One of the biggest mistakes indie artists make when they record is not being ready. They don’t do the prep work they need to do to ensure a smooth production process – and that can have repercussions that extend far beyond the recording studio.
Think of it this way. Ultimately, you’re going to have to sell the finished product that comes out of your recording sessions. You don’t have to be a salesperson to know that it’s easier to sell a well-designed, tested product than it is to sell one that was thrown together at the last minute.
Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to prepare for music production and ensure that your finished product is what you want it to be – and that it’s easy to sell.
No amount of preparation in other areas will make up for it if you haven’t put in the time to conceptualize and write great songs. Even if you don’t write your own material, you need to spend a lot of time listening to music and finding songs that suit you and will appeal to your fan base.
Does your album have a theme? Do you know what you want the music to sound like? What instrumentation you want to use?
It’s also important to know what your songs are about. The emotion you convey is in most cases just as important as the quality of the recording. You need both to have a hit record.
The more prep work you do with the music beforehand, the less likely it is that you’ll be left scrambling when you’re paying good money for studio time.
Familiarity Breeds Success
The next thing that can help you prepare is to familiarize yourself with the studio. Many musicians use the same recording studio throughout their careers because they have the peace of mind of knowing there won’t be any surprises when they record.
If you are using a studio for the first time, consider booking a practice session there so you and the band can get accustomed to the space and how it sounds and feels. This one simple step can help save you time and aggravation when you hit the studio for real.
Know What Equipment You Need
You don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to preparing for your recording sessions. If you know that you need certain instruments and equipment to get the sound you want, you’ll be much less likely to forget it on recording day.
Make a list of everything you might possibly need, and then check and re-check it before you hit the studio. Everybody in the band should be involved so you’re not left without something important when you need it.
Have a Recording Plan
Have you thought about the logistics of recording your music? It’s a good idea to go into the studio with a detailed plan so that you know exactly what you plan to do. You might have one song that you think would be best recorded when you and the band are warmed up and feeling loose. You can go ahead and plan to record that one in the middle of the day.
It’s better to build some extra time into the pre-production phase than it is to rush in and end up with a recording that’s less than you want it to be.
Test All Instruments before Recording
It’s not uncommon for musicians to end up playing unfamiliar instruments in the studio. Instead of leaving things to chance, try to test everything out before you it the studio.
Pre-production testing is a good way to make sure that you’re getting the sound you want. You should probably expect to have to make some last-minute tweaks to your songs, but you shouldn’t be making major readjustments while you’re in the studio. That’s a good way to go over budget and fall behind.
Get Instant Feedback
There are few things more valuable in the recording studio than having someone on hand who can offer an honest an unbiased opinion of what you’re doing. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is knowledgeable about music and willing to spend a few days in the studio with you, have them come.
After you do a take, play back the song and get their feedback. It’s much easier to make tweaks and adjustments while you still have the studio – and the equipment – than it is to have to go back to the studio.
Don’t Rush Post-Production Either
Of course, music production doesn’t end when you leave the studio. If you plan on mixing tracks yourself, then it’s important to know the equipment – and your own limitations. Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it.
From Production to Sales
The key thing to remember is that the work you do in pre-production, production, and post-production is what will help you sell records and grow your fan base.
To learn the best ways to sell your music once it has been recorded, please click here to enroll in our free webinar!