I am a singer-songwriter and going to record 5 songs at a professional studio. I am planning on just vocals and guitar.

Are there any guitar or vocal effects I should consider using?

Should I consider using a click track?

I read through the forum but couldn't find an answer there.

Try click track at home and see how you do. You might need to since it is just you and no one else to keep rhythm.

Singer/songwriter is kinda strange as some things work for some and not others. For example, some guys sound really good with just one condenser in fig. 8 and voical mic, performing at the same time. Edits have to be done on both vox and guitar. Probably makes for best performance.

Or multi track which makes the performance more rigid but you can focus more on each aspect.

Let your engineer handle fx, I'd say ask for some reverb maybe when monitoring. I'd worry about fx at mixing stage.

If they have some special outboard like say a Chandler compressor, Neve or something that sounds good might be a plus.
Last edited by diabolical at Dec 19, 2014,
I second using a click track - especially since you're just doing guitar and vocal. If you want to add overdubs later, a click will make a WORLD of difference.

Otherwise, just do whatever the engineer says! Ask questions if you're confused, but don't be rude or condescending. Nine times out of ten, the engineer will know best.
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A few more things to consider...

If you need click track, map your songs before you hit the studio. There are few apps for metronome on the internet, some even run off of web browser. If you need something more complicated getting a dedicated metronome (Boss makes one that's good, few others also do) or DAW (recording app) like Reaper, etc. to make those tempo maps might save a lot of money in the studio because the engineer won't have to sit around with you guessing the right tempo. You'd also be more used to playing with it at that point.

It might sound stupid but sometimes real drum beats instead of metronome might make you react better on a certain song, even if you mute the beat later and don't use it in the final production.

This article might prove helpful:

To elaborate on what I was saying earlier, you can approach one performance as full, think of it as snippet in time, so you record the full song and all is captured and can only be edited in full. What I mean by that is you sitting in a room miked up and going through the same song say 5 times and since you have everything set up the same you can do edits, but on the full track. So in essence you take the best out of the 5 takes, then splice in parts from the other takes that are better.

Same method but with a little more control can be done if the voice is separated from the guitar somehow, I've seen some people do it even by pacing an acoustic screen that is a little below chin level that isolates the vocal by not directly bleeding it into the guitar mic. Then you can do some judicious overdubs, but there is still some bleed so if it is awfully out of key, it can't be done too well.

Another method would be playing the guitar via a DI (which sounds bad but can be isolated from the vox) and capturing that performance as the scratch take, then overdubbing a keeper guitar and vocals in two separate passes.

Each one of these can be done with or without click track. Some guys are great with click and others fall apart, the same as not having a click...it really depends on what your strengths are.

I'd probably demo things at home, maybe even get a small used recorder like a Boss Micro Br (got mine for $60 on Ebay), Pandora, Zoom, or one of the Tascam 4 track multitracks, etc. to do preproduction (maybe around $100 cash outlay) so you know how things come out...or even record yourself on your phone playing each songs, analyze, fine tune as your studio will cost boque $$$ and you get to maximize your time to the fullest.

I always run preproduction on my ancient 4 track tape recorder, give me enough of options to hear what I need to fine tune.

The fewer guesses you leave for the studio the better.
so before you give to much information to someone asking this question. If it is your first time in the recording studio i would strongly recommend you multitrack everything. you are going to have a bit of nerves and the studio is completely different (for most music genres) than playing live.
The best answer honestly, is to try alittle of all of these different techniques and find the one you like