Today was unlike any recording session I have experienced thus far. I finally got to see a full band session, instead of just one or two artists coming in to record on top of what they have already done. On top of being a milestone for that reason, it was also my first time truly seeing the recording console, as well as the tape machine in use. I have seen tape machines before, but they were only for mixing or for converting to digital, but now I have seen a tape machine record live music.
The band strictly wanted to use tape, no digital recording at all, so we turned on the 24-track machine kept in the corner of the back room. As soon as the band came in, I helped bring in drums into the studio, and plugged in some microphones for the recording. The band wanted minimal microphones in a close atmosphere, in order for the music to sound live and blended together and not overly produced and isolated. We only used three tracks for the drums (one microphone on the kick, and two microphones on either side of the drum kit), and one track for each the bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and vocals, still keeping a track for the room microphone.
Here is what the 24-track machine looked like.
Over the course of the day, the band only recorded two songs. The first song took most of the day, as we recorded four takes of it. The longest part of recording was testing all of the levels and figuring out how to end the song, and other cues just the same.
I spent most of the day running out to hand musicians guitar tuners, guitar straps, and cords. I truly felt like an intern, running around to hand people equipment. The lead singer of the band thanked me for all the help I gave, and so I consider the internship-esque errands to be worth it. All in all, it was a great day at the studio.