Alta Vista Recording
Igniting Excellence Since 1995

Recording Day Checklist

Come in with the attitude that you are going to have a great time. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to tend to business in the most efficient manner possible but you will do your best work when you are relaxed and having fun!

Rehearse, plan, and arrange thoroughly before coming into the studio. Recording studios are not the most cost-effective rehearsal halls.

Pick your best keys. Many songs may seem natural on the guitar or keyboard may not be optimal for the vocalist. Find a key that works for everybody.

Pick a tempo on a metronome but remember a couple of things: a ) studio tempos are commonly slower that live tempos and b) the tempo you pick in your practice room often seem too slow in the studio once the adrenalin starts flowing.

Bring a tuner and use it.

Bring extra copies of any charts or lyric sheets, if that is the way you work.

Check your equipment out before you get to the studio. It always seems that things break or start acting up at the worst possible times, but usually it’s just that once you start exposing things to the close scrutiny that a recording requires, you begin to notice things that can elude you on stage or in the practice room.

Drummers should inspect their hardware and deal with any squeaks or creaks, particularly in pedals; have a variety of sticks and brushes and perhaps a 2nd snare, although we have several snares at Alta Vista Recording.

Guitarists should change strings: check cables, bring spare strings, picks and batteries if your tuner or pick-up needs them.

Bass players should not change strings (unless you are going for a very trebly sound) but should clean them with isopropyl alcohol. Having spare strings on hand couldn’t hurt.

Other instruments should follow the above guidelines appropriate for them.

Vocalists should avoid consuming dairy products before and during the session.

Be on time. That means not early and not late. Make sure that you are well-rested and well-fed so you’re not nodding out from too many enchiladas or spacing out from low blood sugar. Water and coffee will be on hand but bring anything else that you might want to drink. Of course, it is a myth that musician’s play better when they are high.

If you haven’t released anything in a while or this is your first time, call us at (512)326-5490 or email tom@altavistarecording.com and we can discuss what it might cost to get those great new songs out of your head and on the shelves of your favorite record store. It might be a lot more doable than you think.