How to Get the Most from Your Recording Studio Session

As a musician, going to a professional studio to record for the first time can be an experience that is both exciting and intimidating. And if you’re not fully prepared for your session, it can also turn out to be more expensive than it needs to be.

Many solo artists and bands make simple mistakes when using a recording studio for the first time that end up making the experience longer and pricier than it needs to be. So, before you head to the recording studio for the first time to start making music, here are some of the key things to do to make sure that you’re ready for a focused, efficient session. 

Choose the Right Recording Studio

First, make sure that you have picked the right recording studio for you. The experience will only be longer, more frustrating, and potentially more expensive if you head to the recording studio only to find that it does not have the right setup or equipment for the music that you want to make, or that the rooms are too small for your band, for example. Spend some time researching suitable recording studios before booking your session and make sure that you’ve taken all the important factors into consideration including the location, facilities, equipment, and price. It’s also worth listening to some music that has been recorded in the studio. If you are looking for a good studio space in Brooklyn, this Brooklyn music studio from PIRATE is an ideal choice. PIRATE offer a range of music recording studios with different sizes available for bands and solo musicians, fully kitted out with the state-of-the art equipment you expect to make great music. 

Define Your Vision for the Session

Once you have found the right studio for you and booked a session, it’s a good idea to come up with a vision for what you want to accomplish while you are there. Some musicians will book their studio sessions one at a time to make managing their budget easier, while others prefer to book out blocks of time so that they can get on with recording. Whichever you have chosen, make sure that you have a clear idea when it comes to what you want to get out of each session, and make sure that you are being realistic with it. For example, if you’ve only booked a single day, you probably won’t have the time to finish a song. 

Finish Your Songwriting and Prepare a Demo

Some artists will head to the studio with just a vague idea in mind when it comes to what they want their song or a part of their song to sound like. However, this can be a massive setback and can end up costing you a lot more since a lot of your studio time will be taken up by preparing your song. Instead, save money and time while enjoying a more efficient session by making sure that the song you want to record is fully written and arranged before you arrive. Make sure that every part, layer, and instrument in the song is played out so that you’re not wasting your studio time writing and practicing your parts in the studio before you can begin recording. Preparing some demos of your song can help with this since hearing a part on recording can change your perspective of it. 

Bring the Necessary Plug-ins and Files

One of the best ways to save as much studio time as possible is to complete some of your recordings before you arrive. For example, you could program the drums for your song, prepare any effects that you want to add, or record DI electric guitars that can be re-amped in the studio. Doing this can save you potentially hours, or even days of studio time depending on what you are recording. And for some genres, pre-recorded or programmed sounds can sound better. 

Be Realistic with Mixing and Mastering Expectations

Many musicians will go to the studio with the misconception that mixing and mastering can completely change how the song sounds. While this is true to an extent, since a good sound engineer can make a song sound a lot better with mixing and mastering, they are only able to work with what they have in the tracks. So, if you’re not happy with the tone of instruments such as your guitar, use your studio time to fix this before the mixing and mastering stage. You’ll also want to make sure that your performance is as clean as possible before leaving the studio for mixing and mastering, otherwise you may be disappointed with the final track. 

Make a To-Do list

Along with having a vision for your studio session and realistic expectations for what you can achieve, you can make your time in the recording studio as effective as possible by going in armed with a to-do list and organizing your tasks. If you’re recording with a band, for example, switching your instruments in the studio can take up a lot of time. If you’re setting up to record the guitars, you’ll need to set up your amp and cabinet and get the mics in place, before tuning the guitar, which can take a while. For the vocals, it can take some time to find and set up the mic that is going to complement the vocalist’s style best. Due to what’s involved in setting up and switching between instruments, creating a to-do list that organizes your session by the instrument can be a very effective plan. It allows you to keep track of what you need to do and complete all the parts for each individual instrument at once, to avoid going back and forth, which will waste your time in the studio. 

Whether you’re in a band or a solo artist, getting the most from your session when using a professional recording studio is important for saving both time and money. Keep these tips in mind before you go to make the most of your studio session.

No comments