Getting used to new workflows sucks

I have two songs in the works and trying to record them has been a pain in the ass. Partly because getting motivated to start is one of the hardest parts of any project and partly because changing how you work introduces a lot of room for mistakes.

Today I recorded three solid tracks and when I played them back I noticed they sounded like they were being recorded on a mic set up in another room. I checked the inputs on my DAW and saw I was recording one amp using the input for the mic set up for the amp next to it. I had just recently changed my mic cables and simplified the inputs so that each mic would correspond to an amp in the order it was laid out on the live room floor from left to right and with progressively longer cables.

Well, my mistake. First I was recording with the studio monitors on at full blast so I was effectively doubling the sound (but in mono) and then I realized I had messed up my inputs.

By the time I realized it I was ready to call it a night. The silver lining is that I at least was able to make headway on the arrangement to the point that it’s now just about complete.

It’s been a long time since I recorded live amps in a room so this is tough. I first learned the basic techniques in 2016 and then recorded my first LP live in 2018. Since then every record I’ve recorded was done in the box on headphones with guitars running through load boxes and into cab sims because my wife and I had a baby in early 2019 and I’ve had to keep things quiet for the last 4 years. Now that I have my own space, separate from the main house that I can be as loud as I want in I have to learn the ropes again. And now I’ve got a proper studio with a live room and control room so it’s been a challenge to figure out a way to be efficient and minimize running back and forth between rooms. Before everything was all in one single room that was never more than 10 feet across. Now there’s around 500 square feet of space to navigate, enough for an entire band to play together.

In the end, the thing I’m learning is that showing up, putting in the work, and serving the song will bring you across the finish line. Mistakes are frustrating but they happen along the way. And for me, someone who loves to experiment, some of my mistakes have actually led to discovering some cool sounds by accident.

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