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Getting Ready for Recording Studio Sessions

By Drake Crossland

Stepping into a state-of-the-art recording studio to record with a band is a dream come true for many musicians. But time spent in a recording studio is very expensive and if you show up unprepared you can end up having a costly and difficult experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind to prepare your band for their first trip to the studio.

Prepare Well

To make the most of your money, you don’t want to waste any time in the recording studio. Make sure you know the songs you plan to record inside out. Working out vaguely defined sections of a song or practicing a difficult riff while on the clock will break the bank for most beginner musicians. Have structured practice sessions before the day you plan to record.

Most recording studios start charging at a set time regardless of if you are there or not. Make sure you have everything packed up and ready to go before you are scheduled to arrive. Make sure your instruments are properly tuned and that you have replacement strings, drum sticks, and picks.

What to Expect 
The initial setup for recording comes as a surprise to many musicians. You may spend up to four hours of time simply setting up the instruments and playing while the engineer gets the levels right. This can be especially tiresome for getting the right drum sound. Come prepared with samples of guitar and drum sounds that you like so that the engineer can attempt to dial in a similar sound for your recording session.


First, your band will lay down the basic tracks of the song. This usually includes drums, bass and rhythm guitars. Most studios have the ability to record multiple instruments at once. Alternatively, they will let you play along while one instrument is recorded to help keep the place in the song. The entire process goes much smoother if the drummer – who keeps the beat and structure of the song intact – knows every detail of every song.

After the basic rhythm tracks have been recorded, you get to the more exciting part of adding vocals, solos, percussion, samples or other flourishes that fill out the sound of the band. Don’t be surprised if everything takes a lot longer than you expected. Keep things moving by having band members who are not recording practice in another room for the part they will soon perform. This way, everyone is contributing to getting through the process as efficiently and cheaply as possible.

Mistakes to Avoid

The recording studio is not a place to party. Drinking, smoking, and other drugs will only make it harder to perform at your best. Having guests come to the recording studio may serve as a distraction that wastes time and money.

It is also important to know when to call it a day. If you are recording vocals and your voice is shot, it will show. Recording can be an mentally and physically exhausting. If you are too tired to perform your parts well, switch to having another part recorded for the rest of that session.

Success in the recording studio can make or break a band’s career. Make sure to prepare well for your recording session and get your music out there for the world to hear. 

For more information and for professional advice regarding your music career, please visit recording studios in Toronto.

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