5 steps to overcome red light fever in the recording studio

5 steps to overcome red light fever in the recording studioHave you ever gone into a studio to record your parts, only to be struck by red light fever?

The term ‘red light fever’ describes that nervous feeling that many musicians experience whilst recording. Luckily, there are a number of things that can help you to overcome your anxieties about recording. Aside from the usual things like taking regular breaks, you can follow these steps to help overcome your nerves during recordings.

Take the time to warm up in order to beat Red Light Fever:

Its really important to take the time to warm up. Firstly, because its really hard to give a good performance on your first try. But more importantly, because warming up gets you into the right frame of mind for recording. Start by warming up with exercises. Then move onto practicing the song.

Warm up so that your performances start to feel more fluid and natural. This will build your confidence as you head in to a recording session in a well prepared frame of mind. Be sure to warm up at home before hand if its likely that you’ll be expected to record as soon as you arrive at the studio. Warm up and practice as much as you need to in order to feel comfortable and confident in the performance that you’re going to give.

Tell your producer if you suffer from Red Light Fever

If you think you’re likely to struggle with red light fever in a session, then don’t hesitate to communicate this to the producer. They’ll have witnessed it many times before and they’ll probably have their own methods of helping you through the session. If you start to feel nervous whilst you’re recording, don’t be afraid to tell the producer that you want to take a break. Any good producer will appreciate your honesty and will be happy to do what ever it takes to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Beat Red Light Fever by becoming familiar with the recording process

If you don’t record regularly, then recording is likely to make you nervous. This lack of familiarity with the recording process may well trigger your red light fever. Luckily, with modern smart phones, making a recording of yourself is easier than ever. Making recordings of your self performing at home is a great way to familiarize your self with the process of recording a take. You could even purchase an app like Garage Band to make the experience even more similar to the real thing.

Get into the habit of recording your self playing and then listening to it back. Don’t worry about the quality. Just experience the process of recording your self and then hearing it. That way, when you enter a recording session to track some parts, the process of recording a take and then listening to it won’t be so unusual or intimidating. You’ll be used to it because you’ll have done it many times before. That familiarity really helps to keep red light fever at bay.

Overcome Red Light Fever by having the right people in the studio

The number of people at the studio during your session can have a massive effect on your nerves. If the control room is full of other band members listening to your take, you’ll undoubtedly feel extra nervous. There’s nothing wrong with asking to record your parts with only you and the producer in the studio. It can also help to have someone there with you that can offer advice and support whilst you record. That could be just one of your fellow band members, perhaps one who also sings if you’re recording vocals. Or this could be a friend who also plays drums if you’re the drummer, for instance. Having someone who can offer honest and reliable feedback on how the session is going should really put your mind at rest.

Listen back to your takes to help beat Red Light Fever

In order to properly gauge how your recording is going, be sure to listen back to your takes. There’s nothing wrong with asking the producer to play your takes back for you to listen to. Do this after every take if necessary. Hearing your performance played back should soon put your mind at rest if you’re worried about your takes not being good enough.

In conclusion…

If you find yourself struggling with red light fever, then don’t worry. For a start, you’re not alone! Many musicians experience this feeling. Just take your time in the studio and follow these 5 steps to overcome your nerves! By following this guide, you should take a big step forward towards enjoying the recording process, getting great takes and overcoming your nerves!


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