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Recording Studio Etiquette

What you need to know before entering the recording studio.

Last updated: 03 November 2020

It is expected that you will be ready to play from the commencement of a session. You are required to set up your instrument in good time (especially important for keyboards, drums, percussion etc where pre-sound checks will need to be completed) and be ready to play. 

Unless you have been booked for a session where your contribution is creative, ie improvising guitar solos and riffs, or where you have specialist skills, take a polite stance and limit your musical opinion where others are taking a creative lead (ie composer, MD, music producer).  If asked by all means offer! 

Overtime is usually strictly adhered to in large ensemble sessions.  Try to ensure you return from breaks within the given time.  Usually there will be a 15 minute break in a 3 hour session (5 minutes per hour). Clients really appreciate a professional approach and will often reciprocate. Where you have been booked by a contractor - you need to stay on their books! 

If taceting a number, remain still and quiet. Never ignore the red light.  Don't enter a studio when the red light is on. It is considered ill mannered to be on your mobile phone or reading a newspaper in formal studio sessions.  

Ensure that you complete MU forms fully and legibly.  The information within is used to provide data for royalties.  Therefore its really important to identify who played on what track. Information is shared with PPL and forms a really important data archive for the MU to collect further royalties for all performers. Until there is an app available to replace the paperwork, be legible and ensure you list each track title you play on – don’t rely on others to assume they know!  

Complete paperwork (both contractual and to consent rights in lieu of appropriate fees)