Recording your band, how to get the best results out of the studio – brought to you by Univibe Audio
Booking a studio to record your band’s single, EP or album, is an exciting and rewarding experience, but making sure you get the most out of your time in the studio is vitally important.
With Univibe Audio’s vast experience in this field here are 8 simple tips to help you get the most out of your next studio recording:
Tip #1 – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Preparation is key, the more prepared you are for your recording session(s) the smoother and more productive they will inevitably be. Make sure that all band members are well rehearsed and that all key elements of any songs that you will be recording are clear and concise. Of course, it is possible to work parts out in the studio and change arrangements etc, but remember, you will be paying for this time, so the more work you can do on your songs in your rehearsal space, the better. Use the studio time for adding extra overdubs, or working with your producer to sculpt the songs into something really special. If you will be playing to a click track or adding any synths/loops, get all of this planned out beforehand, so that when you are in the studio and the session is flowing well, you will not have to disrupt the flow to work these elements out.
Tip #2 – Tell the studio what you want
In a well equipped studio, the possibilities are endless. The studio can get a massive range of sounds, tones and elements to make your music sound the best it possibly can, however, it is important that the direction your music goes, is a direction you are happy with. Communicate with you producer, tell him/her what artists/recordings you like, show them some examples, talk about the best way to get the sounds that you are looking to get. Your studio is there to help you achieve a sound that YOU and the studio are proud of, so the more information you can provide to achieve this the better the job the studio will be able to do for you.
Tip #3 – Allow enough time
Studio recording is an in-depth, complex procedure, which can be completed in a multitude of ways. Speak to the producer/engineer and agree on how long it will take to record the amount of material you are looking to record. If you can only afford to spend 1 day in the studio it is much more beneficial to any band to have 1 song recorded and mixed very well than 3 songs recorded to a sub-standard level, at the end of the day it is your band that these recordings are going to promote so it is extremely important to sound as good as possible.
Tip #4 – Good source material = Good recordings
In reality it really is as simple as that, if the source material sounds good and is well played, then so will the recording. Rather than spending studio time trying to fix an old drum head, or a dull sounding guitar, or a sub-standard bass sound, instead provide the very best source material possible, and let the studio capture and further enhance that sound. Make sure guitar strings are fresh and clean, make sure drums have been re-skinned and tuned, make sure any keyboard patches are well chosen and edited if required, basically do everything you possibly can to make the band sound as good as possible before entering the studio, as then the studio will be able to enhance, polish and produce these raw materials into a great sounding record.
Tip #5 – A song at a time
Aim to record your material 1 song at a time. Try not to record all of the drums to all songs, then all bass, then all guitars etc. This always ends up in a sub-standard performance. Instead, record the first song, get it sounding as good as it possibly can, add some overdubs, try some new ideas. Then when it’s sounding great, move on to the next song. This will use the same amount of studio time but result in a much more fresh and focused end product.
Tip #6 – Clear head, clear sound
Although being in the studio is exciting, try not to over indulge the night before. It is important to have a clear head, and be capable of making informed, proper judgments about your recordings. Remember, you will have these recordings for years to come, so don’t make the important decisions involved with a hangover.
Tip #7 – Mixes need time too
Always allow enough time at the end of the session for mixing. This stage is vital to a great sounding record. There is no point in spending a large amount of studio time recording the next big thing, and not allowing adequate time to mix. For a release quality mix, the minimum time to allow for mixing would be 3-6 hours per song, sometimes longer. But always speak to your engineer throughout the recording process to ensure you have adequate time.
Tip #8 – Enjoy!!
And finally the most important tip of all is to enjoy your time in the studio, enjoy playing and recording your music, let the studio and its staff do what they do best and you will be sure to get a great sounding record at the end of all the hard work.
Check out www.univibeaudio.co.uk to listen to some of our recordings and visit our contact section if you’re interested in recording your sound.