You probably won’t get too many owners/managers answering, more engineers like me I’m guessing.
I would maybe listen to the band ahead of time. Try to find recordings they’ve done before and listen to how it was recorded and mixed. Try to get a sense of what they’ll be recording with you (this is possibly above and beyond what many would do, but since this is a first for you why not overdo the “recon”?) and ask them if they want stuff to sound roughly like it did on earlier records or if there’s a new direction they’re heading in, and if it’s the latter; what direction…
Do they want a “live band in a (good) room” sound or more of tighter studio sound where they’re more isolated?
Speaking of isolation, are they looking to possibly replace some parts? That’ll require a lot more isolation to be possible?
How many players and how many distinctly different headphone feeds are needed? Or do they expect to setup so they can hear acoustically?
Exactly what instruments are they bringing? And out of those instruments, how many need to be setup at all times, and how many need to be set up on short notice? (That’s all so you can estimate #inputs, pres, mics etc… My friend recorded Snarky Puppy last year and that recording was monstrous with a s@#$load of inputs because their process was basically "All these instruments need to be set up and good to go if I feel like jumping on this instrument when inspiration strikes).
Are you tracking with or without effects? If you’re using effects, will you put them on the inputs and thereby recording the effects or are you using them non-destructively?
I suppose I’d ask the mix engineer what he wants back, or whomever is responsible for such stuff. I’d probably do a backup pretty often and keep that after delivery. In addition I’d actually make it clear to them that once you hand over the content to them it’s their responsibility to create backups of it (unless they specifically pay you to do so). HDs are cheap so you can back it up and keep it for a while (after delivery), but I would actually not really make that clear because that will just encourage them to not do their part in keeping data safe.
You’ll also need to be clear on whether they want a Cubase project, and if so what version of Cubase. If not, then what do you want to hand over? If you’re delivering files, then they’ll obviously need to all start at the same time, so you’ll need to “bounce” events so they cover the same range and start at the same time. Using time-stamped Broadcast Wave Files should be a good thing as well, as they should in an ideal world be able to just drop them into a different DAW and spot to original time.
I would probably recommend making clear notes as the session goes on and then deal with a lot of this after it concludes, before delivery. And for delivery I’d just use any cheap and reasonably fast media to transfer. It could be anything from online transfer, if you have the time/space, or dedicated hard drives (and you’ll charge them for the hardware of course).
As a warning I’ll just say that in general the “worst” clients have by far been the ones with the smallest budgets. They have been the ones asking the most while paying the least, expecting everything for nothing. And they’ve had absolutely no qualms about it. I’m not saying this is what you’ll experience, but I’m just throwing it out there because one might think that people with a lower budget will be more understanding of where limits are drawn in order to keep costs down.
So speaking of limits I think I agree with ‘monster’ in that the way to keep sane here is to clearly define your role and what you are tasked with. Anything that falls outside of that agreement and you should be very careful in my experience. To some people you agreeing to do one thing that lay outside of your agreement is opening the door to a never-ending flood of requests for “just this one last favor”…