How to Pick a Recording Studio
Picking a studio could be one of the most important decisions youll make in your music career. In todays extremely competitive music industry, your CD is your calling card, and the right record could be a tremendous asset in opening doors and furthering your career. A poor sounding or poorly produced disc could be a huge detriment and set you back irrevocably. It is important to make sure you put your best foot forward. Here are a few tips to help you know what to look for when deciding upon a studio.
Make sure you are recording on pro-grade gear. In todays world of accessible technology, more and more consumer product floods the market, targeting the weekend warriors and at home recording set ups. Recording is a complexly woven, fine-tuned art form with many components. Each component in the daisy chain affects the final outcome of the sound quality. Mixing consoles, microphones, pre-amps, outboard processors, analog/digital converters, monitors, even headphones – everything counts! Be sure to pick a studio that offers quality, professional grade gear to get the best sounding results.
You will be spending A LOT of time in the studio so it is important to make sure it can accommodate your needs. Make sure it is big enough and efficiently laid out so that you and your band are comfortable. Look for basic amenities such as a bathroom, refrigerator, and microwave to enable you to hunker down and work for extended periods of time. Is the studio clean, tidy, and well organized? This is often a reflection of the people running the studio, how they treat their gear, and how they like to work. How does the studio sound? Has it been sound-proofed and acoustically treated? Walk to different parts of the studio and clap your hands to check for room tone. Does the studio have more than one tracking room? This is important if you want to achieve complete track separation while recording simultaneous parts. And finally, does it have a good vibe? Will you be focused yet relaxed while working there?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the personnel behind the recording studio. These are the folks who will play a major role in helping you achieve your desired goals. Studios are often on relatively level playing fields in terms of gear and space, so then it comes down to personalities, know-how, and ears. Make sure you like the engineer and producer you will be working with. Do they seem easy to communicate with? How much experience do they have and are they familiar with the kind of music you play? Look for a place that views you as more than just a paying customer. Ideally, a studio should be interested in seeing you take your music to the next level. The better your CD does, the better the studio does. Make sure the people you are working with approach your project this way. How many other projects are the producer and engineer involved with at the same time as yours? Are their plates too full? Do not pick a studio if you do not feel you will be given a high level of individualized attention. Look for a place that goes beyond the call of duty. Find a studio that views your project as a partnership of sorts a production team that is willing to put its all into making the best project possible as well as willing to promote it even after it is completed.
WORK SAMPLES & REFERRALS
Don’t pick a studio without visiting it first and meeting with the people you will be working with. Be sure to get recorded samples of the studios work and a list of references. Be sure you like the tone and production style of the recorded samples. Talk to others who have recorded there and get their take on their experience.