Frequently Asked Questions

Recording Procedure

Recording process diagram based on Bob Katz’s ‘From Conception to Manufacturing’ diagram in his excellent book ‘Mastering Audio: the art and the science‘.

General Recording Tips

Rehearse – You should decide which material you wish to record, well in advance of the session to ensure you are well rehearsed. Don’t forget to rehearse the backing parts!

Quality – To ensure the quality of your recording, a maximum of three or four songs (depending on running time) is recommended for a weekend session.

Copyright/s – The copyrights on any material that isn’t your own work should have been cleared with PRS for Music.

References – If you are recording music, you should expect the engineer to play commercial CD’s to compare the sound to regularly throughout the entire process. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bring your favourite commercial CD’s to the session, even if there not in the same style as your music.

Scripts – If you are recording spoken word: Speech, Plays, Talking Books, etc., you should submit a script at least one week in advance of your session.

Mastering – All commercial music goes through a stage after mixdown called Mastering (technically, Premastering). Mastering is like putting the final icing on the cake. The goal of mastering a record is to make it sound good wherever you play it, and therefore enhance compatibility with sound systems. Mastering is a very important part of getting that “radio ready” sound. Without mastering, your tapes or CD’s will never be as hot (loud) or as clear as professional recordings. Although we do not do full professional quality in-house mastering, we can do basic level enhancements and we can recommend excellent mastering engineers both in the UK and USA.

Vocals – If you are a singer, and especially if you’re the lead singer, please get someone impartial to listen to you sing and give you an idea of anything you need to practice. Remember phonetics, pronunciation and breathing are just as important as singing in tune. To get the best performace you should look after your voice (avoid alcohol, smoking, dairy products around the time of recording). However, sometimes the feel and delivery is more important than a sweet singing voice. That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Instruments – Make sure your equipment is well maintained and free of unwanted hums, squeaks and rattles. A few days before the session you should put new strings on the guitars and tune the drumkit. You’ll be amazed by how much difference this makes! Make sure any cables are crackle-free and work properly. If in doubt make sure you have plenty of spares.

And, above all… Enjoy your session!

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