Don't Panic! How To Make Your Best Record Yet
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
How to make the most of your recording
As the old saying goes 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail' and this is very much true for the
recording studio too! Studio time is expensive and often paid for by the hour, so here's
some quick thoughts on how to make the most of your recording time.
Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
The most vital step to recording good tracks, quickly and with skill is rehearsal! Does the drummer know the cues for each section from the rhythm guitar? Does the singer know all the words? To the backing vocalists know their harmonies? This step is probably the make or break of your record. Time spent here is time saved in the studio.
2. Get That Gear In Shape
Recording modern rock requires your equipment to be the best it can be. New strings for guitars (and bass!) is an essential, alongside new drum heads. Consider having your guitar professionally setup to make sure it's in tune all the way up and down the neck. Similarly, if your amp requires new tubes, make it happen. Coming out of the studio with bad sounds because of your old strings can be so disappointing! Also make sure you have spares of EVERYTHING, sticks, picks and strings!
3. Be Realistic
If you want to record a 5 track EP then make sure you have enough time! A good rule of thumb is a song takes 1-1.5 days to record, so scale up appropriately for your project
4. Bring Food
If you're anything like me, then you don't work well on an empty stomach! Bring plenty of nutritious food to the studio (sadly a salad will probably make better takes than a burger!)
The night before, don't stay up watching TV, make sure you have a good, full nights sleep so you're well rested.
6. Turn Up On Time
As recording studios usually charge by the day (or hour) every moment counts! If you've booked the studio from 10am, then the whole band should turn up at 10am!
7. Practice With A Click
Recording to a click is the way modern music is recorded. Get it right, and the band sounds professional. Get it wrong, and the whole record is a mess. It's worth putting time in here.
8. Recording A Demo
If you're planning on heading to a studio rather than a home studio, put time into recording a demo. It doesn't have to be complicated, midi drums and amp simulations will do. This can iron out basic but often contentious issues such as tempo.
9. Chat With Others
If you have questions about the process, speak with your engineer, or chat with other bands who have records you enjoy. Engineers aren't mean people (generally!) and other bands are often only too happy to relay ideas and thoughts for making the recording process easier.
10. Have Fun!
Recording can be great fun, especially when you start experimenting. So once you get the essentials sorted it'll be a whole lot more enjoyable to make!
What are your thoughts? Is there anything I missed you consider essential? Comment below to let me know!