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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cowbell recording trick

Harvey Gerst shares one of his faves

The "buried cowbell" trick on up tempo tracks is certainly a no-brainer, but a lot of people don't know about it, so bear with me if you do know about it.

After every thing is recorded, you go back and record a cowbell playing straight quarter notes on an open track. You tell the player to push the beat slightly, roll off the bottom end a bit, and recorded it.

During mixdown, you bring up the cowbell till you can hear it, add a touch of reverb, then lower the level to where it just about disappears completely.

It adds a great touch of drive to the track, and groups are usually blown away when you hit the mute button on the cowbell track, and they hear the energy of the track drop way down. It sounds stupid and hokey, but it really works.

--Harvey Gerst

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