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The Obvious Stuff

Sometimes it’s the most obvious, elementary things that we forget in the excitement of launching into a recording project. Here’s a suggestion: make yourself a checklist in advance of your session (even if the session is you trundling yourself and your guitar into the spare bedroom to lay down some tracks…), then check each item off as you add it to the pile of things you need to bring with you. A checklist will also help you ensure that you collect all your gear and take it with you as you leave the studio after the session is done. Include items such as these:

  • Fresh strings – new strings sound better, and perhaps even more important, play in tune better than old strings.

  • All necessary cables – guitar cables, cables for stompboxes and rack effects, power supply cables, a power strip, extension cable, etc.
  • Fresh batteries – many a session has been brought to a halt by a dead pedal or active guitar/bass battery…
  • Tuner – if there’s one thing to be a stickler for in sessions, it’s tuning. Slight out-of-tune strings or playing may be okay in practice or even at a rowdy gig, but under the studio microscope, forget it – you’ll hear it every time you hear the track.
  • Check intonation – along the same lines, it’s a good idea to check the intonation on guitars and basses before hitting the record button.
  • Gear check up – it’s wise to go through cables, tubes, pedals, guitar setups, etc., before the session to make sure everything is operating at its best.
  • Bring spares – you WILL need a spare battery, cable, pencil, picks, strings, strap, and so on.

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