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In Reply to: Multi-Instramentalist time juggling posted by Ian on October 23, 2000 at 02:55:16 AM:
The boon and bane of recording at home is time itself; you have the freedom to work more or less when you please, but you also have the ability to endlessly tweak, second-guess, and say "It's not quite there yet." And it depends how much you have at stake. And you've got to balance the performances with the end product, too; I would personally never be happy with a lackluster song with a "killer solo."
Play to your strengths. To say I have "skills" when it comes to multi-instrumentalism is stretching quite a bit. Usually I keep everything centered around my best instrument (guitar), which actually maintains the rhythm. When I didn't have a drummer available, I would actually record kick drum by kneeling on the floor and pumping out the kick with my hand, then go back and do "all the drums on top." Uh, it didn't always work! I have carried this philosophy into drum-machine land; my machine almost always sounds best when I overdub it "live," pecking out a beat with my fingers. (Which must look totally geeky).
With keyboards I'm able to fake it by recording a part in advance, slowing it down to play, then speeding it back to tempo in a sort of poor-man's midi process. That works great.
If I were recording on the clock in a pro studio, I'd be very concerned with performance--but that's because I wouldn't be thinking about mic placements, knob settings, etc. But when home recording, I've always been willing to trade a spot-on performance for something that allows me to stay in the moment more. That's how my best ideas come out. I don't like to belabor a project too much. If you are getting better results from practicing then recording each instrument separately, then that's a good discipline. But if you're losing interest or becoming too frustrated, you may want to mix it up a bit more. In fact it's nice to do some mixing to get away from recording, and vice versa!