Recording Studio Gospel
(more to come….)
Many artists don’t really know what to expect when they first utter the phrase, “Let’s record an album.” It involves a lot more than playing ten songs a few times each and going home with a shiny new CD.
So read below…
Whether you’re venturing into the studio for the first time or fifth time hopefully you’ll be able to take something from this.
1) Make sure your songs are really ready
Do you know your song part inside and out?
Practice the song you are recording until you are sick and tired of it….
And then practice it a whole lot more.
Stay focused on it to make it the tightest it can be. Practice your parts individually, turn your amps down and make sure you can play your part cleanly, and precisely. Practice with a metronome or click track.
Some drummers, who do a lot of flashy fills, yet can’t play the beat solidly and to a click track will never provide a solid foundation for the rest of the tracks.
Our rehearsal rooms cost from only £5 per hour with back line. Much cheaper than your recording.
2) Be realistic with your budget expectations.
Is your Budget tight?
Time Equals Money. Money Equals Quality.
What are these tracks actually for? Do you want to release them? Are they purely to demo your ‘new sound’ (in which case you might only need to do live recordings and therefore save yourself some cash)?
You should now know how many songs you’re wanting to record and for what purpose.
One or two well-recorded tracks are way stronger than ten sloppy ones.
Recording an album with broadcasting quality will cost much more than a demo.
3) Song first not your solo
Make sure your part actually contributes to the song and doesn’t just take up space. So many times, bands get in the studio and really have not written their individual parts for the song, they’ve just been writing their parts for themselves. It should be all about the song.
4) Love thy sound engineer
One of the studio’s pet hates is when people disregard the advice and opinions of those who know better about a certain subject than them. If a sound engineer tells you that a certain aspect of your song isn’t right, then he/she is probably worth listening to. Let us remember that this is our job and before you walked, through those studio doors there were hundreds, if not thousands like you previously.
We understand your music is precious to you, but your music needs an impartial sound engineer’ guiding hands to cook it into a beautiful piece of three and a half minutes of audible delight.
There are three main processes in recording your works and be aware that not always the same person will provide all three services: Tracking, Mixing and Mastering.
Be sure to have a conversation with us if you would like us to do work on your postproduction.
5) Love thy band members
Squash any personal drama before you get to the studio. Time you are spending arguing at the studio is time that you are not being creative, it also tends to ruin the vibe. If you haven’t agreed on what the plan is, the arrangement of the song… the studio is not the place to do that. Unless you booked our writing room.
Don’t bring anyone in the studio that’s not involved with the song. Extra friends, girlfriends…
They distract us, they distract your band members and they distract you!
6) Be radio friendly
Pretty straight forward but an alarming amount of artists always forget this as they’re usually extremely giddy by the fact the recording process is done and they can’t wait to get a copy to their mum.
Is your song 5 minutes long? Then get yourself a nice little 3 and a half minute radio edit. Your song has to be radio-friendly!
Radio’s worry about allocating too much airtime to one artist may drop your song from their playlist.
Get instrumentals of everything you do as it helps people like us get your much on TV/adverts/games.
7) Make sure your work ethic is up to scratch
Get plenty of rest before your appointment and don’t come in hangover, drunk or high.
Be prepared to play your parts over and over and to sing your songs many times. Don’t get impatient. Work hard, take your time and you’ll be a million times more pleased with the end result.
8) Without your instruments…. there is no track!
Make sure you have your instruments serviced by a professional. Get new strings put on and have your instrument’s intonation fixed, fix any buzzes or loose jacks, dirty pots…
Tune your drum kit, take care of your vocal cords…
9) Preproduction is the key
If your budget does not allow you to have professional preproduction – DIY!
Record your song at practice on a cheap stereo without vocals and with lead vocals. Everyone should listen to these to work out vocal parts, harmonies…
Realize that the reward is equal to the amount of work you put into it, in your own time, before and during the studio session. If you’re planning on having extra studio musicians on your recording, be sure you take the time to at least have a chord chart with lyrics written out. This will save you time and money in the studio.
Analyze some of your favourite recordings in the genre you belong to, and make sure your songs are really that prepared. Pay close attention to the way the bands create space, anticipation, energy and dynamics. They do this by writing their parts according to what the song needs, not necessarily what they’d like to be playing, but a part that really makes the song evolve. Just because you’re in the band, doesn’t mean you have to be playing 100% of the time.
If at all possible, send the engineer and producer a rough recording of your song well in advance to your booked studio date. A rehearsal room recording is fine.
10) Let us like you
We are pros and we will do our job no matter what. If you are a prick it’s harder for us to be creative.
So don’t be a prick.