Starting Out

Recording A Demo Or Mixtape

Getting Ready

If you’re well prepared for your session, you can get more done in a short space of time and your end results will be better. If you know how you’re going to play your songs, and have all your gear setup before you hit the studio, the session should be a smooth and enjoyable experience. It’s important to know exactly what you want, and make sure that the engineer - if you're using one - is on the same page.

Before you go into the studio it's really important that you know your songs really well. Make sure that your equipment's up to scratch. A lot of time can be wasted trying to tune and sort out drum sounds before you even started playing!

James Kenosha, Producer - Pulled Apart By Horses

If you’re a live band, try recording your tracks on a simple tape recorder so that you can listen back to them before entering the studio. If a song is fun to play, it can sometimes ‘feel’ more exciting than it is to listen to. Many artists find that they need to up the tempo of their playing when recording to transfer that energy onto tape. Similarly, you may feel that adding extra orchestration or an additional guitar line to the recording helps to make the record sound bigger.

If you want to overdub some of your vocals, or add harmonies to certain parts, make sure you've practiced the parts and can execute them on the day. Rehearsal time is always cheaper than recording time, and you can play or sing along to the basic recording you’ve made to make sure you’ve got it all locked in tight. Be wary of overdubbing vocals and melody lines too much. It can be a tempting to add a host of screaming guitar lines over your normal playing, but in practice you can detract from the simplicity of your track and create a murky mess.

Check over your instruments thoroughly before entering the studio. Any loose parts, dodgy connections, squeaks, buzzes or hums should be looked at by a qualified technician so that these faults do not disturb the recording process.

Make sure your kit is tuned to perfection – even an engineering wizard can’t make a poorly tuned snare drum sound good. Remember that there are limits to what can be “fixed in the mix”, and the best way to get a good recording is to have the source sounding as good as possible.

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