8 Tips for Going into an LA Recording Studio Prepared
If you’re in the music world and want to turn your passion into a full-time profession, the chances are that one day you’ll have to record. Whether this involves recording in a high-tech, high-budget studio, or recording on a four-track at home, for your songs to get out there and be heard, you’re going to need to book some studio time.
For those who live in Los Angeles, there are an abundance of recording studios to pick from. Before you do this, you may feel nervous and anxious about what to expect, especially if you’re an up-and-coming musician. To help you get the most out of your session, here are some tips that will prepare you.
Learn the Music Inside Out
Of course, before getting into a recording studio, you’re going to need to learn your music inside out. You don’t want to turn up unprepared, especially when you’ve laid down money and time to be at the studio. Whether you’re a solo artist or in a band, you need to take time to learn the lyrics and get everything in key so you can figure out the overall vibe of the songs you wish to record. Knowing the arrangement inside out will mean you can get set to work from the beginning and get the most out of your studio session. If you’re in a band, make sure you factor in plenty of rehearsal time in the weeks leading up to the recording studio session. You need to be sure everything is perfect, otherwise, you may need to book additional slots to get things right.
Before arriving at the recording studio, you need to set realistic goals. Whether it’s how many songs you want to record that day, the purpose behind them, or how this particular session will elevate your career forward, you need to have attainable goals to work towards. If you don’t go into the studio with a plan, you may feel out of your depth, and you won’t perform at your best.
Bring Everything You Need
If there is one tip you need to take on board, it’s ensuring all your equipment works as it should. Whether it’s a piano, guitar, the drums, or microphones, they need to be in good working order in advance, otherwise, you run the risk of rocking up to the studio only to find you’re missing a piece of the jigsaw. It’s wise to bring a selection of microphones if you’re laying down vocals, and for drummers, ensure the drumhead skin is changed beforehand. While some recording studios may provide instruments for you, some artists feel more comfortable using their own. The choice is up to you. To ensure you don’t leave anything important behind, be sure to create a checklist.
Prepare to Track
When you turn up to the recording studio, you should ideally have a sound engineer or producer waiting for you. In some cases, the producer will be the creator, or you may want to be in charge of the entire project. Whatever you decide on, it’s recommended to have an engineer to record your material. This will give you a second judgment on how you actually sound.
Take a Tour
With a vast selection of recording studios dotted across LA, it can be difficult to make your mind up on who to choose. Therefore, taking a tour of the facilities first may be beneficial. This will give you a chance to meet the producer and get a feel for the place. You should always trust your gut instinct, so if one studio doesn’t feel right for your needs, look elsewhere. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out Pirate. They have music recording studios in Los Angeles you can look around in. Whether you’re just starting out or consider yourself a pro, their specialist music recording studios in LA give you the perfect place to write, produce, and mix with no distractions.
Respect the Studio’s Time
To avoid being flustered when you walk through the doors of the recording studio, it’s advised to turn up a little earlier. Remember to respect the engineer’s time, as well as your own. You should enter your session feeling full of energy and excitement, rather than stressed and agitated. Should you feel the latter, this could hinder how you come across, and result in you being unable to return to the studio. Make sure you’re polite, friendly, and attentive.
Bring Snacks and Water
Whether you’re going into the studio for an hour, or you plan to be there throughout the day and night, it’s important you bring plenty of snacks and water to keep you going. Dehydration is no fun when you’re trying to lay down a track, so make sure you pack a water bottle. You need to keep your mind and body fueled throughout the recording process, so ensure you stock up on snacks. Working on an empty stomach can interfere with your performance. It’s best to bring healthy snacks like fruit and nuts that will keep you going.
Take a Backup
No matter how prepared you are for the recording studio session, things can and do go wrong from time to time. This means you should always bring a backup of your work. Whether this is in CD format or a USB stick, having a copy of your material will mean there aren’t any disruptions. Should you fail to bring a backup, your studio session will be over the moment it started. What’s more, you may need to shell out for an additional session.
If it’s your first time in a recording studio, you’re bound to feel nervous. While the experience may be scary at first, once you arrive in the studio, meet the producer, and explain what you want to achieve, any stress should fade away. To ensure your first session runs smoothly and you get everything done, the tips above can help you do just that.