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Thread: Recording drums

  1. #1

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    Hi all! I have a drum recording question. How common are punch in's in drum tracks? Like someone does the first verese of a song and then they get to the chours and then the drummer makes a mistake. Is it pretty common for the drummer to stop and punch in at the start of the chours or is it more common for a drummer to just start over and just play the track from start to finish until they get it right?

    Every recording experience I've ever had its been get it right from start to finish. But I was talking to a friend of mine who has done some drum recording for his band and he was telling me about how his drummer had to punch in on a part of the song to get it right. I know guitar players do this all the time but I don't know if I've ever seen a drummer do it.

    Also, how common is it for people to go in after a drum track has been recorded and then adjust the tempo through something like protools? I've never had this done on any tracks that I've recorded and to be honest I don't know how I would feel about having that done if my tempo was really off in a section of a song. I would just want to re-record it. But I know that there are people that would just want to fix it in the computer to save time and or money. But I think I would feel uncomfortable knowing that I did not play the part right and it was fixed by a machine.

    What is everyones thoughts on these things?

  2. #2

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    I've tried punching in and out of my backing tracks and it was a royal pain. If can't match the dynamics of the original take, I'll start over. My professional studio experience is limited but I record on a weekly bases at a friends home recording studio where time is unlimited and no money pressure to deal with.

  3. #3

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    Punch ins were more common when they were using tape . But now they use Pro Tools on a computer . All the do now is cut and paste . The drummer doesn't even have to have good time or dynamics anymore ... that can all be fixed by the engineer . I've gone in and "recorded" in midi studios on pads using one set of sounds , then after a few days I go back to hear the final mix and the sounds are nothing like I remember and the ending has been extended or they added one more chorus ! Cut and paste !

  4. #4

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    Back in the days of tape we tracked the entire song to cop the feel. Then we punched in to tweak the "imperfections" or to replace fills and stuff. These days, it's usually software/firmware driven allowing the recording engineer to assemble and/or tweak a recorded drum track digitally into whatever he wants without the drummer even being around.

    I remember a recording session that I did back in the 80's that required an alto sax given the high key of the song. However, the sax player only brought his tenor sax to the session. The recording engineer didn't want to wait for him to come back another day to record his alto tracks so he slowed the tempo of the song down so that it was in the tenor's key, the sax player recorded his parts on the tenor, and the engineer sped the song up so that it was back in the original key and the tenor sounded like an alto. Blew me away ...
    Last edited by dangermoney; 01-03-2017 at 09:32 PM.

  5. #5

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    I did one punch in on the RDM cd and remember doing one on the second Muckraker disc with success. Sometimes it's just easier to try a punch in.

    I've always had a head start leading up to the actual punch in part. Punch in's conserve time and most of all money. Playing a song over and over until it's almost perfect is fine if there's an unlimited budget of time and money

    i don't like doing more than 2 takes of one song. 3 tops unless there's a total train wreck on all 3
    Last edited by slinky; 01-04-2017 at 11:59 PM.
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  6. #6

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    I'm all about acoustic drums on stage,in clubs in recording live situations,but in a studio I would have a nice set of Roland's in the corner. Would save a lot of hassle and time. With technology the way it is today, a lot easier.The average Joe Blow listening to the music wouldn't know if the drums electric or acoustic.
    Last edited by drummerMD; 01-05-2017 at 01:06 AM.

  7. #7

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    I’ve definitely experienced having to be punched in on sessions, however I find more often than not I will just play the whole song from start to finish a few times and the engineer will pick the best parts from each take. I’m quite happy with that process as at least I know I actually played the parts correct, even if it wasn’t all in one single take.

    I also would’t like it if someone just auto-corrected and quantised all of my parts. I like hearing ‘imperfections’ in peoples playing, I think that’s were individuality can lye. When I say imperfections I don’t mean blatant mistakes, but more individual feel, playing behind/infront of the beat etc.

  8. #8

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    I prefer to play the whole thing through. It helps me with the "feel" of the song.
    Six piece birch Mapex kit, a Black Panther Blade snare drum, Sabian cymbals, and Vater Drumsticks.

  9. #9

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    It depends on where the mistake occurs. If it's in the first two measures the re-take it. If it's towards the end do a punch-edit. In the middle it's a coin flip.

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  10. #10

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    Prefer punch ins. Mostly because..............time is money.

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