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5 Lessons from the recording studio

Every time I go into the studio I learn a little more!  Here are some of my insights from this time around:

1. Schedule more time than you need in the studio.

Our time in the studio went quite well, but one day the computer at the studio was down and they had to reinstall all of their software.  Because we only needed three days to do the recording, but had four booked, we were able to finish up the recording during the timeline we had planned.

2. Prepare more music than you need for the recording.

This is actually a lesson that I leaned on my second album, but I continue to use this wisdom on every recording.  Pieces don’t always go as smoothly in the studio as they do in the practice room, and it is always good to have a few that you can cut without compromising the end result.  These pieces may make it to another recording at a later date, but not this one.

3. Tune your instrument very carefully.

This sounds like a no-brainer, and it is, but there were a couple of times during this recording session that we had to repeat a piece because either my violin or my guitarist’s guitar were not in tune.  We checked our instruments constantly, and always thought that we had them in tune, but sometimes it was not quite precise enough.  I have always been a little insecure about my ability to play in tune.  This album was really good for my confidence in my tuning because every time I was having tuning problems, it turned out to be my violin instead of me.

4. Clean your strings carefully.

For one of our slow pieces I noticed when listening to a playback that there was more crunch in my sound than I would have liked.  The recording was good, my tuning was good, and the performance was nice.  I told everyone involved that I wanted to repeat it, cleaned my strings, and played it again.  That was the version that we kept.  I have to admit that I am a bit slack about cleaning my strings, so I will be stepping it up from now on.

5. A smile makes a difference.

When I am in the studio I still smile and dance a bit when I play.  I can’t tap my toes since the microphones would pick up the sound, so I just kind of sway around so that I don’t move too far away from the microphone as I play.  Even though you can’t see me on the recording, the fact that I am physically involved in the music gives the sound more energy and gives me a better result.

I am really happy with the recording so far and can’t wait to share it with you!

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