Tips for a Successful Recording Session
These are some tips we recommend to save you money and help your session go smoothly. They may seem obvious, but use this as a pre-production checklist to help you prepare for the session.
Musical Arrangement - Consider your arrangements. Think about the parts and how well they support the song and each other. Sometimes less is more. Arranging after tracking is possible, but not as cost effective.
Rehearsal - Know your parts and arrangements before you come into the studio. The studio can be an expensive environment to write material in or work out major parts. Rehearse the parts as they will be tracked.
If you plan to use a click track, rehearse with one.
For a typical rock/pop tune, the Bass, Drums, and backing Guitar bed tracks will be recorded first. Rehearsing the material without the vocals and lead instruments will prepare you for laying down the bed tracks.
If you sing along while you play guitar or other instrument, it may not be best to track that way, so rehearse both the vocal and the music separately so that you can perform either one without the other.
Charting - Even a simple road map of each song for each musician and tracking engineer to follow or refer to can be helpful. This allows you to focus more on how you play instead of when and what to play. It also helps the engineer quickly become familiar with your material.
Drum Tech and Setup - it is usually best to setup and tech the drums a day before the session if possible. Drums are time consuming to setup, mic, and sound-check properly. This process can be long and boring for the rest of the band. Allow for two to three hours for this.