You are probably wondering how to prepare for a studio session when you finally have chosen a great studio to record your song. You want your performance to be the best that you can give. In this article I am going to share my 10 tips on how to prepare yourself for a great studio session. Following these tips will make sure that your recording will be professional. This guide is applicable for singers, rappers, voice actors and many more who are looking tips on the best preparation possible.
Who am I?
Maybe it’s your first time on my website and maybe you already know me. My name is Ljamis Khalaf and I am a music producer from the Netherlands and the owner of Daddynervs Music. In my studio I’m writing emotional piano ballads for singers. With my articles, such as this one, I am helping by sharing my mistakes, my vision and my opinion.
For over 25 years I have played the piano and this is why I am making piano ballad instrumentals. I have written music for artists in the USA, Europe and Asia. I have also written for movies and shortfilms. One even got nominated for best musical composition!
In this blogpost I am going to talk about how to prepare yourself. My tips are based on my own customers who have come to the studio with terrible preparation. After sharing these tips they were a lot better the next time. If you want to have your best performance for the most professional recording than read on!
Why go to a Studio?
I’f talked about this in a previous article. Recording your voice is a specialized process that needs to be done by a professional. You can read tons of blogs on how to do it yourself and gear is not that expensive anymore. But be real with me. Would you have a professional recording? There is a reason studio’s excist and producers and engineers have been working for years to master their skills. Some of them are allround and some specialize in more detail. most important is they have the knowledge that you don’t have at the moment.
It’s also important that you understand that you need engineers and producers. Ofcourse, you are customer, but it’s not your local grocery store that you are walking in too. You have to work together to make the best song possible. If you want to be treated as a king, go fiverr and stop reading this blog.
Another important aspect of a studio is that a studio engineer will guide you through the process. They have worked with so many artists, they already know how to make you relax. You will receive advice on everything and this is priceless.
How to prepare for a studio session.
Before reading the tips and before stepping in to the studio, it’s good to know that some of your skills are not the best ones. THe way you sing or record in to a microphone can bother a producer or studio engineer. Just keep this in mind and take advice from a professional. (I’m talking to al you head bangers out there)
Top 10 tips to prepare yourself for a studio session
There we go!
Tip 1: Determine your goal!
When a customer comes for a recording and asks me what to record. I know it’s going to be a rough day. As a producer and a recording engineer, I understand and know how to record your voice and how to manipulate it. How to make it beautifull for your song. But..!
I don’t know what you want
Let me say it again.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!
Can you feel the emotional damange? Anyway. You have to decide what you want and how you want it. We can make that happen and make adjustments. It’s your lyrics, your song and you are paying for the studio, so you decide!
Tip 2: Write down and practice your lyrics!
I don’t know why, but it feels like the confidence of artists these days is very high. And when they are in my studio they get nervous and forget everything. I hear excuses all the time: “yeah i’m not used to singing in a mic” or “I can’t sing in front of someone”
You can’t sing in front of someone? ??????????????????????????????????
It’s all excuses for a poor preparation. It’s like going for a test right? If you’ve learned, there is nothing to worry about and the test is going to be fine. If you haven’t learned, you will make up excuses like “the dog ate my homework”. Spare yourself all thetime and money and write down your lyrics and learn it.
Bonustip: Writing down on paper is a great learning excersise!
Tip3: Don’t jump around..
I don’t care how great your song is, you are going to a recording studio and not a club. Save your jumping around for a dynamic microphone than can handle the movement. In a studio you will be recording in a large diaphragm condensor microphone and these need to be still. THey record in a certain pattern, so every movement you make needs to be compensated by volume. But if your volume stays the same, and your head is moving from left to right, the volume may fluctuate.
See it this way. Singing straight in to the micriphones gives a perfect signal of your voice. If you keep singing and you turn your head to the left or right, you will notice this in the recording.
Tip 4: Check your gear!
Are you bringing instruments or gear with you? Check them 2 days in advance. I had a client once who came in with a guitar and a string was missing. Yes missing. It did not break during transportation. No it was missing. The client hadn’t touched the guitar in over a year, so he forgot. And he did not prepare apparently!
Tip 5: Files.
Check your files, Are they good? Send them to the producer and store them on a USB that you bring with you to the studio session. You never know what can happen. producers make mistakes also. I once did not download the files in time, so the link expired. Luckily for me the client had a USB. A great tip for all of you!
Tip 6: My milkshare brings all the boys to the yard..
You should always eat and drink healthy. What ‘healthy’ means to you, you decide. But when it comes to vocal recording I would like to advice you not to eat or drink dairy products and banana’s. These activate enzymes in our mouth and throat that will produce a lot of mucus. This mucus is not so great when you have to perform. It’s just in the way.
Tip 7: Alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol and drugs will not improve your vocal. Don’t use major artists as an example. If you see other artists drinking and using drugs while recording, don’t do the same. Why?
First of all: alcohol and drugs is bad for you Hmmkay?
Second: The major artists have private studio’s where they can do whatever they want.
Third: Major artists already have the name and fame. you still have to make a name and fame. That’s why you are reading this article right?
Keep it professional for yourself.
Tip 8: Sleep.
This is the best tip ever. Go to sleep on time. Sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
Tip 9: Snacks and Drinks!
Bring healthy snacks and plenty of water. I don’t know what studio you have chosen, but at my studio. I don’t serve food. You can have a cup of coffee and some water ofcourse. But we are not a restaurant. I had a client once who asked me for some food. I said no and he left. I was like whaa…? Never came back either.
I talked to collegues and they don’t give away food either, so I am not so weird after all. Therefore I would like to encourage you to bring food. Berries, apples, pre-sliced melon or mango, carrots. anything healthy.
Please don’t bring food that you have to warm up, And please don’t bring boiled eggs. The smell.. Oh my goodnes..
Tip 10: On time.
Being on time is obvious. But a lot of my customers are very early. I do’nt have the time to open the door during a recoring and one time someone left. She was 30 minutes early and I did not open the door, I did not answer my phone and I did not respond to the text messages. All because I am working with another client.
Another client was scheduled at 10 AM and he called me around 9 AM that he was at the studio. But I have this morning routine where I bring my kids to school, get a workout, do some relaxation etc. I could finish my morning routine becaus of him. But I had to let him in, because he already saw me. Next time I will sneak in the back😂.
So make sure you are on time and not to early. 5 to 10 minutes prior to the session is more than enough.
Bonus tip 11!
Don’t be afraid to communicate. Ask things. Be there, be confident, be open and be yourself!
And this is a tip I shared in a previous article. But I will share it again. For the ladies: If a studio owner invites you and they can only work in the evening or at night. Don’t go oke? Just don’t trust that and walk away..
These were the 10 tips + bonus that will help you prepare for your studio session. The same tips helped my clients a lot, but the most important thing was that it helped the recording. I am excited to hear from you, you can comment below. And if you want to have 30+ instrumentals for free, from me, sign up below to receice them straight in your mail!