- On 10/07/2022
Here’s some valuable recording prep tips from our chief engineer Andrew Beck’s over 30 years experience working in recording studios from Los Angeles to Sydney and now the Central Coast, not to mention playing Bass in bands from Seattle to Sydney (most recently as one of Steve Kilbey’s (The Church) Winged Heels-2021 touring band).
You want your instruments at their best for recording. A little bit of extra cost with your favourite guitar tech prior to your session will save time, money and headaches on the day. Have as extensive a setup as you can have done to any and all guitars you plan on using, including new strings (if appropriate for your tone). New drum heads are also important (don’t neglect the resonant sides either – a huge proportion of a drum’s sound comes from the bottom heads). If you don’t have a regular, trusted guitar tech, we can have it done for you, but it will need to be arranged prior to the session with plenty of time to get it finished.
On a related note, all our guitars and basses have fresh strings put on from time to time, as do our drums with heads, but if you need or want to use something specifically, and would like fresh strings/heads, just let us know and we’ll work something out for you.
Piano tuning is a similar story. We have it tuned periodically, but for piano-centric sessions we recommend having the tuner in no more than a week prior, as this will guarantee good results.
Demos and/or Pre-production
While demos you make are moderately helpful to us, they’ll be invaluable for you, giving you a much better idea what you’re looking for (and sometimes what you aren’t). If you have the means to record even rough versions of the material you plan on recording with us, it’s well worth the time and effort to do so. Of course, if you don’t have a facility for that, then you can always book a pre-production session with us, at a reduced rate, where we can work with you to iron out the details and have the clearest plan possible once the ‘proper’ recording begins. Some tracks occasionally even get carried over to the actual production masters.
Not everyone wants to record to a click, but if you do, the importance of practicing with a metronome cannot be overstated. Don’t wait until the day of recording to decide to try to play to a click track for the first time! Even if you don’t think you want to record to one, it’s never a bad idea to see exactly where and by how much things change tempo as you play. Every band member should practice with a click on their own if possible, as well as together, provided your rehearsal PA can manage it.
Technical credits aren’t just for physical releases anymore! Remember that album credits can now be added to most streaming services, so don’t forget to give kudos to the folks that helped to make your recording the best it can be.