Recording can be a stressful task if you’ve just started. There’s so many techniques and things to think about that it can quickly overload your brain before you even press that REC button.
In order for you to quickly and consistently record great audio, all you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines to success. Don’t overload your brain, just keep it simple.
1. Have a Plan
Everybody stresses out more when there’s no plan to follow. It’s like when work builds up. There are so many tasks that you don’t know which one to start and you end up doing none of them.
Make sure your recording session has a plan of action.
- What’s being recorded?
- How songs are you working on?
- How much stuff do you need to bring if you’re recording on location?
- What’s the room like and what problems can you predict?
2. Make sure Everybody is Tuned up
One time the intonation wasn’t working right on my guitar. This caused a major tuning issue when I was using a capo on the higher frets. To avoid serious issues like that make sure everybody is tuned correctly, capo or otherwise. And make sure everybody checks their instruments every few takes or between songs.
3. Use Tried and Tested Techniques
There are a lot of different microphone techniques and recording methods out there. If you are stressing yourself out because you don’t know which method to use just keep it simple.
4. Don’t Overload Your Inputs
You’ve got your plan in order and decided which technique to use. Then you better not screw up a great pre-production by overloading your inputs and causing digital distortion. Make sure you don’t overload the inputs of your interface.
If you record to 24 bit you can allow yourself to record a little quieter due to the added headroom you gain with 24 bit recording.
5. Get a Great Performance
Lastly, make sure the performance you’re recording is worth the hard disk space it’s recorded on. If the performance is lackluster then all your preparation didn’t do you any good.
A sub-par sounding recording will sound better if the performance behind it is amazing. But a great sounding recording with an out-of-tune vocalist will always sound awful.
What do you guys do to make sure your recording session goes according to plan?
For an in-depth guide to recording, check out Recording Strategies.
Image by: Colin Gordon