Good recording studios offer comfort during recording sessions.
As a recording engineer, you contribute to studios being good recording studios and you never know how an artist is going to feel when they come in to the studio. The artist could be frustrated, sad, lost, or upset. The point is, you never know what type of situation will be coming through the door, so it’s your job as the recording engineer to make the artist feel as comfortable as possible when they come to the studio.
As a recording engineer myself, I have run multiple recording sessions with different artists. Throughout these sessions and experiences, I have gathered the three most important things you can do as a recording engineer to make an artist feel comfortable in the studio.
First of all, be accepting. You don’t know what the artist has come from prior to the session. They see the studio as a place to escape from all outside problems. At the studio, they can be one with themselves, and their music. This unification and acceptance makes the environment more comfortable for the artist to work and be creative as the session goes by.
Secondly, be patient. Greatness should never be rushed. I’ve been with artists that lay down verses in one take, and others that need 30 minutes to record a verse. It all depends on how the artist feels about their take. As the engineer, you need to be patient with them and realize that taking more time to record one line is vital to the song, or even the artists’ recording process.
Finally, be honest. When an artist asks for your opinion, they’re looking to see if their art can be improved, not if it’s simply “good” or “bad”. The artist asks this because they trust you with their work. Before I started running my own sessions, I went to other engineers’ recording sessions to learn from them. The rapper one of the engineers was recording was in the booth laying down a verse. When he came out of the studio, he asked everyone what they thought of his delivery. Everyone, including the recording engineer, said it was “good”. I was honest with him and said that his delivery could have been better, so he went back in and re-recorded the verse. That take ended up making the final project and that same artist and I work together on all of his music now. Because of my honesty, he trusts me, and I make him feel comfortable when we’re working in the studio. This separates recording studios from good recording studios.
Being able to accept an artist and their work, have the patience to accompany them on their artistic ventures, and being honest with them will make any artist feel comfortable when they come to record at the studio.
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