Regardless of the rise from the bedroom musician, with fantastic documents becoming manufactured in property studios far more abundantly than previously, no DAW or VST plugin with your notebook can emulate the tactile, engaging and deluxe experience of making music in a really collaborative and centered surroundings; equipped with expert hardware, acoustically dealt with rooms and the proper neighborhood vibe. Studios are often the perfect resolution for obtaining it all correct but can be a costly endeavor, especially when issues really don’t go as planned.
The recording method isn’t always uncomplicated and may be described as a volatile beast, so how can you guarantee factors do not spiral uncontrolled? Even though each and every artist’s circumstance will vary, these versatile and cautionary measures may possibly just conserve your life within the electrifying entire world of recording tunes.
Know what you will need
All too typically this stage is overlooked and will have devastating ramifications if ignored. Before considering the lengthy and somewhat high-priced method of recording audio, it’s important to ask: do I need this? Why do I need or want this? What will I hope to achieve from this? What will the end product sound like?
The answers to these questions will depend in your resources and motivations for recording. You may even find that your music doesn’t require the expert touch! However, understand that entering the studio blindly can severely affect your project’s budget, or your relationships with the people closely involved.
Chart-breakers don’t materialise from nothing. They’re culminations of many passionate hours (sometimes even years) of hard work and dedication, so get ready for MANY hours of labor ahead.
FIND The best STUDIO FOR YOU
The recording industry is rich with producers specializing in select genres, so be sure to choose the best one. You probably wouldn’t ask a prominent RnB producer to spearhead production on your own Grindcore debut.
Many of today’s great studios have historical legacies, through affiliation with world-class documents having been created in their facilities or the occupation of legendary in-house producers. Such studios frequently are linked to entire communities as hubs for like-minded artists. Use the experience as a networking opportunity!
Your encounter or agenda may also dictate your reconnaissance. Investigate their available digital and outboard gear, the sound and value of previous works, how large/small the tracking rooms are and so on. These factors, combined with the skill set in the engineer harnessing them, are key to determining how your recording will sound.
SET YOUR BUDGET & LIMITATIONS
By this stage, you will have figured out what, where and why you’ve chosen to record your songs professionally. Now you’re ready to flesh out the finer details such as tracking schedules, budgeting, equipment listing and more.
Budgeting comes first and will determine the scope of your project. Depending on how price is negotiated with the recording studio, your budget will define what sessions could be afforded, what equipment might be bought or leased for that project, along with the hours your engineer can fairly devote.
The quality of a great record is not tethered by what your budget permits but is rather a lot more easily attainable through how time is managed. While in the planet of recorded audio, meeting deadlines is paramount to moving forward. Having each instrument’s tracking sessions scheduled into a dedicated period will facilitate the focus to complete the allocated work. But constantly budget for an extra session or two in advance in case your sessions run a bit awry. It may just save your project!
Although fairly disconnected from the creative procedure of recording itself, a well-planned budget and schedule will introduce the discipline to complete milestones and minimize unwanted contingencies. In certain regions, a REALLY well-planned budget and schedule may deem your project eligible for any substantial arts grant, which may seriously bolster your project’s sonic potential and offset costs.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The recording approach is streamlined when all the musicians know their parts inside-out. So, it’s important that everybody can perform well as a group, independently and to a metronome if possible. Especially if you’re tracking a live drummer for your sessions, make sure they can play to the click track!
The value of a truly confident, skilled drummer is gold to audio engineers. If you can bring one into their studio, you’ll enhance their morale and admiration for what you’re doing.
Why? Your drummer underpins the production of any song in a lot more ways than simply laying down the beat. Tracking drums to a determined tempo will affect how dynamic and time-based processing might be effectively applied to tracks throughout the mixing procedure. Unless you’re tracking directly to tape, chances are you’ll preserve the engineer some painstaking hours of beat-correction, and resultantly your own expenses.
KNOW YOUR GEAR
Many studios may be well-equipped with immaculate vintage drumkits, rare tube amplifiers, boutique pedals and other handy toys. But chances are you’ll be bringing a volume of your own equipment, so make sure that it works!
How well your equipment works is down to you, be it for creative or functional reasons. It’s not uncommon for some musicians to deliberately leave old strings on guitars, or limit voltage to particular distortion pedals. But constantly at least make certain that your amplifier turns on, your guitar pedals power up, and your guitar signal works! Whether you’re chasing immaculate tone or a lo-fi aesthetic, no sound at all will constantly be bad news.
These methods are certainly not the be-all-and-end-all solutions to a fool-proof album recording plan. But should serve as a comprehensive template for how you can fortify your project, specifically if it’s your first time stepping into a professional studio.