Savage Roads

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Preparing For Your Recording Session

People ask me all the time, "I'm thinking about recording so how can I make it go quickly and smoothly?" 

Here are 20 tips I came up with. 


1. Record demos of the songs you plan on tracking. 

2. Know your songs/parts before you enter the studio. 

3. If you plan on using a click track, spend some time practicing with one. It helps to know the tempos of your songs ahead of time.

4. Take care of your body, both before and during the session. Drink water. Sleep. Don't forget to eat - it sounds strange, but it's very easy to work for 12 hours without taking a break.

5. Go over songs with the engineer ahead of time. Discuss what you want to accomplish, and what you want to avoid. If possible, bring previous albums and your demos as reference material.

6. Think about mastering before you start. Make sure to budget both time and money to get your songs mastered. Think about who/where you want to take it to. We can provide recommendations if necessary.

7. Have your guitar setup before the session. Put new strings on it (unless old string are part of your 'sound'). Replace worn out drum heads - it's much easier to tune a new head than an old one. Have sticks, strings, picks, and cables on hand.


8. Make the studio comfortable for everyone involved. Relax. Leave the drama at the door.

9. Don't abandon your instruments. While we have a lot of gear to offer (and encourage trying things out), trying to record with a completely foreign guitar setup can be difficult.

10. Emotion, feeling, and sound and performance are more important than technically perfect takes. Don't get frustrated chasing perfection.

11. Keep in mind the focus of the music. What are you trying to communicate? 

12. Concentrate on getting the best sound to tape: don't plan on 'fixing it in the mix'.

13. Keep guests to a minimum during the session. Unless they have valid opinions to add, they usually slow the recording process down.

14. TUNE THE GUITAR. TUNE IT OFTEN. We like to use a strobe tuner, and between every take if possible.

15. If you plan on singing, take care of your voice. Drink water (but not ice water) or warm tea. Avoid dairy products the day before and day of vocal takes. 


16. It can be helpful to take a few days off between tracking and mixing. Your ears get a break, you have a chance to gain perspective on the project, and you'll even get to see some sunlight. 

17. Listen to rough mixes at moderate levels in your car or on your home stereo. Make notes of anything you might want to retrack or add, and any mix ideas you might have.

18. Reference other material while mixing. Take a break. Go for a walk. Listen to different music. 

19. Consider the songs as a whole - while it's important to focus on details, remember to step back and look at the big picture from time to time.

20. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Have fun. Remember why you started playing music in the first place.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reconnecting with Friends

When fate brings old friends back into our lives, there is always a reason

Special Messengers
by Madisyn Taylor

Every person that passes through our lives makes a contribution to our life stories. There are those who play large roles and make deep impressions, but sometimes a brief special appearance before life takes them in another direction creates a meaningful connection. It is a rare gift when they suddenly reappear in our lives after a long absence. 

Though the world may seem full of more people than we could ever know, we are often drawn to people with similar energy, which brings us together time and time again. On first meeting, the characters in our life stories may seem familiar. We may know each other from past lives or perhaps we merely recognize the energy of a kindred spirit. But when fate brings old friends back into our lives, there is always a reason. They may act as messengers, reminding us of a part of ourselves we have forgotten to nurture. They might appear to give us a chance to react in a new way to an old situation. They may even bring up unresolved issues so that we may complete them, giving us the chance to move forward on our life path. Whether old friends, previous romances, or once and future partners, their reappearance is more than mere chance. They may never know what they bring into our lives, but the renewed contact is a gift.  

If this hasn’t happened to you, maybe you are meant to initiate contact by seeking out old friends. If old friends come to mind or into your dreams, use their appearance as an excuse to get in touch. If an old song or movie reminds you of them, reach out to share the gift of renewed contact. Wherever you fall in the circle of connection and reconnection, be sure to look beyond the surprise of the moment to enjoy the deeper gift that this revelation brings.

Special Messengers
by Madisyn Taylor

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Enjoying The Ride

Many people live their lives struggling against the current while others use the flow like a mighty wind.

The flow of the universe moves through everything. It’s in the rocks that form, get pounded into dust, and are blown away, the sprouting of a summer flower born from a seed planted in the spring, the growth cycle that every human being goes through, and the current that takes us down our life’s paths. When we move with the flow, rather than resisting it, we are riding on the universal current that allows us to flow with life.

Many people live their lives struggling against this current. They try to use force or resistance to will their lives into happening the way they think it should. Others move with this flow like a biker in the wind, trusting that the universe is taking them exactly where they need to be at all times. This flow is accessible to everyone because it moves through and around us. 

We are always riding this flow. It’s just a matter of whether we are willing to go with it or resist it. Tapping into the flow is often a matter of letting go of the notion that we need to be in control at all times. The flow is always taking you where you need to go. It’s just a matter of deciding whether you plan on taking the ride or dragging your feet.

Learning to ride into the flow can help you feel a connection to a force that is greater than you and the road is always there to support you. The decision to go with the flow can take courage because you are surrendering the notion that you need to do everything by yourself. 

Riding the flow of the universe can be effortless, exhilarating, and not like anything that you ever expected. When you are open to being in this flow, you open yourself to possibilities that exist beyond the grasp of your control and open up the throttle full. 

As a child, you were naturally swept by the flow. Tears of sadness falling down your face could just as quickly turn to tears of laughter. Just the tiniest wave carrying you forward off the shores of the ocean could carry you into pearls of delight. Our souls feel good when we go with the flow of the universe. All we have to do is make the choice to ride its currents. Go vroom

Pat Savage