When you finally get the time you need in the recording studio it can be intimidating at first. There are many rules and even unwritten rules of the recording studio that you must follow as an artist. It helps to know what to do before you head to the recording studio and it’s even better to know what to avoid once you get there.
If you avoid doing the things on this list you’ll have a much better chance of having a successful recording session.
Never Arrive Late To The Recording Studio
It’s hard to foresee some obstacles like a traffic jam or flat tires, but you need to plan ahead and prepare to be at the studio on time for your recording session. Arriving on time shows that you are a professional and are serious about your music so the engineer should be too. Arriving late can start the session off on the wrong foot.
Plan to arrive at the studio on time by leaving early, bringing quarters for parking meters, and researching alternative routes before leaving in case of traffic.
If you are running late or won’t be able to make it, you should call the studio as soon as possible and let them know. This professional act of courtesy will go a long way to smoothing over the situation and allows people waiting on you to shift their mood and actions while waiting.
Never Touch Recording Studio Equipment
If the equipment in the studio isn’t yours then you shouldn’t touch it. It’s easy to slip into rehearsal mode if you are recording with your band, but it is important to remember that you are borrowing the recording space. The equipment in the space is not yours so you should not touch or move anything without speaking to someone at the studio first. Rearranging things on your own without speaking to the engineer can cause unnecessary tension during the session.
You can also waste precious recording time by changing something that noticeable affects the sound. If you are moving things and something in the sound changes but you don’t know why, it can be a hard and time consuming process to figure out what happened.
When you are working with an engineer you should not turn knobs or raise faders or mess with anything under their control. It’s a good idea to always avoid stepping on the toes of the person helping you create music. When in doubt, keep your hands to yourself.
Never Set Unrealistic Recording Goals
You want to make the most of your time in the recording studio, but you should also be sure to set realistic goals. You will have a set amount of time in the recording studio. This means you must have a realistic goal for what you can accomplish during that amount of time.
If you have a single 8 hour session then don’t expect to be able to brainstorm, work with each individual in the band, and record 15 finished songs. Create a realistic goal of what you want to accomplish and stick with your direction once you get into the studio. Make sure everyone involved understands their individual parts and the overall artistic perspective before you start so that your studio time can be productive time.
Never Bring Drama Into The Studio
The quickest way to derail your recording session is to bring drama into the studio in any form, whether it’s between bandmates over creative differences or with additional people not actually involved in the music creation. If you have friends or girlfriends that hang around the band, plan to leave them at home. At best extra people will be a distraction and at worst they will create drama you don’t need.
Plan to kill all personal dramas before you enter the recording studio. If you bring in unresolved drama over creative differences you’ll waste valuable recording studio time arguing and you’ll kill the positive vibe needed to make the best music. Agree about the recording plan, song arrangements, and anything else before you hit the studio and don’t drag the drama back up.
Never Let Outside Factors Affect Your Recording
The recording studio you rent will have a various factors that could hinder your ability to focus on the music. Even though you are renting the space you should never let outside factors stop you from making progress during recording. If you are uncomfortable with something in the studio, speak up and ask to change it.
Some examples of outside factors that might affect your recording include the temperature of the room, humidity control for vocalists, lighting and ambience of the room, the time of day for your recording session, and any audiences you didn’t request. Managing all these elements of the recording studio are essential to creating a comfortable environment where your creativity can thrive. Never let these elements reach a point where they stop you from creating the best music possible.