Recording Studio Tips
Submitted by Bruce Miller
Web Site URL: www.westcoastrecording.com
Country: United States
Business Phone: (858) 395-3012
Name of Recording Studio: NYC West Coast Recording Studio
Studio Location: Carmel Mountain Ranch Ted William’s Parkway San Diego, CA 92128
Tell us about your recording studio and the services you offer: NYC West Coast Recording Studio is a professional digital sound studio in Southern California. Providing extremely high sonic quality. We use a ProTools-HD3 system for worldwide compatibility and incredible sound. Our experienced engineer’s time and talent are included with each session at no extra charge. The studio is equipped with only the best, state of the art, industry standard gear. We also provide an excellent collection of the most popular musical instruments and amplifiers for use by our clients at no extra charge.
The studio website – www.WestCoastRecording.com – contains samples of recordings we have made for many of our clients, photos of the studio and a price list for our services. Pride ourselves in our great reputation and our client oriented approach. We may not be the largest studio in town but our clients tell us that we are one of the very best.
Recording Studio Tips or Tutorial (250 – 600 words): There are a number of important things to consider when going to a recording studio to work on a project.
Be sure to determine the scope of the project before booking anytime. That means know what you are attempting to achieve in the project before you start. Will it be a demo to send to record companies, publishers, etc, a full CD for sale, or an EP which is a CD containing only four or five songs usually for sale at performances. EPs are often extended later to create a full length CD using income from sales of the EP.
(Recording Studio Tips)
Make sure you know what quality level you require and have an accurate budget set so that you know how much time you can afford. That will directly effect the quality and the number of songs that you can afford. If you are serious about a career as a recording artist you must not rush the recording process and you must never select a studio by shopping for the cheapest studio you can find. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. That does not mean that you should spend more than you need to, just make sure you do spend enough to get the time and quality that you need. It is most important that you work in a place where you are comfortable. If you feel intimidated or uncomfortable in anyway by your environment or the people you are working with, your creativity and performance will suffer badly. It will also help if you have some sort of chemistry with the engineer and anyone else you are working with. If you do not get along this can be a source of trouble in your work.
You have got to manage your studio time wisely. If you have a manager or some trusted person with you to keep track of your process and time it will help. Keep in mind that if you spend half of your time on one song and you have four songs total to record you may run into trouble. On the other hand some songs may require more time due to complexity so you do not necessarily need to divide your time up equally between songs. These things may seem obvious or unimportant but they are important and if you think them thru before hand and keep them in mind during the sessions everything will go much more smoothly and you will use your time efficiently.
Recording Studio Tips…
Make sure everyone who will be recorded has rehearsed their parts and knows them well. When you record a song you do not always record all of the instruments and vocals at once as if you were doing a concert. The rhythm tracks, drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and perhaps piano may all be recorded first at the same time. Other instruments and vocals may then be added on after that and may each be performed individually while the artists listens to the recording of the rhythm tracks playing in a pair of headphones. This process is called ‘overdubbing’ which is a part of another process known as ‘multi-tracking’. This means that each instrument is recorded on a separate ‘track’ (stored in a separate file on the computer). The separate tracks are later ‘mixed’ together to create a single song or heard thru headphones when recording overdubs to complete the recording. Because of all of this the musicians may want to rehearse playing each of their parts of the song by themselves without the rest of the band. If the song is not an original song, it may be helpful to listen to the original recording of the same song thru headphones and practice playing your instrument along to that recording to get used to overdubbing.
Recording Studio Tips…
While recording in the studio it is most important to listen carefully to the playback of each recording you do to make sure you end up with the best you can do. A track can be recorded over and over again until you are satisfied with one of these, ‘takes’. Sometimes you can decide to use the best sections of a number of different takes and the engineer can then ‘edit’ those sections together to create a final perfect take. That process is known as ‘comping’. All of the most popular artists use this process. The Most important rule is that there are NO RULES. The best advise I can give you is to be creative and experiment with different things. Try recording different tracks with different microphones or pre-amplifiers and in different styles. You may find your favorite this way or you may just use different sounds on different songs. Take the time and do not rush. Listen to the advise of your engineer but do not be bullied into doing something that does not sound or feel right to you. If you need a tie breaker, call me at my studio and I will give you my input even if you are recording somewhere else. (858) 395-3012.
Once all of the tracks for all of your songs have been recorded to your satisfaction. The individual tracks for each song must be mixed to create the final song. Do not forget to budget money for this very important phase of the project. Mixing is just as important as recording (recording is actually referred to as ‘tracking’) and if done properly can take as much time as tracking. Many engineers mix the song as they are tracking so that the musicians who are performing overdubs have something exiting to listen to so that they are motivated properly to perform their parts. This may or may not be a good starting point for the final mix but headphone mixes are done to each musicians needs for the recording process, in-fact each musician can get his own custom headphone mix based on what he likes to hear in order to do what he needs but that cannot be used as a final mix. Sometimes mixing is actually done by a different engineer that he who tracked the songs and many times is performed in a totally different studio. Mixing sometimes takes place in a different country or even continent.
A song can be mixed in as little as 2 hours and as long as 2 weeks based on many factors. If you have a recording contract the record company may have strict control over acceptance of a final mix as may a producer if you have one based on your contract with that person. Mixing involves the setting of volume of each track and therefore each instrument or vocal relative to the other tracks. It is also when panning occurs. That is the process of setting each instrument to a space on the sound image in front of the listener. This gives the illusion of the instruments being positioned left, right or center on a stage as a band or group would be. It can also give the illusion of movement of an instrument or sound during the song. Other processing can make the tracks sound closer to or further from the listener. It can also make the music sound as if it is in a larger or smaller space or venue to add realism to the performance. The tone or coloration of the sound can be changed to sound brighter or to have more of a bass quality just as the treble and bass controls on a home stereo but with much more precision. Mixing is also when sound effects are added as well as editing to change the order of sections of the song.
Recording Studio Tips…
Finally, mastering is an important part of recording. This should be done at a different studio or at least by a different engineer from the one who mixed the song. It should also be done in a studio designed and equipped specifically for mastering (a mastering lab). Pick one based on reputation based on its mastering capabilities. It should be performed by an audio engineer with experience in mastering. This is the last opportunity for any corrections to be made to the recording before you begin to manufacture CDs for sale. These days this process also includes heavy limiting (a type of compression) to make the CD as loud as possible and most radio stations and therefore, record companies demand this. They seem to believe that loader is better. Unfortunately, this can lead to distortion of the music which hopefully can be avoided or kept to an absolute minimum considering that everything that happens before that step attempts to allow for no distortion at all. The result of this master is referred to as the ‘master CD’ from which replication can occur. If the CD is to be used for demo purposes only this process can usually be skipped.
Finally and above all, have fun, enjoy yourself and make a recording that you will be proud of and that you and your fans will love to listen to for many, many years to come. Good Luck!
Recording studio tips submitted by Bruce Miller of www.westcoastrecording.com