You’ve reached a point in your life where you find yourself in need of a recording studio. But because of the powers that be (or a decent amount of expendable income), you now have access to one and don’t really know what to expect next. Read on and educate yourself on how things work in these places and understand What to Do at a Recording Studio.
Professional vs Home Studios
Recording quality from home studios can rival large, professional studio work. With caveats.
There are significant differences between big, high-budget recording studios and smaller, home-based studios. Here’s a list of benefits that you can get from getting work done at a high end, professional recording studio:
- Typically more spacious, sometimes with enough room to fit whole bands and orchestras
- Access to higher end sound tools, gear and equipment
- Better sound monitoring equipment
- Better recording booth acoustics
- Well-managed logistics and recording setup
- Experienced personnel
Compare this with home-based studio setups (self or other amateur-level recording studio):
- Smaller working space
- Quality of equipment varies
- Usually cheaper operating costs than professional-level studios
- Quality of sound acoustics varies
- Logistics and setup management organization varies
- Personnel experience varies
While the choice seems pretty clear here, it should be noted that home-based studios offer more flexibility when it comes to experimentation and spontaneity. When you step into a professional recording studio, you are expected to perform work at that level.
Personally speaking, a home-based studio is a great investment to have if you haven’t fully fleshed out your project and want some time to continue figuring out what other sounds you can create. But professional studios are a necessary expense if you plan on publishing your work for public consumption.
How to behave at a recording session
Be professional, don’t waste time and be courteous and nice to the sound engineers.
The number one phrase you have to remember when you enter a professional recording session is: time is money. Any time you spend practicing or goofing around is money coming out of your pocket. Depending on what sort of work you’re planning on doing, a blooper reel may be in order, but also be mindful about the other people in the studio.
Making your “sound” sound good is practically what you’re paying a lot of money for when you pay for professional recordings, but it also helps a lot if you have good relations and creative chemistry with your sound engineer. Chances are, they’ve spent a considerable amount of time honing their skills and give you the advantage of having another ear and creative opinion to take into account. They’re there to help you, so unless you’re absolutely convinced that they’re unstable and arrogant, suck up your pride and listen to their suggestions.
Here’s a list of things you should consider regarding etiquette at a professional recording session:
Professional Recording Etiquette:
- Make it clear what sort of sound or idea you want to hear or create for your project, with your sound engineer
- Be nice, humble and courteous
- Don’t waste people’s time
- If necessary, clarify suggestions and comments with your sound engineer before continuing
- Don’t touch anything you’re not supposed to!
- Take care of the mics and other equipment (and don’t breathe into them, to test if they’re working, PLEASE!)
- Only use the instruments if you’re told to do so; not following this can result in longer sound checks and recording instrument calibration
Compare this with home-based recording etiquette:
Home-based Recording Etiquette:
- DO WHATEVER YOU WANT
All jokes aside, home-based recording studios have their place and applications, but pro level recording studios are invaluable. Just be a pleasure to work with professionally, and you’ll get the sound you’re looking for!