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5 Things Bands Should Know Before Hitting the Studio for the First Time


What to expect before your band hits the recording studio for the first time

So, you are finally ready to take the next step in your musical career and record a song.  But what can you expect once in the recording studio?

The first time you record in an audio recording studio in Maryland can be intimidating.  Whether you are looking to record a single song or an entire album, there is much to look forward to once the producer gets the recording process underway.

There is a lot that goes into professional recording services.  And, there is much to benefit from hiring a reputable recording studio in Maryland as opposed to recording in someone’s home studio.  This is especially true if you are a band that does not work with pre-recorded beats and tracks.

Today we will reveal the top things your band should know before hitting the studio for the first time.  These tips will not only help calm your nerves, they will allow you to come prepared and make your experience smooth and productive.  Plus, it will help convince you that hiring the best recording studio Maryland has to offer is the best way for you to master this crucial step in your music career.


1. Be Prepared

The first time you hit the recording studio may produce a bit of shock.  Many musicians believe that recording is as easy as singing their songs after the producer pushes “Record.”  However, this is far from true.  And, while experienced music producers such as the ones at Sheffield Audio-Visual Productions can help guide first-timers through the entire process, there are still many challenges that pop up.

Here are the top ways you can come prepared to your first recording session:

  • Have a plan already in place with the producer so that the direction you wish to take your music is understood.  Having demo tapes of your songs to share with the producer is extremely helpful.
  • Understand that recording even a single song may take more than one day.
  • Know your music inside and out.  Do not come with newly created solos or lyrics that should have been prepared weeks ago.
  • Ensure all of your equipment is up to par and working.

At the end of the day, the most important tip is to be prepared to work.  Recording can be very draining.  You may have to do the same thing over and over again until it is perfect.  This is the price you pay to become a respected musician.


2. Have a Budget

The great thing about recording studios is that many of them are flexible when it comes to your budget and their costs – especially if you discuss the details before hitting the studio.

The key to making it work is to have a plan.  If you cannot afford to record everything in one session, or even over the course of a couple of days, split it up over a couple of months.  Also, make sure that everyone in the band understands the cost of a professional recording session and pitches in.  There is nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute to pay for recording services. 


3.  Take Breaks

Time is money when it comes to recording studios.  However, if you push your band to the limit the music will ultimately suffer.

  • Make sure you eat.  Being “hangry” will produce nothing but garbage.
  • If you find yourself re-recording the same section over and over, go outside to clear you head.  Then come back and try again.
  • If you or your bandmates are starting to burn out, know when to quit and come back the next day.  A good night’s sleep is often a great remedy for lackluster performances.

This concept also applies to your producer and any other staff that is helping record your music.  Even though they are professionals and are experienced with long recording sessions, remember they are human too and need breaks.  In the end, working together will forge stronger relationships and better music production.


4. Have an Open Mind

Though you have a specific sound in mind that you hope to emulate, be open to experimenting.  Your Maryland recording studio will be packed with equipment and software you may not even be aware exists that can add a unique element to your music.  And who knows, you may end up loving it.


It is likely, and highly recommended, that you will have solid idea of the type of music you wish to capture during your recording session.  In fact, you and your producer should be on the same page before even entering the recording studio.  However, your producer has trained ears and lots of experience.  Listen to them.  They are the professionals for a reason and are there to help.


5.  Know the Law

It may seem obvious to any band looking to turn professional, but before stepping foot into the recording studio make sure you have the appropriate rights to record samples or even full cover songs.  You would be surprised to know how many bands fail to do this before recording their hits.

You must purchase the rights to use another artist’s work and if you cannot afford them, you are wasting both yours and the producer’s time.  Even if you get the song recorded you will not be able to legally release it if the proper clearances have not been granted.

Here are some of the most important legal issues to be aware of when recording your first song or album:

  • Band Agreement.  Having a formal agreement drawn up between members of your band is important when it comes to finances.  You should also consider gaining official ownership over your band’s name as early as possible.
  • Work for Hire Agreement.  Though using a respected Maryland recording studio should not pose any legal threat to you and your band, it is best to be fully prepared.  Make sure any royalties or ownership rights are discussed and laid out so that you don’t end up owing tons of money to the recording studio once you become successful.
  • Copyright Notices.  Your original songs and any artwork associated with your band should be legally protected.  Make sure you are up-to-date on all copyright information and avoid copyright infringement at all times.

It is up to you and your band to legally protect yourselves and do things right.  Do your research and do not attempt to steal another artist’s work.  It is just not worth the legal hassle.


In the end, hitting the recording studio for the first time can be both an exciting and scary time.  Lots of preparation, knowledge, and ambition is required to go from a garage band to a band that people will actually pay to listen to or even see live.

If you are in the Baltimore area and are ready to take the plunge and record your band’s first song or album, contact Sheffield Audio-Visual Recordings.  With years of experience and a reputation for being Baltimore’s leading audio recording studio, you can trust your music to be in good hands.

Sheffield has industry professionals on hand to help guide you through this process.  They also have state-of-the-art equipment, intimate recording studios, and extensive equipment to give your band its best shot possible at stardom.  Call them today and see how they can help you achieve your dreams.