Do you have a dream? Would you like to have your music heard? Maybe you have some songs that you want to put down and have them recorded? Today, I am going to write about the process of going in to a recording studio and what it so really like.
Why I Recorded a cd in a Studio
I had 12 songs which I wanted to put on to cd. I had a message I wanted to get out there, but also because it was something I always wanted to do. So I decided to buy some audio software, a microphone, a keyboard and do it myself. The problem was that I could not get the sound I wanted; even though I tried to create the sound I wanted I couldn’t. I could not mix it myself, and it was taking me hours just to record one song. I decided it was time to find a recording studio, where I could get it done. I used my rough recordings as a guide for the person at the studio.
There are severa things involved in recording your own album. Know what you want; if possible have some samples of your songs to show the producer. It doesn’t mater how rough it is, just give them the ideas you have. My recording was full of pops and crackles, and not mixed well. But it gave some ideas on what I wanted.
Secondly, book the studio well in advance. I booked 4 months before I planed to record. I also booked it for a month. Plan to book more time than you might need as things that could go wrong. It is a long process recording an album. It took me over a month of solid daily work to get my album recorded, mixed and mastered.
Before The Big Day
Before the big day of actual recording, I attended a planning meeting with the studio. During that meeting, I shared my rough cd recordings, explained what musicians I needed, and that I would need an arranger for some of my album. The studio discussed what I had to do, the time it would take and their role in finding artists etc. It was quite a lengthy meeting but a necessary part of preparation. Make sure you know Exactly what you want and have practiced your materials well before booking the studio.
The early days of recording was quite difficult. First of all, I remember coming down with a slight cold beforehand, and as a result delayed the vocals. Usually, I sing and play at the same time, but when recording I didn’t do this. Instead, it was suggested I put down (record) the piano tracks first; then would add the vocals and after that, the other musicians and backing vocals. So began a rather long process. Each piano part was recorded. Some were done in one sitting, but others took a few goes. It was hard to shut up and not sing while playing as I was not used to that. So before recording, practice playing with out the vocals. Of course, if you are in a band, the process is probably different. I was just recording on piano and didn’t have a band behind me.
Recording the vocals is also a challenge. First of all, watch the breathing. I had trouble at first and had to do several repeats due to this. All your imperfect intonation problems will reveal themselves. For the most part, though I found the vocals quite easy.
arranging and working with musicians
Next, I had to work with an arranger and some musicians. This can vary from musician to musician. Motherost of them were fantastic to work with. If I had my time over again, I would be much more fist about the musicians I use. There’s a difference between sightreading the music and actually putting feeling in to the music. There is also a glaring tenor who is so out of tune in one track that I cant stand hearing it. However, having said all that, most people wouldn’t notice. But don’t go for second best like I did.
Mixing and mastering
The final steps, and in some ways the most frustrating part. Mixing and mastering can take hours. I’m not sure if you are required to be there for that, but I was. I had to make sure that every thing was mixed to my liking. Sometimes, I would ask for certain things to be mixed differently than what the producer thought. Sometimes, not. It was a team effort.