In the spirit of sharing what I’ve learned making my own music, I’m sharing this short story of how the recording process happened for The Valley EP. Keep in mind that I’m just a guy with some friends who were kind enough to help me. Read at your own risk…
I began recording demos of the songs at my house. It’s a simple setup: a Rode NT2A into an Apogee Duet straight into my laptop using Logic. My great friend, Mark McDowell, is a drummer in a band called Death & Desire with Trevor LaChapelle. Mark kept urging me to work with them because they really wanted to help me out. Trevor LaChapelle has done all of the production for Death & Desire’s albums and recent video (check it out here). The production quality is so fantastic and Trevor was able to do all of this with a budget of almost nothing; just a lot of hard work. So the thought of Trevor producing my album was really exciting.
We began the process by importing all of my demos into Trevor’s home studio to see what elements we could use, if any. His home studio is based around Sonar. We recorded basic tracks; vocals and guitars there. His mic/preamp collection is pretty sweet. His favorite mics for this project were: Groove Tube GT55 and AM52 as well as an AT Pro37. His preamps were: LA 610, Chameleon and Aphex 207. So his recording chain is fantastic! We also recorded some drums and all bass at his place.
The primary musicians on the project were: Me, Mark McDowell, Joe Neria with extra help from Wes Burrows and Trevor LaChapelle
Travor also does some Audio Post Production at a video production facility in the Kansas City area called Outpost. There he uses a Pro Tools rig and they have a small vocal booth. So we recorded some vocal and guitar there. He just rolled in his preamps and we went to work. But one of the cool things about a video production facility is that they tend to have HUGE soundstages so we had to do some drums in there! Here’s a video of Mark McDowell playing drums for the song Keep Normal in the soundstage. Fantastic big drum sound!
Once all tracking was complete, Trevor brought all tracks back to his home studio and back into Sonar for mixdown. He mixed and mastered the project there and delivered an EP that I’m very proud of…
What’s your process for recording indie music?