Get More From Your Recording Experience




So you have been together for a while now, had the D&M discussions, played a few gigs, and have decided that now is the time to go into the studio so that you can share your music with the world!!

Otherwise why create music in the first place??

If this is your first time going into a studio, you want to make the most of the experience. Recording in a studio should be fun, highly creative and greatly rewarding.

At Fat Trax we invite bands and artists to contact us before booking a studio, come and have a look around and have a chat to get to know us. All at no cost to you! We often run free studio workshops to help people get ready. 

Over the years working with artists of all shapes and sizes and musical genres, we have learned a great deal so here are a few gems we believe you can do to to get prepared for the big moment. (This works for all studios not just ours :-)  .... but of course it is a sin to record anywhere else but Fat Trax.

1. Get to know your studio and the people you will be working with.

You will be working on close quarters in a highly creative environment. You need to feel comfortable with the studio engineer so that you can perform to the best of your ability. If the engineer "talks down" to you or is just simple too "geeky weird" they are some of the first warning signs!

2. Turn up on time and be prepared for your sessions.

So simple it almost goes without saying. But punctuality isn’t a given, especially when dealing with musicians. Some artists don’t know that if you schedule a recording time, the clock starts ticking exactly at that time. If you book 2 hrs and you show up 30 minutes late, now you have an hour and a half. This goes for major studios and pro engineers who run home studios as well. Time is money, so treat it that way. If the engineers you work with are worth their salt, they’ll value your time as well and won’t waste a minute.  At Fat Trax we don't run with a stopwatch but we do encourage mutual respect for each others time.

3. Know your setup & what you need to record.

Guitarists, buy new strings and know exactly the sounds you are trying to get with your rig, drummers tune your kit, keyboard players know the patches that you want.  

Exprimenting in the studio is not a good use of time. Tweaking is OK and the studio may have some gear that will achieve your ends, but know the sound you want to achieve before you tweak!

If you have a solo part make sure you know exactly what you are going to play.

4. Rehearse, rehearse rehearse!

The great thing about studio recording is that you only have to get something right once. The scary thing is that you have to get something right at least once :-)

Know exactly the arrangment of the songs. Be able to play without charts, lyrics and cheat sheets. Have someone appointed as the Producer (or music director) who gets the final say as to how the song is to be recorded. It is amazing how creative differences can be maginified in a studio environment!

5. Discuss specific wishes with the studio.

If you are a singer/guitarist and want to perform that way, then don't get bullied into recording a a guitar track first and then vocals.That might work for then engineer but not for you!  

As a band if you are comfortable playing as a tight unit, then express a preference for that, or, if you want instrument by instrument tracking then opt for that. There are no fixed rules - in the studio it is all about you and your music.

6. Understand the process!

There are defined steps in the whole recording process and it is worth understanding each of these steps. You wil be woirking to a budget and so the more thast you understand about each step the better you will be able to allocate you financial resources. For example you may decide it is better to spend more time on the tracking and performance stage and less time on the editing.

Here are the steps in order....

a.  Rehearse and pre-production

b.  Tracking and performance - is there anything that you can track outside the studio (midi files etc)? How much do you want to track seperately after the main sessions have been recorded?

c.  Editing. When all the tracks are recorded, the best takes need to be sorted out, vocals may need to be tuned and the arrangements put in all the right places.

d.  Mixing.  Bringing it all together into a song.

e.  Mastering. Preparing the final mix for CD/Itunes/digital release. Fine tuning of overall levels, compression and equalisation by a mastering engineer - note, this is best if it is not done in the same studio where the mixing was done.

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