What did you do this weekend? I just recorded a 7 song EP for an artist and his band. That’s right, 7 complete songs with drums, bass, guitars, keys, vocals, and everything in between. I don’t bring this up to simply talk about myself or brag. Rather I mention it because I want you to know that it is possible to record your next EP in 2 days!
Most home studio owners subscribe to the never ending process of always recording a project. You know those songs that you piece together little by little over the weeks, months, and years? The project takes forever to be recorded, if it is ever finished at all. We all need some pressure or deadlines to help us make things happen and recently I suggested to you singer/songwriters that you could and should write, record, mix, and release a 6 song EP in the next 6 months. But what about you bands who already have some songs written? Could you do it any faster? You sure can.
Via Will Scullin Flickr
It Starts With A Plan
I have a mobile recording service that I offer to clients all around the US called Mobile Studio Plus. On that website I offer a page aimed at helping the artist plan and prepare for our recording session. Preparation is the one big area that I have absolutely NO control over when it comes time to record and it is the first area you need to focus on in order to record your EP in 2 days. On that page I mention three key things that must be in place before I show up to record. They are as follows:
Scratch Tracks: Your first key to a great recording session is a simple scratch track. This should be at least a rough demo of guitar and vocal of the song. It can be more involved than that but it doesn’t need to. Audio quality is not paramount at this point, just the ability to hear the actual arrangement of the song. You want your scratch track to follow the exact arrangement of your song (verse, chorus, bridge, etc) so your band knows where they are and can follow along easily while they record.
Instrument/Part List: As unnecessary as it might sound, you absolutely need to have written down each part and instrument that you need recorded for each song. Have it all in writing so you can quickly gauge how much work is left to be done and what can be checked off. It helps organize and focus your time. Don’t skip this step!
Your Band To Be Rehearsed: It goes without saying that if you want a great recording you need to be rehearsed. This is even more true if you want 7 great recordings in just 2 days! Whenever you have blocked off time in your band’s schedule to record, begin practicing and rehearsing so that everyone knows EXACTLY what they will be playing on the record. When it comes time to actually lay parts down you will go faster and leave more time to be creative and experiment with sounds and performance rather than what notes to play.
Now It’s Time To Record
Once all the preparation is in place, it’s time to think about how and where you will record your EP. The next part in this post will cover more on the actual recording workflow and concepts that help me capture 7 songs in under 48 hours. Click here for Part 2!