Years ago I recorded 2 demos with my old band right about a year apart from eachother. The first demo was our first professional studio experience. To say the least, we were not prepared. The songs were sketchy, off tempo and sloppy. We hadn’t even written all the guitar parts yet. The engineer told us after the fact what we needed to work on and how we needed to have all parts planned and practiced. He also told us to get comfy with a click track. I was thankful for his honesty. A year later we had the cash saved for our next demo and we spent months practicing to a click, nailing our parts and polishing our skills. The second time around, the final product quite honestly sounded commercial. Give or take a few timing and pitch issues(hey we were in high school still).
There are two perspectives here. One from the band or artist, the other from the engineer. If you have you ever had somebody come in to record that wasn’t anywhere near prepared, you know how frustrating it can be. Most of the time you end up hitting record over and over and over again while they try to either decide on what to play, or try to nail down an acceptable take. Super boring and really not a very fun time. Usually the musician winds up flustered and dissappointed with the final product.
Bottom line: if you are the musician, have your crap together. Be ready to go. Be well versed in the material and know what you will be playing/singing. If you are the engineer, make a point of communicating this info to the person or group before hand. This may be old news for some of you, but there is always someone out there that wished they had heard it long ago. Hope it helps. Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers!