1. Choose your session players wisely. Many local (non-commercial) studios will offer you their own musicians, or even to have their engineer play on your album. But 99% of the time the result is just a mediocre instrumental track that will do nothing to set you apart from the thousands of other singer/songwriters out there. Think about it for a second: do you know of any famous songs that were recorded by a “one-man-band?” It is crucial to the sound of your recording to get yourself the best session players you can afford. And with today’s easy access to great recording technology, finding the right session player is even more important than the recording studio.
2. Sketch out your song and plan the arrangement before you go to the studio. Songwriters’ biggest mistake is trying to write/arrange/finish their music in the studio. Remember: when that studio clock is ticking and every extra minute is money out of your pocket, it makes it nearly impossible to be creative–especially in an unfamiliar environment. So plan ahead and record a sketch of your song at home; it can be as simple as a guitar/keyboard and vocal recorded to a click. Use this sketch to start thinking about what instruments you’ll need, where you want to place parts and breaks, and any other details for the final recording. If you know all of this before you enter the studio, you’ll be able to focus on recording your song while minimizing stress.
3. Don’t mix and master your song with your local studio’s engineer. While he might be a great recording engineer, the mixing and mastering should be done by a true professional. You’ll want to find someone who has mixed albums that you like the sound of. The right mix engineer will give your album a unique sound that reveals who you are as an artist.
4. Use the help of online recording studios. Bringing a good drummer to the studio (if you can find one in your home town) is no simple task. The complex set-up required to record a drum set can even add to the expense of your studio fee. You can get professional sounding drum tracks from a world-class drummer over the Internet for just $150.
5. Don’t expect your song to be fully produced in a local recording studio for under $1,000 without compromising a professional sound–it’s just not possible! Do the math yourself: 4-5 (experienced) session musicians will cost about $150-$250 each, mixing and mastering can be around $500+, and that’s not even including the studio time…
If you are on a tight budget the only way you can get five world-class session players and a Grammy nominated engineer to mix and master your song is by using the full music production service of Studio Pros.
NEED ADVICE BEFORE ENTERING THE STUDIO?