How to Prepare for a Recording Session?
You booked a recording session? Great! Now it’s time for preparation! It is an essential part of ensuring that you will be able to deliver your best performance and that you can make as much use as possible of the precious studio time. Here are some tips.
Become comfortable with the material
It is essential to feel comfortable with the material you are recording. Make sure you have rehearsed the songs or pieces thoroughly and are confident in your ability to perform them. If you are not confident with the material, it can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety during the recording session, which can affect your performance negatively.
Define a goal for the session
Before the recording session, define your goal. What do you want to achieve from this recording? Is it to create a demo for a record label, or is it to record a single for release? Knowing your goal will help you stay focused and motivated and will enable the recording engineer to help you to meet your goal.
Now, I hate to sound like your mom, but it’s so important to stay hydrated. This is especially valid for vocalists, but also for other instrumentalists. Recording in a studio is sometimes nerve wrecking, and you need to stay focussed over a long time. It’s much easier when you are well hydrated. Please bring your own water to the session.
Prepare your Instrument
When you are an instrumentalist, please take care of your instrument the day before. For example it might want a new set of strings, or needs some cleaning, adjusting etc. Whatever you do, bring your instrument in the best possible and prepared condition. Please don’t forget to test cables, preamps, amps, valves, effects, batteries, and whatever you will need for your recording performance. Nothing is more enerving than gear that does not work properly due to missing maintenance.
Send all Information in Advance
The recording engineer needs to have as much information in advance as possible. This includes information about what gear you will bring and what you want to record. If you require specific microphones or signal paths or have any particular preferences regarding the setup, it’s essential to communicate them in advance. Additionally, please provide any necessary backing tracks, stem files, and BPM information at the earliest opportunity, as this will enable the recording engineer to prepare the DAW session in advance.
It would also be helpful to provide a list of reference tracks, if available, to the recording engineer. This will allow getting a better understanding of the desired style and vibe before the recording session. Providing reference tracks can aid the engineer in making decisions about mic placement, EQ, and overall mix, ultimately leading to a more successful recording.
Warm-up before recording
Just like athletes warm up before a game, musicians should also warm up before recording. This helps to prevent any strain or injury to your voice or muscles. You can warm up by doing vocal exercises, playing scales, doing stretches, or simply meditate and focus.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep the night before the recording session is crucial. Being well-rested will help you stay focused and energized throughout the session.
Arrive early and be prepared
Arriving early at the recording studio will give you time to set up your equipment, tune your instrument, and get comfortable with the surroundings. Time is precious in the recording studio and the clock is ticking from the time we scheduled. It is also essential to come prepared with any necessary equipment or accessories, such as extra strings or picks.