Recording Session Prep

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Guitars & Bass

Bring your own instruments to the sessions, as it is part of your sound and you know its characteristics and settings best. If you are an electric guitar player, be sure to bring your own guitar and amplifier to the session, as well as your pre-amp, effects, and ¼” cables. Acoustic guitar players, bring your guitar and any effects processor you like, but my preference is to record the acoustic guitar using 2 mics to create a stereo image (from a non-stereo instrument). Bass players do not need to bring their amp because they will record directly through our custom-made all-tube preamp. If you haven’t changed strings in a while, be sure to put new strings on your instrument at least 3 days before the first session so they have a chance to stretch out. Be sure to tune guitars several times so that they get used to being at the correct pitch. It’s also a good idea to check your 12th fret notes vs. harmonics and adjust your bridges accordingly.


Bring your own keyboard(s) and keyboard stand. Also bring your owner’s manual, power supply, pedals and ¼” cables. We’ll have DI boxes available for you that work best on our system as well as the XLR cables that go from the DI boxes to the recording system.


Bring your own drum set. Remember that microphones will be very close to each drum and the smallest rattles and buzzes can ruin a take. Make sure the heads are reasonably new, and the pedals do not squeak. While we could mic your kit in thirty minutes and have it connected to the system, be aware that most quality recordings take from one to three hours of fine-tuning the drum setup for optimum sound on a CD project. This extra time is always a great investment in the overall project and can bring the sound upon which everything is built to a much higher level.


Know your vocal parts! All vocalists, including background vocalists, must rehearse the pronunciation (diction) and intonation closely with the lead vocalist. What sounds perfectly acceptable in a live setting can sound pretty rough when exposed to the intense scrutiny of the digital recording studio. It’s very important to rehearse group entrances and cutoffs at the end of long-held notes. The lead vocalist should direct the cutoffs, with the other vocalists watching the leader’s lips.


Know your music completely. The more prepared you are, the better your recording will be. The studio is not a rehearsal hall. Nail your performances. Do your rehearsing at home. If you have a home studio of any type, it may be helpful to record your entire project on your boom box or 4-track at home. Doing this will reveal unforeseen problems and will provide a good point of reference for the engineer/producer to hear your direction when you get to the actual sessions.

Friends & Family Coming to Watch Recording Sessions

While it’s fine to bring friends and family to a recording session to experience the recording process, it has a tendency to take attention away from the recording, and subsequently cost you time and dollars. The call is yours.

A Final Note

Remember, recording should be fun. Our goal is for you to thoroughly enjoy every aspect of your experience.