Are you ready to go back to the recording studio?February 1, 2023
A return to regular activities can mean stepping into a recording studio for the first time in months. Keep these tips in mind when preparing for your recording session.
As the real world and the world of music open up, you may be forced to return to the recording studio for the first time in over a year. If you’re feeling rusty, scared, or just excited, here are a few quick tips to help you re-adjust and get back to tracking beautiful music.
Lead the way on pandemic-related safety.
Before you hear the first note, take some time to think about how best to create an atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable and safe. Discuss health-related measures ahead of time with your engineers, bandmates, producers, and everyone involved. Are you and your collaborators vaccinated? Is masking expected in the session or is a pre-test required? Would everyone feel safer if we opened the windows or installed air filters? Are any of the people involved in the recording or production with low tolerance or special accommodations?
Blunt conversations about health and illness can feel awkward, but don’t let that deter you. It is much wiser to discuss in advance than not to ask and not to answer. When the red light comes on, we want everyone to feel safe, comfortable, and ready to create.
Check out our best practices.
After being away for a long time and preoccupied with the pandemic, it’s easy to forget what works and what doesn’t work in the studio. Remember to emphasize communication and flexibility when going back. We want everyone we work with to be talented, and dedicated, and to make the best Music recording studio production possible when everyone involved feels they can do what they do best. Be aware of how your collaborators are using your space. Always check before entering a live room or iso booth, in case someone is recording or testing the sound.
Give your engineers the space, time and quiet they need to get the job done. A panicked or distracted engineer is of no use to anyone.
Interruptions can be a huge part of any recording session, but it’s important to keep working. Don’t get lost in long stories, engrossing video games, drugs and alcohol, or anything else that eats up your concentration or valuable recording time.
Keep your eyes peeled for prizes. At a recording studio, your goal is to record great music. Make it your priority while you’re there.
Plan Your Music Ahead
Even if you like being flexible in your studio, having some sort of plan will help you use your time most productively.
Are you trying to fill out an EP with brief arrangements, or put demos in for full production later? Need to capture just some guitar overdubs, or want to bring in the entire chorus for the epic finale of your song?
Regardless of which particular track you want to leave, try to define the goals of your session as clearly as possible. Especially when everyone is back in the studio feeling awkward or distracted. The more you focus on what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to achieve that goal.
Studio monitors are very different from consumer speakers. They may look the same, but most home speakers are built for listening to music, not for working with it.
Many consumer speakers are tuned to provide richer bass and midrange by boosting or minimizing certain frequency bands. This is because people generally perceive that music with boosted low frequencies sounds better. (Even a NASA scientist explained this in 2016!) However, this may mask a flaw in the mix.
On the other hand, studio monitors are designed to provide more faithful sound reproduction. All speakers have unique sonic characteristics, but overall studio monitors are more accurate and lack built-in enhancements. Adjustments are possible. Some studio monitors allow you to adjust the bass, mid and high frequency ranges, while others come with a measuring microphone to calibrate the monitor to the room.