Studio Preparation Checklist

An awesome studio experience takes a lot of preparation.

If you play an instrument, you’ll want to use absolutely the best equipment available to you.
As the old studio saying goes– “Garbage in, garbage out”.

Do what you can to have your equipment in great working order.
Messing around with poorly maintained gear can take up a lot of studio time and will yield unsatisfactory results.

Before you come in, change your strings, check your intonation, and clean those scratchy pots. Bring that buzzing amp into the shop, replace bad tubes, speakers, cables, batteries, etc.
For the best drum sounds possible, change the heads and make sure they’re well tuned.

If you have to, borrow some great sounding gear or explore what the studio has to offer but make sure you’re willing to spend the time it takes to become familiar with the gear you’ll be using.

Practice, practice, practice. The studio can be an expensive place to rehearse. Don’t waste valuable studio time and money on things you can easily do at home.

Chart out your arrangements and know your parts ahead of time, including breaks, solos, and endings.  It may seem obvious, but please know what key and tempo your song is in.

Learn to play comfortably with a click track. This may be more difficult than you think and can be quite disorienting without practice. PLEASE DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THIS! This is probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for your session.

Know and share your vision. Get to know your engineer ahead of time.  Discuss options.  Develop a plan. Become comfortable with the studio environment.

Before the session begins, You and your engineer should have a clear idea of the guitar tones and drums sounds, vocal effects, etc. you are planning on using ahead of time.

Prepare a reference cd.

Create a scratch track or demo of your material that conveys your vision. Pick out reference material by artists that represents the sound you’re striving to attain.

Get plenty of rest before your session. Eat a great breakfast and plan for a long day of work.

Dress comfortably. Avoid wearing jewelry or items that could make noise during your session.

We’ll provide bottled water and coffee…. but DON’T FORGET THE SNACKS!

Bring along spare strings, picks, sticks, batteries, cables, and your charts.

If you use beats, midi samples and sequenced material, bring them along.

Musicians may find they prefer alternate sounding choices in the studio environment. Bring along a few different options such as a cymbal, snare, guitar, or amp.

Bringing your instruments into the studio ahead of time will allow them to acclimate and your instruments are more likely to stay in tune– especially drums.

Plan to show up early. Allow plenty of time to set up your equipment and warm up your fingers and vocal chords.

Avoid distractions and leave your friends at home.