• All drums have top and bottom heads, preferably a few weeks before to stretch out
  • Remove heads and wipe down shells (do this while putting on new heads)
  • Clean cymbals
  • Do not use cymbals with cracks or dents, go rent at that point
  • Make sure all moving parts are well lubed (squeaky kick pedals can ruin your drum sound!)
  • Bring lots of sticks at various sizes (different sizes get different tones)


  • Make sure all guitars have been properly setup with the same gauge strings within the last few weeks before your session
  • Choose the appropriate gauge of strings for your genre (light strings don't work too well for heavy music)
  • For bass, make sure you pickup's are not high enough that they hit the strings when you play 
  • Check all cables and pedals in your chain one by one for noise, pops, and clicks
  • Replace any microphonic tubes in amplifiers


  • Avoid excess talking on the day of your vocal session
  • Avoid over singing the night before
  • Do light vocal warmups before your session
  • Avoid drinks such as milk, orange juice, and alcohol


  • Be rested and well hydrated for your sessions
  • Be sure you can play/sing your parts without thinking. It will sound best when it's muscle memory