by Shannon MacDonald

We, at Saloon Studios Live and Saloon Studios Live Productions, are here to help.


If you are new to this game, there is quite a bit to learn. Managing a career in music entertainment has always been a difficult one if you are not “connected”. This simply means this: if your Dad doesn’t own a record company, your Mom isn’t an entertainment attorney or your Uncle Leo hasn’t already got a major label deal… you have to start from the bottom and work your assets all the way up the ladder.

Sure, we all have dreams. If you have visions of the grandeur of becoming an overnight international superstar, let’s just pull back on the reigns and jump in the car… we are heading over to the “clue-store” immediately. While we’re at it, you’re obviously hungry… Let’s stop off and get a huge slice of Humble Pie. You’re gonna want to fill up on that before we get you a “clue”.

Understanding what you need in order to get from “Point-A” to “Point-B”, and then filling in the rest of the alphabet, is not easy. Actually, it can be quite frustrating. We at Saloon Studios Live want to help, so let’s start here:


First, you need a band – unless, of course, you can play all the instruments, sing, and write all the tunes. If that’s the case, more power to you… and I mean that literally. But if not, and you have written a few good tunes, you are going to need some help expressing what you are writing. You need good singers and good musicians. Next, you need to practice those tunes with your “new band” and get ready for the recording studio. Preproduction is everything – so tackle every note and every beat perfectly during preproduction, or you will “pay later”. There is nothing worse than saving up your hard-earned cash from your professional burger-flipping career and then finding out, two-hours into recording, you still haven’t got the rhythm track completed because you didn’t rehearse enough. Now you understand the hard lesson about “pay later” because you are panicking by the realization. “you have just run out of money”.

All because you weren’t ready and didn’t use your time wisely during… PREPRODUCTION.

There is an ancient proverb written… It rests in between all the lines and is scratched into every recording studio wall…
“Practice Makes Perfect”.


Once you are “tight as a drum” with all your rhythm tracks, and your preproduction is finalized… finding the right studio is a must. Do your homework and research – research – research. Talk to fellow-musicians, engineers, and look at ratings on the internet. Most of the facts can point you in the right direction. If you have one or two studios in mind, don’t hesitate to have a “look-see” and feel the place(s) out. The recording studio is like a shoe – it must fit well and be comfortable. This goes for your engineer, as well. Make sure the studio and engineer are used to recording the kind of music you are bringing. Finding someone who can speak your language is essential. A good engineer, who can or can’t think on the same lines as you, can make or break you.

Another thing to consider: Does the recording studio have all you need? What about amplification, extra equipment (if necessary), plug-ins, and any onboard equipment you might need to get the job done? Don’t be afraid to ask. If they are eager to help, that is a very good sign.

Our Top Engineer, John Littlewood, who is highly visible in the Recording Arena, is always ready to answer questions. If you are interested in recording your music or making a “live” video at our professional facility in North Carolina, contact John at Saloon Studios Live Productions.

Tune in next week for Part 2.