To Metronome or Not to Metronome, That is the Question

To Metronome or Not to Metronome, That is the QuestionThe use of a metronome in studio is one of great debate. I am sure that you have heard of musicians talking about it or, at the very least, talked about it yourself. It is my opinion that when you go into studio, you do what you are comfortable with. If you are comfortable using a metronome and it help you be perfect, use it. If you are not comfortable and your playing suffers, don’t. It’s that simple.

I look at all the great musicians of the past. They didn’t use metronomes in there recordings. They let their passion take over and created great, organic music. Plus, they were great musicians. Able to create music on the spot, play it perfectly in only of few takes, and here’s the kicker, it was on time. If you don’t believe me, take any old song from the 50’s or 60’s and listen to it and you will see what I’m talking about.

I think we musicians today have gotten lazy with our playing. Sure, we may have gotten more technical and faster in the way we play, but we can’t nail it in a couple takes. It takes us all day to get a single part completed. If it is real difficult part, we may only play it perfectly once and copy it over and over until we don’t need to copy it anymore. This is why our recordings take so long. What took our forefathers only a few days, if not hours, will take us weeks or months.
If you are going to use a metronome in recording, make sure you practice playing to it. Don’t assume that you can play to a metronome just because you may have played for 15 years. You will learn very quickly that your skills may not be good enough.

But like I said, if you can’t play to a metronome and it will cause the performance to suffer, don’t use it. Don’t feel like you are a poor musician because you can’t use it and your band mates can. Remember, recording is about perfection infused with feeling and passion. If you can do that without the metronome, perhaps it is you that is the better musician after-all.

Feel free to add your thoughts about metronome use in the comments. Lets create a great debate about this!

Where should I record my music?

Where should I recordThis is the great question many musicians ask themselves before going into any recording project. Many people tend to believe that the best place to record is at a recording studio. This may not always be the case. But if you are intent on recording in a studio, here are some things to keep in mind before heading into studio.

Many factors go into recording and the place that you record is but a small percentage of what goes into the recording process. Some things that you have to keep in mind when choosing a recording studio are things like: Does the studio space itself produce the sound that you want? Is the skill of the engineer sufficient enough for how I want this to sound? Is the cost in my price range?

It is always a good idea when choosing a recording house and engineer to get samples of LIKE SOUNDING music that was made by the engineer that you are going to use and/or in the recording house you want to use. It does you no good if you are an acoustic rock band to compare the room sound against a heavy metal or hard rock band.

Also, make sure the recordings are of the exact room that you want to or are going to use. Each room will sound different. Be sure that the sound matches what you have in your vision. As a general rule, the room itself will compose about 20 percent of the overall sound quality even if you are close-miking instruments.

The same rules apply to the engineer as well. It would be of little benefit if the engineer is only skilled at one style of music and it is not your style. You should also know how many years and how much experience the recording engineer has. Do not settle for someone just because they have the gear or the space. This is your sound we are talking about. You want to pick someone that can see the vision you have for your sound and can make the studio work its magic and make that vision happen.

Many of these rules go out the window if you have to record on a budget as may be the case of many musicians out there. But use this as a guide and you are well on your way to creating a good sounding piece of music.

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Colorful Rhythm’s Second Album Release

megapixy

MegaPixy Cover Art

We are pleased to announce the next album release by our artist Colorful Rhythm. Their album, MegaPixy, will be released by Nova Sun Records on February 25th. MegaPixy is Colorful Rhythm’s second full length album released under Nova Sun Records.

Colorful Rhythm’s music has been described as “Imaginative surreal synergy of instrumental and vocal music, with an enchanting mix of influences.”

MegaPixy is a step away from Colorful Rhythm’s debut self titled album, on sale now. MegaPixy is described as along-distance collaboration with shadowy parties best left unnamed. Jangling guitars, pounding drums, and uncanny electronic howls fuse with Colorful Rhythm’s trademark ethereal vocals and pianistic flourishes in these iridescent crystals of song-craft. Colorful Rhythm and her henchman will show you their outsiders’ view of an alien Midwest, from the kaleidoscopic towers of Chicago to the lunar snow-fields of North Dakota.

Check out our YouTube video from a track off of MegaPixy called, “The Crystal Fist of Januray.”

Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list to receive exclusive access to news from Colorful Rhythm as well as from Nova Sun Records and our signed artist.

Mike Gassett Performs at Reggies Music Joint in Chicago

Mike Gassett Band

Mike Gassett and his Band played in front of a packed crowd Tuesday Night at Reggies Music Joint in Chicago. The reason why the place was so packed, 25 cent JUMBO chicken wings. And because the music was so good!

Mike Gassett Band Experiencing Equipment Problems

Not everything went as planned however. The night was plagued with equipment malfunctions. Most of the problems centered around monitoring problems. For example, Mike’s earpiece monitoring equipment was not functioning without static. Both guitars also had an issue with runaway high end from the mixer. Luckily the problems were easily fixed and the show went off without any more problems.

Mike Gassett

One of the more popular songs of the night was Mike Gassett’s cover of X Gonna Give It To Ya/I’m Not Afraid. It is a mash up of DMX and Eminem played acoustically by Mike Gassett and rapped. Unfortunately for you, no video was taken. So the only way to hear this is go to one of Mike Gassett’s shows.

As luck would have it, Mike Gassett’s next show is at The Abbey Green Room Janurary 25th. Mike Gassett will be performing with Fullerton Transfer, FUE, and Handsome Dave And The Ravens. Doors at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm. Cover only 8 bucks. For more information about The Abbey Green Room click here.

For more pics from this show, be sure to check out our Pinterest page.

The Five Most Important Things Every Band Should Do Before Going To Recording

Recording Sudio1. The most important thing every band should do before going to record is to make sure every band member is on board with recording in the first place. It makes it harder to accomplish any goals if the group cannot determine a direction or have everyone be committed to a common goal. Quickest way to derail a recording is to have a member of the group trying to record without being fully committed to the performance.

In one of my bands, we had decided that we wanted to record an album. Most of us were on board with the idea. The only person that was not whole heartedly on board was our guitarist. We had all of our guitar scratch tracks done and the drums where finished. It was time to record the guitars. Our guitarist was so against the recording that he would come up with any excuse not to record. We heard everything from there is something wrong with my amp to my guitar doesn’t sound right, and my personal favorite, the sky is blue. I can’t make this stuff up!

After weeks of hearing the same excuses, we decided not to record and start to pursue live performances. Mysteriously, once we decided to start doing live shows, his gear seemed to work perfectly. In the time it took him to tell us, in his backward way, he didn’t want to record, we could have been show ready instead of having to waste more time. Watch out for these people.

2. The second most important thing every band should do before going to record is to take stock of your talents and create expectations based on your talent level. You can’t expect to make the next great Metallica-like album if you have only been playing guitar for three months. If you have been playing for 15 plus years, why not challenge yourself and your talents. Create those expectations before going into the studio so you have something to reach for as you practice.

Taking stock of your talents will also help you decide what type of recording to use. A full band “live” recording may be the best approach if you are new to the recording game and don’t have the funds to spend hours in the studio. Live recording also be good if you are a seasoned band and can play the songs blindfolded. Try playing blindfolded, it’s kind of fun! Track for track may be best if you cannot seem to nail that 2nd chorus in one try. Knowing your talent level is huge in determining how to record so don’t skip this step.

3. The third most important thing every band should do before going to record is to decide what you are recording for. Are you recording to get a quick demo made so that you can start peddling it to local bars and clubs? Are you trying to release an album?

Knowing why you are recording will also help determine how our band should record. If you are doing a quick demo, you would obviously not need to spend a lot of time getting ready or even recording for that matter.

Also, ask yourself why you are recording. No one can answer this one for you, but just make sure you are not doing it for all the wrong reasons.

4. The fourth most important thing every band should do before going to record is to determine what songs that you want to use as well as the order of those songs. This will hold true no matter what you are recording for. You don’t want to use weak songs on a demo that can get you that awesome gig just like you don’t want to use weak songs on an album.

Once you have the best songs picked, take time to determine the best order of those songs. Make sure they work well together and create the energy from song to song that you want a potential listener to feel. If the songs don’t work well together, try moving the order around or maybe even cut a song entirely.

This may work best if you were to create a scratch recording of the songs before had. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You could use a video camera, a smart phone, a cassette tape, anything. This is just to hear what the songs sound like together outside of actually playing them with your instruments.

5. The fifth most important thing every band should do before going to record is to make sure your songs are finished. Nothing is worst then trying to make up lyrics or solos in studio.

When I was recording this High School metal band, I told them to write all the solos ahead of time. He decided that he was just going to “wing it” because he wanted to use the feeling of the moment to create the solos. Needless to say, the solos did not turn out well. Have you ever listened to a song and turned it off at a certain part because you can’t stand that one part? That’s basically what happened here.
As for lyrics, how can you expect the crowd to sing along if the words are different every time you play the song? Tell your singer to stop being lazy and finish the lyrics!

Finally, PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Goes without saying!

If you have any funny stories about your recording experience, leave us a comment. The best ones will be shared with all of our fans.