Working in a commercial studio is quite different than working from home. Today, we are going to share with you some professional tips your band should know before going into a professional recording studio.
Being prepared and breaking bad habits that have accumulated over the years is essential in making an active and focused work environment inside the studio.
There are two sides to recording music, the engineering, and the performance. The combination of both worlds delivers an inspirational environment to capture as best possible, musical art and talent.
Taking the time to understand the dynamics of a recording studio before ever stepping foot inside can better guarantee your time won’t be wasted.
Here are 14 tips to help you make the most of your time inside the studio:
- Get enough sleep the night before and show up rested- Many young musicians will be on their own budget, and not the kind of budget that has no end. Just because Jim Morrison made it through sessions in a drunken rock and roll fashion doesn’t mean that will be plausible for everyone. Instead of abusing substance in hopes of waking your creative side, show up relaxed and focused.
- Be prompt- Showing up 30 minutes before your scheduled session or persuading your engineer to come in the night before to set up your drums would gain you some extra recording time. The amount of time it takes for the drummer to set everything up, and the engineer to mic everything correctly, could take an hour or even two of your day.
- Bring backups of everything- Bring extra of everything. The better prepared you are for mishaps happening, the less money and time you could waste. If you are guitarists, bring two guitars, bring extra strings for both, bring a pack of picks.
- Bounce down- The studio may not have plug-ins that you use at home. Bounce to audio all tracks that depend on software instruments or effects; this will guarantee compatibility.
- Bring some of your own recordings- If you have some work that you’ve recorded at home-or maybe even made some cool demos, then you should bring them in either as a reference or something to include in the album.
- Tune your instruments-The most common instruments to be out of tune are the drums and vocals. Having any instruments out of tune during a recording is going to greatly breakdown the quality of your sound. Most studios will have house instruments that you can rent or use that will most likely already be tuned, but are not always readily available.
- Stay within a budget- Talk with your producer/engineer about what you have to spend, and come to an agreement. You may have to record in starts and fits or do it all in one night, but you can discuss an agreeable solution.
- Pick a leader for your group -Decide which person in your band has the best ear overall. If you are having trouble choosing this person, ask yourself, who can see the music as a whole of many pieces and not want to crank the guitar tracks as loud as possible. The leader will work closely with the engineer to make sure the bands concept is getting across. Lastly, once everything is recorded, the leader will sit in on the mixing sessions to work out levels and placement of instruments and such.
- Be courteous and quiet on the set-If the recording studio is being taken over by the band mates voices to the extent that you can’t even hear each other talk then you are just wasting your efforts. Having the band involved in the recording process is not a bad thing but being non-productive defeats the entire process. With that being said leave your friend at home, the studio is not the place to have your whole posse hang out, bring the band only.
- Be a perfectionist when it comes to your work- Make sure you know your music and practice until it’s perfect. It’s surprising how many bands show up to record and are unable to cleanly play their music.
- Bring food with you- You will need fuel to keep going, carry the essentials in case there aren’t accommodations around the studio.
- Practice with a Metronome- Practicing to a click or metronome will help your internal clock. The more you do it, the better you will become at it, resulting in holding more steady beats and counts at a natural pace.
- Leave the drama at the door-When you come to the studio prepared, practiced and ready to play, you should come into the studio ready to knock it out. The studio needs to remain a relaxed and creative environment, arguing with the band (like all bands do) in the studio is something that needs to stay in your “mama’s basement.”
- Relax, have fun, and aim for excellence- After going through all the rules it might seem like the recording studio isn’t any fun at all. Don’t worry, it’s actually the opposite, when all participants involved are aware and comfortable with the rules, the recording process becomes a remarkable time.