Every production team will have a differing approach to running a recording session.
The number of microphones and their positions will differ depending on the material
being recorded and the venue. However, following a sound check where equipment
may be adjusted or moved around it’s likely that the session may follow a fairly
standard format. Unless the length or difficulty of a piece precludes it, often you’ll be
asked to perform at least one run-through followed by shorter edit pieces or patches.
During this time there may be periods of silence where the Producer is checking
aspects of the performance for anything that may be required to be retaken – this is
perfectly normal, don’t panic! Remember that you will be more familiar with your
performers’ abilities than the recording company. If you need a break between items,
don’t be afraid to ask, but try not to split pieces between sessions or have a break in
the middle of a piece.
Soloists should be in a position where they can see the conductor. Each feature will
require a new sound check to adjust the balance of the soloist and the accompaniment.
The soloist and MD may be asked to approve the balance or to listen to sections
during the recording - if that’s the case it’s important that the soloist returns to the
Above all, be prepared to be flexible – the production team are there to guide you
into making the best recording possible. This may involve last minute changes to
recording orders or apparently doing things in illogical orders (aka doing the high bits
first!), but each change is with the end product in mind.