Recording Studio Etiquette

A Recording Studio: How to get the most out of your time in one

When you are a musician, songwriter, or band, there is no doubt that you will have to spend some of your time in a recording studio. This can be a challenge for musicians who are just starting out or are unfamiliar with the recording studio layout. The ins-and-outs of a recording studio can be overwhelming and intimidating when you don’t know what to expect, and issues such as budget and time are also a big concern. The remedy for these fears and anxieties lie in your ability to use your time and resources well once you are in the recording studio. So, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your session…

Recording Studio: Do your homework!

This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but it may surprise you how many musicians turn up to their recording studio unprepared. Perhaps you haven’t thought about how your song will end, or you haven’t got that solo totally memorised, and that means you will be using your time and money figuring it out in the recording studio rather than at home. It is difficult to get anything down in less than a few attempts even when you know the parts off by heart, but taking 5 takes to get it right sure beats taking 50.

Recording Studio: Bring All Your Gear

Yes, another basic one, but again it may not be obvious for everyone coming to a recording studio for the first time. Unless you have contacted the recording studio and confirmed that they have the drum kit, guitar amp or pedal that you need, bring your own! By assuming that a recording studio has things you haven’t asked for, you are setting yourself up for a stressful time and usually an annoyed engineer. Plan for things to go wrong as you would for a live show. Bring those extra batteries, guitar picks, spare strings, green tea for your lead singer, bring it all! Pay attention to detail and you will absolutely be in the best position for recording success.

Recording Studio: Listen to Your Engineer/Producer!

Generally speaking, once you step into a recording studio, you will be interacting with other people about your music. This can be both an exciting process and a daunting one. The important thing to remember when you are in the recording studio is that your engineer or producer are generally concerned with the sound side of the music rather than the music side of the sound.  This simply means that they are thinking about how the song will fit in a recorded medium and that they are, in no way, trying to criticise you personally. Healthy debate is welcome, but storming out for an hour in an enraged tantrum certainly isn’t. If you go into a recording studio with these people, the chances are that you trust their judgement and listening to their points of view will absolutely be beneficial to the project you get out of the recording studio. All in all, if you are going into a recording studio and you follow these basic principles, it will be very easy to utilise the wonderful resource of studio time. You are there to capture the great music you are already making so let your time in the recording studio be an experience that helps you show it to the world.