The following will help prepare you for the studio.
Please take the time to read this guide carefully.
Capturing your best possible performance is a challenge.. The list below will help you ready yourself for the recording process.. Preparation is paramount before entering the studio; also referred to as Pre-Production..
- KNOW YOUR PARTS; PRACTISE YOUR PARTS - When you're paying for studio time it pays to sort out all the kinks beforehand. Things sound clearer in the studio so any parts that aren't quite right become exposed. Focus on articulating your parts clearly and confidently.
- IF YOU RECORD TO A CLICK; PRACTICE TO A CLICK - Use a metronome at rehearsal to find the perfect BPM for each track. Software like GuitarPro is an easy way to map tempo changes and tab out ideas. If software isn't your thing then you could use a free metronome app on your smartphone. By the time you hit the studio the whole band should be used to practising to the click track.
- DEMO YOUR SONGS BEFORE RECORDING - Free recording software like Reaper or GarageBand will allow you get an idea how your song will work on recording, helping you to refine parts before entering the studio, thus leaving more time and energy for creativity & capturing the magic. It's also a great tool for songwriting.
- RE-STRING & SERVICE ALL GUITARS & BASSES - Strings are cheap compared to the cost of recording so there's really no excuses. Intonation & truss rod problems can wreak havoc on your tuning so always have your instrument serviced by a professional. Pick the string gauge that lets you play comfortably and effortlessly. Heavier gauge doesn't necessarily mean bigger sound, often it reduces clarity and presents tuning problems.
- NEW TOP SKINS FOR SNARE & TOMS - Slightly worn in, about one rehearsal worth of playing should do it. Also get some cymbal polish and use it, make them sparkle and the sound will sparkle. Often I find single-ply coated drum heads better for recording & double-ply clear heads better for live use but anything new is ok. We have a high-end Pearl drum kits available for hire if you fear your kit is not studio worthy.
- DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF - Recording can be stressful but getting stressed doesn't help your performance. Be alert but relaxed and try not to over-analyse your playing. It's the emotion you want to capture so it may help to focus more on the feel of the song, rather than the individual notes. Having said this don't under-perform either, be organically critical (wow did really just say organically critical). More often than not stress arises due to lack of preparation before entering the studio.
If you are submitting files for MIXING please note the following:
- All individual tracks must start from same 'zero' point in the song
- Bypass all eq's, compressors, reverbs and effects unless they bear particular relevance to the song
- Export the files at the same Sample-Rate & Bit-Rate they were originally recorded in (eg 48k, 24bit)
- When using programmed drums, please provide a stereo mix of drum audio as well as the MIDI file
- All guitar files for re-amping must be from a clean, direct source without any distortion/effects
- Where possible please provide a rough mix and separate click track starting from same 'zero' point
Recording and mixing can be complicated. Contact us to discuss your project in detail.