10 Tips to Ensure a Great Studio Experience
As a studio sound engineer, questions about how to prepare for the studio come up often, so we thought it would be valuable to put some tips on the website to help musicians have a great experience while in the studio. Here are 10 things a musician can do before entering the studio that will save time, money and make the finished product much better.
- Be sure to REHEARSE your tunes a ton. So much that you don’t have to think about it. This will allow your artistry to come out in the studio. It is great when someone comes in that really knows their tune and they are comfortable enough with it that they can be themselves while recording.
- Bring multiple copies of the lyrics and or printed music, if you are working off of a written part. This will allow others involved in the process to have a reference. If it is a vocal session, the producer or engineer will need a lyric sheet in the control room. Sometimes the singer and the instrumentalist will be in separate locations, and won’t be able to read off of the same piece of music, so save some time and have plenty of printed materials ready before coming to the studio.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to the studio so you can arrive on time. If you’ve got gear to haul in, consider that in your time planning. We will be out setting up the room, so it will be ready to go when the session downbeat is booked. If we’re all ready to go at the same time we can have some fun.
- If you want to track your instruments first and then record the vocal separately, then be sure to rehearse your instruments WITHOUT the vocal. Many times. Know it as well this way as with the vocal, if you want to track the two separately. This will reduce recording and editing time.
- If you would like to track to a click track in the studio, be SURE to rehearse to a click at home or at the practice room. Many times. Otherwise trying to play to a metronome in the headphones will be a soul-searing experience.
- Make as many decisions as you can about song production and instrumentation before coming to the studio. If you want to add a harmony part after you do the lead vocal, then work it out at home rather than at the studio. We’re glad to sit there while you try a bunch of different things, but it can get expensive as time goes by. Time flies when you’re having fun!
- Bring few, if any, extra people who are not involved with your music. Although it can be fun to bring along a lot of friends and family to the studio, it quite often can be counterproductive. Extra folks in the studio leads to a lot of extra conversation that can cause loss of focus for all involved.
- Be sure to bring all your own amps, guitar pedals, instruments, effects, etc… We may have something here at the studio you might rather use, but it is best to start off with what you are used to using and are familiar with.
- If you are planning to bring in any kind of tracks or session material you have recorded at home or at another studio, be sure to let us know, so we can all be on the same page as far as formats go. Nothing is worse than when you are ready to make music and instead are fighting to get some funky file to open. Be sure to bring a backup copy of any media, so you have another option if things go south.
- Remember things like new strings on your guitar or new heads on your drums—do this a few days BEFORE your session, so the new things have a chance to get a bit broken in as far as stable tuning goes. Guitar strings that go out of tune easily can drastically slow down recording time and quality.
Finally, be prepared to have some fun. We’re here to make your time in the studio as productive and pleasant as possible. If you have any questions or would like to book studio time, we are at your service. Call us at 801-375-5764. We look forward to hearing from you.