Before You Go to The Recording Studio
At this point, you have completed each of the preliminary steps or
what I like to call: phase one. Now it is time to start using
microphones and pro-audio equipment. This is also where the process
starts to get expensive. It is good to do a final check to make sure that
you have crossed all of your T's and dotted your i's. There are a
number of pertinent questions that you music ask yourself, before you
setting up microphones. Here they are in order...
1. Who is producing this record?
It is very important that you designate a producer, because it is
impossible for use to hear each others thoughts. Everyone involved in
your project will have an idea (in their mind) for what this recording
will sound like when it is complete; and those ideas will not be the
2. When will the project be completed?
In Fall of 2007, Michael Eisner (former CEO, Disney) gave a lecture in Phoenix, AZ. He explained a concept called
"creativity in a box", which he had developed. The basis of the concept is simple: people are more creative when dealing
with limitation. As simple as this sounds, it gave me a profound understand of why so many independent recording
artists never complete an album. For the sake of quality, they do not want to limit themselves. However, without
limitation, recordings never get finished. If the recording studio charges $50./hour and your budget is $1000.00, then
you will be done in 20 hours, it is that simple. The record producer (once designated) needs to be a realist about the
time frame. Rather than trying to find more funding, come up with a plan to be done in 20 hours. Dealing with that kind
of limitation is the fuel that will feed everyone's creativity.
3. Where will the project be tracked?
It is the digital age and today's independent recording artist has lots of inexpensive recording options. Not only can we
multi-track record (record one instrument at a time), but we can transfer digital audio files easily from one location to
another. So, if time and budget are a concern (which they should be based on the "creativity in a box" philosophy), you
can save by changing locations. You may have picked an expensive studio for the piano in there tracking room. That
does not mean, however that vocals must also be tracked there. Plus, a different location may ever sound better!