5 Reasons to Hire Professional Session Musicians for Your Next Recording
Recording your own music is a fun and rewarding experience, but it takes a long time to get results you’re happy with. This is why most songwriters find the choice to hire professional session musicians the best and fastest way to make your music sound incredible.
Professional session musicians have years of experience recording music, and they’ll be able to help you get that sound you’re searching for. They also work quickly and efficiently so you won’t have to waste valuable time and money.
In this article, we’ll give you five key reasons why choosing to hire professional session musicians is one of the best investments you can make for your music. Also, if you stick to the end, you’ll get a bonus of discovering how you can get the best remote session musicians on your next project.
#1 Training and Experience
If you’ve ever tried to record music on your own, then you know that it’s an intimidating experience. You hear everything under a microscope, and all those small fret buzzes and wonky notes can easily throw you off your game.
Suddenly, the music starts to feel flat. This is because you no longer feel the music but overthink your performance.
A professional session musician is like a well-trained athlete. They show up ready to perform the track with groove, feeling, and perfection.
Also, great recordings often require multiple takes and on-the-fly. These could be variations of a part, rewrites, or any other recommendations from the engineer or producer.
A session musician with experience won’t get flustered by quick pivots and multiple takes of the same passages. They know what it takes to get the job done.
Their experience also shines through in how to record a good track. For example, you don’t want your drummer to be overly dynamic when recording drums. You want someone who plays with consistent hits and knows how to keep a good balance between all the drums and cymbals to get a good recording.
This type of finesse is learned from having done multiple recordings. If you hire the wrong person or try to do it yourself, you will waste a lot of time and money.
The temptation for multi-instrumentalists is to do it all themselves. However, it is a mistake to underestimate what it takes to get an excellent recording for each instrument.
So while you might think this is a thrifty way to record, you’ll see with my next point this is false because…
#2 They save you money
Studio time is money. The faster you can get your tracks recorded, the cheaper the entire production process will be.
Even if you are the most proficient multi-instrumentalist and can phenomenally record each part of your song, you’re still human.
Recording music is exhausting work, and after a few hours of playing, you’ll lose focus and get sloppy.
Hiring a team of session musicians to record the tracks for you could be the difference between one day in the studio compared to two or more.
Also, in some cases, if you hire remote session musicians, you might not even have to book a studio to begin with. There are plenty of musicians who can record their parts professionally from their home and offer a flat rate to play on your track.
Remote recording has its challenges, but you can get some world-class playing for reasonable prices if you find the right musicians.
Not only will hiring great session musicians help you to save money…
#3 It saves you time
For most songwriters and musicians, music will never be a full-time gig. It will remain a passion and hobby you have to find space for between time with a family, a full-time job and other responsibilities.
You don’t have the time to waste when it comes to your music. Suppose you want to be the most productive while maintaining a healthy work/life balance. In that case, the choice to hire professional session musicians is the only way to go.
You can focus on your core songwriting competency while letting the session musicians fill out your production. This frees up your time to go to the park with your family or have a much-needed date night with your wife.
Even if you’re young and don’t have many responsibilities, hiring session musicians is still critical. Music is content, and you need to be putting out a lot of content.
You don’t have the luxury to spend weeks and months finishing your song. You need to be releasing a steady stream of content, and the best way to do this is by outsourcing and being smart with your resources (both time and money).
When you learn to leverage a session musician’s talents instead of trying to do everything yourself, you give yourself time to recharge creatively. This is crucial for keeping your juices flowing and writing more and better songs.
#4 They have access to the right equipment
In the world of recording, tone is king. I’m not just talking about the tone of each individual instrument, but the tone of the entire mix of instruments.
There is only so much space in the frequency spectrum in a recording. Suppose you choose the wrong instrument for the production. In that case, you could be creating issues of clashing between instruments, making mixing the track much more difficult.
To illustrate this point, let’s say you’re recording a reggae track. You’ll probably want the bass guitar to be big, round, and up-front in the mix. However, bass frequencies are enormous and take up a lot of room in the low-end frequency range. This can create “masking” issues with the drums (also crucial for a fantastic reggae groove).
If you’re recording everything on your own, you will be at the mercy of whatever equipment you have available. Say you only have a deep snare with lots of low-mid range girth. Well, you’re going to lose definition in the bass each time that snare hits because it’s trying to fight for the same space in the frequency range.
Suppose you have an experienced session musician, especially one who plays reggae. In that case, they will think of the other instruments in the performance and choose their equipment wisely. In this example, the session drummer will opt for a snappier snare that will naturally sit above the bass in the mix without any additional EQ.
Suppose this example hurt your brain, and you didn’t follow it entirely. In that case, this is a good indicator that hiring a professional session musician (and engineer and producer) is the right move for you.
Professional session musicians often have a variety of gear and genre knowledge. They will choose the right combination of equipment to make sure what they record doesn’t fight the other elements. This will result in a recording that will be more professional and polished with less effort.
#5 They can add creative input and expertise to your project
One of the best reason’s to hire professional session musicians is collaboration. The whole reason outsourcing audio production work to others is such a fantastic idea is that it humbles you and allows you to be open to others’ ideas.
As singers, songwriters, musicians, and producers, it’s easy to get too close to the song you’re working on. It’s only natural; it’s an intimate piece of you.
However, the ideas that usually take your song from “good” to “great” come from an outside perspective.
It could be the perfect drum pattern that only an experienced drum player could know to suggest. Or maybe it will be a chord inversion suggestion from a bass player to enhance the groove and flow of a chord progression.
When you let others into your creative process, magic happens.
Also, don’t forget that session musicians are people who love music too. They have dedicated themselves to their craft and care about making art that sounds great.
When you work with session musicians, and they offer their ideas and validate yours, it’s hard not to gain confidence in your project. This ultimately makes the whole creative process much more fun.
And that’s what you’re ultimately aiming for, right? To make music and have fun.
You can’t do that by yourself.
Finding the right session musician for your project can seem like a daunting task. Many factors go into finding the perfect fit, such as their experience and price.
But you don’t have to worry about any of this!
Supreme Tracks is here to help make the process easy and stress-free. We have a pool of over 200 top session musicians, ready to record your tracks in our studios with the right feel and sound.
Learn more here.