5 Important Steps in a Recording Studio Project

The Main Parts of a Recording Studio Project You Need to Know

Demo Singer in the StudioThe parts of a recording studio project involve much more than simply convening to record your music in a room. Before you step into the studio you need to understand the main things that are time-tested, industry standard steps involved in making a recording project successful.

Let’s take a quick look at each step in the recording process.

Pre-Production – Decide the scope of the project

Once you’ve got some songs written and rehearsed, either solo or with a band, the next step is to get those songs recorded. The first thing to do in pre-production is to decide the scope of the project. Will it be a traditional three-song demo to send to labels and/or venues? Will it be a full, independently released album? The answers to questions like these will influence what studio you choose.

Once you’ve selected a studio, you’ll want to open up a discussion with the studio manager or engineer to be sure that the studio can meet your needs in terms of gear and facilities. Be specific – the worst thing that can happen is that unexpected obstacles prevent your project from being completed.

Tracking – Layering each individual instrument

Once you’ve set dates and been through the initial pre-production, you’ll convene at the studio with any other musicians who might be involved in order to track the instruments. For many bands, this is a process of constructing the song through overdubs – layering each individual instrument into the recording one at a time. For solo artists, tracking may merely be an exercise in performing a winning take. At any rate, the tracking is definitely the most time consuming and challenging part of the recording effort, for most artists.

Mixing – Presenting the song in the best possible light

After you’ve committed all instruments to tape (so to speak), you’ll enter the mix phase. The final mix is critical to creating a pleasant listening experience for your audience. This work is best left to a seasoned mix engineer, though it is very common for the artist or band to be present during mixing to make suggestions and approve the work. This is usually the time when musicians say “turn me up,” but you should try to be objective in your recommendations during the mix phase. The idea of mixing is to present the song in the best possible light, and it’s a delicate step in the recording process.

Mastering – The final sheen

Mastering is the most misunderstood step in the recording session. While artists sometimes get away with less than stellar mixing, you can never really afford to leave the mastering process to anyone but a veteran mastering engineer. Mastering puts the final sheen on a recording, and there’s an art and science to it, perhaps more so than another step in the recording process. Because it has such a dramatic effect on the listening experience, you shouldn’t plan to skimp on the mastering phase.

Packaging and Delivery

Packaging your music means getting it to a deliverable state. This includes printing of CDs and CD covers, press kits, and encoding mp3s. Since online pages and social media are such an essential part of how listeners get music, you will want to make sure your recording is available on sites like SoundClick, Reverbnation and Facebook, among others.

All of this falls under packaging and delivering your music. It’s the must-have final step that gets your music in the ears of your awaiting public!