Finding Your Sound in the Studio
Walking into the studio isn’t the right time to decide what your record is going to sound like. I know the feeling of being a kid in a candy store is enticing, but this is the time where having a clear idea of what you want your recording to sound like is really key. Having discussions with your producer or engineer about the vision you have as an artist or band are worth doing weeks in advance of actually hitting the studio. At that point conversations can be had about overall sonics, what the final result will be, and specific gear can be discussed. Deciding what you want to achieve stylistically is very helpful to everyone involved and moving forward you can work as a team to achieve a common goal.
Make a decision early on to have a solid stylistic starting point. If we are making a traditional country record, small Fender combos, nice sounding acoustics, and a tasteful drum kit would be on my wish list for a great starting point. If we are tracking a metal record, high gain amps like Diezel’s and Mesa Boogies, and a modern punchy sounding drum kit would be where I would start. Choosing gear that makes sonic sense early on will help through the process of building your recording. And trust me, I am all about experimenting, but having a solid stylistic foundation is paramount on the process of a record coming together.
Your Gear or Ours?
Luckily if you are working with us at Sweetwater Studios, we have access to whatever gear your heart desires. We have the ability to search out the sound you have in your head and hopefully get that into your project. If you have a special attachment to the gear you own and use it’s never an issue to bring that to your session, but be mindful of having everything you play in fully functioning condition (unless the way it’s broken is the sound you’re looking for). In a session, I look for instruments that make the artist comfortable and allow them to play their best. Whatever that may be — a $200 Strat or a Les Paul worth $5,000 — it’s whatever gets the best performance to happen!
Pedals, Percussion, Possibilities!
Once we have a foundation of the sonics it can be a great time to get creative by adding textures, layers, and ear candy. Pulling out some cool guitar pedals, experimenting and diving into the sound you’ve been looking for is an awesome adventure to go on. This is also a great time to add some rhythmic elements such as tambourine or shakers, or even drum loops to help add to the track. This can also be a time to dive into creating textures with layered vocal arrangements, harmonies, and group vocals. These things can add some extremely awesome elements to your recording.
With all these creative ways to find your sound in our studio, why don’t you reach out and we can talk about your project! Call us now at Sweetwater Studios!