Rarefied Recording, a San Diego Recording Studio

Rarefied Recording Session Prep Checklist

So you’re band is headed to the studio? Here are some tips I compiled to make the most of your session. Some of it will be applicable to you, some of it won’t. But I hope you find it useful whether you’re recording at Rarefied or elsewhere!


  • Are the songs ready to record?
    • Structure?
    • Arrangement?
    • Tempo?
    • Lyrics, sheet music, charts?
  • Have you practiced enough?
    • Does everyone know their parts?
    • If using a click, is everyone comfortable playing to one?
    • Have you memorized the lyrics or are you bringing a copy?
  • Are your instruments/gear ready?
    • Guitars recently setup/intonated?
    • New strings on (if desired)? Don’t forget an extra pack!
    • Any technical issues? (buzzes, hums, rattles, etc.)
    • New heads for drums?
    • Are you comfortable tuning drums or do you need help? (I can hook you up with a drum tech if needed)
    • Any need to rent an instrument or hire a session player?
    • Have singers been taking care of their vocal chords? (avoid smoking and drinking prior to your session)
  • Have you discussed “sonics” with your engineer?
    • Have you provided references?
    • Is there a clear sonic vision you can communicate?
  • Do you have a “day of” game plan?
    • Which musicians are recording initial basic tracks vs. overdubbing?
    • Which song will you record first, second, etc.?
    • Do you have a plan for snacks, drinks, and meals?
    • Does everyone know where and when to arrive?
    • Does anyone need to leave early and have you accounted for that?
    • Do you have a hard drive or USB stick to bring for your files?
  • Are your financials in order?
    • Do you have a budget for the various stages of the project (recording, mixing, mastering, release)?
    • Are all band members prepared to pay their share?
    • Are you paying by cash, check, Zelle, credit card, or PayPal?


Rarefied Recording Workshop 2

After the success of our first workshop over here, we are looking to do a second.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about recording and mixing. This time we plan to record a band partially live and partially overdubbed to give the participants the experience of recording things together and separate. Half of the workshop will be spent on recording instruction and half on mixing. Please get in touch via e-mail, phone, or text if you’re interested. No date will be set until we find 6 serious participants. More details can be found at http://www.silversteinsoundservice.com/recording-workshop.html , but also see below.


  • 3 days of instruction
  • 2 instructors, Roy Silverstein (Owner/Chief Engineer at Rarefied) and Brian Scheuble (http://brianscheubleaudio.com/)
  • 6 students max
  • $500/student
  • Content customized to the needs of the students
  • Hands on experience recording and mixing at Rarefied Recording