The following blog is by a special Guest Author and presented in collaboration with www.selectrecordingstudios.co.uk
Make The Most Of Recording Studio Time
Whether you’re about to record an album or making a demo that you can shop around to record companies, studio time is a significant investment – so it pays to do everything you can to get the most bang for your buck. It’s essential to carefully plan and organise your time so you don’t waste a minute and end up with nothing to show for a day’s recording. Follow these simple steps to get everything you can out of time in the recording studio and end up with results you love.
1. Get Studio Versions of Songs Prepared
There’s a huge difference between live performance and performing in a studio so make sure you’ve checked your arrangements and worked out how best to record your song. Creating succinct, tight versions of your song will afford you the best results and save time in the studio too. If you’re trying to promote your band, then a sloppy demo is not the best way to go about it. The more slick and professional your demo is the more likely you are to be picked up.
2. Set Studio Time Goals
You’ll have a set amount of hours in the studio but whether it’s a day or a fortnight, treat it like a job and carefully map out your time. This is especially important if you need to accommodate other musicians flexibly. Once you’re in the studio time will fly so it’s much more effective to have a concrete timetable than a loose plan.
Choose one or two tracks to work on in a day and don’t be tempted to squeeze more in if you don’t have any longer. It’s much better to complete two songs perfectly than end up with a bunch of half finished recordings. A three minute song could take three hours to record so it’s unlikely that you’ll finish a whole album in a day. However, there’s always the chance that you’ll get things done more quickly than you expected so make contingencies for any time you have left by preparing a couple of extra tracks just in case.
If you’re working with a band then make sure they’re aware of your plans and understand what your expectations of them are. That way there’s far less likely to be confusion over which songs to learn or which instruments to bring.
3. Opt for Professional Mastering
Mixing is usually done by engineers within a recording studio but mastering is an entirely different process. If you eliminate mastering from the studio time you have it can allow you to fit in more. You can get your recordings mastered at a later date but make sure you enlist someone with the skills and experience you need. Although professional mastering is a separate investment, you’ll end up with better results than you will if you try to do everything at once.
4. Eat and Drink
It may sound silly but when you’re caught up in the moment everything else goes out of the window, but forgetting to eat and drink certainly won’t help your performance. If you want to maintain your energy levels then choose healthy foods that release energy slowly like wholemeal bread, porridge and brown rice. Avoid high fat, high sugar foods as they will give you a burst of energy followed by a slump. Keep hydrated with plenty of water and if you want to stay on your toes avoid drinking alcohol.
5. Pick the Right Studio
Embarking on your first recording studio session can be daunting so look for a studio that caters for your needs. Most studios accommodate amateurs and professionals but will incorporate differing levels of service. A good studio will have friendly, helpful, well-qualified staff who will be able to talk you through the recording process and put you at ease. They’ll also be able to help you find ways to improve your performance and offer advice on recording techniques.
You’ll find useful information on the majority of recording studio websites about the kind of work they do and some will even allow you to listen in to recent recordings so you can get a feel for the type of result you can expect.
If you’re feeling a little intimidated by the idea of a recording studio session then pay a visit to the studio before it takes place. Staff there should be happy to give you a tour and let you familiarise yourself with the surroundings and what will happen on the day, which will help you to feel more at ease when you finally come to record.
So if you’re set to become the next big thing make sure you start off on the right foot and follow these tips to ensure that your recording studio session is a rousing success.
About the Author:
I’m a fifty something technical director with a passion for the food industry and blogging.
I’m happily married with two grown up daughters.