- Have a plan for the studio so when you go in the recording engineer is only spending energy on developing on top of the foundation you’ve prepared for each of your songs. You want to think about expending energy as a means of staying productive. Keep the engineers energy and productivity on being creative, not building a foundation for your songs or recording.
- Ask for the engineer’s creative input. If you are self-producing you want the engineer to give insight. This should be a given but must be said. Collaboration is the key to a great studio project. You want collaboration with other artists who have a vision for what you’re wanting to accomplish. This should be your band. Then let the recording engineer be your ‘wise sage’ of recording because that’s what he is. He wants to give it but he hasn’t been hired to be the producer. On a self-produced album YOU are the producer. Let him know you value his opinion by asking for it and he’ll add value like a producer would.
- This tip comes off of the last one. Hire people that you like, that like you and like what you’re doing. Most experienced recording engineers will not record artists who can’t prove they already play music and can hold a tune. But, you want them to dig what you’re doing. If you don’t have a personal relationship with them before the studio do everything you can to make their work easy. Help them set up. Listen to their requests. You’re there to get a great album but you really are there to serve them to an extent. THEY will make an added investment to your project and to your life if you do.
The simple fact is people do stuff for people they like. The engineers that I’ve worked with had full control over their equipment and they will put in as much time as they decide they want to put in. Sometimes they’ll work for you off the clock. That never hurts and means you might come away with a product that is much more valuable than what you paid for.
Anything you would add from your experience self-producing in the studio?=