At some point in your music career I’M SURE you’re going to want to record… In fact you’ll need a demo at the very least just to market yourself. To most, recording some kind of release can be a very daunting task. Think about it: Do I have enough material? Can I afford to go into a studio? Should I do it at home? Can my buddy Tanner help me out?What if Tanner doesn’t know what he’s doing? Who is Tanner anyway? Like I said… DAUNTING.
Now, as much as you think you might be able to go it alone and use Garageband (not to say you can’t because Grimes did it, you just gotta be careful here) I highly recommend finding a studio and booking some time with a producer/sound engineer. From my personal experience, there have definitely been a few instances where I went into a studio and totally wasted my money. Why is that? Well the answer is simple really: I wasn’t prepared. If you go the studio route make sure you know your shit!! You wrote it after all and you don’t want to waste your time trying to figure out your own damn songs. I had a chance to talk to a few of the guys over at Superior Sound Recording on this and here is what Tim Moon had to say about being prepared:
“Practice, Practice, PRACTICE – Seriously – you would be surprised how many artists come to the studio not ready in this department”
“Be prepared. Know your songs well enough to be able to experiment (if that makes sense).Like, know your songs so well that that part is easy and you can take some time to experiment.”
And of course this post wouldn’t be complete without me sharing how Jim Wirt feels on the subject:
“Don’t suck, give a fuck!!!”
Put your ego aside, know your own music, and kill it from day one in the studio. You’ll be proud of your work, you’ll be spending your money wisely and no one at the studio will hate you (…I guess I can’t guarantee that last one, so just don’t be an asshole OK??). Once this happens, you can then rework your songs to how you see fit. Experimenting with music in the studio is very important to me. There have been demos I made by myself and until I got to the studio I didn’t really know how to improve the tracks. If you find yourself with a talented producer they can throw their two cents in on structure, effects, technique, etc… Knowing who you will be working with can better your experience as a whole and sometimes even make or break the entire release!
“Engineers aren’t always producers. However, most producers tend to be Engineers. Engineers represent the technical side of recording your music using their expertise to best capture the sound. I think it’s best to think of producers in this way, if you, the artist, represent your individual parts, the producer represents the song.”- Tim Moon.
As you’ve probably noticed, everything covered has really been in the “preparation” category. To be completely honest I think that’s the bulk of it! “But Steeeeeve, what about when you’re actually IN THE STUDIO??” Well let me break it down for you cuz: be polite, be a human being and respect the producer/engineer and their time. Yes, at the end of the day YOU are the one paying, but with that in mind they want to make sure you walk out of there with the best possible recording. Again… LEAVE THAT DAMN EGO AT THE THE DOOR.
I’m sure your head might be spinning a little bit… or not… I don’t know you (…wait… are you Tanner?!?!). So just remember that next time you record just be prepared, know who you’re working with, and be someone that people like being around!! You’ll be spending a good of amount of time on your project with the same few people after all… I’ll leave you with one more quote from Jim Stewart:
I think I’ve said enough. Look for Pt.3 of Musicians Etiquette soon and if you haven’t read Pt.1 find it here!!!
Thanks again to the guys (Tim Moon, Jim Stewart, Jim Wirt) over at Superior Sound Recording for their insight and time! I’ve recording both my EP and LP using their facilities (check out the photo at the top!) with Jim Wirt and can’t rave about it enough… check them out!
Have a solid weekend everyone.