Preparing For A Recording Session

If you are a songwriter or are playing in a band that writes original material, at some point, you are going to go into a recording studio and record your music.  This can be an intense and scary time for many musicians, but it can also be a lot of fun as well.  Here are some basic tips to prepare yourself for walking into that recording studio.

Do Some Pre-Production – Preparing For A Recording Session


preparing for the recoding studio
At the studio

Studio time can be expensive, so when you’re in the recording studio, it’s best to know exactly what you want.  You can think that you know exactly how you want the song to sound, but you may have new ideas once everything starts coming together.  New ideas are great and can vastly improve the sound of the song, but they can also take up some costly time trying to hash them out.  Therefore, it’s best to do a very basic recording set up with the whole band at someone’s house with cheap gear.  Take the time to do a mock session and try out every idea that comes to mind.  This way, when you walk into that studio, you know exactly what works and what doesn’t work.  This minimizes the actual time spent in the studio, minimizes cost, and maximizes on great ideas.

Don’t Leave The Timeline Up In The Air

It is tempting to want to record certain parts in one studio, certain parts in another, and mix them together at a later unspecified date.  Don’t fall into this trap!  The recording process has to have predefined dates and timelines associated with it otherwise, it can be a much longer process than you would prefer.  I’ve personally had the recording process take over two years because we didn’t adhere to a strict timeline.  Taking time on your project is totally fine!  Just make sure you come up with a latest possible date that you would like the process to be finished.  The pressure of a deadline can be a really good thing!

Do Your Research

Make sure you know what studio is going to work best for you and your band.  There are a lot of studios out there.  Some high end studios could be way out of your price range.  Some less expensive studios will not give you the quality that you seek.  It’s best to get prices from studios and visit the studios beforehand to get a feel for the place.  The recording engineer is also a very important factor in determining what studio you will record at.  He or she needs to be calm, friendly, accommodating, and proficient in order to have the best experience.  A great recording engineer is essential to any project.

Don’t Show Up Unprepared

Once you have your part exactly how you want it, practice it.  I mean, really practice it!  Make sure you can play your part flawlessly with your eyes closed.  The better prepared you are, the less time you’re going to take in the studio, the less money you will have to spend, and the better your recording is going to sound!  If you show up without practicing, the process will be longer and harder not just for you, but your whole band.

Do Take Care Of Yourself Before Recording

Get enough sleep.  Eat a good breakfast.  Do some stretches.  Warm up.  Do whatever it take to get into your happy zone.  A good recording is one where all of the musicians are comfortable.  You know what it takes to make yourself feel good.  Take that time for yourself.

Don’t Be Impatient With Your Band-Mates

The recording process can be a very stressful one.  After all, this is your art we’re talking about and passions will fly!  When individually recording your guitar part or drum part or piano part, every little imperfection will be magnified and it may take many different tries to get a recording that you are happy with.  Your band members are going through the same thing.  Be supportive and positive and allow them as much time as they would like to be happy with their recording.  The recording will live on forever so everyone needs to be happy with it.

Do Have Fun!

If the stress of recording is bringing you down, remember that you are here because you love what you do.  You are creating music in a form that you can share with the entire world.  Take breaks if you need to.  Play a game if you need to.  Go running if you can get away for 20 minutes.  Stress doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t sound good either.  You are in the studio to do what you love with people you care about.  Always make sure to have fun with it!

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