You can’t be a successful recording artist without making recordings, but if you haven’t done it before you don’t want to get it wrong. A bit of thinking in advance can often save a lot of time, effort and money later on.
Fortunately here at Spinnup we are friends with top studio Metropolis and so we asked them what they would recommend thinking about before using a professional studio. These are their top tips:
1. What is the final recording for?
When it comes to getting your music properly recorded you need a good idea of where you want it to be heard. Many musicians would love to be playing stadiums but before you get to that level, be realistic. Think whether the recording more likely to be downloaded, sold as CD at gigs, be used for some local or evening radio play or used in some other way.
2. What do you want the recording to sound like?
Is your vision for a modern sound? Do you want it to be representative of another time? Should it sound grand and filmic? Or is it more personal? Collect examples of other music if that helps. Being able to tell the studio and engineer what you’re looking for will mean they can use all their skills to get exactly the results you want.
3. What sort of studio do you require?
Studios come in lots of different shapes and sizes, from small booths for vocals and acoustic overdubs to large orchestral rooms capable of holding hundreds of players, with lots of acoustic spaces designed and suited to different recordings in between. Think about how many people you want to record at once and whether the studio you are thinking of has the space and the acoustic space for multiple instrument recording.
4. Do you need an engineer?
An engineer will help you get the sound you want, and all engineers have a different range of expertise. Most studios will have engineers available that know the recording spaces and equipment in that studio and you will need this knowledge to complete your recording. Alternatively you may prefer a freelance engineer who works in many studios in which case who specialises in your music or style.
5. Are you ready?
One of the biggest mistakes made when going to record, especially with new bands or musicians, is that they are simply not ready. A studio is a very expensive place to practise or finish writing lyrics. You can make very efficient recordings if everyone knows what they are doing and have practised their parts. If you cannot play your parts then there is a certain amount that an engineer can ‘fix’ but nearly all experienced professionals will be able to tell so it’s not worth it. If you practise it and get it right then the recording will feel better, sound better and cost less to complete.