by Jesse Austin, with thanks to Tearaway.

Now that you have prepared your songs to be tracked and are ready to record your first single, you need to be aware of what to do in the studio and how to make the best use of your time.

Studios can end up costing a lot of money, so it is important to be as efficient as possible. This can sometimes be difficult when you aren’t too sure what will happen or what you want. Here are a few tips to think about before you head in for your session.

Be Organised
Have it all sorted before you arrive. Know your parts, make sure your gear all works and you have back ups, know how to communicate what you want. Time is limited, so it is important that there is nothing that could hold you up.

Listen To The Engineer
They have been doing their job for a long time, and chances are they will have some good ideas about how to record you and/or your band. Make sure you are open to their direction in terms of recording, but also about changes they may suggest to your song. In saying that, be confident in your ideas, and remember that you don’t have to go with the engineers suggestions.

This is one of the most important parts of the recording experience. If you mess this up, it can harm the whole product. While engineers can edit until the cows come home, there is only so much you can do with bad takes. Make sure you are tight before recording, so that your takes are on point. Bare in mind that it is important to be in the right head space for recording, to not only capture a good take, but to also capture the vibe of the performance.

Mixing is the process of fitting all of the sounds together. How much you compress the vocals, how much reverb you have on the snare, how loud the synth is. All of these sounds are fitted together in the mixing stage, so make sure you have some say in the process. Sometimes mixing may be done during your recording session, sometimes after you have left and sometimes you might have to pay extra for it. Make sure to find this stuff out before you part with your cash.

This is the most confusing stage of getting a finished product. Most tracks will have EQ and compression added to the overall song to give it a bit more bite and volume. It is usually recommended to get a specific mastering engineer for the job, but a lot of the time, your engineer may give you a rough master you are happy with.

Recording can be daunting the first time you do it, but hopefully these tips will make you more comfortable. Past Smokefreerockquest winner and Justin Bieber producer Taste Nasa (Leroy Clampitt) says ‘Recording music is 50% about capturing the sound, and 50% about capturing the feeling. Everyone involved should place importance on creating nice energy in the recording studio so whoever is recording can feed off it. Listeners may not necessarily hear the difference, but they’ll feel it.’

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