This cannot be stressed enough. Important studio etiquette will save you lots of important relationships. I will lay out a few points to keep in mind the next time you book studio time to record your songs:
- Arrive on time
- Allow the engineer to do his work
- Come with your material prepared
To get into this a little further, being on time is huge. Most audio engineers hate their jobs just like most McDonald’s workers hate their jobs, and literally do it 90% for the money. Arriving late only puts your engineer in an upset mood, and your work will suffer from that.
As for allowing the engineer to do his work, sit back and stop expecting miracles as soon as your return from the booth. It takes a lot of effort, critical listening, and fine technical ears to make the perfect adjustments to your vocals so that they sit in the track well. Too many times I’ve seen artists immediately get upset with an engineer because it took 30 seconds to get a vocal to sit in the mix. Professional mixes actually take at least a full 4 hours to complete.
Lastly, make sure your material is prepared. A studio engineer’s worst nightmare is when an artist books a session to “record”, and comes in to write a song from scratch, especially if he’s being paid a flat fee. Now if you’re paying hourly, that’s a different situation and you shouldn’t worry about it.
Hopefully these tips allow your sessions to run a bit smoother, and maybe you can leave with a semi-finished product every time from now on.