Recording sessions are the ultimate microscope for any musician. How many times have we gone into a studio, played what we thought was a good take, listened back, only to be completely disappointed by what we heard? Then the repeating of take after take, leaving us completely fatigued by the end, feeling empty and disappointed. Let’s look at a couple of ways to make a recording session a more pleasant and successful experience.

1. Pushing The Dynamics

It is important to over-express things when recording, because the microphone acts as the most keen listener, having their ear completely next to your sound hole. The pianos should be completely imperceptible, while the fortes should really push, making the dynamic differences more obvious. The satisfaction of listening to a successful take with good dynamics is second to none.

2. Breathing

It is not a secret that breathing and phrasing are sort of the same, but oftentimes when we are pushed against the wall, not wanting to make a mistake, we forget to breathe with the phrases, making our playing dull and one-sided. Imagine yourself being a conductor of an orchestra, when you perform. The more you breathe into a phrase, the more the listener will be able to enjoy the time in between the notes. This can be made more extreme for the recording, so that the perception of a listener is truly one of a concert experience.

Imagine yourself being a conductor of an orchestra, when you perform!

3. Engaging With The Microphone

Pretending that the microphone is actually a person you are playing for helps make the performance more personal. The reason why that is crucial is that when placed into a sterile studio, we feel exposed and therefore we retract. The opposite should be done–feeling as if you can give the most of your intimacy to each take, making your performance special and memorable.

4. Keeping Up The Energy

After many takes it is not strange that one needs a bit of boost. Keep a side of chocolate, some fruit, a glass of water, and coffee (if you don’t get jittery) on your side at all times. Make sure to take breaks every 45 minutes, and try to clear your head by doing a few laps around the studio. This helps keep the body in good shape, preventing the fatigue from completely taking over.

5. Power Through

It is common that after 3 full takes, and a couple of patches the inspiration and energy drops. Typically it is good to recognize the drop, in order to push through and execute one last beautiful take. This is the one that comes after it is all said and done, and you know that you have everything covered. These last takes often provide for the most uninhibited and musical performances. So, give it all you got for that last take.

We hope this article provided some useful tips. Write to us with any questions or topic requests, and we will happily consider.