Why do we have to play the same thing again (the first time sounded good enough to me)?

Listening from within the Band may sound very different to how it’s being heard

in the control room – the Production Team may hear something you didn’t. This

could be anything from split notes, bad ensemble, poor intonation or things like

noises that shouldn’t be there (for example mute noise, drum stick clicks, coughs etc).

Additionally, it’s always safer to have at least two copies of everything – just in case

something is missed.

It's all gone quiet. What are you doing in there?

Most likely checking through the score to see which parts need to be repeated or

listening back to something you’ve just recorded. It’s important at this time to keep

instruments warm – it may be several minutes – but don’t tire yourselves out.

Will the drummer/percussion be screened off/in a booth? Why?

It depends who you’re recording with. Acoustic screens can be used to achieve

more isolation of the drums from the main microphones which may be needed to

facilitate the balance. Ideally, you’d like the performers to be self balancing which, to

an extent, negates the need for the screens.

How many takes for each piece?

It depends entirely on the piece, how long it is and how well you play it.

Will we hear something we have recorded today?

Usually. The MD may be frequently asked to listen to sections, and soloists will

normally be asked to comment on the balance of their feature.

The sound check took up about 30 minutes of recording time. Why so long?

Sound checks can occasionally take up this amount of time, particularly if the

venue have chosen is problematic. It’s always better to get a recording right at source

rather than trying to ‘”fix it in the mix”, so in our experience this time is just as

important as time spent recording.

I messed up yesterday. Can we just quickly do that bit again today?

Generally it’s not advisable to split pieces over multiple days, particularly if a reset

has been forced.

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Keith Johnson


0776 6950 170



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