What You Should Expect From Your Recording Session
Many artists that have only recorded at home studios or have only recorded themselves may not know what to expect when going to their recording session at a professional studio. Even if you’re an artist that HAS been to a professional studio but had a different experience than what you expected, this article is also for you.
These aspects will be based off of how I operate and what I think you should expect from a professional recording studio and the staff who works there.
Comfortable and Clean Environment
Being in a professional facility that is clean and comfortable is very important since it reduces your anxiety, stress, and nerves. In order to get the best performance, the artist should feel relaxed and at ease. If you’re uncomfortable with the studio, the staff, the dirty/unkempt facility, etc...then you’re not going to perform at your peak.
Water and Refreshments
Whether offered for free or for a small charge, your studio should provide water and refreshments. Being hydrated is important as a vocalist, and sometimes longer sessions require a little snack to keep the energy up.
I think this is self-explanatory, and maybe it’s just a personal preference. I just believe that NOBODY wants to walk into a restroom and feel like they should not touch anything in there.
Well-Maintained Facility and Equipment
Beyond looking impressive and professional, you want to know that the building/facility and the equipment is well taken care of. This shows that the staff/engineers care about the quality of their work. It also shows a bit of success and knowledge that the studio is able to maintain their equipment and their studio properly. The LAST thing you want in your session is for something to break, stop working, or even stop working correctly. Sometimes that just happens, but when things are treated nicely, it’s way less likely.
Prepared and Ready for You
When you arrive to the studio for your session, you should expect your engineer to be prepared and ready for you. Personally, I have the studio up and running - tubes in the outboard gear are warmed up, ProTools is up and ready, I have any files you sent ready, water ready for you, mic hooked up and booth cleaned, etc. I can admit that sometimes, when there’s a time crunch, I maybe finishing up a meal or finishing up a previous session. Typically, I’m ready for my session 20-30 minutes before the scheduled time.
Getting Setup - A Professional and Helpful Engineer
Your engineer should be able to initiate any file transfers or downloads that need to happen for your session. They should take you to the booth and make sure the mic height, booth setup, and vibe are right for you and make any adjustments. Your engineer should offer you a water and make sure you’re comfortable. Your engineer should be able to quickly setup your session and quickly find the tempo (and possibly key) of your instrumental/song so that he/she can move quickly and easily arrange your song. Your engineer should also take a few minutes to understand the structure of your song, the style of your song, the intentions for the song, and an understanding of what your vision is - otherwise they will not be able to help your vision come to life.
The recording process should feel smooth and easy. All artists have their own speed and method of recording. Your engineer should be patient and flexible to move at your speed and adapt to your preferred method. They should also be letting you know if they think you messed up, mumbled, or need to re-try your performance.
A good engineer will be patient with your mix - meaning they will not rush your mix, but not milk your time. A good engineer will be focused for your mix, truly tuned in to every detail. You should easily be able to tell if your engineer is passionate about his job. If they are not, you cannot trust them to put their ALL into your music. Your engineer should also ask you if you want to sit in the master seat and listen through the song before bouncing it down.
After your mix is ready and the track is bounced down, your engineer should handle payments in a professional manner. Personally, I can take card, cash, PayPal, and CashApp. I will make an invoice in my system, and can email or text the client a receipt. Once payment is completed, your engineer should send you any files you request (wav files, mp3 files, session files, etc). Lastly, your engineer should follow up to make sure you have everything you need, ask if you want to take time with the mix to decide on any revisions, and offer mastering. Then, they should ask you about scheduling your next session. Personally, I am typically booking a month out so I try to get my clients on the calendar as soon as possible.
Overall, the theme here is that your studio should CARE about you, your music, and your business as an artist. Your studio should have PROFESSIONAL staff, gear, and processes. Your studio should focus on QUALITY and not trying to capitalize on upcoming artists.
If you have any questions on the recording process, what to expect, how to find the right studio for you, or literally ANYTHING else regarding the music/recording industry, feel free to Contact Us!
Also, be sure to follow us on INSTAGRAM!