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Online Recording Studios - A New Player in the Music Industry
The World of Drum Recording
Many people today, especially in home studios where you often have only two inputs to record at once, record their songs one track at a time. Most people starting a home studio can easily acquire the basic engineering skills needed to record vocals, guitars, keyboards and bass. Recording an acoustic drum set on the other hand is perhaps the biggest challenge a recording engineer has to face when recording a single instrument - mainly because drums aren't really a single instrument. Especially in Rock, each drum will often require its own microphone in order to capture its full depth and "punch" quality so highly desired in hard-hitting rock anthems.
A multi-channel recording system, lots of expensive microphones, acoustic room treatment and knowing where to place microphones and how to get the best out of the equipment make recording drums a highly expensive and complex endeavor.
If one decides to record drums at a studio, they will find themselves paying through the nose for a recording engineer and a professional drummer. Bands often don't have the budget to pay for hours of studio time required for their drummer to nail a decent take. Even if the drummer is well versed in the songs when playing gigs, recording in the studio is different in many ways and requires its own experience.
Online drum recording services such as DrumsForYou.com provide a refreshing alternative. Maintaining a studio dedicated to the sole purpose of recording drums, online drum recording provides a simple and quick method of getting a solid drum track.
For those venturing into a studio for the first time, it can be very intimidating not knowing how big the hole in your pocket will be at the end of the day. In online recording studios, a high volume of customers keeping the studio busy recording drums daily allows the service to offer a fixed price rather than charge by the hour. There is no need to collaborate a schedule of meetings with musicians and producers. As soon as one track is finished there is no problem in getting on to the next one.
How Does It Work?
You may ask yourself, how can someone record drums the way I want them without me there to play along, guide and explain what I need?
The answer is – free preview.
This feature is made practical thanks to the special traits inherent to an online recording service. The entire process will usually begin with the user filling out a form specifying parameters such as how they'd like their drums played, at what sample rate they need the track to be recorded and a choice from several snare drums to play. Then the customer is asked to send an mp3 file with a sketch of their track without drums on the left side and a matching click track on the right. The service is then obliged within a certain amount of time to send a preview mix of the drum track over the song. If the customer for some reason doesn't like what they hear, they can ask for changes or scrap the track without paying. If they do like what they hear, upon payment they may choose between online or CD delivery of the full separate tracks as well as a suggested stereo mix.
With this feature, you have nothing to lose by trying. You know exactly how much you'll have to pay, you'll know exactly when you'll get it and you'll know exactly what you're paying for before you need to make your decision. In a studio, being charged by the hour, you take a lot of risks, because you pay for time spent regardless of the result.
The experience and versatility attained by drummers who record parts for songs every day also means they'll probably nail the track the first time. Most people aren't really that picky about having their drums played a certain way and will often trust the drummer's judgment to play what they believe fits best with the sketch provided by the customer.
Who May Benefit from Online Recording?
This unique service can be very useful for budding musicians and bands struggling on their own and professional musical producers alike.
Producers will appreciate the speed and professional quality delivered by this service. Because it's so quick, they effectively won't lose time by trying the service, so their options remain open to go the traditional way if needed.
Thanks to the ever advancing computer industry home studios have become very commonplace these days. They are relatively cheap, easy to build and maintain. Therefore, many budding musicians already have the tools they need to record their sketch and use this service. Until recently, they've had to compromise the live feel of their recordings by using drum loops and samples. Online drum recording services finally allow them to mend what has been until now a consistently weak link in their chain.
Finding talented musicians dedicated to one's cause is also nothing to be sneezed at. Having a demo for your songs that sounds good enough to be on a record can help your wanted-ads on the internet stand out from the crowd. You may find yourself attracting more people to work with you in two weeks than you managed to do in two years.
Not Just Drums
It doesn't stop at drums either. DrumsForYou.com, despite its name, provides services for recording bass, guitars and keyboards as well as drums. Granted that equipment becomes less of an issue when recording these instruments, the expertise of a professional player combined with the speed and no-risk policy of online recording makes these services very attractive.
Musicians trying to produce a good track on their own will probably sing their own track, or have a singer, and play one instrument that they know well. Yet many guitar players like to try playing their own bass, only to find it doesn't sit as tight with the bass drum as they'd like. They would have to choose between keeping their part or take their chances hiring a musician. With online recording, you just order a bass track preview and most chances are you'll have the problem solved.
Indeed, online recording services could very well be the shape of things to come in how music is produced. As the infrastructure of the internet expands and advances globally, online recording services will also advance. For example, it will be possible to hear a recording session online, give comments and even play together in real time from anywhere in the world with low latency. Soon after that you will also be able to see each other. Musicians will effectively be able to rehearse, record and even perform online.
The Bottom Line
Sitting in a fully equipped studio with experienced personnel, including a producer, recording engineer and professional drummer obviously has its advantages. At the end of the day, however, most people look for bang-for-buck solutions – amateurs and professionals alike. Using free preview to solve most of the problems that could arise from not being face to face with the client, online recording services provide a viable solution that fits the bill for all but those who are not willing to compromise on having their own musician play the part note for note.
I highly recommend paying a visit to DrumsForYou.com and taking a venture into online recording. After you do, you may find yourself wondering how you got along without it.
This article was posted on September 30, 2005