Beginners Fear Not!
I will save you from terrible debilitating despair you feel when you enter your first reel (get it, reel – lol) studio! [ok, not as funny as it was with a superheroesque soundtrack playing in my head but you get the idea] This is one of the reasons I created LRT and the Studio Basics page.
Yes I actually started out more like The Greatest American Hero but without the perm and flashy suit, I couldn’t fly or change quickly in a phone booth for sure! In fact this is how most musicians react the first time they go into the studio.
Going into a professional recording studio for the first can be very overwhelming, even more-so than your first time
onstage – take it from me as I’ve had my fair share of butterflies and suddenly forgot how to play more than one time.
The same goes for setting up your own home studio though a little more on the frustrating and overwhelming sides.
It doesn’t have to be
a chore or stressful or intimidating to set up a great studio at home provided you know what the hell your doing. I didn’t at first.
Keep it simple as the saying goes and that rings true here at LRT. So lets discuss some basic studio protocol and workflow first.
Keep your studio neat and clean and well organized. I understand how it is when inspiration strikes, it rips through my studio like a hurricane – just pick up when your done, it will be much easier and more satisfying to start working the next day.
Keep you cables neat and organized and NEVER EVER run power cables and audio cables along the same path as this could introduce noise into your system – Not Good! instead cross them perpendicular to each other or keep them at least 6 inches apart.
I don’t know about you but I’d be bummed if a cup of coffee was spilled on my expensive equipment. Food and drinks are definitely OK in the studio and sometimes a necessity. Just have places to keep them away from your gear.
No smoking – if you are a smoker it would be best not to smoke in the studio – I know this sucks but I am an electronics technician by trade and smoke destroys equipment – trust me on this.
If there is only one thing that you learn here today it is to have a sound back-up protocol and schedule it or complete it frequently (at least after every session). Shame on you if you lose your talents or your own brilliantly executed and recorded work of art. BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! Make separate copies of work and keep them in a safe place also.
This will differ by preference from individual to individual but below are some things you may want to keep in mind to run your studio efficiently and effectively;
- keep a log or tracking form or sorts that contains key data on each song
- jot down mic placement and mics used and any other special items or out of the ordinary circumstances should you need to re-take a track at a later date.
- both on your computer and in hard copy have a method to organize and store your data
- whether you are using a DAW, all in one multi-track recorder or a component system keep similar instruments to the same tracks for ease of navigation and repetitive use.
- Label cables and device I/O’s (ins/outs)
- take regular breaks to mitigate listening fatigue and burnout.
And as for Super Heroes
I must keep my identity a mystery to preserve my good deeds … or you could check my About Eric page and blow my cover … just don’t forget your super secret decoder ring.
That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this information and send me comments on best practices you’ve use for studio basics.