Tips for a Successful Recording Session
These are some tips we recommend to save you money and help your session go smoothly. They may seem obvious, but use this as a pre-production checklist to help you prepare for the session.
Musical Arrangement - Consider your arrangements. Think about the parts and how well they support the song and each other. Sometimes less is more. Arranging after tracking is possible, but not as cost effective.
Rehearsal - Know your parts and arrangements before you come into the studio. The studio can be an expensive environment to write material in or work out major parts. Rehearse the parts as they will be tracked.
If you plan to use a click track, rehearse with one.
For a typical track, the Bass, Drums, and backing Guitar bed tracks will be recorded first. Rehearsing the material without the vocals and lead instruments will prepare you for laying down the bed tracks.
If you sing along while you play guitar or other instrument, it may not be best to track that way, so rehearse both the vocal and the music separately so that you can perform either one without the other.
Charting - Even a simple road map of each song for each musician and tracking engineer to follow or refer to can be helpful. This allows you to focus more on how you play instead of when and what to play. It also helps the engineer quickly become familiar with your material.
Drum Tech and Setup - it is usually best to setup and tech the drums a day before the session if possible. Drums are time consuming to setup, mic, and sound-check properly. This process can be long and boring for the rest of the band. Allow for two to three hours for this.
Benefits for Your Recording
1st Class Equipment ensures the best possible recording.
Noiseless digital recording with huge dynamic range.
Relaxed, casual setting.
Tracking in the Studio
We can track your session live or as individual parts. Overdubs, punch-ins to correct minor mistakes, or additional tracks can be added as you need them.
We have access to a wide range of DSP processors as well as outboard gear to add spice to your mix. In addition, we have experience with all types of music including , Pop, Hip-Hop / Rap, Reggae, Classical, Rock, Metal, Jazz, Spoken Word, and Voice-overs.
Mixing Advantages for Your Project.
Industry standard reverbs and processors.
Fully automated mixing.
Comprehensive Digital Audio Workstation Editing Suite.
CD, DAT, or Cassette Master provided.
Preparing for your studio sessions
One of the biggest factors in saving money on your recording projects is to make sure that you are fully prepared when you go into the studio. This sounds, simple but there have been times that bands or singers don't have their parts down, or have written them when they get to the studio. I’ve seen people who hadn't even written lyrics for the songs yet, and make them up about right before it was time to sing! Sometimes they have to stop and go to change things. Remember, when you’re in the studio, the clock is running and you are paying for that time whether you are working or not. If you have never recorded in a big studio before, you may need to work with a producer to guide you through the process.
Make a rough demo during practice or at show.
Use a boom box or simple cassette recorder to make rough recordings of your songs. Try to listen to these songs objectively to find weak parts in your songs that need work, and then practice them until you can play them right. You want to make sure that you are tight as a group, or single musician before going into an expensive studio to record. These tapes may also help you determine which are your best songs, or which songs may need some re-writing to make them better. In addition, when shopping around for studios, you can play these tapes for the engineers to give them an idea of the type of music you play. You want to find an engineer who likes your music and who wants to work on your project, so letting them hear rough recordings is a good way to narrow down your choices.
Work out all musical and vocal parts.
Unless you are really good at ad-libbing parts on the spot, you should have every part worked out ahead of time. This includes solos, as well as doubled parts, overdubbed percussion parts, background vocals, sound effects, etc. The studio is not the time to start getting creative and coming up with new parts. You need to know exactly what you are going to do for each song. If you think you may want to double your guitar parts for a bigger sound, plan out exactly which songs and where in each song you are going to double instead of just doubling everything and sorting it out later. Same thing with percussion, vocals or any other overdubbed parts. Don't just think that you want to put a shaker in a song. Figure out ahead of time what type of shaker, what rhythm, and where in the song you are going to play it. Any one of these things by themselves may not seem like they would make much difference, but when you add them all up, it could come out to several hours worth of studio time. If you have it all planned out ahead of time, it could save you several hundred dollars.
Prepare a few more songs than you plan to record.
There are occasions when you get into the studio and for one reason or another you just can't get a song to work out. Rather than try to force the issue and get everyone frustrated, it is best to move on to a different song. You can always come back to that song later once everyone calms down. In other situations, you may have booked a studio for an entire "block" to get the best deal, and then found out that with all your preparation, you still have time left over after recording all the songs you planned on recording. Since you have already paid for the entire block of studio time, you might as well use it. Put down some tracks for the other songs that you prepared. These may not be songs that you finish for this project, but at least you'll have a head start on your next project and won't have wasted the extra studio time. You may also find that some of the main songs that you worked on don't sound as strong on tape as you had hoped. In this case, you will need to have other songs ready to record.
Prepare yourself physically.
Make sure you are well rested before you go into the studio, and schedule your studio time accordingly. It can be tough to try to do an eight or ten hour tracking session after you have been working all day long. Try to schedule the studio time on a weekend if you have a day job, or see if you can get a day off work. If you aren't well rested when you go into your session, it will take you more time than it normally would, and you may not get the quality of performance that you are looking for. Make sure that you eat well before and during your studio session. Don't forget about your ears either, give them plenty of rest and keep them clear.