Skip to main content

Can anyone tell me how to make the most of studio time?

I mean, if there are any producers out there reading this, what is it that bugs them about singers? Obviously I need to come in knowing the songs inside out, but is there anything else I can do to make it seamless? What would you guys appreciate?

I'll just be singing over pre-recorded songs (but if you want to post advice for people coming in with instruments too that's fine by me, as I'll be doing so another time :)

Going next week!


MadTiger3000 Sat, 03/07/2009 - 05:41

From your other posts, I can gather that you know how to warm up and be ready to go.

From this post, I can see that you are polite and considerate of others.

Print your lyrics out (for producer and you), and you might bring your own lemon, just in case they are out. Even if you nail it on the first take, many engineers/producers will want AT LEAST one other, but more likely, several others.

I hope it goes well for you.

MadMax Sat, 03/07/2009 - 06:47

I hope it goes well for you as well!

I'd bring the lyrics as MadTiger suggested....

Also bring some patience and open mindedness...

As far as instruments... new strings, and an extra set, or two. Fresh heads on kit... extra sticks, picks, bandaids and a towel.

After that, the studio should be able to handle everything else... if not, then I'd look for another studio.

dvdhawk Sat, 03/07/2009 - 10:23

Two thumbs up to Max's guitar strings, drum heads that have tone, and plenty of drum sticks.

To paraphrase Master Clearmountain's site, since you'll be couped up in a confined space with others - don't douse yourself in cologne or perfume as the case may be. Smelling clean is sufficiently thoughtful. And to the ladies and glam rockers, I don't care what your hair looks like. What I DO care about is your hairspray gumming up my headphones. The chemical reaction that occurs between your hairspray and long exposure to vinyl can make a sticky tar-like substance. Likewise ladies- lipstick has it's place, and it's NOT on my windscreens. << innuendo opportunity] c'mon Greener, Codemonkey, Space - you guys are great at these! I've teed this one up, now knock it out of the park!

jg49 Sat, 03/07/2009 - 13:56

All studios geez almost everyone likes punctuality show up on time ready to go. Musicians working together should know their arrangements. Keep material of similar nature in blocks like soft ballads, screaming rock, etc. In the end unless you worked out a block price for the work its your dime and the smoother you can work the more economical it will be.

Davedog Sun, 03/08/2009 - 11:45

When you are getting the sound, be helpful and attentive to what the engineer is asking of you. Spacing out and not paying attention drives the guys (and gals) on the other side of the glass crazy.

When you're asked to "SING" while setting levels, sing the song you're getting ready to track. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I cant count the times when I've relayed this request through the phones and had the singer start up their favorite Gilbert and Sullivan when we're actually working on a country ballad or something else entirely different.

Bringing the engineer a gift of 18 year old single malt is a great thing, just be sure the sessions are over before presenting it............

anonymous Sun, 03/08/2009 - 14:41

One thing that bugs me is when the band starts joking around and having so much fun they stop listening to what I am saying... If you value your time in the studio you will listen when the engineer is talking. When he talks, it's for a reason, and it's usually important to hear what he's saying.
And when he's setting levels and asking you to make noise don't stop making noise until he tells you to stop. Many times I'm in the middle of setting levels and the singer in question will stop singing at the end of the phrase and look at me as if to say - "keep going?" - right when I'm almost to a level I like! If he'd just keep singing til I tell him to stop, we'd be able to start recording that much sooner.
You sound like a pleasant, considerate person. Kudos to you for that!

Todzilla Fri, 03/20/2009 - 09:17

Know your parts backwards and forwards, but also be open and flexible to try your parts new ways. Your producer may want you to try it several ways.

I usually get a few good takes, then ask the musician to play a really straight version, then some whacky versions. Often times, I find the best stuff on those last two versions.

dvdhawk Fri, 03/20/2009 - 12:04

Codemonkey wrote: dvdhawk, I fail to understand how you get lipstick on your windscreen. Could you please elaborate on how you can possibly do such a thing?

I think something is getting lost in the translation from our bastardized American version of English to the proper Queen's English, the term windscreen perhaps -- not in this case an automotive term. So in the interest of clarity, I shall illustrate my point to the extent that I can.

Hopefully that clears up any miscommunication.

And if you know your parts as well as I think you do, forwards and backwards I'm sure .... you may have thought of a variety of places a fair lass might leave a wee bit o' lipstick behind that would make a fellow happier instead.