• Instrument Maintenance | How To Prepare For A Recording Session | Studio 101

    February 17, 2019 | Wade Nichols
  • Instrument Maintenance isn't the sexiest topic. You know when you are going to go into a recording session. It is planned in advance. Instrument maintenance should be just as essential as the song you are recording. It is a time killer in the studio. The list can include, but not be limited to, guitar strings, bass strings, jacks on the guitars, instrument cables, drum hardware, drum nuts & bolts, drum heads, tuning, and more. Let's look at them one at a time because it is that important.

    Instrument maintenance on guitars. You must the intonation on your guitar or bass evaluated. Or do it yourself if you have the know-how. The main tuning may be correct, but other places on the guitar or bass neck may not be in tune. Obviously, instrument tuning is critical for a recording. Strings are another vital part of the sound of your instrument. Change them. Not at the studio, but days before going to the studio. Give them, and your guitar, a chance to settle in.

  • Instrument Maintenance - What is next?


    The next adjustment should be tightening the input jacks. Nothing kills a take more than your instrument dropping out when you move. Also, check your cables. The improper signal can degrade your sound. Instrument maintenance can literally save your recording.

    Instrument maintenance on drums. Until there are thirteen microphones on a drum kit, you really don't notice little rattles. Go over every nut and bolt to make sure there are no rattles. That is an extreme time killer in the studio, and tracking it down is really difficult because it is not always apparent as to which drum is causing the issue.

    Just like guitar strings, change your drum heads. If you tend to play in a particular key, tune your kick, snare, and toms to notes within that key. That will help bring an extra dimension to the sound of the band. We all think to tune guitar but rarely think of the tone of drums. Just taking that spare time to tune, lube all the nuts and bolts will really help.

    Instrument maintenance is instrumental in your success in the recording studio. I couldn't resist!

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