RECORDING SESSION PROCEDURES / FAQs
RECORDING SESSION PROCEDURES / FAQs
Working in a commercial studio is very different to working at home. Some of the techniques (or bad habits) that you've picked up over the years just won't apply in a pro studio. Effective and focused working is king in the pro recording - you need to make sure you're properly prepared. Our advice is as thus: Put quality before quantity unless you have a good reason not to. Someone who is listening to your song for the first time needs to be impressed within the first twenty seconds. Make sure that you are completely satisfied with everything you record. It’s time-consuming and expensive to go back and redo things at a later stage.
Q. I've never had my music professionally recorded before - what happens?
Without wishing to oversimplify the "end-to-end" process, it all starts off with arguably the most important part - setting up your instrument microphones, then you record the song track by track - starting by recording a simple scratch (Guide) track of your song synced to a tempo map, then followed by laying down tracks for production. You'll be able to review and request changes to each instrument before we move on to next one. After the instrument tracks are recorded, it's time for the vocals. Before the track goes off to be mixed and mastered.
Q. How long does it take to record a song?
How long is a piece of string… Sound engineering is not an exact science. Every piece of music is unique; is a group involved or is it just a solo artist? Are you supplying a stem files of the instrumental or is recording required? How many vocals/instruments are involved? How long is the song?
As an estimation, a 4 piece rock/indie band that consists of a drummer, bassist, 2 guitars and 2 vocals would take around 18 hours to record, 10hours to mix and 2 hours to master totalling 30 hours in the studio.
Q. What is the difference between a demo and a master recording?
Historically a demo was a rough & ready recording made by an artist at a group rehearsal and used to sell a song or band to a publisher or record label. Whereas a master recording is a much higher quality, multi track piece of production, the public would buy or hear on the radio. However, today the industry expects demos to sound just as good as master quality releases.
Q. Is there a minimum age to use the studio?
Yes, the minimum age is 7 years old and we ask that children (between 7 years and 15 years) are accompanied by at least one responsible adult. Our staff are DBS checked.
Q. What does the booking include?
Your booking includes all services you have been quoted for, which usually includes, but is not limited to:
• An introduction to the Studio and a pre production session usually held the week before recording.
• Tracking of the instruments/vocals by an experienced engineer.
• Mixing and mastering of tracks.
Q. Is there parking at the studio?
Yes, There is limited parking available outside the studios.
Q. Can I take pictures/videos?
Unfortunately for legal reasons you can’t take pictures inside the recording studio on your own devices, this includes Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. However, we do offer studio PR packages which include studio photo shoots and live music videos.
Q.What do I need to bring with me when I come to the studio?
Ideally, you should bring all the gear you normally use. However, we do have the following Guitar Amps available:
• 15-watt fender junior pro
• 50-watt Marshall Studio Combo
• 200-watt Harke Bass amp
ALL GUITARS AND BASSES SHOULD BE RESTRUNG ON THE FIRST DAY OF RECORDING AND TUNED BEFORE EVERY TAKE!
We also have a Remo Drum Kit in good condition. You need to bring your own breakables (cymbals and snare. Most drummers who decide to use the studio kit also like to bring their own throne and bass-drum pedal).
Other things which people tend to forget are:
• Spare Guitar Strings
• Guitar Tuners (if you need one)
• Drum Sticks
• Drum Key (If you are using your own kit)
• New Drum Skins
• batteries for active guitars/basses
• Bottled Water
Q.What could a producer do for me? Do I need one?
The role of a record producer is to take charge over the recording process as a whole (like a film director). They make decisions and suggestions about every aspect of the recording session, mainly the direction of the song and how it will fit into the current commercial market. They help with and suggest various improvements and additional content (Vocal arrangements, overdubs, sound fx, etc) and get the best out of the performers and writers involved. To perform on the tracks if required. To mediate in the case of any disputes which may arise within the band. Please be aware that the above is not the responsibility of the engineer.
Q. How much production help can I expect to get from the engineer?
Your engineer will give general help and advice with respect to the following:
• Setting up the microphones and studio equipment.
• Tuning of instruments & fixing instruments.
• Give his opinion when asked.
Your engineer will not necessarily get involved with the following:
• Taking on the responsibilities/role of a producer.
• Performing on the tracks.
• Arranging the music.
• Generating lyrics and/or musical content.
• Get involved with band politics and disputes.
The role of the engineer is there to operate the technical side of the recording process.