Have you ever had any recording projects that have gone awry? Do you find that recording an EP or an album never goes terribly smoothly?
It’s a drag to put so much time and effort into something and not end up with the kind of results you’re looking for.
If you want to make sure that your next recording project goes smoothly, follow the four steps outlined below.
Step 1: Plan
It may seem obvious, but you need to come up with a sensible and realistic plan for your recording project. You need to set goals.
You need to think about the timeframe, what gear you need to purchase or rent, who you need to bring into the studio and how much time you will require of them, what songs you want to record, and a lot more
Your plan may need to change over time, so don’t be too rigid in your approach. We’ll talk more about being flexible in a moment.
Step 2: Pre-Produce
If you want a great record, you can’t skip pre-production. This is the stage at which you pick songs, figure out their arrangements, decide what instruments need to be on what song, and get a sense of the overall flow or order of songs.
You don’t need to make any final decisions at this point, but by the time you’ve arranged and recorded all of your demos, you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking to accomplish in the studio. Yes, you should record demos at this stage.
Step 3: Practice
The pre-production phase should have given you a pretty good idea of what you need to work on. Perhaps there are some issues with a particular vocal phrase, or maybe your bass player just isn’t up to snuff on his parts yet.
You may think you know your parts pretty well, but recording in a studio can be a very different experience compared to practicing in your bedroom, garage, or basement. Make sure you know your parts forwards and backwards before beginning principle recording.
Step 4: Be Willing to Adapt
Maybe the piano player you asked to play on your album had to back out of the project at the last minute. Maybe there’s a song that just isn’t coming together the way you thought it would. Maybe you have a new song that absolutely needs to be on the album.
Whatever the case, you have to be willing to adapt to the situation. Things can go wrong in the studio, even if you take the time to plan everything out. You might end up with more time than you needed, you might end up with less. At the end of the day, you just have to roll with the changes.
Recording projects take a lot of time, effort, and sometimes money too. If you want to make sure that you get the most out of your next project, then don’t jump into it without a plan. Find people that you feel comfortable working with, and come to an agreement that makes sense for everyone involved.