STUDIO TIPS! Recording can be an expensive and even daunting process. Here are some tips to help you better maximize your time in the studio and minimize your stress and expenses. Some of these tips are universal, while others vary from studio to studio.
PREPARATION - Have all songs written and parts figured out and assigned before coming into the studio. Don’t waste valuable studio time and money on things you can easily do at home or at your rehearsal space. This point cannot be stressed enough.
- If you are sequencing tracks or using beats, have them ready to go on a CD or hard drive before coming in.
- Practice, practice, practice! The tighter your songs are, the smoother the recording of them will be and the better the end result.
- Prepare a minimum of 25-30% more songs than you plan to actually use on the final product. Allow yourself a few throw-aways for the songs that aren’t up to snuff with the rest of the album.
- Come into the studio well rested, clear headed, and ready to work. Recording is a physically and mentally demanding process. Bring plenty of water and food.
- Change guitar strings and drum heads the day before coming into the studio and bring extra sets of everything, including drumsticks.
- Bring in your own rig. If you are a guitarist and want to capture the sound you get from the daisy chain of your guitar, pedals, and amp then be sure to bring your entire setup in. Experimenting with studio instruments, amps, and pedals is fine if you’re not set on what you want for a sound, but put a time limit on it. Let the engineer and producer, who are much more familiar with their own gear, assist you in finding the sound you are looking for.
- If you are working with a producer, give them a demo of the songs you want to record in the studio. Discuss production ideas ahead of time, and set aside reference Cds that serve as good examples of production styles you are striving for. Map out track assignments if you are recording to tape.
-Make a budget of how much money you have to spend on your project. Estimate how many hours you think it will take to complete your project in its entirety. Most musicians grossly underestimate how fast they think they can record their project. Depending on the band, a full length CD could take anywhere from 50 hours on the low end up to 250 hours or more on the high end. Variables to consider are how much recording experience the band has, how long the band has been playing together, and how elaborate of a production is desired.