Things to know before you make a recording
Little Spot Productions is very enthusiastic about YOUR project. We want you to succeed, and we want you to experience real value in using our services to make your recording dreams come true. So, here, to help, are some tips for you to implement so you save yourself frustration (and money) when we are finally together and making your record:
Rules for Great Recordings
1. You can't fix it in the mix!
Often we record ourselves and when we hear the recording, there is great music - and then it happens. A singer, or an instrument is too loud, or too soft, and we ask the producer "well, can you just turn that guy up / down / all around?" Usually, the answer is "no." Although we at Little Spot do advocate the use of large numbers of microphones on a project, say a choir, if there is a person doing something wrong, chances are that all the microphones used will hear them doing that thing wrong to some degree.
It is therefore best to have your material and your performers as balanced and prepared as possible before they even meet our mikes! We will, of course, be listening to your takes, and if we are in true studio environment, we will stop and correct any remaining niggles we are hearing. Usually this will take the form of multiple repeated takes until it's right. We don't want to have to do artificial editing that may actually create a worse final product. So, be prepared!
2. Be prepared to be corrected... a LOT!
During the recent recording project by the Kansas City ./ Phoenix Bach Chorales of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil, the goal was to record 15 pieces of music. We did it, in 151 takes. Why? Because we needed several really good takes to work with, and to get three good takes, we also had experienced another seven or eight that didn't make the grade. We will be reading your scores as you perform, and listening through our monitors. We will hear things you may not, and we will ask for corrections until you - and we - feel sure that it is right. As one engineer said, "We can get it right in one take. But which take will it be? - It could be the first, but who knows?"
3. Have your performers rested and comfortable.
A good recording project is time-consuming. It is also often hot (as we turn things like air-conditioners off), and very rigorous as we all are seeking to meet the best we can do. Your performers need to be rested enough to give everything they have to this work, over a few days. Please encourage, cajole, mandate, whatever you have to do, to make sure that everyone is getting rest, and is ready to do their all in session.
4. Be of good cheer!
When we make a recording, we are making a statement about ourselves that "THIS is who we are and what we do." And of course, we all want it to succeed. But don't let that sort of thing create undue pressure. We are all artists, and we are all striving for beauty. However, we all have to have a sense of humor about the gaffes we do, the mistakes we don't expect to make and any number of things. Above all, this work is enjoyable, if not downright fun. So, keep a light heart and all will go well.
We can boil all this down to one sentence: "You PREPARE, before you EXECUTE."
So, do these things, and all will go smoothly. We look forward to seeing you!