At some point, you may decide to book an appointment at a recording studio to finally lay down those songs your band has been playing. Creating your own album at a recording studio can be an exciting experience.
But it won’t be cheap. Every hour is going to cost you. That means you need to use your time efficiently, so that every dollar is well-spent. Follow these guidelines and enjoy a stress-free session at the recording studio.
The absolute most important thing you need to do before arriving at the recording studio: be prepared. Rehearse your songs and know them like the back of your hand. A recording session is not a practice session. You’re going to have enough to do figuring out how to mix your songs, you don’t need to be wasting time trying to recall how to actually play them.
And make sure everyone in the band agrees on the song structures and concepts. Being at a recording studio can be stressful, and things can sometimes get tense. You don’t want to have any discrepancies and waste valuable time arguing.
Before going into the recording studio, you should grab a cassette tape recorder or even a microphone hooked up to your computer, and record rough versions of all your songs.
Remember, as a musician you’re used to hearing your music “from behind the scenes.” Recording rough drafts of your songs will give you an idea of what your songs sound like from an outsider’s, or audience’s, perspective.
You might be surprised to realize that the guitar lick you thought sounded so great actually needs some tweaking because some notes don’t sound right on your recording.
This will save you tons of time in the recording studio. If you don’t record your songs beforehand and you realize that something needs changing, you’ll have to figure out what you’re going to change and then record it over again until you get it right.
Make sure your instruments are also prepared before you enter the recording studio. That means get new guitar and bass strings, change your drum heads, and rest your voice.
Also, bring extra strings, drum sticks, picks, you name it.
The rule is, you can never be too prepared. You know Murphy’s Law: If anything can possibly go wrong, it will. You want to be able to anticipate any mishaps and deal with them promptly and effectively.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep before going into the recording studio. Just like you were waking up to take an important exam the next morning, you want to be well-rested and eat a good meal.
If you’re a singer, avoid dairy products the week before your recording studio session. This should get your voice as clear as possible.
The last and most important tip is: have fun. Although being in the recording studio can be stressful, do your best and don’t take things too seriously. Love your music. It will show in the finished product.
Remember, your recording will not sound “polished” until it has been mixed and mastered. So don’t worry if everything doesn’t sound perfect. As long as you play your parts right, your mixing engineer should take care of the rest.
Follow these tips and your recording studio experience should be a fulfilling one.