The first thing you want to do to have a smooth recording session is write out a plan for the session. It’s true. 30 minutes or so of planning and prep work can save you hours of wasted time during a recording session. Want to learn how to reduce stress and be more efficient in the studio? Then fallow these four steps and you will be on your way to recording bliss. Here we go!
Determine and write down the key and tempo of the song or songs you will be working on beforehand and you will get things started off on the right foot.
Confirm the song structure and write it down to eliminate any potential confusion. Going over parts because of miscommunication can frustrate the artist and suck up valuable energy and time.
Write down which microphones you will be using on each instrument and attach a number to it so that you can keep your channel strip organized. If you make any mic selection changes you can modify your notes
Write down your plan for the day. You will want your drummer to show up first so that they will have time to set up their drums and you can position the mics. Setting up the drum mikes in just the right positions takes up a chunk of time so the less band members you have waiting for you to mic the drums the better, after that arrange for the rest of the musicians to show up. One everyone is there you want to record a rough draft or “scratch track” with a metronome which will pass as a template to play along to while recording the actual tracks you plan to keep. This prevents unintentional speeding up or slowing down or the missing of musical cues the musicians rely on in order to know when to change parts.
Do you have any questions or other helpful tips to add? I would love to hear them.