Before You Record at South Main Studios

Before you record at SMS, it helps us to know more about the artists we are recording so we can capture your vibe and essence and "what you're about" as we produce, engineer your project, and even design your promotionals. If you have any musical influences, it would be additionally helpful if you would send us links to those artist sites of interest.

We recommend outside producers to be in hired and well acquainted with you and your vision well before recording begins. SMS can recommend one if needed. However, having an outside producer for your project is not mandatory for recording at SMS, or for getting SMS's very best in engineering and design.

  • We very strongly recommend that you have your music already copyrighted or in the process of being copyrighted (see the copyright page for more information). SMS does not hold any copyrights of any artist we record, unless a special collaboration agreement between the artist and SMS is reached beforehand. SMS does not keep any hardcopies of an artist's music/lyric sheets after a project concludes.
  • Rehearse well and be prepared. Try to have as many kinks worked out of the music beforehand as possible. Be ready to begin recording. Practice and warm up before arriving, or pre-schedule practice time into the total time you've booked in the studio.
  • Know your intros, transitions, endings, and solos, but be prepared to be flexible when you record, as you may want to explore new directions, and/or new ideas will pour out as you go along.
  • Please print out and bring with you 2 extra copies each of your lyric sheets for our engineer(s). We will keep your music hardcopies in your file in the studio during the length of your project, for everyone's convenience. After the project is completed, the hardcopies will be returned.
  • Know the general feel you want for each song. Let the engineer know the approximate length of each song before you begin recording.
  • Bring extra strings and batteries with you each time, as SMS does not provide these items. Have instruments tuned and ready to go, or do this first thing when you arrive.
  • If recording acoustically, avoid wearing any loud jewelry or clothing, bangle bracelets, etc. Or, be prepared to take off such items during recording.
  • While recording, if you make a mistake, don't panic but please point it out. Most of the time we can punch in the correct part in the next take, or at a later time. If you're having problems recording a song for some reason, we suggest you put it aside and we move on to something else, or take a short break to regroup. Having good communication with our engineer(s) is key to keeping you on track, literally!
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before recording. We like it when you arrive in a good mood!
  • Remember that recording is fun. Don't stress out. Enjoy the process. Relax!