Being Prepared To Record

So I’m going back to the studio to work on my 3rd CD which is not yet named…Here are a few things to get ready to record and save some time and money.

Yes, I Must Say, Be Prepared

In my situation, I have a friend that works with me and I’m able to go to his studio and record.  Let’s assume I’m paying money, because our time is money.  You must go to the studio with all the parts exactly how you want them, Intros,  outros, bridges..etc.  The studio is not the time to learn songs or write songs when you are an independent musician.  It’s the time to go in and record the parts that you know.  That sounds very simple, but if you don’t have everything down from beginning to end, you will waste precious time doing, in the studio, what you should have already done…write the song.  I got my band together once a week for a month to work on four songs, so we know them forward and backwards.

Make Home Demos

I recorded the songs at home on my computer to the layout we have been practicing.  We made a few changes along the way, and that’s why we did it.  Record demos so you already know what the song will feel like and sound like as a whole and you have heard it from the outside (instead of just playing it).  You may find that parts are too long or too short or this would sound better if you had that..I personally just used a drum loop in Logic, grabbed my guitar, laid down the guitar track, laid down the bass, and then sang some rough vocals.  Also you can send that to your band and they can be practicing and be preparing at home for the studio time.

Sent Track Info Ahead of Time

Now like I said before, I have a friend that works with me to record in his studio so I had the benefit of sending all the track info ahead of time and all that we need to get set up.  If you go to a studio where you pay, you may or may not have this option.  I sent him, Tempo, Song Key, list of Tracks we will need for each song, Song Title.  Now, if you make a home demo, you will have a good idea of the tempo for the click track before you go, if you can’t send it before hand.  Also it will help knowing all that anyway to help with the whole set up process.  Set up, and discussing the set up is a time killer.

Don’t Waste Time, But Don’t Rush

Hurry up, but don’t rush..yeah…it’s more like be confident.  If you know the songs, you are prepared and you know the parts, then do that.   Don’t go in and try to get more done than what is physically possible.  Recording, no matter how much you are prepared always takes more time than you think it should.  I’m going into my first session with 4 songs.  We will be there about three and a half to four hours.  Side note: I will only be recording drums and bass during this session, playing guitar and singing as scratch tracks, I do the guitar and vocals at my studio.  If you try to get more done that what is comfortable, you will no doubt rush the songs you have been prepared to do and say these words “that’s good enough” then regret it later.

That’s the don’t rush part. Now don’t waste time…I love to joke around and have a good time, but stay focused on the task.  Have a person in the band be the leader and the director if need be.  In my case, I’m the leader, it’s my band.  Don’t get side tracked talking about your brothers cat or past bands or who knows what.  This is a huge time killer!  Joke, enjoy yourself but let the talk stay on recording and what is going on.


These are a few thoughts I had about going in to a recording session.  I hope it helps and thank you for reading!



One thought on “Being Prepared To Record

  1. Thanks Jason, this is a really helpful, informative post. I just listened to your interview on the how. To run a band podcast and really enjoyed it. Now checking out your site! Great guitar playing man. I quit my day job last year and it’s the best thing ever but I’m still trying to figure all the ins and outs moving forward to making a living. And working on record #1. Maybe I’ll make a new buddy w a studio 🙂 hope so! Anyways, thanks for sharing your experiences, perspectives, advice, enthusiasm and all. Much appreciated.

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