Know Your Tools and Room
When it comes to making a great record, preparation is a key element. A great mix starts with a great recording. Preparing the song arrangement, laying out the parts, structuring the recording, and making sure we get what we need for a good mix during the tracking session is paramount to sounding professional in the end.
For serious studio work, everybody should be prepared. The artist can make a big difference in the production by coming in to the studio ready and well rehearsed. The engineer should add confidence to the process by knowing his tools and the methods required to get the project to the finish line with an acceptable sounding master.
By preparing ahead of time, the studio time can be maximized to get the most bang for your buck. For the artist, the time to figure out what everyone is supposed to be playing is at rehearsal, not in the studio. Second guessing parts, tempos, and other important elements of a song can rob the artist of energy and momentum, slowing things down in the studio.
The engineer should have the session set up ahead of time, with input and output routing worked out for clean signal flow, and have the room, headphones, and mic lines set up and ready before the session.
The engineer should be prepared for what is scheduled, but also be prepared to change course midstream. This will ensure that the artist does not have to wait for the engineer to set up, and keeps the ideas flowing and the session moving along while the musical energy is strong.
For recording sessions, it is recommended that you make sure the songs arrangements and performances are worked out ahead of your session and the band is well rehearsed, and you’ll get the most out of your studio time. Capturing a great performance of a great arrangement of a great song does not happen by accident, it takes focused preparation and execution.
It’s also a good idea to discuss with the engineer what you would like to get accomplished at each session, so the team is moving in lockstep toward a common goal. Prepare the artist and the studio, and you’ll get great results! Happy recording!