A recording studio is a creative and collaborative space designed to capture those magical ideas or moments that take place during a session. Whether you’re the recording artist or on the other side of the glass, knowing the basic recording session etiquette can make the difference between a productive, enjoyable session and a difficult experience.
Recording Session Etiquette Tip #1 – Be Ready
While everyone in the industry is different and there is no agreed set of rules on how to behave in a studio, one of the worst things to do is arriving unprepared. Before stepping foot into a recording session, you should already have a clear goal in mind, including how much time you want to spend on that project.
To ensure a fruitful session, make a list and pack ahead of time so you don’t risk the chance of forgetting an important item like your lyric book. Being emotionally prepared is just as crucial as being physically prepared. This means getting yourself in a good headspace before the session by not partying or staying up too late the night before. How you feel while recording will ultimately translate to the outcome of your session.
Recording Session Etiquette Tip #2 – Be Respectful
In this collaborative space, everyone’s contributions add up. While producers should facilitate a safe and creative environment, the artists involved need to maintain a balance between the personal and professional. The right studio should feel intimate yet comfortable while keeping in mind that it’s still a business setting. If you’re well-acquainted with the people working in the studio, you might be tempted to bring in a bag of chips, drink, and perhaps gossip between sessions. While these may seem like innocuous actions and may not be that big of a deal to your colleagues, they’re habits that could compound and detrimentally affect your career, as well as those around you.
Mainly, things to avoid include eating near the expensive recording equipment, inviting friends over without permission, distracting others with extra chit-chat, and not cleaning up after yourself before you leave. It may sound cliché but showing respect in recording studios cannot be overemphasized.
Recording Session Etiquette Tip #3 – Do Your Best
Being on top of your game will ensure the smooth operation of a recording session. Other than preparing yourself physically and emotionally, it’s equally as important to perform well. Reading the room and being quick to respond to whatever necessities arise without much verbal communication whether you are the artist, producer, or engineer is key. When there are hiccups, try to get them resolved as soon as possible.
It could be as simple as having a few extra guitar picks in your pocket ready to be used at the right time or getting a glass of water for an artist before their recording session. It’s all about getting everyone involved in the right creative space and helping others whenever possible.
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