Have you written a new song and would love to share it with the world? Or, are you a first-timer looking to make a garage recording for a three-track demo? Whether solo or in a band, recording your music allows you to create a permanent, definitive record of your work which you can share, promote, and sell as much (or as little) as you please.
So, how to start? While it’s becoming easier to get the basic things you need to record at home, for the highest quality it’s best to book a professional studio. You’ll find at a professional music recording studio you’ll save a lot of time by having skilled pros at hand who know what they’re doing and how to do it.
6 Steps to Recording in a Studio
Before you book a studio time, you will want to make sure your project is ready for the studio. Because most studios charge on a timely basis, the faster you can record your music, the cheaper it will be.
The parts of a recording studio project involve much more than simply convening to record your music in a room. Before you step into the studio you need to understand the main things that are time-tested, industry standard steps involved in making a recording project successful.
Let’s take a quick look at each step to get you familiar with the recording process so you know what to expect.
Once you’ve got some songs written and rehearsed, either solo or with a band, the next step is to get those songs recorded. The first thing to do in pre-production is to decide the scope of the project. What are you aiming to do with this music? Will it be a traditional three-song demo to send to labels and/or venues or will it be a full, independently released album? The answers to questions like these will influence what studio you choose.
- Select a Studio
Once you’ve selected a studio, you’ll want to open up a discussion with the studio manager or engineer to be sure that the studio can meet your needs in terms of gear and facilities. Be specific – the worst thing that can happen is that unexpected obstacles prevent your project from being completed.
- Tracking and Layering
Once you’ve set all your dates during the initial first production, you’ll need to meet at the studio with any other musicians who might be involved in order to track the instruments. Tracking can be the most time consuming and challenging part of the recording effort, for most artists. For many bands, this is a process layering each individual instrument into the recording one at a time. For solo artists tracking maybe a one or two time around effort.
The final mix is critical to creating a pleasant listening experience for your audience. This work is best left to a seasoned mix engineer. The idea of mixing is to present the song in the best possible light, and it’s a delicate step in the recording process.
Mastering puts the final sheen on a recording, and there’s an art and science to it, perhaps more so than another step in the recording process. Because it has such a dramatic effect on the listening experience, you shouldn’t plan to skimp on the mastering phase.
- Packaging and Delivery
Finally, the must-have final step that completes your studio journey. Packaging your music means getting it to a deliverable state. This includes printing of CDs and CD covers, press kits, and encoding mp3s. Since online pages and social media are such an essential part of how listeners get music, you will want to make sure your recording is available on those sites.