10 Guidelines To Keep A Recording Session Running Smoothly

1. Test setup before the client arrives.

Go in the booth as if you’re the recording artist. Set rough levels for the headphones and the mic. Also, set desired plugins (compressors, EQ, etc) or use a template.

2. Label and color code

Do this for every track. Designate a specific color for Verse, Chorus, each artist if there are multiple, FX Sends, and Sub Groups.

3. Use the Smart Tool.

This will allow you to work much faster.  Make quick edits on the fly and avoid jeopardizing the flow of the session.

4. Set the Tempo.

Flying choruses (copying and pasting), delay plugins, loop recording are a few key elements that are dependent on the Tempo being set. Use MixMeister BPM Analyzer.

5. Loop Record.

You’ll notice that as the session goes on and the artist warms up, each take gradually get better. They become more comfortable, give more energy and deliver better performances. Loop record lets a certain section repeat without having to stop.

6. Use Hot Keys.

Memorize the hot keys for all the functions you use. This separates the men from the boys when you’re running a session. Your client will definitely notice and appreciate this. Trust me.

7. Atmosphere is important.

Some recording artists, especially those that are new to the studio, get more comfortable with the lights low or off. Incense can be helpful, too. Nobody wants to record in a room that smells like take out or a guys locker room.

8. Extra equipment.

Have an extra pair of over the ear headphones, a flash drive to move files if there’s no internet, and a hard drive to back up the sessions. An extra XLR cable is also a good idea. The more useful and prepared you can be, the more clients you can keep.

9. Talk to the artist.

Don’t try to become the executive producer, but sometimes artists like advice. Whether it’s telling them to double a certain word, add an adlib here, or that they can do a take better, don’t be afraid to offer guidance (if they want it). Don’t get too technical either, they won’t know what you’re talking about.

10. Keep liquids in the studio.

A water fountain, bottles of waters, or a water pitcher is a must. Having teabags available is important for singers, and coffee is necessary for pretty much everyday life.

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