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20 Things Every New Band Needs To Know About… Hitting The Studio For The First Time

Tish Hart
Tish Hart 10 March 2015 at 16.28

RS198 is packed full of new bands (literally 59 of 'em, that's a lot of new music), and all month we're getting them to give YOU tips about getting your band off the ground. Last week we gave you their tips on social media; now it's time to get some pointers for hitting the studio for the first time.

1. Rehearsing is key.
"Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more, be totally prepared and know your tracks inside and out. Leave your ego at the door, listen to the producer and take their advice. Oh and guitarists: don't get offended and throw a wobbly if nobody likes your super shredding four-minute epic solo."
Jamie Jazz, Bleach Blood

2. Prepare yourself.
"The biggest thing to have going into the studio is songs and being prepared. Nobody wants to be a band that has somebody write their whole record for them or a band that can't play their instruments in the studio."
Caleb Shomo, Beartooth

3. No seriously: REHEARSE. 
"Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse. Know your songs inside out, be as tight as a band as you could possibly be before you attempt to record for the first time. The studio can be quite expensive and the more rehearsing you've done, the quicker you'll lay down your song. In the studio, time really is money."
Steve Arkins, Only Rivals 

4. Listen to your bandmates; don't be that guy. 
"Have your shit together and know what everyone in your band wants to come of the record you are recording. If you think you are the driving force of your band with all the ideas and nobody else has a single clue what is going on... you're probably an asshole."
Shaun Milton, Landscapes 

5. More money = a better sounding final product. 
"Save up for a good engineer. Every instrument needs to be set up properly (research how thick you need your strings). Spend no less than a day recording each instrument, it needs to sound perfect. And practise your parts!"
James 'Jibs' Kennedy, Oceans Ate Alaska

6. Find out what needs smoothing out BEFORE you hit the studio.
"BE PREPARED! Demoing your songs before you hit the studio is invaluable, you get to hear back your own songs and spot problems ahead of time so you’re not sat in a studio with your head in your hands trying to work out why everything sounds awful."
Eddy Brewerton, Moose Blood

7. Turn up armed with Jammie Dodgers so you don't waste studio time in a Tesco Metro. 
"The phrase 'time is money' is rarely more applicable than in the studio. Make sure your parts are as well rehearsed as possible before hitting the studio because wasting time quickly becomes wasting money! Preparation is crucial here. Most studios are in remote locations so running to the shops for teabags and biscuits (crucial aspects of recording) can eat into your valuable recording time!"
Josh Gurner, Hacktivist 

8. Be comfortable in your environment.
You really need to be prepared when you hit the studio to have a basic understanding of what you want to accomplish. It’s also really important you are comfortable with the producer and his team of engineers and staff. If you ever feel pressured or made to feel stupid as if you’re working for them, then it’s a bad situation. Treat everyone nice and know what songs you want do and then be open to see where the music takes you."
Sydney Sierota, Echosmith

9. Know exactly what you want to get out of your time in the studio. 
"Know your songs inside out. There's nothing worse than using that time to write that last riff instead of perfecting the your parts. Know what you want. You can't go to the studio and show an engineer 'that cool part in that cool song that you want to sound like'. Be clear and prepare." 
Dan Olds, Palm Reader 

10. Prepare until you pop a blood vessle. 
"Prepare. Prepare again. Prepare until your eyes are bleeding. Then stop and visit a hospital. It can be an unexpectedly different animal recording, usually host to many of hours of delirium-induced cabin fever (especially if you’re the vocalist), affording you the lavish opportunity to hear the same four bars over and over and over and over. The better you know your songs, the easier the whole process will be. Also, less is more. Do one song well instead of two or three with all the corners nipped off."
Rob Vicars, Wars 

11. Enjoy yourself, but remember the engineer is a human and isn't there to make friends.
"Expect the engineer to be a cock and be prepared with your songs, but don't exclude experimentation. Most of all enjoy it, but remember - time is money."
Will Bottomley, Marmozets 

12. You suck, according to you. 
"You suck as a musician. No matter how much you practice your parts prior to the studio, you're going to be made to feel like you can't play. Replaying your parts 100,000 times to get the perfect take is necessary to get the best sound, so don't worry when you don't get it in the first 100 takes."
Alex Adam, ROAM

13. Just be yourself. 
"Leave your pride at the door. Recording is all about capturing a performance. If someone can play a part better than you, let them track it. You're all there for the same reason; to create an awesome song. Take this as an opportunity to make yourself even better at your craft and absorb all you can from the people around you. Drummers! Be prepared to play to a click track, if you haven't or don't know what that is, then educate yourself! It will only make you a tighter player! Last, and probably most importantly, be open to new and fresh ideas. The studio is supposed to be a space for creativity and imagination! Try out the ideas that may sound too 'weird' or 'not you'. Forget genres and just be yourself and who knows, one day you could be your own genre! Just be ready to push yourself to new limits every time you get in the studio. I always like to say strive for perfection and settle for excellence'."
Will Ferri, Against The Current 

14. Be vocal about what you want. 
"Going to the studio for the first time should be every musicians dream. It certainly is our favourite part of being in a band. The most important thing to do is go in there knowing what you want out of it, be strong in your vision and fight for what you want to be the final product. If you do this you'll be happy and proud of what you take out of the situation."
Jonathan Gaskin, Fort Hope 

15. Embrace the embarrassment and trust yourself.
"Just keep playing. As frustrated as you will want to get, or as 'on the spot' or embarrassed as you may feel when someone asks you 'can you play that again?' or 'do it better', just remember that although this is your first experience, you're there to create that amazing thing you can hear in your head. As long as you aim for that, and trust yourself, not even the hardiest, jobsworth engineer can affect you!" 
Austin Dickinson, As Lions 

16. Did we mention you should practise? 
"Practise the songs together as much as possible before you start recording them as a band. Make sure all members are well rehearsed with their parts, too."
Drey Pavlovic, Allusondrugs 

17. Be efficient with your time. 
"Make sure that you have your parts down solid. Efficiency in the studio is key and can make or break your costs, especially on a tight budget."
Joe Taylor, Knuckle Puck 

18. The time spent in the studio is what you make of it.
"Don’t rush it. Cardinals spent over an hour trying to get the right feedback and background noises. I probably sound pretentious but remember that you’re trying to make art; treat it like a chore and it’ll be exactly that to listen to. Also, fuck sampling all of your sounds."
Tom Marsh, Cardinals 

19. Look at the bigger picture of what being in the studio creates... and focus on it. 
"I always get nervous before heading into the studio and I know it's not as easy as saying 'just don't be nervous', but it's important to focus on all the great things about heading to a studio. Your tunes are going to sound at their best and all the hard work you put in is going to really come out in the recordings, so it's really important to put your heart into it."
Tobi Duncan, Trash Boat

"Know your parts. Unless you've got money to burn, you'll be against the clock to get everything done as it is. The last thing you or the producer need is to be spending hours remembering how that lead went or what the lyrics in that bridge were."
Henry Cox, Boston Manor

So there you have it. Twenty tips on cracking on in the studio from a bunch of new bands we <3. And remember: all of the bands featured here appear in the New Noise issue of Rock Sound. It looks like this:

...and you can order itdownload it, or grab it from shops right now. We've got a tenner on you finding your new favourite band inside. 

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