FAQ

1. PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT!

When you come into the studio make sure you are ready to record. Lyrics should be memorized and instrumental parts worked out before coming in. You don't want to waste time while is remembering a part or trying to perform it in an acceptable way.

2. HAVE SOLID ARRANGEMENTS

Work out song arrangements at home and make sure that everyone in the band is comfortable with them. If I'm producing the project I'm more than happy to go to your jam spot to help with this. Sometimes having someone outside the band listening with a fresh air can clean up some problem areas that were overlooked. While it's possible to make a lot of corrections with editing it's always better to record it right in the first place.

3. HAVE A SOLID TEMPO FOR EACH SONG IN BPM

Having the correct tempo for a song makes a big difference to how the finished product will be perceived. Practice with a metronome and get exact tempos for each song. Make sure to get accustomed with these tempo's and that they feel right. If you don't have this down beforehand it's easy to mess up the tempo going into the studio because you're playing in a new environment and might be nervous/excited.

4. COME WITH LYRICS ON PAPER

Write lyrics down on paper so they will be available for lead AND backup vocalists. Lyrics should be memorized before performing them but a lyric sheet is good to reference off of.

5. COME WITH INSTRUMENTS SOUNDING THEIR BEST

Replace strings one day before coming into the studio and make sure to have an extra package in case a string breaks. Having new strings on your instruments (especially acoustic ones) will really improve how your instruments sound on your recordings. A proper set up done on instruments is also not a bad idea. Nothing worse than a nice sounding instrument that won't play in tune because the intonation isn't set up properly. If you don't know where to go to get your guitar/bass set up check out Ring Music. They do good work.

6. If POSSIBLE HAVE ROUGH DEMOS OF YOUR SONGS

When you are practicing before coming into the studio try to record yourself playing your songs with a tape recorder. This is always a helpful reference.

7. BRING CD'S WITH SOUNDS THAT YOU LIKE

Everyone has CD's with 'that perfect drum sound' or 'that perfect guitar sound'. Bring CD's that have sounds that you like. This will go a long way to helping me understand the kind of sound you want your project to have.

8. ORGANIZE YOUR MIDI FILES

If your project involves using midi instruments try and get your midi files playing the exact way you want them too. This goes for the actual sounds from your midi instruments as well. Name all your midi tracks properly before so sound selection will go by faster. If you're bringing in your own keyboard bring the manual.

9. HAVE A BACKUP OPTION FOR COMPUTER FILES

There are some more useful tips on this point here

10. HAVE A LIST OF WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH FOR EACH RECORDING SESSION.

If something you planned to do for the session is not working out, try something else on your list (always have a backup task or two) and come back to it later.


THE PROCESS

We will be mixing your songs on a mac using Logic Pro. While mixing in Pro tools is an option at Morph Productions the results we get with Logic Pro are a lot better. You can be here while we're doing the mix or let us spend some time on it alone and present you with a first draft.

THE FILES

1. If working in a program other then Logic Pro or Pro tools, consolidate all files and audio instrument tracks so each file starts at the same time. Do this so the files are unprocessed (ie. no eq/compression/reverb etc) unless the sound you used on a particular track is a "character" effect that you really like and would be hard to duplicate. If this is the case it would be preferable to have the processed sound and unprocessed sound for maximum flexibility.

2. Even if you're giving us your synth tracks in audio format try and give us a standard midi file as well. We have thousands of great sounds and you never know when we could replace a part or two with a new killer sound that you didn't have available to you.

3. When consolidating tracks be mindful of whether it's a stereo or mono track and give it to us as such. It will take more time to transfer your files and process them if you make them all stereo which is wasteful if they are not truly stereo.

4. If you can, clean your tracks!

a. Make proper crossfades at edit points

b. Make fade ins/outs at the beginning and end of audio objects so there will be no clicks.

c. Get rid of any "dead air" in between parts on a track to make sure there will be no equipment hiss, headphone noise or performer shuffling.

5. Don't be afraid of doing a bit of submixing before giving us your files. Keep the important stuff separate but if you have 3-5 takes of the same vocal harmony please just bounce it to a stereo track with no processing.

6. Write down the tempo of the song as it is in your audio software

7. We can accept files in Wave/AIF/SD2, 16/24 bit, 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192khz. The preferable sample and bit rate is 44.1 or 48/24 bit. We CANNOT work with 32 bit files.

8. When naming the consolidated files name them like this:

Instrument-Part/Instrument identifier

for example:

Drum-Snare

Guitar-lead

This will make organizing the session a lot easier when importing the files and getting the mix set up.

FILE TRANSFER

1. If bringing us the files on a CD make sure it's a data CD not an audio CD (ie a CD you can play in your cd player). Audio CDs tend to put 2 seconds of space at the beginning of each track which could cause the files not to line up properly. DVDs are also fine.

2. USB keys/drives are fine but it is suggested that you have a CD/DVD backup just in case the drive is not compatible with our system. It's rare, but it happens!

3. You can also upload the files to an ftp site or via a service like yousendit.com


More Tips

If you haven't started your project yet but think you may need help mixing it here's a posting I made on my blog on how to RECORD your project in a way that will make your mix engineer happy: "Morph Blog".
1. Have your material printed on single sided, double spaced paper with a decent sized font (12-14 pts).

2. Check beforehand how acronyms are pronounced in the text.

3. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Avoid synthetic materials that make "swishy" noises.

4. Avoid lip stick or lip balms that create lip noise