Tips and Guidelines to Get the Most Out of Your Studio Session


Tips and Guidelines

1. Please try to book your session 2 weeks in advance. This will help insure that you get the time and day you’re looking for.

2. When booking your session we ask that you plan on a fixed number of hours. Please book no less than 3 hours of studio time, however depending on our schedule we may be able to leave sessions open ended or accept shorter sessions.

3. We take cash, check and you can pay online using your pay pal account or credit card. There will be a $25 fee for returned checks. Please make Checks payable to TribeSound Records.

4. You will be charged for set up time but not break down time.

5. Please be on time to your session. The clock starts running at your scheduled time.

6. If you need to cancel your session please give us 48 hours notice.

7. If you don’t show up or cancel less than 48 hours before your session a deposit will be required for booking future work at the studio.

Recording Tips

Before You Come In

1. Record your song during live gigs and pre-production rehearsals. Even a simple single-track recording may reveal weak parts of songs.

2. Have all the musical and vocal parts and harmonies worked out (know your guitar solos).

3. If you are using a computer or sequencer please prepare all sequenced material before the session.

4. If you plan to use a click track, make sure that you know the BPMs of your songs and that your drummer is comfortable playing to a click. (To get tight, practice to a click track at a very slow tempo)

5. Rehearse more songs than you plan to record. You never know which songs will sound strong on the final tape. (If you plan to have a four-song EP, prepare six songs just in case.)

6. Take care of your body before and during your recording sessions. Eat well, get enough sleep, and keep your ears rested and clear.

Setting Up

7. Be on time, the clock starts when you’re scheduled to be in.

8. Use new sticks, cords, drum sticks and heads – and bring spares!

The Recording Process

9. Remember, it’s emotion and feeling that makes the best song, not necessarily the best technical rendition.

10. If you mess up a part while recording, don’t stop or start over. That can easily cause you to burn out. Instead, check to see if the engineer can punch in the correction.

11. Always keep in mind the focus of your music. If it’s the vocals, plan to spend the most time on them. Don’t waste time highlighting things that aren’t the focal point.

12. Get the sound you want while recording. Never assume that you can fix it in the mix.

13. Unless you have unique effects, record individual tracks clean and add effects later.

14. Don’t double track everything. Doubling a lead vocal can hide all the subtleties that make a song personal and likeable. (it can work well with a chorus though)

15. Know when to quit for the day. If you’re tired, it will show.

16. Keep guests out! It’s your recording. Guests will distract you and may sway your opinions of how the music should sound.

17. Make backup copies after every recording session. Bring an external hard drive to devote to your project.

18. Tune up often.

19. Singers: Always bring room temperature water, but don’t use ice! Ice constricts your vocal chords. Hot tea with lemon and honey works well to relax your vocal chords.

20. Always get a track listing and accurate time log from the studio.

Monitoring the Mix

21. Listen to your music a moderate levels in your car or on a portable device. This is how most of fans will listen to it, and mixing at loud levels will fatigue your ears and distort the “true” sound.

22. Sometimes it’s good to take a day off and come back to listen. The same applies for mixdown. Ears don’t last very long in the studio!

23. Learn to recognize ear fatigue. You’re better off quitting a session early when you’re tired than wasting time making a bad mix that will have to be redone anyway.


24. Listen to some music you are familiar with in the studio to get an idea of what the monitors and room sound like.

25. Once you have selected an engineer (or a producer) to mix your recording, have them do the first mix. Their ears are better trained than yours. Try to keep an open mind.

26. Think about the songs as a whole and not just the individual instruments. Otherwise everyone will want their instrument louder in the mix.

27. Determine a band spokesperson ahead of time. An engineer getting five different opinions on how to mix will grow tired and might cause him/her to rush through the job.

28. Budget for and count on unforeseen delays.

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Artist Development at TribeSound Records

When owner Chris Cotter first started, managing and performing in his first successful touring band at the age of 21, he had no idea how to survive in the music industry. Over the years, as he learned the in’s and out’s of the industry, made mistakes, and beat his head against the wall, Chris had wished that there were someone there to mentor him. Someone to teach him how to be more successful at promotion and production, and in the industry in general. That experience led Chris to creating the Artist Development program here at TribeSound Studios. We believe that artists should have the knowledge and help that Chris was searching for. Below is a list that we have put together for the artists. It serves as a checklist for things that they should be thinking about while pursuing and enhancing their musical career. While we offer do these services through the studio, we encourage the artists to take and use these guidelines to further their own careers.

Production – TribeSound can provide you with a producer for your project. As an unbiased listener, the producer can give you experienced and informed feedback about your project, and help you to make your recording

Session Musicians – With our network of session musicians, we are able to offer you a variety of textures and sounds that could add to your recording. From saxophone solos to string quartets, and everything in between, if you feel your song needs something that you can’t play, we can help you out.

Mastering – Mastering your CD is crucial to a finished product. We work with mastering houses to offer the ability to provide you with a polished album that you can be proud of.

Artwork – TribeSound offers different design options for the packaging of your CD’s. We also have an excellent graphic designer who will work with you to create an eye catching, professional looking package. See price list to view pricing and common packaging options.

Promotional Packages – As an artist seeking promotion for booking and radio play, you’ll need a professional and creative press kit. We can do that. You might also need business cards, T-shirts, posters, post cards, and everything in between. We can do that too.

Web Design – We can offer you tips and tricks to help you spruce up your Facebook and Myspace pages, but sometimes, Likes aren’t enough. We can also help to develop a profession website devoted to your project.

Video Production – We have the ability to produce a music or promotional video for any project, under any budget. Costs vary depending on the number of cameras, specialty shots, permits, and location.

Professional Photography – Head shots, promo shots, photos for album art. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t have to cost a thousand bucks. We can set you up with photographers to get the pictures you need to promote yourself and your album.

Copyright – We copyright your material with the US copyright office. ARTISTS RETAIN 100% OF THEIR COPYRIGHT. This is why you’re paying us for recording; you’re putting your money out there and you should have complete control of your art and own your own masters. For more information and to copyright your own work, please visit 

Professional Organization Registration – We will help you to decide and register for any of the myriad of professional organizations, such as ASCAP and BMI

Publishing – Once you’re finished your CD let us help you sell it! We can help you find licensing for your music while you maintain ownership.

Booking and Management – Inquire about booking and management possibilities.

Physical Distribution – We use CD baby and TribeSound Records to sell hard copies of your CD. Artist gets 100% of the income from their CD Sales through the site. Artist must pay for shipping costs if those costs exceed the shipping and handling charges attached to their CD. Other arrangements can be discussed for larger retail coverage.

Digital Distribution – We will set up your album to be digitally distributed on a national basis through top merchants such as iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and more. – This is our own digital distributor, which gives you the best deal available for you to make money on MP3 and CD sales on the web. The artist gets 2.5 gigs of space to post collaborative works and media, as well as selling their MP3’s files online for the best rate on the internet.

Nielsen Sound Scan – Nielsen Sound Scan is an information system that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Sales data from point-of-sale cash registers is collected weekly from over 14,000 retail, mass merchant and non-traditional (on-line stores, venues, etc.) outlets. Weekly data is compiled and made available every Wednesday. Nielsen Sound Scan is the sales source for the Billboard music charts.

Entertainment Law – If you ever have a question about entertainment law, don’t hesitate to ask. We have one of the best entertainment lawyers in the country on retainer. Ron Beinstock has represented countless professional artists and is happy to help us answer your questions. Check out his website at

GRAMMY Submissions – Chris Cotter, owner of TribeSound Records, is proud to be a voting member or the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy. This gives him the opportunity to submit projects that he’s worked on for GRAMMY nomination.

NOTE: Not all services are included in the album cost, and may incur extra charges and fees. Please contact us for a list of options, prices, and fees.

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We Got a Telefunken U47

U-47AE-system-300x220We at TribeSound are excited to announce that we have just acquired a Telefunken U-47.

For those of you unfamiliar with this microphone, it has been an industry standard mic for more than half a century. It has been the preferred microphone of such artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Frank Zappa, Green Day, and the list goes on and on.

This mic offers an incredibly vibrant, detailed tone, and is an extremely versatile addition to our continually growing gear list.


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Neumann U87

neuma-e1311652780511The Neumann U87 studio Microphone is famous for its warm sound and well-balanced characteristics. Equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with 3 selectable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8, it offers a 6dB improvement in signal-to-noise over its predecessor. A 10dB attenuation switch enables the U87 to handle sound levels up to 127dB without distortion; and the low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect. The preferred studio vocal mic for decades, the Neumann U87 also makes a great main mic for band or home studio recordings, as well as a spot mic for single instruments. Frequency range: 20Hz to 20kHz; impedance rated at 200 ohms.

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TribeSound Gets Up To Date with Protools

Protools-HD-LogoWe are so excited to offer Protools HD 11 at our studio!!!  We decided it was time to buy a new Mac computer and thought, what the heck, might as well go all the way.  With so many huge improvements in the studio we’re not sure what to most excited about first!  Read about what Protools HD can do here.
Avid have announced a new version of their flagship DAW, Pro Tools HD, which runs on the host computer’s CPU.
Pro Tools HD Native has an almost identical feature set to the existing TDM-powered Pro Tools HD, including full plug-in delay compensation, support for Avid’s Icon, D-Command and C24 control surfaces, surround-sound mixing and monitoring, and, just like Pro Tools HD, support for up to 192 audio tracks, 160 auxes and 128 instrument tracks. In fact, one of the only limitations of HD Native compared with the TDM-powered version is physical I/O count, though HD Native is still no slouch in that department.

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Mobile Recording Rig

As an addition to our in-studio services, TribeSound has now designed a mobile recording rig. This rig will greatly expand our abilities and open new opportunities to us. From working on location with the video production company to capturing that live feel, the mobile rig is an exciting addition to our studio.

16 Channels Multi Track Recording


Awesome Mic Pre Amps

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