Your music is all set to be recorded, you have put in laborious hours for the composition and the rehearsal, your band has smoothed out all the bumpy spots, your music has gleaned a beautiful flow from the beginning to the end, and for your crowning glory you have booked the recording studio to immortalize your music. However, recording time incurs a hefty cost and it is imperative that you go with ample preparation to garner the most out of your time. Without diligent forethought, your limited studio time will slip away with little to show for it. Here are the top 7 ways to maximize your studio time:
Be Ready for Recording
First things first, your band should be all set for recording. To kick it off, all the parts should be in place and your music should be finalized. This entails that the band has rehearsed amply and all the band members are on the same page about how they are going to perform a song. The last thing anybody wants is to squander valuable recording time composing music on the fly and rehearsing parts of songs. While it’s ok to get creative or experiment, the core foundation of each track must be maintained.
Prepare the Studio Versions of your Songs
There is a huge difference between the version of the song that you use while performing live and the recorded version. Before entering your recording session, you should sketch out all the arrangements and the songs, making sure that each song is a succinct and tight rendition of the song you wrote. This would save you a great deal of session time and is especially imperative when you write music for sync opportunities or to be shopped for licensing. Practicing is way cheaper at the rehearsal space than at the studio.
Set Realistic Goals for the Recording Time
Optimizing the precious time you have acquired in the studio goes to your benefit and it is important that you set realistic goals for your recording session time. Pick a track or two and work on it for a day and then prepare a “what if” plan in case if you get both songs done in time. Many artists are under the false impression that they can puff out all the songs in a single day. Granted that an average song is 3 minutes long, it could take hours to record. Realistically, you should forget about recording all the songs in your repertoire within a day.
All Your Instruments Should be in Top Notch Shape
All your instruments should sound right and be in excellent shape before entering your recording session. If strings need to be replaced, swap them at least 3 days prior to the session, to give them ample time to stretch to glean a brilliant sound. Recordings really suffer from old strings. All the drummers should bring extra snares and drum heads so that you can hear what the recorded sound would turn out to be. Vocalists should warm up their voices prior to entering the studio and refrain from drinking any cold water as it would constrict the vocal chords.
Take Your Tracks to a Professional
Although mixing can be achieved within the studio, mastering is a lot more detail oriented and complex and should be kept separate from the recording process. In addition, you can limit your studio time by taking the mastering out of the equation. Even if the studio or the engineer offers you mastering, you should focus your attention on the recording process.
Put Someone in Charge of Time management
Staying on track is one of the hardest things. An engineer can help you manage your time but it’s more prudent to have a band member manage the time for you. Simply using the timer on a smart phone is enough. Figure out how much time is needed to record a particular song and try to stick to it. It’s easy to get caught up in over dubbing tracks and recording and time can slip away. Figure out a way to stay on schedule and stay on track.
Choose the Right Studio
Engineers and studios are usually more adapt for a certain genre of music which could influence the direction of the recording and the sound style. This needs to be considered before picking a studio. A studio famous for classical work won’t work well when recording a hip hop album.
By using these tips, you can maximize your time in the studio and help ensure a smooth recording session.