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

Preparation:

  • 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:

Performance:

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

Documentation:

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

Backup:

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

Breaks:

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

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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. Hit the following button to download this checklist and keep it at your recording stuff:

While we are at it: You can also download our FREE SIGNATURE SOUND CHEAT SHEET here!

Ask Audio Engineer Toby Schuetgens from Simple Life Studio to mix & master our song!

If you need your own tracks to be mixed or mastered, hit the button above and feel free to reach out.

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