Check out Zero 2 Panics behind the scenes video of tracking at Red Cat!
So it's time to track at Red Cat. Here's how we do it:
We track a lot of bands, with anywhere from 3 to 10 members. Tracking is the first step in making your recording. Red Cat is engineered from the ground up to provide a very relaxed atmosphere. When musicians are comfortable, they play better. Our vibe here is like absolutely no other. It just feels cool. Right down to the color scheme, every aspect matters. At Red Cat, we make it feel like you're not on the clock, we make it feel like you're on the stage.
The first step in these type of projects is recording the drum kit. We use our Live Room for this. Only the drums go in the live room, and only the drums are recorded for keeps at this time. All the other instruments are set up else where in our facility, outside the Live Room. We record these instruments as well, but really, we are only after getting quality sounds from the drums at this point. We'll use multiple microphones, from the Overhead AKG C414s, a Shure Sm57 on the snare (top and bottom), and Sennheiser Md 421s through our API 500 preamps on the Toms. For the Kick Drum, we love the Shure 52 through the Avalon737.
No Guitar or Bass Amplifiers are needed yet. We will plug right into the Red Cat Console for this part. Don't worry, we'll set your Marshall full stack up later. But, go ahead and use all your effect pedals you wish. We still want you to have your sound. Your band will play as a whole, just as you would a live show. Everyone will be monitoring through headphones. This way, we really capture the magic of the live performance, with all the musicians in the pocket, and feeding the vibe to each other.
Now that we have all the drums tracked, its time for overdubbing Guitar parts. Overdubbing is a technique used in audio recording, where a performer listens to an existing recorded performance, usually through headphones, (but not always, our monitors sound incredible) and simultaneously plays a new performance along with it, which is also recorded. The intention is that the final mix will contain a combination of these "Dubs". We'll clear the drums out of the room, and bring in those full stack amplifiers, and mic them up. Our favorite setup is the famous, tried and true Shure SM57, through one of our Avalon 737s. But the Sennheiser MD421 sounds really great through one of our Neves as well, so its nice to take a little time and find the right sound for your particular setup. Depending on the style of music, we may want to track anywhere from two to four guitar tracks, to make them sound larger than life.
So we are happy with guitar parts now. Now its starting to sound like an album. But we're not done yet. Next, we lay down the Bass. For the most part, we will DI (Direct Input) into one of our preamps in the Console. We do have the option to mic up a cabinet as well, but we find we get great results when we DI the bass. Sometimes, the tone and sound comes from the amp and cabinet, so we would definitely want the amp in the Live Room and we would mic up, probably with our Shure 52, through one of the Avalons.
Now, the money maker: Vocals. Hands down the most important part of the process. We love our big guns on this, our Neumann U87. The U87 has been on countless records for more than 50 years. If there is one microphone that has built modern music, this is it. And Red Cat has one. Your Singer will now lay multiple vocal tracks, and we'll get the best of each part, to make a flawless vocal line. This is what sells your music. This is what draws the listener in, and gives them the primal instrument of the human voice to connect to. This just has to be right. We capture the voice in impeccable clarity and brilliance.
Once all the all pieces of music are tracked, its time to mix. At this time, we do not have an album yet. All we have are a bunch of pieces, fragments of an uncompleted project. From here we have two options.
1. We provide you with all of your files, and you are free to do with them as you wish. After all, they are YOUR files. Mix yourself at home, or send out to a third party Mixing Engineer.
2. Choose one of our in-house Mixing Engineers.
Check out "Mixing" in the website menu for more information.