OK, we have had so many people ask us for some tips about recording so here it goes. Like it or hate it, this is what we think! Just because you can record at home on your laptop does not mean you should! Studios exist for a reason. That reason is not just to play with nice gear but they exist to make money while playing with nice gear! Remember that studio owners are doing what they do as a business while most local artists, bands, and solo acts are pursuing music for a HOBBY. Our business is helping you make the most out of your music in an professional, comfortable environment and supply you with the high end equipment and acoustics you cannot do in your bedroom.
So, please keep a few things in mind when you visit a high end recording studio.
1. The equipment in the studio costs a lot of money. A real studio will typically spend more on microphones than what a high end auto mechanics shop will spend on all of their tools combined. If a studio is charging you $80 per hour, remember that your mechanics shop has less equipment costs and they are probably charging you $90 per hour these days. Just like your mechanic, we have bills to pay. The building you are sitting in costs money. Aside from the maintenance, there is the payment and of course the property taxes, the internet connection, the garbage bill, and the water bill, and the monthly security system monitoring etc… Even after we cover the costs of the building and doing business, we also have our own personal home, mortgages, rent, car payments, medical bills etc just like everyone else does! Studio owners are people too!
2 The equipment you are recording with costs a lot of money and needs maintenance and repairs. The air conditioning in the building is expensive to run as is all of the equipment you are using. It is not uncommon for a recording studios monthly power bill to be well over $500 per month. These costs are factored into our hourly, weekly, and daily rates.
SOOOOO…..To make sure you are going to get the best product possible when you go to a high end recording studio, try to keep the following things in mind. A little bit of preparation goes a very long ways!!!
!. Know your songs! – I cannot count how many times people have come into the studio and someone didn’t know the song or their part. If your music is not prepared and you burn through all of your recording budget just rehearsing because people were not prepared.
2. Make sure your guitars intonate! If you spend all of your time trying to tune your guitar or bass and are fighting the intonation every time you move your hand to a different spot on the neck, we cannot fix it in the mix!
3. If you are a drummer make sure your kit has fresh heads and that you know how to tune them. If you need help we can assist you with that but knowing how to tune up your kit for your particular sound is very important.
4. Keep the distractions to a minimum. I know all 25 of your girlfriends/boyfriends/buddies/relatives etc want to show up and watch. The will be a distraction. Aside from the distraction many times the studios will be small or cramped, the bathrooms may only be able to accommodate so many people per hour, and the HVAC systems are typically designed for a certain amount of bodies in the building at any given time. Keep the number of people down to only those that need to be there! If you want to get the most bang for your buck, keep the distractions to a minimum.
5. All real recording studios are smoke free facilities. If you need to smoke then do it out side please. As an engineer having to stop everything that is going on with the session to kick someones teeth in for smoking in the bathroom, or in the lounge, or in the main room is also a distraction. One time I came into my old studio and found a guy with his feet up on my desk, talking on my phone, smoking a blunt. Nice. I kicked him out and he couldn’t understand why I was doing that as he cussed me all the way out the door. Bye Bye…..
6. Remember you are RENTING the space, the gear, and the engineer for a specific time. You do not own the building so please show respect for the place. No spitting on the floor, feet on furniture that is not designed to have feet put on it, pick up after yourself etc. Basically just don’t be rude. Treat it like you are a guest in someones house because even though you are paying, you are.
7. Singers——-Oh man………If you need throat lausenges please bring them with you but do not spit them out on the floor. If you sing wildly with your hands and bump into the mic stand holding a very expensive mic, expect to have a much less expensive mic placed in front of you. Also since you are a singer it needs to be said that the world does not revolve around you.
Also you can go into another room and do some warm up while others are doing their tracking and over dubs. That way when it is your turn we won’t have to burn through $500 of your valuable money while you are getting warmed up.
Also you should know that many of the microphones we use are sensitive enough to pick up the sound of the saliva on your teeth from 20 feet away. This is so that they can capture the sound of your voice and instruments accurately. Because they are so sensitive, it will also pick up the sound of your dangling earrings, bracelets, wild looking necklaces, lip gloss, and any crazy clothing. Dress simply for the studio if at all possible. The more extra unwanted noise that comes into a microphones the more time will be wasted either fixing them or retaking the tracks.
MORE TO COME AS TIME PERMITS!