As with any type of production preparation before starting not only ensures a better outcome but will also save you time and money. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to! That is why we have created this section not only to help you get the most out of you recording session but to also work out any of the details that can be dealt with outside the studio.
- PRODUCTION: Try and work out all musical and vocal parts before coming in. You should never attempt to write in the studio, this not only consumes valuable time and money but slows the session down and breaks momentum.
- GEAR: Check and make sure all your equipment is working properly prior to your session. Broken or malfunctioning equipment not only can effect recording quality but it will also hinder your performance. This includes:
- Fresh strings on all guitars as well as spares and don’t forget picks.
- Make sure drum heads are in good condition (fresh heads are recommended) and spare sticks.
- Good quality guitar and instrument cables
- Fresh batteries for all EFX pedals and pickups as well as spares (9V).
- Make sure to remember your power cables and adapters.
- TIMING: most industry professionals prefer to record with metronomes because timing integrity of all musical parts are very important for tracking, editing and mixing. Everyone in the band should try to practice and get comfortable playing to a metronome. Your timing performance will be very apparent in the studio and will affect the final product.
- HEALTH: A healthy and conscious mind can make a big difference while in the studio. Everything from what you eat to the amount of sleep can affect your performance and stamina. So get some rest and leave the celebration till after the session is completed!
- DOCUMENTATION: Have all your LYRICS and NOTES TYPED on paper with spare copies for all band members and engineers.
In the Studio
- LOADING IN: Plan on arriving at the studio at least 30 minutes in advance. If scheduling permits try to deliver the drums and acoustic instruments the night before. This allows all instruments to aclimate to a more consistent humidity and temperature level, reducing tuning problems.
- TUNING: Be sure to bring a tuner to your session. Never tune to another instrument if at all possible. This may not only be a poor method of tunning but also can be a problem when retracking at a later date. Rules to rememberwith tunning:
- Everybody should always tune up with the SAME tuner. (this reduces the risk of one tuner being off from another)
- Never tune to another instrument unless it is nessesary.
- Always try and tune before each take, taking a minute to tune can save hours of wasted material.
- TRACKING: Although modern multitracking techniques can open up doors as far as layering and adding tracks. Approch tracking with a minimalistic attitude. Try not to over do it! Remember “Less Is More!”
- DOCUMENTATION: If you’ve done your homework you will have copies of your LYRIC SHEETS for the engineers & producers. Not only does this help the engineer in becoming familiar with your songs it will also increase the eaze of communication between the artist and production staff.
- POPULATION: Recording in the studio can be very exciting, most people love to share that excitement with friends and family but a crowded session not only will lead to confusion, It will also reduce the amount of concentration and productivity the engineer has during your session. Follow these suggestions:
- The only people inthe studio should be the people DIRECTLY related to the session. ie (band members, producers & engineers). Try not to invite friends and spectators.
- While in session try not to carry on with unrelated conversations in the control room, this disturbs the engineer who is working hard to concentrate on YOUR music!
- HEALTH: Your physical and mental health is very important durring your session. From the foods you eat to water you drink can help you get the most out of your recordings. Here are some suggestions:
- Drink plenty of water and fluids
- Stay away from junk foods, they will bring you up and down affecting mood and performance.
- If you are singing, don’t over eat! and drink room temperature water or herbal tea (NO SUGAR!)
- Pace yourself, try and relax and rest while awaiting your turn. We hope these tips will help you get the most out of your recording experience. Remember come in with plan and try to stick to it, be patient and flexible.