Recording Hints and Tips

Going into a recording studio is expensive, for many major labels costs can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Even in the world of struggling unsigned acts it is still relatively expensive. We have, therefore, put this page together primarily for people who are inexperienced at working in a recording studio environment and want to get the full potential out of their recording. If these seem a little self-evident, we apologise, but there might be something of interest here even to more experienced individuals. Also, bear in mind that while many of our suggestions are the norm, rules are there to be broken (but it helps to know the rules first!). If there is a word you do not fully understand please check the terminology page.

Pre-production

No matter how big or small your project is, it is important to prepare it adequately before embarking on the final recording process. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the artist.  Read More…


Role of the Producer and Engineers

These roles are often confused and nearly always misunderstood even by those in the industry. On big-budget releases most of the time they will not be the same person. The simplest way of defining a producer is this: a producer is to music what a director is to film. They shape the creative direction of the project.  Read More…


Recording Your Part

Now is the time we have all been waiting for – recording.

When you’re sitting there ready, instruments in hand, there are some things to bear in mind. Getting the right headphone or monitor mix for each individual is important. Read More…


Drummers

To get a great sound, we need a great sounding kit before we even put one microphone on it, and the drummer can assist us in this. Prior to coming into the studio try and replace at least the top head of all of your toms with matching skins. Put them on before you come to the studio (why waste time and money doing it when you are there?) and tune them up as best you can. Read More…


Click Tracks

It is of great benefit to the later stages of recording if the drum tracks are done at a strict tempo, it makes overdubbing a great deal easier and increases the scope for MIDI parts and song structure adjustments. This is where the click track comes in. There are many different ways to approach this. Read More…


Recording Drums

Sit down, relax, and try and play like you would at a gig. You don’t need to worry that you might be making too much noise here. If playing loud is appropriate for your genre then hit the drums as hard as you Read More…


Guitarists & Bassists

Bring as many guitars and amps as you like (within reason!!) different parts may need different sounds, and the more options we have the better. Check all your leads (mains, speaker, jack), batteries, and power supplies. Don’t forget your plectrums, allen keys, spare strings, straps etc. If possible re-string your guitar the day before so they can be stretched in and ready when you start recording. Read More…


Recording Guitars

Generally whilst recording guitars we have the amp in the control room and the cab in the live room. With combos we put the amp in the live room and use a really long lead. This means the guitarist can stay in the control room, which makes communication easier between the producer, engineer and guitarist. It also means that the guitarist does not have to wear headphones, which can be a little intimidating and claustrophobic. Read More…


Keyboards and DJs

The use of keyboards varies greatly from artist to artist, but no matter what your requirements are we will do our best to accommodate you.

If you are a DJ or programmer and have prepared your parts prior to coming in the studio this is fine. Please discuss with us beforehand exactly what you will be bringing in. As a rule of thumb we prefer to have audio and MIDI for each discreet part, Read More…


Recording Keyboards

More often than not the keyboards are DI’d and like guitarists we normally set up in the control room. This is to make communication and monitoring easier. Talk to the producer/engineer about the sounds you will be using. If you’re not entirely happy with your existing sound we can probably help as we have a wide range of virtual instruments and samples available, both organic and synthesised. Read More…


Tips for Singers

Singers need to prepare as much as other band members – but in a different way. Their instrument is their voice and like the instrumentalists it needs servicing, maintenance and tender loving care. The voice is a muscle and also needs to be exercised gently before use. Read More…


Recording Vocals

Vocals are usually recorded in the live room area whilst wearing a pair of headphones, in sight of the producer/engineer, who if necessary can give visual cues. They can communicate via the talkback system. Read More…


Harmony & Backing Vocals

These can of course give emphasis to certain lines in a song, though not always easy to do, or even work out, they can be worth a little effort. Some people find it extremely hard to harmonise with themselves, but it can be achieved. Read More…


Other Instruments

We can accommodate the vast majority of instruments, but if you are playing anything unusual please let us know before your session (especially if it is very large!!). We can arrange location recording if necessary. Read More…


The Mix

The last word has been sung, the last chord played and the last cymbal hit and everyone is ready to go home – wrong!! We have a mix to do. This is something that can be overlooked by bands when it comes to planning sessions. It can take just as long or even longer to mix a track as to record it, depending on the type of material. Read More…


Mastering

An often referred to, but little understood process is the mysterious world of mastering. Mastering is processing done to a track after mixing and before the final product is created. It covers the overall frequency balance and dynamics of the track, as well as thing like ‘topping and tailing’ and doing fade ins/outs. If you have ever played a demo next to a professional CD and it sounded very quiet, the most likely cause of this is poor mastering.


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