11 Tips for being prepared at Eleven 11 Studio - If you are planning to spend some time in studio recording your music, then you are planning to spend a fair amount of your hard earned money and you will want to make sure to be efficient with your time while there. There are some strategies that you can employ to ensure a positive and productive experience, start planning for it now. Here are some ideas that you might consider.
1) Plan to be there all day- If you have never been in the studio before, don't be fooled into thinking that you are going into the studio for a couple hours and you will have a song or two laid down. Proper multi-track recording requires a significantly greater amount of time than many people realize. You can't just show up, plug in your instruments, everybody jams like you do in the garage at home and be done. If you are recording a quick demo then perhaps it will work that way, but for a fully produced, high quality CD & radio ready recording, it's going take some time. It could be up to an hour just to set up and dial in the drums. Your production will be a lasting permanent record until the end of time and a refleciton of your artistic talented creation. We definitely want to get this right, we do not want to stop in the middle and then have to start over again on another day. Laying down one song can easily take the entire day, with the mixing and mastering, consider another whole day.
2) Make a Plan - Have a discussion with your band before you go to the studio and have an agreement which songs you are going to work on and in what order you want to work on them. Have all your arranging completed in advance.
3) Practice, practice Minimize the number of re-takes that you will have to do while you are in the studio, time is money. Although retakes happen in recording, you will reduce hourly expenses and time in studio if you are well rehearsed. Practice until you get it as perfect, then go into the studio so you can get it right the first time. If you can play your song 10 times in a row and NOBODY in the bands makes a mistake, then you are ready to proceed to the studio. The studio is NOT the time to practice or to arrange your song. You may still have to do some retakes, hopefully not. Practice WITHOUT VOCALS as when you record some portions, the vocals will not be present. This will feel weird and you are likley to lose your place in the song if you do not practice this technique ahead of time.
4) Metronome / click - Using the click of a metronome while recording is advisable. You want your song to be tight and professional. If while in the mixing process there is a need to make a lot of time editing adjustments, it could cost you a lot of additional money. Regardless of whether you use a click track while you are recording, practicing to a click or metronome will help your internal clock. The more you do it, the better you will become at it, and you will be able to hold steady counts and beats more naturally as your progress. Start rehearsing with a metronome or click NOW not when you get in studio. It's a learned skill and it will take time to get used to it.
5) Bring Back-up Equipment - Be prepared for equipment failures…. Bring an extra set (or two) of guitar strings, plenty of picks, several extra drum sticks, amp tube, if you have extra drum heads-bring em. Basically, bring extra everything. The more prepared you are, the less time and money you will waste when there is a mishap.
6) SHUT-UP & Stay focused - Talking and goofing around in the studio eats up time and money. When you arrive, be ready to go to work and stay focused on getting the job done. If it doesn't need to be said, then don't say it. If you are not contributing to the process of getting your recording completed in a quality and professional manner then you are probably wasting time. If your words and actions don't apply to the immediate need of whatever needs to be done at that moment, your arw wasting time.
7) Use the Same Tuner - It is possible for tuners to vary in accuracy. It is therefore advisable for everybody in the band to share the same tuner just to be sure that everybody has the same sound. And don’t forget - BRING IT with you to the studio.
8) Equipment & Instrument Repairs - BEFORE going to the studio, fix any broken cables, replace tubes, sticks, strings. Things suddenly start to break when you are paying y the hour, so, power up your gear and listen to each instrument INDIVIDUALLY and listen for any humming, buzzing, hissing etc. If you fix it beforehand, your sound engineer will not have to spend valuable time trying to troubleshoot the source of the problem.
9) Eat and Sleep - Be well rested so that you can be well focused and ready to spend hours doing what you came for and love to do. Make sure you eat before arriving because you will not want to stop to eat when you are 'IN THE ZONE"
10) Be Sober - You are not Curt Cobain, Jim Morreson or Eric Clapton. Don't think that you are going to "get creative" because you are drunk or high. Aside from the fact that your creativity already happened when you wrote the song,, you are here to work, so get focused. If you show up here thinking that it's going to be a party, you are mistaken. You will be sharing your creations with the world and you will therefore want to be fully present in the moment and ready to do your best. Don't make a flawed recording because you were not fully aware what was going on. The drugs are not welcome here anyway, leave em' at home and save it for later. Be sober and be ready to work for a long time
11) Be On Time - If you are late, I will not be the one paying. Your money is being spent starting at the time of your scheduled appointment, not one hour later or whenever you decide to show up. If you reserved 8 hours of time and show up an hour late, now you only have 7 hours of time. I recommend showing up 20 or 30 minutes early to begin setting up. That time I am willing to give up.
If you have a rich relative who is paying for your studio time or otherwise do not care about the cost, then by all means, please ignore these tip because I could surely use more money to buy expensive studio equipment. Please print this and share with the entire band. Pin it to the refrigerator, make t-shirts, put a copy in your gig bag, memorize it and dream about it. Just don't forget!
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