versions of each part so that the best ones can be picked during editing back at the studio. If required, the bass guitar parts may also be recorded alongside the drums (usually by DI box so as to avoid acoustic bleeding into the drumkit microphones). Once completed the drum tracks will be transfered to the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) in the studio and prepped for the next session

Rhythm guitar and/or keyboard parts are usually addressed in the next recording session. As well a Yamaha Motif ES hardware synth, BLS has several direct recording options for electric guitar (Tech 21 PSA-1, Yamaha DG, Roger Linn AdrenaLinn II) as well as a valve head into a mic’ed speaker cab in the isolation booth – but bands are welcome to bring their own gear if desired.

The singer would usually be the last to the studio for the capture of vocal parts. BLS has a choice of warming classic valve tones or clean solid-state preamps to compliment a range of industry standard microphones. The iso-booth is acoustically treated to allow vocals and other overdubs to be captured with clarity and focus.

Depending upon the depth and level of the project, additional instrumental overdubs, solos etc. may also need to be added. Some projects may also require longer sessions to allow creative mic’ing and experimentation in the recording process.

With all the necessary raw tracks recorded, the next step is to edit them as necessary (trimming unwanted noise, compiling the best takes from multiple parts) and mix the material to create a stylish and cohesive stereo piece of music. With experience in various styles of recorded music and a dedicated approach to each individual project, Blue Lizard Studio will create a fully automated mix employing a range of audio processing from high-quality software plug-ins to industry standard hardware units. All mixes will be treated with objectivity whilst being sympathetic to the conventions of the intended style of music, and if the client has any express wishes or intentions for the finished version, these will be taken into account in producing the mix.

Completed mixdowns would then be mastered to create a final audio CD version. Mastering is a necessary process in ensuring that the balance and level of a completed audio project are of a commercially competitive quality and suitable for mass duplication and release. Final masters are authored using Plextor CD/DVD writers onto Taiyo Yuden blank media. Once this process is tested (all final masters are tested for C1, C2 and CU errors using Plextools Professional software) and completed, the client will be contacted and informed that their project is finished.