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Are you ready for your studio session?
(Page 3 of 4)
(c) 2002 Myles Wakeham

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Are you ready?

If you have any doubts to your readiness for recording, then its time to get back in the rehearsal room. You want to spend as much time out of the studio before you start paying for recording time. A trick I recommend my clients is to use a cheap 4 track recorder to pre-produce their recordings. A 4 track system is basically a tape based recording system that will allow for 4 tracks to be recorded independantly and they mixed down. The goal here is not to make a quality recording, but to go through the motions of what will happen in the studio, to get the bugs out of your recording before you start paying for studio time. You can setup a 4 track system in your rehearsal environment, and use it to make sure that everyone is well rehearsed for the recording. The experience will save you hundreds of dollars in the studio, and ensure that everyone is ready.

If you don't have access to a 4 track recording system, they can be purchased for usually under $500 new, or much cheaper used. Some music stores can rent them out to you. Just ask.

You might also find that if you are trying to work out what songs to record, the 4 track experience will give you some advance notice on what songs sound better recorded then others. Certainly this is something you are best to know before going into your studio session.

So it's the big day

On the day of your studio session, remember that the clock is ticking when you all enter the building. So you need to make sure that the following items are already catered for:

a. You have enough recording tape b. You have a DAT tape for your mixdown c. Your instrument is prepared to be sounding the best it can d. You have spare strings (if you play a stringed instrument) e. You have spare picks (if you are a guitarist) f. You have your tuner g. You have all your accessories h. Bring water, if you are a singer - you'll need it to freshen your vocal chords from time to time i. Bring a notepad and pen for notes during the session j. Bring money for the studio - some want a deposit up front to secure your booking

If you are a drummer, make sure your snare drum has a new head on it. If you are a guitarist, make sure you are new strings on your guitar, and make sure that these strings were put on 48 hours beforehand, so that they can stretch and stay in tune for your session. Bass players are less likely to need new strings, however if yours are very old, consider a studio session as the ideal catalyst for changing your strings.

Don't bring alcohol to a studio session. Although many studios don't mind, many would prefer that you don't bring alcohol into the session. The engineer needs you to be at your most alert during the performance you have to give. Also most studios are non-smoking environments, due to the equipment there. So don't expect to be able to smoke inside the studio.

Despite the glamour that studios are given on rock videos, etc., you will find them to be very boring places, as you have to wait for other musicians to play their parts, or for the engineering teams to get equipment setup for you. You can be waiting for hours and hours, so bring something to read. It really can help pass the time waiting. Finally expect to have food brought in. Pizza is often a staple studio diet, because it can be delivered. You might want to make sure you have funds to cover food during your session.



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