In this new age of home DIY recording, still the most important thing to get is the best possible recordings right from the source, and that's you!
These tips are only guidelines to help give your music the absolute best quality that it can be. They will not make or break your recordings, but they will help your engineer/mixer get the best possible sounding mix from your recordings.
Guitarists and Bassists
- For killer tones especially in metal and hard rock, it always begins with the player, and not just the amplifier and cabinet you're using. Picking and palming technique, the right type of pick, and strings, a high quality guitar with high quality pickups (I always suggest EMG's, but that's just me) will give you that awesome attack, and bite.
- ALWAYS, record a DI track along with amplifier tracks when recording guitars and bass for possible re amping later.
- Make sure your instruments are in good playing condition. Be aware of shorting or wiring issues, fret buzz, properly intonated and they stay in, and hold tune well.
- Have new strings on your instruments before you record.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries if your instrument uses active pickups.
- Make sure your drums are in good playing condition (no missing lugs, broken hardware, or bass drum pedals), and please no metal click pads on your kick drum heads.
- Try to have fresh drum heads before recording, and make sure they are tuned.
- Make sure your cymbals are not broken and are in good working condition.
- Knowing how to play with and being comfortable with a click/metronome is also very important, especially if you are wanting that pro modern day sound. Requires less editing, which can also save you money, unless you are using drum programming software to the grid, or going for a more of an organic old school sound, which is okay too.
- Choosing the best smallest room, and using blankets or sound paneling is optimal for making your vocals dry as possible for added effects later in your mix.
- Knowing and understanding a little about microphone proximity and control is also important to know.
- Do not always rely on your mixer to use autotune on your vocals if necessary for major out of key or pitch issues. Always be prepared to give your best performance possible.
- Make sure you are well rested and feeling healthy before recording vocals.