We thought that some of you might be curious about what actually goes on in a recording studio, and since we have recorded one of our songs at a professional studio, “Losing You,” we will tell you about our experience.
The first thing that we quickly realized is that you have to be over prepared when you get to the studio. You must know exactly what you want your song to sound like, what instruments and vocals go where, and how to play and sing the entire song without mistakes. Although there is plenty of room for trial because you can always re record, you don’t want to be wasting anybody’s time and money. The first thing we did was tune the guitar that was provided by the studio, and take a quick recording of it to make sure everything sounded the way we wanted it to. The song had mostly strumming throughout with 2 verses, and the chorus played a few times. Near the end of the song we had a guitar picking part and finally the ending of the song. We thought that we would just have to play the song in its entirety a few times to get it right and be done with it. But it ended up being much more involved than that.
First off, we had to get the timing right. This was one of the most essential things for the studio manager who was doing the cutting and editing of the tracks once they were recorded. We used a metronome since the song being recorded was just an acoustic version without drums or other instruments. After that he had us play the intro first, then the verses, choruses, picking, and finally the outro. All these were recorded separately and took several tries to get completely right. Then he put them together using computer software at the studio. This ensured smooth transitions with the guitar from section to section, and made the song sound even better than played out live.
After that, one of us went to the sound proof room to do the main vocal recording, and the other went separately to do the harmonizing recording. As we sang into the microphone we could hear the enhancements the studio manager was doing on his computer through our headphones, and with the addition of echo, and other sound enhancement effects the song began to sound better and better. After the manager played around a bit more with the recording he played to us the finished product to make sure we were completely satisfied with it.
The entire process took a total of about 3 hours. And that is for a 3:16 minute song with only vocals and acoustic guitar. Granted it was only our first professional recording experience. Hopefully we’ll get faster and better the more we get exposed to it. Although we we’re lucky to get complemented by the studio manager who said: “they definitely sound like they’ve done this before.”