Some tips for a successful studio recording session

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This article was written by RekYou, Bridger's partner.

For a variety of reasons, recording in the studio can be quite stressful. You can feel like you’re putting your voice under a microscope, but above all, you can feel under a lot of pressure from your desire to get the best possible result in a limited amount of time.

To help relieve all this potential stress, here are some tips for ensuring your studio recording sessions go smoothly, so you can achieve the results you want.

Before the recording session

It is crucial not to neglect your preparation and training. A singer or rapper needs to master his text, but it is even more important to be properly prepared for a recording session.

For an artist, good physical and mental health are both important. So it is a good idea to be mindful of what you do the day before the recording: stay clear of anything that could degrade your performance during the studio session (alcohol, cigarettes...) and make sure you get a good night’s sleep. And take care to book your studio recording session for the time of day when you’re typically at your best.

Don’t forget to warm up before the session starts; it will help you get a better result. You may feel all hyped up and ready to go as soon as you arrive at the studio, and want to go straight into recording, but remember that a good session is possible only after a good warm-up.

Here’s another wise piece of advice from John Jarret, who has been a producer at Abbey Road for over 14 years, working on projects like Avengers: Endgame, and collaborating with the likes of George Ezra, James Bay, Slaves, Krept & Konan, Mike Skinner, and Flohio:

“You should always tune your guitar before you get to a recording session. For best results, you should also put new strings on a few days before. Otherwise, you will have to retune it after each take.”

During the recording session

If you want everything to go smoothly during a recording session, just make sure that you are in a good state of mind.

It is common to hear artists say that they do not like their own voice, or express doubts about their song while they are recording it. As a singer or rapper, you really need to start liking your voice, or at least know why you don’t like it, and be thinking about what you can do to improve it. Is the problem with your technique? The tone of your voice? Or are you just not used to hearing your voice? If so, then in-situation training is key!

It is also a very good idea to ensure that you know your text by heart. If you do, it will be much easier for you to sing it with the right emotional tone and dynamics, and to put your focus into polishing the details. All this will help to make your song unique.

As for the duration of the recording session, do not go beyond three or four hours of voice recording per day. Above that, you may find you are singing less well, and will therefore be wasting time and money.

Organizing your recording schedule to optimize efficiency is also essential. For example, it makes sense to start with the song you’re most comfortable with. If you work through your songs in order of your fluency with them, the recording session will gain a momentum that will help ensure you get through them all within the allotted time. 

Finally, remember that studio recording is an art in itself, and that the more you practice it, the better you become at it – so the more you do, the more you will enjoy doing it.

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