Updated: Mar 4, 2019
As an engineer and recording artist located in a small town where everyone wants to make music, it is common for me to run into inexperienced artists. Within the first few minutes of a session, I can normally tell if someone knows what they're doing. Yes, it is our job to take what you give us and make it ready for the world. But once you step in the booth there are some steps you can take to make your song the best it can be. Here are three I've learned from personal experience.
The first thing the vocal artist needs to know before recording is that the most important part of the process is the take itself. When I say "take" I mean the vocal that you put in the microphone. Everything from your pitch, to how close you stand from the mic, plays a factor in how your take will come out. The equipment and the environment are almost equally important. But I have also had success in lower quality studios by making sure all my takes were exactly how I wanted them. Sometimes all the equipment in the world can't save a bad take .And on that same note sometimes all the equipment in the world can't match a great take. The better the take , the better the recording!
The second piece of advice I can give is to learn to manage your time. Time management is not only important for the studio but for the rest of your life. And seeing as most recording studios work at an hourly rate you will want to master this craft . For some reason most artist always assume that can accomplish way more than what they really can in the time period booked. Booking the correct amount of time for your recording session will ensure that you don't have to rush to complete what needs to be done to get your record to the mixing stage. Doing this will often save you time and money in the long run because you won't have to go back and fix the mistakes made when rushing. A rushed song will almost always sound rushed! A trick that has always worked for me personally is to book an extra hour of time than what you think you'll need. Time management can play a major part in the success of your record.
The final step that will help your recording process is to be careful of who you bring to the studio. While it is certainly cool to roll up to the studio with your entourage it can also hinder the goal you are working towards. Most recording studios have an area for people to come and chill, but bringing a large group of people with you is normally not encouraged. My rule for bringing people is that they need to know the last line I just recorded at any time. People that come with me should be listening and there to help my song be all it can be. I have heard it said that distraction leads to destruction and while it may not be that serious in this case, it can affect the outcome. For example, if you are in a booth with a window trying to record and you look out to see all your friends in the control room laughing. You have no idea what they are laughing at. Are they laughing at you or something going on outside the booth? Recording is all about being comfortable enough to get that perfect take that is you gonna separate you from the other million artists out there! Make sure everyone you bring is as serious about it as you.