How Long Does it Take to Record an Album?

By Steven Yessick

Level of Preparation

Studio time is a necessity for any professional musician. The time spent recording in a studio varies. If the artists are very familiar with the material and can play it well every time, recording will be easier. With many artists, recording is something that is done when they are not touring. Most artists are required to pay for studio time. If the musicians have made the necessary preparations prior to the recording sessions, the length of time spent recording will be minimized. If the artist cannot afford spending months recording an album, they should know exactly how the songs should sound. The fewer takes of a song, the shorter the time spent recording. Such recordings could take less than a month if the band has it together.

Innovative Recording Style

Some artists have just a general idea of how the songs should sound before recording them. These artists are open to new innovations made as the recordings progress. These artists give a certain amount of control to the sound engineers. More takes are required. These artists would like to hear certain songs with or without certain elements or layers. This recording technique requires patience and collaboration between the musicians and sound engineers. Most artists desire for an album to be coherent. Some songs might not fit in with the rest of the album. These songs are then modified or replaced. The album is in a constant state of flux until it is complete. This approach to recording sometimes takes months, or even years.

Cost of Studio Time

The length of the album is a factor in the time required to record it. Some musicians just want to get their name out to the public. They need a few of their best tracks all in one place to distribute to the public. These short albums may be seven or fewer songs. Less studio time is required, and therefore these shorter albums cost less to record. The length of each song is also a contributing factor to time spent in the studio. Some artists want to record a few songs that are more than 10 minutes long. This is more of a challenge, and it takes longer. If a group is already established, they have more creative freedom because they can afford more studio time. Some artists are under contract and can record for free. Some artists produce their own recordings. This gives them unlimited creative freedom. The time spent recording is always based on the artists’ situation and level of preparation.

About the Author

Steven Yessick is a professional writer and artist. Yessick attended Clemson University Architecture school. He has an Master of Education in visual arts K-12 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is the owner and creator of yessickart.com. He has written professionally for ehow for since 2009.