So there are many ways to record in a studio. The most common way is to make one quick vocal/guitar track called a ghost track that you make sure is on time with the metronome at the speed you want the song at. Then you record each instrument individually, often starting with drums, then bass, then guitar, etc. This is best for a real polished sounding recording because you can take the time to make sure everything sounds the way you want and there is no interference from say some sound of the guitar getting picked up in a drum microphone.
The only real downside to recording this way is that it is easy to lose the intensity that comes with playing with a full band. So if you haven’t spent much time recording something like drums could sound very lifeless and the hits could seem weak because the drummer is listening to cues in the headphones instead of looking at the other bandmates which most people are used to. Sometimes this isn’t a problem, but one way to fix this is to record live off-the-floor.
When recording live off-the-floor, however it is recommended that a metronome be used many bands choose not to use them.
The drums, bass and guitar are recorded at the same time with everyone in the same room. Vocals are always done separately otherwise there would be too much background noise in the vocal microphone. If you check out the song “Presents” on my site in the sample recordings that is an example of a song where the drums, bass and guitar were all recorded at the same time live off-the-floor. The band was able to play off each other and get a very solid performance from all the members.
One of the catches with this approach, especially if you don’t use a metronome, is that the band has to play the song in its entirety without making a mistake. Because there will be a little bleed of sound in the mics, if you try and redo just the guitar, you may still hear a little bit of the original guitar in the drum mics and it won’t sound right. Some of the bigger studios have isolation rooms where you can record everything at once without much, if any, bleed but you may not be able to see all your band mates in those situations.
Although there is a lot to take into account, if you just prefer the sound and energy of your band playing together you can capture a very good, very live and energetic performance recording live off-the-floor!