Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Share Their DIY Recording Tips
November 21, 2016
Brisbane-based thrash pop trio Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up! have just released their Back To The Start EP, featuring the tracks ‘The Spit’ and ‘My Friends’ which were both played on Triple J and Triple J Unearthed.
To celebrate, we had a chat with the band to learn their DIY recording tips that other independent artists can use to get the best possible sound from their next release.
The Back To The Start EP, in all its gritty glory, was self-recorded by the band at their warehouse in Brisbane. Mixed in Melbourne by Ben Ehrenberg and mastered by legendary Jack The Bear, the recording cycle was a six-month process, with 8 hours a week dedicated purely to recording between rehearsals. We asked the band to share the DIY recording tips that helped them get the perfect sound from their latest tracks.
What music production tips can you offer other artists?
- Make a solid recording plan, set deadlines and track your progress. Independent artists should have a plan from the get-go, making sure you know exactly which songs you want to record, and who is going to mix them for you. Deadlines are crucial and can save you money if you’re in the studio. In a DIY sense, a deadline will tell you whether you're pissing into the wind or you're actually ready to record this thing. If you've been recording every day for 3 months (for an EP), then maybe you need to stop recording, practice more and try again later. Hey, it took us 3 tries.
- Stick to the f***ing plan! Remember to practice the shit out of those songs until they are tight as hell before you press record on the first day.
- Keep in constant contact with who is going to mix the release. Send them a progress of your recordings so they can guide you. You might find that you’re overdoing it with the amount of tracks you have, or, the number of microphones you’re using. The mixer will let you know because they don't want to be working with your 35 guitar tracks and 5 splash cymbal microphones. If in doubt, keep it simple.
- Do not ever accept anything you aren't 100% happy with. We tried recording this EP 3 times and not until the 3rd time did we decide to release it. That sounds ridiculous and probably is, but the whole process in between finishing our first EP This Town and this EP Back To The Start, took us 3 years.
- Be your own toughest critic. Recording as a band will get intense and things can get pretty competitive (which has its positives and negatives). During the recording process remember to be positive; instead of being hard on each other, blaming each other for mistakes and getting frustrated. Remember you’re making music; how good is that!
- Have a budget, seriously. This should go for everything in life, not just music stuff. I have seen so many decent bands starting out only to break up because they totally stiffed themselves by spending a bunch of cash on a release, and then argued about who could/couldn't afford it. Money is the biggest source of stress on most relationships you have in life, bands are no different, the less you spend, the less you will care about it.
Here is a pro tip I got from a Hip Hop dude: Come up with your budget for recording, halve it, spend half on the recording and the other half on the PR and Touring, otherwise you will have this sick sounding recording, and no one will ever know about it.
- If you are having trouble getting your music across to people, employ someone who can do it.
PR is such a taboo topic in music, especially when it come to DIY punk shit. I used to be totally against using music PR services until Nathan from Born Lion (ARIA Nominated) explained it to me one day, he straight up told me "There is no shame in wanting people to hear or like your music" that stuck with me. We worked with a local PR company on this release as well as using Ditto Music as our digital aggregator. Ditto Music really helped us layout our release strategy and we’re really happy we went with them.
Big thanks to Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up! for offering up their advice on DIY recording for independent bands and artists. If you found this article helpful, make sure to share it with your friends, or if you've got any DIY recording tips of your own, let us know in the comments below!
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