Preparation - Your Biggest Tool

So the more I work with bands/musicians, the more I learn how to streamline the process of taking their musical ideas from small demos on the computer to recording them and giving them a finished product.

I’m currently in the process of 4 projects and you know what’s making it a doddle to do? Preparation.

I’ve already discussed the importance of knowing who you’re working with, but this takes it to another level!

Not only do you need to know who you’re working with, but you also need to know what you’re working with.

By knowing what music you’re recording ahead of the session you can focus on any issues that may arise, be it a guitarist who can’t play their solos, a drummer who wants 5 toms but cant write tom fills or a singer who falls flat when it comes to singing their lyrics.

Here’s some of the things I like to do to prepare my sessions:

  1. Always have everything set up BEFORE the session – This means when the recording session comes around you’re good to go from the moment you load up your DAW. I <3 my Pro Tools templates.
  2. Know your tempos – What? Do you expect the engineer to know what bpm your song is when hearing it for the first time? Provide this important little detail before the session and the engineer can sort the click track out so there’s no timing problems on the day.
  3. Make sure the musicians know their music – If they can’t play their stuff properly there’s no point in booking studio time, it’s just a waste.
  4. Plan your microphone selection ahead of time, not 5 minutes before… – Microphones are sophisticated devices, however you can’t expect them to all react the same.  Making sure you choose the right microphone for the application is CRITICAL, so plan this before the session.
  5. Sort your licences out – There’s nothing worse than not having your plugins work. It’s even more annoying when they should work but your waves licence is stored on your computer at home instead of the laptop you’re using whilst doing work on out of the studio…

Hope these quick tips can offer you some help when running and organising your sessions!

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