If you dream of being the next Beyoncé, Bono or Bublé but you’ve never tried out your skills in a recording studio, the idea of taking the plunge in front of a team of engineers and finding out what you’re really made of can be very daunting.
But with the right approach you can feel just as relaxed standing in a studio as you do singing in the shower. Follow these steps to ensure your first professional singing session goes off without a hitch.
1. Visit before your session
Stepping into an unfamiliar environment can often be intimidating, so visiting the recording studio before your big event will help you familiarise yourself with the set up and what will happen on the day. That way you won’t spend sleepless nights worrying about what to expect during your session. Staff in a well-run studio will be happy to answer your questions and talk you through each aspect of the day so you feel prepared.
2. Do a Sound-Check
Before you begin recording take some time to sing into the mic so you get an idea of how it feels. Play back a recording so you can hear your voice. Singing live and recording are two very different things and a professional engineer will be able to guide you towards creating the best possible sound.
3. Ask Questions
If you’ve been asked to sing on someone else’s track, make sure you know what they expect and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about what’s expected the more confident you will feel.
4. Practice makes perfect
Once you know what you’ll be singing practice as much as you can before your session to make sure not only that you know the lyrics, but that you’ve also thought about style, tone and inflection – the little touches that make a singing voice special. Getting to know a song like the back of your hand makes it much easier to play around with and make your own.
5. Make Adjustments
You may not have experience, but if you feel something is not right then don’t be afraid to say. What you hear through your headphones is not what the engineers are hearing, so if you feel levels need to be adjusted to allow you to focus more on your voice then don’t be afraid to flag it up.
6. Expect Mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable so don’t be embarrassed or over apologetic if you get something wrong. Repeating the process several times is essential for professional recording so don’t take it personally if you’re asked to sing over and over again.
7. Envision Success
It may be a cliché, but positive thinking really works! Before you start singing take a moment to visualise a time when you sang well and focus on the feeling it gave you. As you sing, try to hold onto that feeling and you’ll be filled with the confidence you need for a second to none singing session.