#1
Right, so my band will be recording for the first time on the 22nd f May. We have booked a pro studio for 8 hours and will try to record 3 songs in this time. I know that 2 is usually the expected amount to manage in 8 hours, but we really want to do 3 even if it means going overtime.

None of us have ever really recorded in a studio before, and the guy there will be doing all the mixing and mastering, but I'd like to know if you have any tips for getting the best possible recording, or at least in managing our time to manage 3 songs.

We have lined up at least 20 hours of practice to mae sure we can get going as soon as we get there.

What tips or advice do you have for us?

Any help would be appreciated!
#2
Practice, practice and then practice some more. When you go into the studio, time is money - so be sure your band is tight and have the songs down so that you can play them backwards. I'm serious. Nothing worse than getting into the studio and realizing the group isn't tight enough and you're making too many mistakes. When you arrive, the engineer should have everything ready to go, so all you have to do is worry about making music. Expect to be using a click track, so that everything is in time. If the engineer is worth the money you're paying him, he'll make sure that you sound good and get the best possible recording. Go in, play and have fun with it. Keep it loose and don't take yourself too serious. If you get 3 songs out of the 8 hours, then good. If not, take the overtime and knock out the third one. If you get hung up on a song, take a break from it and do the next one. Come back to that song later in the session.

Good luck.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at May 4, 2011,
#3
Hey I'm heading into the studio this weekend too. We're doing the music for 5 songs over the first 20 hours, and vocals for them on other separate nights.

Basically in the studio it's very, very obvious if you make mistakes. Some are acceptable, some are definately not. KG6 makes the good point that "time is money" and if you still haven't achieved a good recording of one song in the first 4 hours, you're not off to a very good start.

As for click tracks, the rule is simple. If you practice with them at home all the time, use it in the studio. If not, the studio is no place to learn. That's simply wasted money. Click tracks aren't something you can just "get on the spot". There has been a movement in the studios away from click tracks to a more "organic" sound in recent years, leaving it to the band to be tight and not speed up too much. If you speed up a little during the song, it's generally fine, but if there's a noticable speed difference between verse 1 and 2, you're going to have to keep the reigns down.

It should be said that recording isn't particularly "fun", in any way. It's hard work, and you will be completely over the songs by the time recording is done. Make sure you have a good sleep and eat well before it starts, as being tired/hungry can mess with your performance. Just try to lock into a groove and don't worry about screwing up too much.

If you aren't tight before you go into the studio, you aren't going to be tight when you arrive.

So that's great you're setting aside 20 hours of practice for it...but aren't you practicing weekly anyway? Aren't you tight already? If not, well, err, tell us how it goes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Quote by AlanHB
Hey I'm heading into the studio this weekend too. We're doing the music for 5 songs over the first 20 hours, and vocals for them on other separate nights.

Basically in the studio it's very, very obvious if you make mistakes. Some are acceptable, some are definately not. KG6 makes the good point that "time is money" and if you still haven't achieved a good recording of one song in the first 4 hours, you're not off to a very good start.

As for click tracks, the rule is simple. If you practice with them at home all the time, use it in the studio. If not, the studio is no place to learn. That's simply wasted money. Click tracks aren't something you can just "get on the spot". There has been a movement in the studios away from click tracks to a more "organic" sound in recent years, leaving it to the band to be tight and not speed up too much. If you speed up a little during the song, it's generally fine, but if there's a noticable speed difference between verse 1 and 2, you're going to have to keep the reigns down.

It should be said that recording isn't particularly "fun", in any way. It's hard work, and you will be completely over the songs by the time recording is done. Make sure you have a good sleep and eat well before it starts, as being tired/hungry can mess with your performance. Just try to lock into a groove and don't worry about screwing up too much.

If you aren't tight before you go into the studio, you aren't going to be tight when you arrive.

So that's great you're setting aside 20 hours of practice for it...but aren't you practicing weekly anyway? Aren't you tight already? If not, well, err, tell us how it goes.


We are tight already, the worry isn't whether we can play the songs together, it's whether we can manage 3 in 8 hours. We'll do our best.
#5
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
There's no hard fast rule as to how many songs a band should be able to manage in a single day's session.

Liane Carroll recorded her entire "Standard Issue" album in a single day at Abbey Road with her jazz trio, whereas some bands/artists/engineers spend longer than that just getting a drum sound they're happy with.

Spend as long as you need to spend on each track but at the same time don't spend forever tweaking something that might only make a 1% improvement on the track.
#7
Make sure also that you have everything 100% as you want it too, sometimes I'll finish a song and realize when it comes to playing it live I never got around to figuring out that tiny 2 beat fill I had or I changed what I played each time. Pretty easy over look. Also make sure your drummer is bang on with his tempo's, can definitely cause a headache!