Recording Checklist

Before you start recording, run through this recording checklist to ensure a smooth and productive recording session:


  • Song arrangement is finalized.
  • Instruments and equipment are in working condition.
  • Backup storage for recordings is available.

Room Setup:

  • Choose a quiet, acoustically treated room.
  • Position instruments and microphones appropriately.
  • Ensure good lighting for visibility and creative atmosphere.

Microphone Check:

  • Microphones are clean and free from debris.
  • Microphone cables are functioning correctly.
  • Phantom power is provided if needed for condenser microphones.

Recording Checklist continuation:

Headphones and Monitoring:

  • Headphones are comfortable and working.
  • Set comfortable monitoring levels.
  • Verify headphone mixes for all performers.

Instrument Tuning:

  • All instruments are properly tuned.
  • Verify tuning periodically during recording.
  • Use the same tuner for all instruments.

Signal Flow:

  • Check signal path from instrument to recording software.
  • Ensure proper gain staging for each instrument.

Recording Setup:

  • Choose the appropriate recording format and sample rate.
  • Arm tracks for recording and set input levels.
  • Verify recording software settings.

Reference Tracks:

  • Prepare reference tracks for tonal and performance benchmarks.
  • A/B compare recordings with reference tracks if necessary.

Recording Checklist continuation:


  • Warm up before recording.
  • Perform multiple takes for comping options.
  • Focus on timing, dynamics, and expression.


  • Keep track of take numbers and notes.
  • Record details of microphone placement.
  • Document any unique settings or effects used during recording.


  • Regularly save and backup your recording project.
  • Make additional backups of raw audio files.


  • Take short breaks to prevent fatigue.
  • Listen to reference tracks during breaks for perspective.

Recording Checklist Conclusion

Mixing is so much easier when you have high quality sources to work with. Spend a lot of time to capture really awesome tracks that sounds almost like a finished track. This is all about getting it right at the source. Play with microphone placement a lot, especially when you already know where the instruments should be placed in the mix. You can create a lot of atmosphere already in the recording stage when placing microphones at a place that supports the positioning in the mix.

Download a free recording checklist to place it in your studio

I’ve created multiple checklists and cheat sheets over time and you can now download them all for free for a limited time.

  • Recording Checklist
  • Mixing Checklist
  • General EQing Cheat Sheet
  • 7-Step Mix Guide
  • Home Studio Necessities
  • File Preparation Cheat Sheet
  • Signature Sound Cheat Sheet

All you have to do is signing up with your email address on one of the files and then you’ll automatically get access to these other downloads too.

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