Have you ever walked into your local video or record store and felt totally overwhelmed with the range and selection to choose from? It’s like a kid in a candy store trying to figure out what they want. The truth is that the more selection you have the harder it is to make a decision.
The same idea holds true in recording studios. It helps to know exactly what your recording studio plans are before you walk through the front door.
The whole point of a recording studio is that there is meant to be variety and choice to help make your recordings unique -Other than having great acoustics and an adequate mixing desk, this is what makes one great recording studio better than the rest.
Great little studio’s will have a range of old school keyboards, synthesizers maybe a few drum kits, while almost all studios will have a ton of mics to choose from. My general rule of thumb is that the more variety there is in a studio, the cooler the studio generally is. These extras add some creative flair to a studio that the most modern hi tech state of the art mixing desk cannot deliver.
However, the more variety also means being able to put better recording studio plans together so when you get in there, you know exactly what you are doing.
Here are some tips and ideas to consider while formulating your next recording studio plans
1. Visit The Studio A Few Times Before You Record
I cannot remember ever booking a recording studio without actually going there a few times first and checking out the vibe. Any band or artist must really feel comfortable and safe in the studios and get a feel for its energy
Considering the fact that you will be expected to pour out your heart and soul and capture some moments or artistic greatness, you really want to make sure your comfortable in the recording environment.
Failing to do this will surely increase the blockbuster syndrome when you arrive on the first day. This should probably be one of the most important components of your future recording studio plans.
2. Visualize While Your Inspecting
Make sure you get a good feel for each room and booth as you visit the studio. Begin to collect thoughts and ideas about how you can configure and set the rooms up. Normally, most recording studios and in house engineers will tell you how things are normally done but if you come up with alternative ideas - go for it - the amount of times I used to end up recording bass lines right next to the mixing desk with my amp set up in another room was countless
Obviously you will only really feel true inspiration once your there with everything set up ready to go however visualizing and contemplating what could be is also quite a powerful tool to reduce the blockbuster syndrome of freaking out when you get there
3. Discover All The Extra Equipment
Like I said before, any good studio will always have great old school instruments etc. make sure you really take a good look at them, consider how you might be able to use them in your arrangements. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
Make sure you walk away knowing full well what the musical opportunities are with extra equipment lying around. By visiting the studio before you record and understanding the details of what the studio has to offer, your recording studio plans will surely minimize the blockbuster syndrome
4. Talking with the engineers and studio owners
This is so important!
Knowing you will be able to work easily with the in house engineer is critical. If you get bad vibes straight up, it might be worth investigating other recording studios.
Ask the engineers questions, find out how they work, discover how committed to each project and how hands on they are. Consider how you think you could best utilize the engineer while you record.
Make sure you make the engineer understand what your goals and objectives actually. Sometimes I’d even given them a demo of the tracks a few weeks before so they can familiarize themselves with your music.
Does the engineer understand your style of music and the requirements to create the right sounds your looking for? Most times people will bring in a producer to really work on this aspect but I’m assuming that most bands reading this can’t afford producers yet so relying on having a good engineer is critical.
Highly important consideration for your next recording studio plans.
5. Asking the Engineer for a rundown of the technical specs of the studio
Some questions should include - How many mics are there? What kind of mixing board do they use? Do they have any digital devices like pro-tools? How proficient is the engineer in digital recording?
Ask the engineer if you can try a few mics out and see how they sound. You might piss a few people off a little but hey, you’re the one that’s going to be paying for this expedition - you have the right to ask and test.
Most recording studios generally stock up pretty hard on standard mics, however again you’ll generally find that a lot of studios will have a handful of really rare or unique mics. Find out what they have, consider how you might be able to use them in your songs to enhance the recording process.
So there you have it. A handful of very important considerations for your next recording studio plans. But more importantly, you need to consider the above to avoid the tragic case of the blockbuster syndrome.
I know people that have walked into a recording studio, placed a 2 week lock down and have walked out with very little to show for it except for the extra 5kg’s they all put on from eating pizza three times a day.
Don’t let it happen to you. Put some serious pre recording studio plans in place and avoid the headache and heafty bill at the end of the session
I think you get the drift….