As promised – here is my second batch of top tips. For last time’s tips on playing live look here.
Top 10 tips for in the studio
1.Meet the producer / engineer before the session. Discuss your project with them. Make sure they understand what you want. Play them some songs. Make sure you are happy and comfortable with them. If you’re not, find a different producer / engineer.
2. Be organised – plan ahead. If you need extra people, equipment, etc. make sure it will be available, ready and in place. Make sure all the band can get there on time. Organise transport / alarm calls in advance.
3. Rehearse – practise like crazy before you get to the studio. Focus on difficult bits to get them right. Get it so you can play it in your sleep before you start paying studio rates.
4. New strings / skins – treat yourself to new strings/skins before you get to the studio. You’ll get a better sound.
5. Singer – plenty of sleep the night before so your voice is relaxed and fresh. And no alcohol or dairy products for at least a few hours before singing helps your voice. Smoking? – nuff said.
6. Take spares – strings, leads, skins, sticks, water bottles, etc.
7. Tune up properly – This is important. Just because it sounds good to you, doesn’t mean it’s right. Use a tuner. If you’re not sure, get the engineer to help.
8. Record sensitive vocals before raucous ones – otherwise you’ll weaken your voice for the more delicate parts.
9. Don’t mix on the same day you record – after recording loud music for a day your ears will be tired. Book your mixing session for another day when your ears are fresh.
10. Don’t mix by committee. You may have heard the phrase “everything louder than everything else” and if the whole band is there everyone will want their instrument loudest (or in some cases hidden). Choose one or two members to sit in on the mix and (assuming you chose your producer / engineer well initially) trust your engineer / producer’s advice. He/she’s the professional.
OK. Enough top 10s. Next time, we’ll start our journey in earnest.