First studio visits are always fun and exciting. Recording the first solo or album can be overwhelming for most people, and if they aren’t prepared for it, it can get more and more expensive than it usually is.
I WASN’T PREPARED when I recorded my first song with my band. My band members were excited, but none of us knew how different professional music recording studios are compared to simple jamming and recording sessions. We faced a lot of trouble and made mistakes in almost every recording session. Since it was our first official song, we wanted it to be perfect in every aspect. Thus, those mistakes made us spend extra time in the studio, and we had to pay for almost 3 additional music recording sessions. We could have saved hundreds of dollars wasted due to our lack of groundwork if we had been more prepared for it, and that money could have been used to get a contract with a famous music publisher or make CDs for our song, but what’s done is done. Although I can not correct the mistakes I made with my band, I can still help people avoid those mistakes.
Here’s a detailed guide for musicians, singers, composers, and songwriters for having successful recording sessions for their first song.
Before conducting the studio sessions, you must set realistic goals for each session and create outlines for each session. Most musicians prefer to complete their track in a single day to manage their budget, while others recording an entire album or a complex track with several instruments, prefer to record in multiple blocks of times. Whatever the case, it’s important to plan each session carefully. Before starting a session, make sure you know what you want to get out of it and, more importantly, how will you get it.
If you are planning to record your song in a professional music recording studio, make sure you have a plan of what you want and how you will get it. It can save you from spending extra time and money in the studio and avoid frustration.
One of the most common mistakes new musicians and underground music bands make is going unplanned about the music arrangement. Most newbies go to the studio with just a vague idea of the composition, which results in delayed sessions. It’s vital to have every piece, every instrument arranged and every layer of vocals prearranged to avoid extended sessions and extra cost. Seasoned musicians advise musicians to record demos of every piece before going for a recording session. Record demos of every part of the song and hear it several times before recording in a professional music recording studio. Hearing a recorded piece can often change your perspective about the part. If you don’t have a band and can’t play any instrument, find musicians on social media and collab with them in your locality.
Remember that mixing and mastering are merely techniques to enhance the vocal tone and make sound clear and attractive. Don’t expect it to somehow magically change everything. Great mixing and mastering professionals can make the sound way better than the original, but they can only work on what exists in the track. For instance, if you record a guitar piece with a Marshall guitar, your audio engineer can’t make it sound like a Fender.
Getting part of the recording done before you arrive in the studio is an excellent approach to save time. This may involve setting your song’s drums, bringing in the music effects you wish to use, setting the tempos for your tap tracks, or recording DI electric guitars that you can re-amp in the studio.
Make sure you record instruments and create their plugins to minimize the sessions and do only important and relevant tasks in the studio.
Our last few recording sessions have been extremely effective and successful because all our band members organize their tasks in advance. Swapping instruments in the studio during a session can take time and disorganize the session. Make sure you set up everything in advance for successful recording sessions. For instance, when setting up the guitar recording, you have to set the amplifier and cabinet first, set the microphone in position, and tune your guitar. Similarly, for vocals, you have to select the microphones that suit the vocal texture and the style of the vocal artist and set them in position for recording vocals. All these things take time, and organizing them before the session can save you from trouble and extra time in the studio.