A Guide to Pro Audio

A Guide to Pro Audio

20/07/2016
  • Audio has a firmly cemented part in the holy trinity for promotion of function bands. Your audio tracks represent a major part of what you do on stage, so it should come as no surprise that they should be of high-quality. This guide will give you some tips and pointers on finding the right people to work with and the right venues to record in.

  • DIY or Pro?

    This guide will mainly focus on working with third-party engineers and studios. However, many musicians have very professional home studios, which can cater for smaller acts like solo artists, duos, and maybe even trios. If you are unsure whether to go DIY or third-party, you need to consider a few things. To achieve high-quality DIY recordings you need good microphones (suited to the instruments you are recording), a decent pre-amp, appropriate software and a sound treated room. If you have all of this, your act fits comfortably within the space and you are very confident at recording, go for it. If you’re unsure about any of these points, you should get a professional.

  • Live or Studio?

    Many artists think that they need to have recordings from live shows, as this reflects what the end client will get. The trouble is that live recordings are tricky to get right, and it's often better to get studio recordings. There is nothing wrong in supplementing your studio recordings with decent quality live recordings, but focus on the studio recordings first.

  • Find the Right Engineer

    Different genres and instruments are often recorded in specific ways, and that's why it's really important to find a sound engineer who has experience recording your type of act. Most rock, pop, and soul bands are used to playing together to first record a guide track, before the individual musicians re-record their parts. With other genres, like jazz, this is not always possible. Jazz is often recorded with a "live feel", where the songs are recorded from start to end with all the musicians playing as a group. The musicians will play off each other, and constantly improvise around their written parts, making it difficult for them to re-record in isolation.

  • Sound Desk
  • Make sure to get

    1. a professional sound engineer
    2. who has experience in your genre
    3. who has experience recording all of the instruments in your line-up
  • Be Prepared

    Before heading into the studio you need to do some preparation. Agree all the details with your engineer (and any other hired professionals) beforehand, such as how many hours you have in the studio, whether mixing is included in the price your paying, and how much mixing time you will get as a minimum.

    Make a list of songs to record (make sure to book enough studio time), and add some extras in case your recording session is very efficient. Pick songs your target audience would prefer, not your own favourites. Make sure you nail the songs from start to finish.

    Remember to bring water and wear comfortable clothing (and something warm, as studios are often cold).

  • The Headliner Checklist

    Anyone can sign up to Headliner, but we follow a strict benchmarking process before we let new profiles enter our live search, and audio is very high on our list. Take a look at the checklist below to make sure your audio is top notch:

  • To Do List
  • 1. The audio quality is clear without distortion or other sound issues

    2. The mix is well balanced and all the instruments are audible without fighting for space in the mix

    3. The song/songs are played well: all the instruments are in tune and played skillfully