Prepare for your Brass Band Recording

Brass Band CD

Preparing for a recording day is a very important process. Once the microphones are armed and the record button has been pressed you have a finite amount of time during the session to record the tracks for your album.  The work you do leading up to the day of the session will help you to get the best out of your time with our sound engineers.

The Music

Choosing the music to feature on your album is probably one of the first things most bands will do once they have decided to record an album.  If you are recording a CD then the physical limits of a disc are 99 tracks of 80 minutes.   Most albums are usually around 45 minute to an hour long and will generally feature between 10 -15 songs.  It’s entirely up to you whether you have a theme to the album. It’s a good idea to have something which links the tracks together or gives the album a cohesive whole but this is by no means essential.  Some bands just want to produce a CD of Audience favourites – and why not, after all that will probably sell extremely well.

Do make sure the band members are all aware of the songs which are being recorded and bring the correct music on the day.  Please also ensure you bring a full set of the music for our sound engineers. Not only is this helpful on the day so we can follow what is going on we will also need to keep hold of this music for the purpose of post production, particularly if there are some edit points to be negotiated.   We will always return all copies of the music once we have finished with them.

Rehearsal 

Once you have decided on the tracks to feature on the album, the next stage is obviously to ensure the band are well rehearsed.  Now of course it is certainly not our place to tell you, the professional musicians, how to rehearse.  But from experience it’s worth being aware that a recording session is far more demanding than either a pre concert rehearsal or a live performance.  There are many advantages to digital recording systems, one of which is that it is now relatively easy to re-record and edit parts together.   We also provide listen back facility on site which means that every last note, breath, phrase mark and dynamic will be scrutinised in minute detail.

The Instrument

The recording session is normally behind closed doors and without an audience or live video feed, so there probably isn’t the need to spend hours the day before polishing your instrument.  Nevertheless it is always worth making sure it is in tip top condition.  Also make sure you bring any relevant accessories – mute, stand etc. On the day, we will need some time to set levels so there will be plenty of time to make sure the whole band is properly in tune and that everyone is warmed up before we start recording.

What happens on the day of the Recording?

Our Sound Engineers will typically arrive about an hour or so ahead of your band members so we can get into the recording space and start to set up our recording gear.   In an deal world it is helpful if the basic layout of the band can be communicated to us in advance and if the band chairs and stands can be put in place before we position the microphones.  Once everything is in position and our team are happy that cables have been secured and taped down / covered where necessary we will invite the band to come in and start warming up.