Last week in Be Prepared With 6 Tips For Planning Your Session - Part 1, community member Ciaran Robinson described some of the ways he goes about planning for a session in the studio. He continues…
Be Prepared With 6 Tips For Planning Your Session - Tempo and Time Signature
Tempo is not my most important consideration at this stage, so I’ll just set an approximate value.
(If you’re creating your Memory Locations in advance, make sure you set them to Bar/Beat reference rather than Absolute - last minute tempo changes are still likely to happen, and this will ensure they’re still accurate afterwards).
Giving a 4/4 click track to musicians playing in 6/8 never looks good, so I’ll also double-check I’ve got the right meter.
At this stage I’ll create my click track, and draw in a fade-out on it at the end of the song, so I won’t ever hear the tick-tock-tock-tock of the headphone bleed after the last cymbal crash…. Anything else?: That’s pretty much the bulk of what I’ll aim to have done, but here’s a couple of extra steps I’ve been glad to have taken before….
Be Prepared With 6 Tips For Planning Your Session - Cuesheet tracks
For string and horn recording, I often to use a technique I’ve borrowed from post-production: set up an audio track, and place empty named clip groups everywhere I’ll be tracking. These act as a check list, so I can see at a glance if I’ve missed anything out (something easily done in a hectic session).
Be Prepared With 6 Tips For Planning Your Session - Guitar Chords and More
As I mentioned earlier, one of my recent sessions had more than 15 musicians to record, most of whom had never heard the song before. To anticipate this, the day before, I’d entered the chords for the song into the timeline, laid down a scratch guitar track and programmed a rough approximation of the drum part.
This turned out to have been a good move, as the first person to arrive was the session bass player, so we’d already finished tracking him by the time anyone else got to the studio….
So what have I missed? Let’s have your suggestions….