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We want to record some songs in a studio. But before that we want to have a scratch/guide tracks available for the recording. We have been rehearsing using click tracks and now we are ready to record.

I was thinking that we can use a Focusrite 18i8 to record the guide tracks, using it we can setup the whole band.

Also, there is the Focusrite iTrack pocket, it is meant to record just one person, but I was wondering if it will work recording the whole band for the guide tracks.

If there is another option please let me know. We want something simple for the guide tracks.

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Why not do it the way everyone did, for decades?

Record the entire band in the same room, headphones on, playing against the click track. [Unless you're really good, don't just give the click track to the drummer.]
Record each to their own track[s], but don't worry so much about cross-talk, just get the feel right.

It's probably simpler at that point [for volume levels] to have the vocalist in the control room, able to see the band through the glass - unless they are also an instrumentalist.

Also bear in mind that for many many years the process stopped at this point & only the vocal was done as an overdub.

Once you have a good 'feel' take, you then start replacing instruments one at a time, giving you the separation you couldn't get all in one room.

I guess you could do this in a rehearsal facility, or even at home - depending on whether you can borrow/hire gear compatible with the studio. If you can't, then just add it to the studio bill & let them deal with it - otherwise you'll spend more time & emotional effort on the guide tracks than it's worth; & lose the feel in the studio.

Bear in mind that the entire point of a guide track is to enable a single instrumentalist to put down their part, whilst being sympathetic to the existing guide. If the guide sounds nothing like the proposed end result, then it's pretty much a waste of time.

  • Thanks! Yes, we want to do it this way. I think my question is more related to the equipment. Do the mics on the iTrack pocket work recording the whole band at once? – Luis Jan 16 '17 at 8:23
  • A quick look at the ad tells me it's a stereo recorder - complete waste of time. You need a full multitrack facility. At absolute minimum for a 3-piece band you need drums, bass, guitar on 3 tracks. In the studio they're more likely to actually set up the full mic rig, half a dozen or so on the drums, couple on the bass & guitar - all going to separate tracks. You never know, you just might get it in one take; if it all went down to stereo that would be the end of it. No remix, only overdubs. The Beatles did it that way in the early days, but it's pretty darned rare these days ;) – Tetsujin Jan 16 '17 at 8:28
  • Yes, absolutely, we are going to record that way in the studio but we want to have the guide tracks ready for that. Do the guide tracks also need to be multitrack? – Luis Jan 16 '17 at 8:34
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    Honestly, I would forget about trying to do any of this before you get to the studio. It requires at least a competent level of engineering skill & the right gear, compatible with what the studio uses, to even think about getting a useable result into the studio later. Yes, the guides need to be multitrack, as my answer already says. They also need to be at least half decently recorded. If they're not, they will either be useless to you as a guide, or you will spend all day trying to recreate the guide sound; both of which are fruitless exercises. – Tetsujin Jan 16 '17 at 8:43
  • I agree with the answer except for the fact that you don't meed full multitrack recording for a scratch track. Setting up a simple stereo mic pattern in a rehearsal space will be exponentially cheaper and quicker. You can spend time getting the arrangement exactly correct before wasting studio time, but you simply have to assume you'll be re-tracking everything. – user9881 Feb 1 '17 at 17:52

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