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

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After your session

Despite the fact that its your music that is on the line, engineers put a lot of heart and soul into making sure your music sounds the best it can for your budget. So if you think that your engineer has helped make you sound great, thank him or her. They really do appreciate it when they are thanked. Also if you are releasing the music, make sure to get the correct spelling of all of the engineering staff for credits that are due to them in the liner notes. Also make sure that you get the actual roles that each one played so that they are given the proper credit for their work.

If you have paid for tape, take it with you. Although studios often keep tape for their clients, if there is a problem with the studio in the future, and you need to get mixes done elsewhere, you will need your tape. Its always a good practice to take the tape with you. Not just the final mix, but the actual tracking tape. You should also request a copy of track sheets for your tape. These are engineering notes about the recording session, so that any other engineer can work out what was done at the past session.

Problems I have seen in recording sessions

The most common problem is one of lack of preparation. Most often this is reflected in arguments that occur in the studio between musicians, as one is trying to direct the other. These sorts of issues and negotiations are best done outside of the studio where it doesn't cost anything. Also third parties who are invited to sit in on studio sessions (i.e. girlfriends, friends, spouses, etc.) can offer suggestions during the recording process that may be expensive in terms of time to explore them. I often suggest to artists that they don't bring third parties into recording sessions because it can be very disruptive. At the end of the day, its a decision that the artist has to make, but as it can be quite expensive in today's studios, the use of time must be maximized.

The worst kind of mistake that can be made is to not be prepared by missing some important piece of equipment, etc. These simple mistakes can cost dearly if a session can't be completed because of a missing item. Remember, you are on the clock when you are in the studio. Don't waste time.

Finally a lack of understanding as to the overall purpose of your recording creates an environment where there are no rules and this can be devastating. Especially when one of the musicians decides that its going to take 4 hours to get his or her part "perfect". Does it need to be perfect? Is this a necessary expense? The only way to answer that question is to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the recording and to put the situation in context with the purpose. Maybe you have to say "Sorry, that take is fine for what we want" or maybe you should say "You can do that better - try it again". Its all dependent on the overall purpose of the recording


A well prepared recording session will give you the best result for your money. I hope that some of these points help you achieve success in the studio! Good luck.



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