Is Your Band Going into a Recording Studio? 10 Recording Session Tips to Get the Most from Your Studio Time!

recording studio tips

Having a GREAT session is possible with these ten recording session tips!

Did your band book time in a studio recently? Here are our 10 recording session tips for getting the most from your studio time, and the best final product possible.

  • Know your material
    • Out of our 10 recording session tips, this is the biggest! It goes without saying that a band should know their material inside and out before recording it, but we see bands in the studio all the time who need several takes just to complete a song, simply because they haven’t rehearsed it enough. You’re better off postponing a session for a few weeks while you practice your songs, rather than to rush to recording. The more you practice your songs, the tighter the band will be, and the better the recording.

      Recording Session Tips

      Recording sessions can be FUN and less stressful if you follow these tips!

  • Use the best instruments you can
    • Have a budget guitar, or a beginner drum kit? They’re going to sound like beginner instruments when recorded. Borrow or rent some quality gear, or better yet see if your studio has instruments that you can use (NHTunes has guitars, basses, amplifiers, and even a great drum kit for our client’s use). Don’t be too proud to use a better instrument; the final mix will thank you for it.
  • Pick your best songs
    • Whether original or covers, pick your best material to record. Ask other’s opinions – their picks may be different from yours. If you’re making a demo of covers, think or the places you’ll want to perform at, and what they would want to hear.
  • Record sober
    • Contrary to myth and legend, sober musicians perform better, period. A beer or two may work to lighten the mood, but don’t overdo it.
  • Listen to the engineer’s feedback
    • A good engineer will provide feedback when solicited (and sometimes when not), and when they do, listen. They likely have much more studio experience than you do, so listen to them and utilize their wisdom to your advantage.
  • Monitoring is important  
    • Look for a studio (like NHTunes) that has a multi-track monitoring system, which means each band member can dial in their own custom mix when recording. Not being able to hear yourself properly when recording leads to performance anxiety and possibly a bad performance.
  • Don’t rush the process 
    • Even if you’re prepared and ready to rock, be patient and enjoy the recording process. Rushing to get five songs done instead of three usually means cutting corners. Take your time, listen well to your takes, and redo if they are not acceptable. Don’t expect perfection, but you should be happy with your performances.
  • Tuning is everything 
    • Be aware of you tuning! I’ve stopped many sessions mid-song to tune and out-of-tune instrument. We have a strobe tuner in house which is extremely accurate, but most clip-on tuners are fine as long as they are used!  Be aware that drums need to be tuned too… a big part of a great sounding kit is a well-tuned one.
  • Record in several blocks rather than one long session 
    • Bands tend to fatigue after a few hours; mistakes occur more frequently, and tensions tend to build. Plan on recording in smaller, say three hour blocks. Plan four three-hour sessions, rather than one 12 hour day. Sure, there’s a little loss to setup time, but that is more than made up for with a fresh band that’s ready-to-rock!
  • Be on time!
    • Studios tend to run pretty tight, and if you’re booked for a 5-8pm session, odds are there’s another client coming in at 8pm. So, the clock starts ticking at 5pm, and you should plan on arriving a little early (if the studio is not being used, the management may let you start setting up before the session). Being late is just negligence, raises tensions, and gets the session started on the wrong foot.
We hope these recording session tips will help you the next time your band is in the studio! For more on our recording studio, located in Manchester NH, please click HERE.
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