Some thought and highlights from the 2019 NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA.
When you're in the studio, turn off your cell phone. There is nothing to be gained by allowing the outside world to interrupt your genius. Focus on the music and let the moment unfold with your undivided attention.
If you use your phone for lyrics or notes, that's obviously something you need handy. Just move it into airplane mode and resist the temptation to play any games. If you take photos with your phone, save the social media sharing for after the session. Unfocused time in the studio is wasted time in the studio.
You're ready to record your music, but you've never been to a recording studio. Let me give you a few tips on how to prepare for your recording session.
First thing, be ready to record. You need to be well rehearsed and have final versions of your songs ready to go. Don't waste any time trying to figure out parts of a song. Have everyone on the same page so time can be spent getting good takes for mixing.
Second, give all your instruments a tune up. Put new strings or drum heads on a day or two before your session. This will give them time to stretch out and stay in tune while you record. Always bring spare strings,sticks, straps and other gear so you don't waste any time running to the store.
Third, be well rested for your session. It's important to stay focused and attentive to every aspect of the session. Keep your ears rested. Don't listen to loud music before you go into the studio. Bring snacks and bottled water with you to keep your energy up.
Forth, protect your investment. You're spending your hard earned money on the recording, so be prepared to back it up. Bring a hard drive or flash drive with lots of empty space to back up all of your recordings. HD sessions can get big quickly. High sample rates and bit depths create big files. The average 4 minute song can have a folder that is 5 GB, so if you've got 10 songs on the album, you'll need 50-60 GB of storage. It's always a good idea to bring blank CD-Rs if everyone in the band wants a copy of the rough mixes.
These are just some of the basic things you should prepare before going into your session. It's always a good idea to discuss your project and ask any questions before you get to the studio. If you and the engineer are on the same page, the session will move along efficiently and the recordings will reflect the productive environment.
We had a discussion last night about the struggles of finding the right sound for a particular song being tracked at the studio. The discussion led us down a path of thought that started to get us thinking more outside the box. The studio drummer, CRISPy CRUIZeR, was brainstorming a new plan to use microphones of all different types. What if the guitar amp was tracked with a mic designed for the kick drum? Would a D112 give us the bottom end that we're seeking? This got us thinking even more about using some of the gear in different ways. Maybe it's time to dust off the MiniDisc recorder and the DAT machine. What if the compression ratios of these digital machines gives us that little extra punch that the drums need to sit bigger in the mix? These are questions that get us intrigued and in this business, strange and unusual is typically the most fascinating.
My #AmazingWife bought me a #GoPro camera for the studio. A bunch of the new photos were taken with the new camera. This little camera is fascinating. The ease of use and the simplicity of it are genius. The photo quality is down right impressive. I'm working on some short videos that I'll post on the site very soon. Just an FYI to bring your A-game to the studio cause we'll probably shoot some GoPro video for your next music video.