Realize that by going into the recording studio you are putting your band and your music under a microscope where it will be poked and prodded into submission. Every line, every transition, and every break will be revealed in astonishing clarity and failing to prepare yourselves and your music for this environment can be the difference between a successful song and just another forgotten track.
Don’t fret; here are a few tips to help you prepare for a successful studio project:
Download the studio checklist.
Have You Even Practiced This Before?
Have your songs completed before going into the studio. The studio is not the place to be writing and practicing your material. Save that for back home where it’s free. You wouldnâ€™t build a bridge without a set of plans, would you? Be prepared before hitting the studio. You will save yourself a bunch of money and everyone else a giant headache.
Start With Nothing But The Best
Beg, borrow, or rent the best equipment you can get your hands on. Everything starts with your gear and starting in the hole just makes everything else harder. That starter drum kit may be fine for rehearsal or even live gigs, but all will be revealed once we throw a mic in front of it and try and sell it to the world.
Make sure your gear works before we hit record. Do all the amps work? Do the drums rattle and squeak? Do the outputs on your keyboard sound alright? Asking yourself a few simple questions can save the day.
Preparing Yourself For War
Musical instruments can and will break–usually at the worst of times. Luckily many problems can be easily solved with a bit of preparation. Bring along extra sets of guitar and bass strings, guitar picks, cables, drum sticks, drum heads, drum keys, and batteries to power gear.
Restring Your Ax
Put a set of fresh strings on all your guitars and basses the day before the studio session to get the fullest sound possible. The extra day will give the strings some extra time to stretch out a bit–no one likes a guitar that constantly goes out of tune.
What Do You Want To Sound Like?
One of the most difficult questions for bands to answer is: â€œWhat do you want your songs to sound like?â€ Most jazz groups don’t want their songs sounding like an extreme black metal record. Let us know what sound you are looking for. The easiest way to do that is with a great example. Something as simple as an iPod or a CD of a song with a sound you like will go a long way in helping us understand the sound you are looking for.
More Is Not Better.
We know you love your girlfriend dearly, but unless she’s going to be on the record, or is bringing the audio engineer cupcakes, we would advise that you leave her and the rest of your posse at home. You are here to do one thing and only one thing…make the best damn record you can. Trust us when we say that everyone else just gets in the way of that process.
The More You Party The Worse You Sound.
We know you have an image to uphold as the hardest partying group in the whole city, but that’s not going to help you in the studio. Vocals quickly become harsh and out of tune. Musical parts get sloppy and offbeat. Soon enough a great song dissolves into a smoking wreck that you can’t stand listening to. Get a good night sleep before coming in and everything, including recording, becomes easier. Unless you have the budget to hire studio musicians to come in and re-record the drunken mess youâ€™ve made the day before, we suggest you save the beers for your next gig.
Food Can Be The Best Motivator.
Studio sessions are long, tiring, and take everything you have to keep things running smoothly. Bring along your favorite food and drinks because you’re in for the long haul. Nothing keeps morale up better than having a bag of Cheetos ready and waiting when you need it.