We finished up tracking drums yesterday.

(You’ll hear more about that another day.)

My drummer Tim said something interesting towards the end of the day. And it’s something we could all stand to have tattoo’d on our foreheads (at least while we’re working in the studio).

We were changing out some drums for the last two songs.

We had been using this one particular kick drum for most of the songs, but Tim has this big honkin’ 26-inch kick drum he was wanting to use on two of the songs.

So we saved those until last.

While we were changing out the kick, this obviously meant we had to move some mics around, which meant that they would most likely not be in the ideal position once we finished.

SO…we had to essentially re-position the kick drum mics to make sure they weren’t out of phase with each other.

Then, since we had to move one of the toms to make room for the big honkin’ kick drum, we had to re-position the snare and tom mics to makes sure they were all in phase with one another (equidistant from the overheads).

As we were doing all this, that’s when Tim said it:

“If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it right.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

It would’ve been easier to just keep tracking with the same kick/snare combo we’d been using for the last 10 songs.

It would’ve been easier to just quickly set up the new drums and hit record without checking to make sure the mics were positioned properly.

And it’s the same with ANYTHING you do in the studio.

For example…

– If you’re recording something with a microphone, take the time to make sure you’re using the right mic and putting it in the right place.

– IF you’re recording a bass direct, take the time to make sure you’re using the RIGHT bass with all the right tone settings for that particular song.

– IF you’re recording guitar, take the time to check the tuning on the guitar between takes.

– If you’re mixing, take the time to listen to your mix in mono or on a crappy set of speakers.

And if you’re using EQ, take the time to make sure you’re using it the right way. If not, you could be “undoing” all that hard work you put into the recording process.

It’s all right here:


Joe “Getting it Right at the Source” Gilder

6 Responses to ““If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it right.””

  1. James

    I have to stop and remind myself of this all the time, even when I was building my studio, it would have so much easier just to throw it together and start recording, but I said if I was going to do it, I would do it once and do it right. Pretty half I did take the time now because it’s so much easier to work in.

    James – http://www.mkaiaudio.tk

    • Joe Gilder

      As long as people don’t take FOREVER to get their studio. There’s due diligence and then there’s just stalling. 😉

      • James

        Agreed. Would be easy to just put it off and never really record anything. I think that’s the hardest thing to put across to people. Take your time when recording etc and do it right, but don’t dwell on things for too long if they aint going to benefit you much.

        • Fritz Ashley

          Joe, will this new album that your recording with Tim going to be in the next Production Club series?  If so can you spend a little more time on “Getting it Right at the Source”, mic distance, mic preferences, phase, room and so forth?  I have seen Graham’s video and its great, but I would really like to see both you and Tim’s knowledge and point of view in action.


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