Recording studio time can be expensive and drain a band’s budget. Some musicians love the recording studio experience and others dread it.
However, not everyone has the space or equipment to record high quality music in a home recording studio. Sometimes renting recording studio space is the necessary and smart move to finish your songs.
If you’re planning to rent time in a recording studio there are a few things you should consider doing first.
1. Have A List Of Songs
Create a list of songs you want to work through before heading into the recording studio. You can always drop something that isn’t working or you aren’t happy with, but the recording studio is not the place to introduce new songs.
2. Know Your Parts
Make sure all your band mates or hired session musicians know their parts for each song. Everyone should know their part backwards and forwards by the time you get into the recording studio.
3. Finalize The Arrangements
Trying to alter the arrangement while recording studio time is ticking down can be a huge time waster. Be clear on the arrangement for every song before you go into the recording studio. Waiting to change and finalize arrangements will cut into your valuable recording time.
4. Confirm Your Session
Make sure you confirm the dates and times of your recording session with the studio and engineer. Time is money and you’ll want to make sure you know exactly when to arrive and how much time you have for recording.
5. Get Your Gear Ready
Before your recording session you should ensure all of your gear is in pristine condition. For guitarists this will mean restringing your guitar the day before recording and for drummers it means replacing drum heads. Make sure everything is in tip top shape for all musicians involved before you head to the studio.
6. Arrive Strategically
If you are part of a standard band, you’ll want to time your arrival strategically to get the most out of your recording time. This means the drummer will probably arrive and set up the kit first since this usually takes longer than setting up things like guitar amps. Plan your arrival so you won’t waste valuable time in the studio.
7. Be On Time
If the engineer is there then you are paying for recording studio time, regardless of when you actually arrive. If you get there 3 hours late then you’ll only get 7 hours of recording studio time but have to pay for 10. This is wasteful and will reduce your chances to get the best music possible from your recording session. Be on time!
8. Leave Friends At Home
Unless someone is playing an instrument that needs to be recorded, they should not be in the studio with you. Leave your friends, girlfriends and groupies at home so you can focus on the task at hand without major distractions. Friends in the studio can become major time sinks so avoid this entirely by only bringing working musicians needed for the recording.
9. Review Your Recording Budget
Before you enter the recording studio you should review your overall budget for recording. Remember that your recording budget needs to cover both mixing and tracking in the studio. Consider how many of your will have input and need to be recorded when you are making sure your budget will cover everything in the studio.
10. Respect The Studio
You don’t own the recording studio – that is why you are renting it to create music. Be respectful of the studio’s space, time, employees, and policies. Check with studio about policies regarding things like alcohol and tobacco before you begin recording. Plan to stay professional in the studio and party after your work there is done.
11. Know What You’re Getting
Make sure you know and agree with what you will be walking away with before your session begins. Each studio is different so it’s up to you to know how the recording studio will save your tracks and what they will provide to you. Find out if you need to provide your own external hard drives and how your music will be backed up so it won’t be lost. Make sure the studio will send tracks to your Musistic account in addition to any other methods.
12. Stay Positive
One of the most important things to bring to the studio is a positive attitude. Things will go wrong and frustrate you. Don’t let these distractions derail your entire recording session. Start out with a positive attitude and encourage your bandmates to keep a good team effort. In the end you’ll be better equipped to overcome the mistakes you make while recording to make something awesome.