From the Multitrack Recording Process
is a multiple choice question: a multi-track recording is:
A process of layering and blending different recordings together.
This approach is practical and often necessary if you do not have
enough space available to have a lot of instruments playing a
score all at the same time.
A pain in the neck! Actually it’s a pain in the everything!
answer is, of course, a), unless you’re a real hothead. In
that case, both answers are perfectly acceptable. Rest assured,
however, that if you keep a cool head, the multi-track recording
process is rather simple and kind of fun.
are advantages and disadvantages to this type of recording technique.
Some of the pluses are:
detailed one on one work with the instrumentalist that is involved
in the individual track recording;
cost savings at not having to hire an outside studio with a larger
easy scheduling of performers for recording sessions.
An instrumentalist will enjoy playing into a
while listening to the music that he/she is adding a track to. The
performer listens through headphones while playing into a microphone
in a soundproof environment. I find this type of atmosphere friendly
and enjoyable, as the performer has the added comfort of knowing
that they can do a number of takes until all parties are satisfied.
type of work can easily be done in a home studio format. It requires
very little space as only one performer is playing at any given
moment. At this stage of the game, the overhead cost is minimal.
terms of scheduling, it is often difficult to get an ensemble together
all at once. Musicians have busy and erratic schedules. Multi-track
recordings allow you to call in musicians for recordings one at
a time on a need per basis. This makes scheduling a breeze.
are some of the disadvantages associated with multi-tracking:
spontaneity is often lost in this type of recording technique;
parts don’t often blend together emotionally.
above two bullet points are important. When recording live, the
pressure of a whole ensemble playing together is part of what gives
emotional life and vitality to a performance. Professional ensembles
will rise to the occasion spiritually if the pressure is there.
brings us to emotional balance. It is far more
likely that you will get an uninspired track in multi-track processing.
This is why most studios prefer live bands to play through their
compositions as if they were in a live concert.
is a studio environment that accommodates for both live and multi-track
recording simultaneously. Some professional studios have a number
of soundproof rooms that performers can be placed in. The ensemble,
armed with instruments and headphones, will then play together.
In this way, a composer/editor will get that live feeling of the
performance combined with complete multi-track editing