Practice!If the band can't play through the song without making mistakes, then you might not be ready to record that song yet. Take the time to practice the songs you want to track thoroughly. This isn't to say that you can't be creative in the studio, but it's a lot cheaper to be creative on your own time.
If the clock starts running whether you're there or not, be on time. Even if you are not being charged, the last thing you need is a hacked off recording engineer.There is a cancellation policy for no shows.
Make yourself comfortable in the studio. If it's not a relaxed place, it will show in your finished product.
Make sure you and the engineer have the same vision - go over your songs with him/her before recording.Be clear and concise with this communication as this time is generally on the clock.
Determine how many tracks you think you will need to capture the essential parts of your song?Less is often best, and can simplify the mixdown process.Make sure your concept is communicated clearly to the engineer.His feedback regarding your thoughts can be quite valuable, can save you money, and it never hurts to feed him well too.
Use good strings, cords, drum sticks and heads - and bring spares!
Drummers should put on new heads about 1 week before the session. The snare head should be replaced immediately before the session, and if you're doing more than one or two songs, consider bringing extra snare heads. Nothing sounds as good recorded as a fresh snare head. Guitarists should put a new set of strings on at least a few days before the session and make certain to set your intonation carefully! Bring extra strings. Bass players can replace their strings, although new bass strings can be overly metallic. Changing bass strings a week or two before the session is a good idea.
Get your gear and yourself in shape. Don't show up for a session that you're paying for with gear that doesn't work properly, cables that cut out, batteries that are going dead, blown speakers, squeeking drum hardware and sick people and expect to have a great sounding recording.
Let people know you're busy! You don't want to be called in to work half-way through your session. Everyone involved needs to clear their schedules for the recording sessions.
Don't try out new gear or different equipment that you have never used before, even if it's "better than yours." Surprises can cause HUGE problems that can break your budget!
Thank you for contributing to the Indie music scene! Without you, music would be uninspired and all sound the same.