NEW TO RECORDING?
If you’ve never recorded before, you might be a little unsure or nervous about the process. The truth is that the best way to learn is by giving it a try! This is just a resource for you to know what to expect and how to prepare.
In general, before beginning, I like to do a short consultation so we can get to know each other and I can get a sense of your music. If you have any demos, feel free to bring them along (if you don’t have any demos don’t worry about it). Think ahead of time about the kind of sounds that inspire you and the kind of sound you are going for with this particular recording project. Ideally all members of a band would be present, but this isn’t a requirement. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns.
The next stage is recording. My main method of recording is to come and set up my equipment in your rehearsal space. If there is a serious issue with acoustics, space, etc., there are some other locations we can record (be advised that alternate locations may have an hourly fee associated with them).
There are two main ways that we can do the recording process. The first is for all instruments to record at the same time, in the same room, then to record vocals separately after. This is the fastest method which I recommend if you are looking to put out an album as soon as possible. However, it limits the amount of editing that can be done in the editing and mixing stage. The other option is to record each instrument one at a time. It takes much longer, but offers the most flexibility for editing and mixing, therefore generally gives the highest quality results. Unless there has to be a quick turnaround, I recommend the second method.
Once the tracks are recorded, we start mixing the song. I will often go through each of the tracks to clean up the sound a bit. It isn’t necessary for you to be present during this initial part. Once the tracks are sounding good, we meet again to work on some of the more creative aspects of the mix. In this part, we can work together to make sure that your music sounds the way that you want it to, or explore other possibilities with the sound.
Finally, the songs get mastered. I don’t offer mastering services, but if you like I can recommend some great mastering engineers. Once the album is mastered, you’re ready to start promoting and release it!
A Few Tips
Regardless of whether you choose to record with me or elsewhere, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your recording experience.
This should go without saying, but make sure that the songs you plan on recording are well rehearsed.
Don’t plan on writing your songs during studio time. Sure, there are plenty of stories about artists writing great hits in the studio, but these are usually rare and spontaneous moments. Don’t come to the recording session with songs half-written and hope inspiration will hit.
Get your guitars properly set up. If you don’t know how, most qualified music shops should be able to do it for you.
Bring a bottle of water or some tea (especially if you are a vocalist).
Bring a tuner, capo, drum sticks and brushes, and pretty much any other tool you may need for your instrument.
Try to have all members of the band present at each session, even if they won’t be actively recording their part. Plenty of important creative decisions get made throughout the recording and mixing process. It’s best if everyone in the band gets to have a say in the decision process.
On the note of decision making, don’t spend hours mulling over every small decision; and once a decision is made, try not to second guess it. This tends to have a snowball effect on second guessing all the decisions you’ve made about the song.
Finally, try not to stress about the recording process. It’s natural to be nervous if you don’t know what to expect, but the best things you can do are stay calm and trust your engineer. If you are uncomfortable with any part of the process, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or ask questions. The more confident and comfortable you feel, the better the recording will sound.