Studio Etiquette and Troubleshooting

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For anyone out there who has a daily grind and hustle in the music industry, you spend way more hours in the studio than you would actually like to. This leads us to think of our love of our work to a job, and sometimes leads us to have bad attitudes or crummy etiquette in the studio.  The studio is a creative environment, a place where one should feel safe, comfortable, and even excited to make great music that no one has ever heard before. This is generally an easy thing to do when you walk into a padded room that looks really fancy, sit down and talk about our fantasies and ideas for where our career can go, and then record music to make it so.

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…But what about when things go wrong? This can happen VERY often in the studio, as there are lots of things that need to be working perfectly to get the instruments working properly, the signal flowing, and every step along the signal flow to be working properly, as well as the module it’s recording into and THEN for us to get a great take. There are so many steps of where the sound goes sometimes it can rack your brain, even if you are a trained engineer.

The first thing to remember is to keep calm. Even if you’re a professional it can be easy to start shaking in your boots when ProTools won’t boot up properly and you have a client watching you, paying for your time to use this little computer that won’t even work. It shows a lack of experience if you start flipping out over something insubstantial. So always keep a straight face and do everything you can to remedy the situation, even if it means going from the ground up and checking everything the signal is going through when something is not coming through right.

Once the situation has been remedied (and if you’re a good engineer, you WILL find a way to remedy it with all the tools you have available to you in any given studio), just jump straight into the work with as few apologies as possible (but preferably one), so you can get to what was building the magic in the first place.

Good luck and happy recording!

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Aaron Bartlett

Critical Recording Studio


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