We had a great many cello sessions this week, but sadly we just dropped Liz off at the airport so she can return to her PhD program in Texas. I was SO glad to have her here at the house and studio for 4 days. What an honor it was; not only to have her cello playing abilities, but her friendship. Liz and my wife seemed to have a lot in common.
THE CELLO RECORDING PROCESS AND HOW IT NORMALLY WORKS
High budget recordings (anything over $100,000) have the luxury of hiring an orchestra. So with budgets less than that, producers usually track the cello and/or violin multiple times to create the fullness of a large string orchestra. I had the option of writing the parts myself and hiring a studio player for a few hours. But what was SO much better was having Liz (a pro herself) come and offer 4 whole days as a friend to create together. She helped shape the cello and string parts. Working together on the parts took a lot longer because we had twice the feedback and ideas. The end result was so much better. More ideas, more challenging, more refining each note.
The key in a massive and smooth string session is layering of tracks AND the use of different mics and preamps. For each part (like first cello section) I tracked the line 6 times. I used a different mic each time and a different preamp. If you use the same mic and preamp each time, it sounds fake or flangy. The diverse sounds from the mics and preamps get rid of that and create an orchestra.