Saturday, 21 July 2012

Top 5 things you need before recording

When you have a chance to lay some tracks down in a studio its important to focus and remember to why you are there and to make the most of it.

When I record I have 5 things I make sure I have that help me focus, to perform to the best of my ability and to make the most of the daylight. I only have about 12 hours to record over the weekend, the following will get me set up plough through and Rock N Roll with no distractions (except maybe #4)

1) Big breakfast
What better way to start the day with a kick-arse breakfast. Personally a massive sandwich/roll with as much in it as possible. My personal favourite is Bacon, sausage or chicken, cheese, onion, tomato, gherkins, bit of garlic and of course mustard. Washing that down some cool lemonade.
This meal will set you up for a good few hours. While you may feel bloated now but it will give you an extra hour or 2 before you need to refuel at lunch.

2) Coffee
Following your meal you should have a nice medium to strong coffee cooling on the table. Caffeine being a stimulant and all round proven measure to increase focus, concentration stamina and ability.
Nothing like a boost to get the mind rolling, and to stop you slumping during your takes.
Below is a video from CPG Greys
"Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever"
as of recently I am convinced. Have a couple of these over the day, by all means have a energy drink if you prefer but they don't have the same satisfaction as a coffee in my opinion.


3) Space
You are now prepared to do your thing, you get in the studio but find it hard to do your one take of a life time. You find you can't concentrate and looking around, the studio has a load of toot cluttering the surfaces. Like rubbish, dust and unused equipment for example. While this tip is a bit 'zen like' and 'hippy dippy' before I record I clear my surrounding surfaces so that nothing is in eye sight. The only things that are taking up room is my guitar amp,  pedal board, paper notepad, interface and nothing else.

My cables are all woven and around and hidden behind furniture. Ok a pain in the arse if you want to change the set up but none the less this gives me peace of mind and no nagging feeling like "I must tidy up later" alternatively its what the Chinese call Qi or Chi to you and I, where energy, life force and inspiration can flow around you with no resistance ... Like I said, a little hippy dippy if you're into that. But it works.


4) Khazi, aka the office or throne room.
After all your coffee and food you will want to make sure the Khazi is a few steps away. obviously you cant help this all the time, it is where it is and not much you can do about that. But if  by chance you're building a studio then for gods sake but the toilet next to the control room for a better time for all.

5) Time
lastly you need to set aside time, using my recent recording as experience. I completed it in two weeks and had another listen whilst mixing on the third weekend and realised I wasn't happy with the quality of the guitar. I didn't ignore it and say "that will do", it had to be re recorded. Point being always put aside extra time whether to try something new, record some more or experiment. You can never have enough time in a studio. Use every second expanding your knowledge, gathering inspiration and most importantly your sound. Ask questions and get involved.


Bonus tip # 6

6) Warm up
Nothing makes the process smoother than being well warmed up for your performance. Put a half hour TV show on and just hit those strings. Get the blood flowing to your hands, stretch, play, warm and yes moisturise those hands. I will provide some exercises in the future.

That's my list, what are the 5 things you need to get to it and record? Do let me know below. Who knows I could add a new step for myself.

Now you're ready to record have you seen why intonation is important?

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