Preparing to record should include some important homework. A song list, lyric sheets (for your producer/engineer), instrument breakdown for each song, and a guide to tracking should be formulated in the pre-production process. Of course, rehearsal is the place you find agreement on the details for the elements in your recording.
The day of your first session you will already have a good idea of how things will progress. Plan to arrive in advance of your session so you’re not waiting for someone to get started. If one of your players (probably the drummer) requires more set-up time, have them scheduled to arrive in advance of the other players.
Expect more time than you think for set-up. Players will need to play alone for the engineer to get their sound dialed in. While that is taking place, the process will go much faster if there’s not a lot of distraction with extraneous conversation or other instruments playing.
Once set-up is done, your engineer will probably ask you to play a short rehearsal just to make sure that the levels you’ve given him in set-up are indeed what you will be reproducing in performance. (Performers are famous for giving 110% in performance, thus blowing the roof off of the levels set during set-up.)
By now, (thanks for your patience) everyone should be ready to cut that first take. With everyone indicating that they are “ready to roll” your engineer will give you a “standby” (that means get ready to play) and “rolling” indicates that you are now recording. When you finish the take it’s important that you let every instrument “ring out”. It’s often overlooked that when you hit that final chord the note continues to ring. You want to make sure that no one steps on that ring out and that you successfully capture the decay of that note until it has evaporated completely.