Do’s and Don’ts of Hollywood Recording Studios

Recently, I went into the studio with my band, Dear Silence, to lay down vocals for a couple of tracks. It was the first time I’ve done something like it, so I learned a lot from the experience and thought I’d share some tidbits with all of you aspiring artists out there.

DO:

-Bring water. And lots of it. I went through something like 5 bottles, in addition to tea, over the course of about 8 hours. Trust me, there’s no such thing as too much water in the studio.

Swing House Studios

Swing House Studios - Hollywood, Ca

-Make suggestions. Your input is just as important as anyone else’s, so if you’re hearing an alternate melody or if you don’t like the way a certain line is sounding, say something. You’ll likely be glad you did.

-Come prepared. Don’t show up with half a song written when you only have a certain amount of time to get everything done. You’ll only upset the producer and your band, who are counting on you to bring the song together.

-Experiment with what you’ve written. Try different melodies, rhythms, and/or lyrics in order to give the producer a variety of takes to choose from. Don’t be afraid to let loose and have fun with the music. No one’s there to judge you.

-Ask your band for help if you need it. Get their input on what you’re doing and ask if they have any ideas of their own to add to the table. Creativity is a collaborative effort when it comes to being in a group, so take advantage of the talented resources that you have.

-Again, BRING WATER. It cannot be stressed enough!

DON’T:

-Be a diva. Nobody likes a stuck up, difficult to work with musician, so have a good attitude and be grateful for the time that you’ve been given with the producer. Reputation travels fast and you don’t want people thinking that you’re unpredictable or unreliable.

-Overdo it. If you’re feeling tired, dizzy, etc, speak up and say that you want to take a break for a minute. I promise, it’s going to help you more than it’s going to hurt you, and your takes will sound better as well.

-Waste time. A little bit of goofing off is fine, but if you’re spending the majority of your session unfocused, you won’t be able to get anything done. Time is money, so make the most of it.

-Step on the producer’s toes. A suggestion here and there is fine, but definitely do not insult their abilities to put a song together. It won’t go over well!

-Listen to every take. Leave the producer alone for a while to put the base, unmixed song together. If you’re like most singers, you’re not going to like hearing yourself, especially not every little mistake that they have to sift through to get that overall best take. So do yourself a favor and go get some dinner rather than stay to hear all the cracks and flaws in your voice!

-Come to the studio alone. If your band can’t be there, ask if you can bring a friend. That way, you have someone to bounce ideas off of and you won’t have to be sitting there awkwardly while the producer does their thing. It can take hours to put this stuff together, so trust me, you’re going to want to have someone else there with you.

That’s all for now. Good luck, everyone! Never give up on your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. :)

What are some of your Do’s and Don’ts in the studio?

Brooke –

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