Full band production for all songs

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  • @thelostcartographer  Jan 22

    I'm going to attempt full band demos (drums, bass, guitar, keys, solos, backup vocals, etc) for all 14 songs this year.

    Looks like @bootlegger is going to attempt the same.

    Who else? I feel like we'll need a support group - there's a lot of work to do.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 22

    Excellent! There's a few of us here who tend to do full-on productions. I think the most tracks I've ever used for something during FAWM or 50/90 was in the high 20s...

  • @guatecoop  Jan 22

    Yup, I’m certainly one to do all full productions. I love it because it forces me to make choices and go for it. I may miss studio perfection by varying degrees, but there are times when I get really close or end up with results that I love. Let me know how I can help!

  • @guatecoop  Jan 22

    @thelostcartographer altherough I rely on others to do vocals or they just stay instrumental.

  • @elesimo  Jan 22

    I'm in! Well, I do mostly instrumentals, so I focus on the production aspect. My songs usually have drums, bass, synths, guitar, pads and more.

    How about using #fullband for the songs?

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Jan 22

    Yes! Though, I'm not planning on doing drums/guitars/bass/keyboards/bgvs for EVERY song. Some songs will be one mic one take. Some will be cut and paste. Some will be full band.

    But I have FUN adding all those layers...so, for sure I will do SOME of that this fawm. πŸ˜€

  • @bootlegger Jan 22

    Yeah this is a great idea for a support group. I excited to get going but it's gonna be a lot of work for sure. Luckily I'm not one to use 100s of tracks on a project. It's rarely over 30 and I don't do any kind of melodyne work or pitch correction which is really tedious.

  • @carleybaer  Jan 22

    I'm with @stevenwesleyguiles, some of my songs will likely be simple vox/instrument but I loooooove getting my producer hat on and filling out the sonic space so I'll definitely be doing as much of that as I can.

  • @coolparadiso  Jan 22

    I will for the first few days, then i am away so it will go to the extreme.

  • @thelostcartographer  Jan 22

    Great idea @elesimo - #fullband sounds good to me!

  • @toms  Jan 22

    If full means a guitar, bass, and drums, yep. πŸ˜€ This year I'm going to work on the mixing part of the production!

  • @zecoop  Jan 22

    Some of mine might need simpler if the song demands it but all of mine are full productions. I love the building and mixing parts

  • @dasbinky  Jan 22

    If it doesn't have 20 tracks with 75 plugs-ins, it's not actually a song.
    Yes, I'm kidding. But only a little. πŸ˜‰
    I'll do a few one-take things or just guitar-vox, but counting multi-track drums, I'll be trending towards 15 or 20 tracks more often than not. I got into songwriting as an excuse to play with audio engineering.

  • @thelostcartographer  Jan 22

    I generally do a bunch of skirmishing - I'm thinking I won't be able to get everything recorded in the hour, but I'll make sure to come back and flesh it out.

  • @dragondreams  Jan 22

    Mine are usually full band plus extras. πŸ˜‰

  • @sph  Jan 22

    #fullband ? Ok, I'm in. At least sometimes.

  • @torniojaws  Jan 22

    Yup, I've done that every year on "all" (minus ambient-y things) songs πŸ˜€

  • @tesla3090  Jan 22

    Working with electronic music means every song is pretty much a full-band production. πŸ˜€ It's not that bad, but it does mean that you probably won't be one of those FAWMers who churns out 20+ songs every Feb.

  • @standup  Jan 22

    I do different things on different tunes. There are always some songs with bass, guitars, drums, harmony vocals, leads, whatever else I think it needs. Then there are some where I get the guitars and vocals and quit. And there will probably be a couple of one-take, one-mic affairs. And I want to do the "SM57 Challenge" except for me it's the RE18 challenge.

  • @postcardhelicopters  Jan 22

    The challenge for me would be JUST voice or JUST one instrument. I'm not sure I could write anything without multiple tracks because that's how I always work. I'll make a musical "statement" with one instrument and then see what kind of response that engenders or suggests and that usually means "another instrument replies."

  • @standup  Jan 22

    I also want to do a few weird ones. Ambient noises? Household sounds? Traffic noises?

    I have 5-second and 10-second loop cassette tapes. I want to record some sounds -- guitar? Piano? Drone? Squeaks? and use the loops as part of a tune. You can flip a cassette tape for backwards sounds. I have a 4-track deck, so it could be a mixture of backwards and forwards stuff.

    I want to record an acoustic guitar or banjo or accordion or bells from two rooms away.

    So studio trickery and gimmickry is on my agenda this year.

  • @silvermachine  Jan 22

    Abso-bloody-lutely mate. My pleasure in songwriting is all about ripping out the tired old decor and bunging in an entire warehouse full of lairy
    accessories. A song is not meant to give you a nice little tingle its meant to come atcha like a landslide in a rubbish tip.

  • @bootlegger Jan 23

    @standup that sounds great. Something I'd always kind of wanted to get into was sample work. Maybe I'll find the time to get into that this year a bit as well.

  • @roadreg Jan 23

    I normally do a full band set up (so long as it still counts if you're programming drums rather than using a kit, hah), but this year I also want to do more acoustic one-takes, so it'll probably be a bit of both for me.

  • @elesimo  Jan 23

    @standup I love those ideas for weird recordings!

  • @jerrypettit  Jan 23

    I've always done "full productions" in the sense that I do everything in Band In A Box. I'll look forward to seeing what the rest of you do.

  • @scottlake  Jan 23

    I may do a few. It’s a dangerous proposition because it’s tempting. I’m trying to scale back from there, honestly

  • @jacobeverettwallace  Jan 23

    I'm going to have quite a few massive productions only because I can't help myself once I enter that rabbit hole. I plan on doing some rock/instrumental rock tracks under my side project ( @thesteadfast ) so I've gotta figure out some ways to better manage my time on it all.

  • @jamkar  Jan 23

    Yeah, I would put myself in this group. I also like to balance acoustic with electronic, so that pretty much means lotta production.

  • @kanttila Jan 23

    All my songs are! I can't be happy otherwise.

  • @scottlake  Jan 23

    Well, if it gets down to the wire, Music Memos can get the demo sounding pretty nice with its auto bass and drums accompaniment. Check this out with a crap Yamaha 3/4 guitar. Even followed my speed ups and slowdowns. I can’t believe it’s a free app. What a time to be alive. I knocked this out in barely more than the time it took to record it. https://soundcloud.com/rockstar_not/b...

  • @krayzie003  Jan 23

    I'm concentrating on instrumental EDM which will be fully produced... Hopefully.

  • @boyatheart  Jan 23

    I do full demos and have pretty much always done it that way because it's part of my writing process.
    The production and recording process determines much of the writing with me.
    I do go back after FAWM and redo parts if it is beneficial though, so I don't consider them properly finished when I post them during FAWM (I mix them very quickly for FAWM for obvious reasons).

    There are few of my 2018 FAWM postings left on my soundcloud as an example:

  • @alamous Jan 23

    I tend to super seriously over-do my "demos" 😁 Can be fun, but it certainly takes the focus away from the actual songwriting, but it is FUN!

    Most of my soundcloud is comprised of over-done FAWM demos, if you look at the amount of material, it's pretty obvious that the focus hasn't been on output.

  • @sapient  Jan 23

    Same for me, @boyatheart. It's only by doing full band songs that I get stuff done.

  • @boyatheart  Jan 23

    @sapient Yeah I hear that! And your demos are badass BTW!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 23

    I'll try for a few full productions but my skirmishes will be 1 hour acoustic guitar or banjo with singing.

  • @w1n  Jan 23

    Before FAWM starts I always plan to make some stripped down tunes, thinking that this year I'm gonna make some tunes with just voice and a guitar.
    I almost always fail, instead ending up with full band arrangements ++ I guess more is more and less is less and never shall the two meet as Kipling almost said.

  • @konemake  Jan 23

    I do most of my songs like they would be the final version of the song, including every instrument, vocals etc that it should have. Even though they still are kind of demo quality because lack of time. Sometimes I just do the songs later again starting from scratch and try to fix the problems in previous versions.

    I have this habit basically in everything I do, I try to focus on the big picture first, then work on the details. I was in art school long time ago and that was one of the main things I learned from there.

    I try to do everything I do in such way that if I have quit suddenly at any point, the work would be still somehow finished as it is and there should not be anything obviously missing, even though I would be planning to continue to make it better later. I think it works for me.

  • @sapient  Jan 23

    Ha ha, @boyatheart
    You are too kind!
    But seriously, a bit like @dasbinky, if one of my songs doesn't have around 15 tracks then something weird is happening.... πŸ˜‰

  • @helenseviltwin  Jan 23

    @w1n - I am the opposite. Every year I'm definitely going to make full, great sounding demos of properly thought out songs, then end up posting at least one phone recording

  • @thelostcartographer  Jan 23

    I've usually ended up with a mix of one-take acoustic recordings and bigger production. I think in recent years I've leaned more into the single-take stuff, since it's so easy.

    When writing with just an acoustic guitar, I end up writing a certain sort of song, using certain kinds of harmony in a handful of keys. I'm hoping purposely removing those tools will help push me to write some different kinds of songs.

  • @eargoggle  Jan 23

    Love this idea, I always so some full band songs during FAWM but don't know if I could pull off all of them this way, or that I would want to, since I really like the variety that FAWM pushes on me. Of course, the one thing I can say I've learned in the 4 years I've done this is that everything I say I'm gonna do beforehand gets thrown out the window right around February 2 or 3....so, don't trust anything I say right now!

  • @lvgd09  Jan 23

    A quick biab technique:
    Open a band in a box session and set your tempo. Mute everything except for the drums. Open record audio and make sure it i s set to start at the beginning of the song. Assuming you are setup to record audio, press the record audio and play guitar along with the drums for the whole song. Open the audio chord wizzard and let it figure out the chords. Do the tweaks (details skipped) and send to band in a box. Unmute your biab tracks and it should have done a pretty good job turning a guitar track into a full arrangement. Keep it simple though as this chord wizzard is not a genius. I just tested this technique and it came out better than I thought. Just a test though as I'm not saving that project. Save your song and create midi too. Import your midi and guitar track into your DAW. This can save you a ton of time.

  • @ampersandman  Jan 23

    In the club!
    Just like @thelostcartographer said I'll probably mix in some quick demos to get to 14, but since I plan on doing songs that are intended for a band, I want to make them sound like a band.

  • @pipewrench67  Jan 24

    The chances are likely that my production this year will be aiming at live performance with my band so it's likely that I will work within those parameters and at sketch ideas for a full band. When doing music on my own I tend to fill every space (horror vacui any one?) So my goal here will be full but minimal (playable with a 4 piece).

  • @tawalker  Jan 24

    In past FAWMs, probably between half and two-thirds of my demos have been what you might call "full band" (at least, with bass and drums).

    I'm wondering how it will go this year in that regard, as we're currently in the process of selling our house, and could be moving as soon as during FAWM itself. I do a lot of arranging and recording of my songs on my iPhone (using Garageband, and other apps), and can usually come up with "full" arrangements that way.

    In short: let's wait and see πŸ˜€

  • @defaultdave  Jan 24

    Last few FAWM's I have done full products of madness, but digital instruments, last year getting EZ Drums and EZ keys helped a lot. I wouldn't try and play these instruments to record.

  • @burrsettles  Jan 25

    I want to mix this up with the #sm57 challenge and do full-band productions only using a single dynamic mic for each vocal/instrument. Live drums should be fun for that...

  • @alamous Jan 25

    @burrsettles I was thinking that too! I've been contemplating on the optimal microphone placement for the drums in order to get enough bassdrum and enough of the rest of the ki: Maybe somewhere a head of the kit, like a bit away form the bass drum beater and looking down at the kit... or maybe the old "crotch" mic, where the mic is placed near the drummers crotch area looking at the snare and the bass-drum....

    In any case I'd guess that with a single dynamic mic the drums need to be smashed to smithereens with a compressor and heavily EQ:d so the sound will be heavily effected 😁 Should be fun.

  • @rustyp Jan 25

    I thought of you @boyatheart when I saw this thread. πŸ˜€

    I'll probably do some of these, but I don't know about 14. I have to actually work too. πŸ˜€
    though it would be a good challenge to hone the template and the skills. πŸ˜€
    We'll see what happens. πŸ˜€

  • @dasbinky  Jan 25

    @alamous "Crotch Mic" sounds like a long-forgotten grunge band that would have been on Sub Pop in 1993. Opening for Tad or Pond or something.

    I could imagine a single mic for drums as a condenser, but an SM57 feels like a stretch. I'm tempted to try it, I'm using an SM58 without the windscreen as my main top snare mic (with a smaller AKG dynamic on the bottom of the snare). Might be fun to just move that around.

  • @bootlegger Jan 25

    Single dynamic is definitely doable. Just have to experiment with the player in the room and keep moving it until you get the right balance of everything.

    I love hang nothing but dynamic mics for drums. Optimally I like 5 mics in a Glyn johns type of setup. Nothing but 57s would definitely work for that.

  • @jcooper  Jan 25

    I'll probably try full production on all my songs. I'm never total happy with my acoustic attempts. In the last two fawms I have produced and released full albums from my fawm songs shortly after the end of Feb. However, I am under a bit or pressure at work right now so not sure how successful I will be.

  • @burrsettles  Jan 26

    @alamous according to link below, when using a single mic, "The front-of-kit (approximately 2β€² back from the kick and 4β€² up), meanwhile, is the punchiest." of course, they also recommend a condenser so YMMV with a simple dynamic. but probably a reasonable place to start.


  • @tseaver  Jan 26

    @burrsettles, @alamous I'd be tempted to have the SM-57 just above the kick, looking slightly downward at the snare (but an LDC would be better there, for sure, or almost anywhere for a "whole kit" picture).

  • @standup  Jan 26

    I've used an omni dynamic (Shure SM76 that I probably got for $20) as a "heart of kit" mic (crotch, same thing) and it worked pretty well. Got everything. Balance is achieved by moving the mic. Not hifi, but fun.

  • @guatecoop  Jan 26

    I could totally see doing the old school sound with a single 57, with just a bit too much gain and really compressed. I might do it.

  • @burrsettles  Jan 27

    @alamous @tseaver @standup @guatecoop i did a little youtubing on the subject and found some videos demonstrating sm57 single-mic drum setups. 1st shows one position, in a home/project studio. 2nd compares 4 other positions in a mid-grade studio. 3rd is loooong and workshops lots of positions in a high-end studio. interesting viewing...


  • @standup  Jan 27

    Cool stuff. I'm going to use Video 3, mic 4, position 2. Sounded great! Except I don't have a million dollar studio room. Or million dollar ears.

  • @guatecoop  Jan 27

    Yup, that is super cool @burrsettles ! The really tricky part is room sound, of course. I think that I’m going to have to explore my new room in the next few days. Luckily, I can do 5 at once and see what I like. I did like the position behind the drummer a bit back, but oddly not the over the shoulder one, even though I prefer the recorderman 4 mic typically that includes that position. Hmmm

  • @zecoop  Jan 27

    @burrsettles - Just watching the second one was fantastic!!! Looking forward to watching the rest. I'm really excited to work with the one mic 57 challenge

  • @tseaver  Jan 27

    @burrsettles Way cool! There were a number of surprises in those vids: interesting that the hats tended to lose in most of the more interesting ones (except the "look down over the drummer's eyebrows" ones).

  • @thelostcartographer  Jan 27

    @burrsettles great videos.

    FAWM goal 2020: buy and learn how to play drums?

  • @darkmantle  Jan 29

    I'm not a drummer so I use logic's drummer, or addictive drums, even if it's just a simple beat.

    I usually get guitar and bass on all tracks, maybe a guitar solo if it's warranted. I'm not a keyboardist so I don't usually reach for that.

    So Full rock band trio I guess. πŸ˜€

  • @apertome  Jan 31

    I don't really write normal songs with normal instrumentation, but I do tend to have several layers of synths, drones, acoustic instrument(s), and sound effects/weird noises/etc. Sometimes I've done electronic beats.

    All that said, I try to keep my production quality high -- usually my FAWM songs are "done" and don't get revisited/touched up later.

    This isn't the same thing as what you're asking about, but it's certainly possible to make a well-produced FAWM album, with a full full band situation as well (I know, because many folks here do it!)

  • @joxerjen  Jan 31

    I always record all instruments myself/program all drums. This time, however, I'll have some help from my other half on bass, as he's 100x better than I am and it's his primary instrument. Should be fun!

  • @joycamp Feb 1

    I will be striving to have complete productions. I am pretty efficient in how I manage my workflow so think I can do this pretty easily.

  • @jackdawfactories  Feb 1

    It's the only way I know how!

  • @haim  Feb 4

    I have a song I'm working on now, I got it acoustically, but it takes a lot of time to find bass line for it and to fix the drum beats and to make guitar licks, oh.. so daunting... Still haven't posted my first song yet.. I wanna finish with it already... Can't imagine I'm doing this in all of my songs, I applaud anyone who's gonna do that.

  • @downfallroad  Feb 4

    #fullband. I'm in. Its... painful, yet I usually do it anyway.

  • @haim  Feb 4

    For the love of music, I finished my first song and it's produced. should I put the tag #fullband even if I'm not gonna make all my songs produced? I had such hard time to figure out how I do it, what I record first, what guides do I need etc.. but It's behind me now. Yes! 😁

  • @alamous Feb 6

    2 songs down, both very much #fullband production. And a few more on the way 😁

    I'm especially happy about the latest one: https://fawm.org/songs/89754/

  • @eargoggle  Feb 6

    I seem to be alternating full band production songs with simple phone recorded ones....got 2 full band songs so far, working on another one-

  • @howthenightcame Feb 7

    Not sure if it's "full band" but I'm trying to compose and produce songs that are fully worked out:


  • @splittybooms  Feb 7

    😞 i wish!
    I used to be in a church band for years (keys), and HS jazz band before that (drums)...but haven't played with a full band in ages. And I have no room to go grab a drumset, plus I probably can't play anymore lol
    But someday, I'd love to have a setup where I can do drums and keys myself, and drag somebody in to do bass and guitar.
    It makes me sad that I know so many musicians, but getting together to do anything is probably never gonna happen.
    I admire you folks who do this regularly!

  • @bootlegger Feb 7

    First three songs up all full band. The third one tripped me up for a few days surprisingly. I ended up scrapping my first idea with it and totally redoing the entire thing from scratch but I'm happy with how it turned out.


    My favorite so far that I've done is my second song though.

  • @valeriecox  Feb 7

    My only full band things this year have been a three piece punk band I affectionately refer to as V B Loud.

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