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.
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.
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.