Q: How much does recording cost?
Our studio rate is $50 per hour. This includes the use of the studio, the equipment, and an engineer. Tax is included in the price.
Q: Why does recording cost so much?
Recording studios are providing a service. We feel our prices are extremely reasonable and clients are getting a great value for their money. As a service, you are essentially paying for use of the following:
1. Renting the facility.
The large studio room, the isolation room, the control room, the building and parking lot, etc. Space is not free.
2. Renting the equipment. The microphones, microphone preamps, mixing equipment, computer, computer interface, software, studio monitors, cabling, mic stands, headphones, etc. A considerable investment has been made to have professional gear available.
3. Paying for someone to connect everything and operate the equipment. Someone with training and years of practical experience.
4. This is a business so all the regular business expenses are included. Billing, invoicing, insurance, permits, taxes, etc.
Q: Can I get a discount on the price if I record a full album?
Everything is negotiable but we feel the introductory price is already a great value.
Q: Our band does not have a lot of money. Is there some way we can record a demo that we can afford?
Check out our “Recording Scenarios” web page to see if you fit into one of the typical situations we have come across. You may be surprised how affordable a project can be if you prepare properly.
Q: Why should I/we pay for a recording studio when I/we can record it ourselves cheaper?
Good question. Think of the term “value” instead of “cost”. Is “cheaper” the main goal? How often does “cheaper” mean “better”?
Many “project” or “home” studios can create fine recordings. In our experience, the biggest differences between professional recording studios and DIY recordings have a lot to do with:
1. Microphone selection- this can be a huge investment. Ultimately, the mic is what’s capturing the sound.
2. Microphone preamp selection- another costly investment. The mic preamp helps ensure you are getting all you can from the mic.
3. The size of the recording room and its acoustic treatment. Most DIY-ers simply can’t allocate a lot of space for recording in a live room.
4. The total number of inputs that can be recorded simultaneously. One or two inputs severely limits the recording possibilities. We currently have
24 32 mic inputs that can be recorded at the same time.
5. The processing power of the recording computer. Recording up to 32 inputs and playing back tracks takes a lot of computing horsepower. A lot of processor, a lot of memory, a lot of bandwidth.
But the biggest difference we’ve experienced is with the people who run the studio.
Anyone can lease a building, buy the equipment, set up a computer (or struggle with an ancient tape machine), drag out an old ADAT or two or three, and hit “record”. But having someone there to guide you can be invaluable to streamlining the process. Someone who has years of experience in recording, playing, writing, and teaching.
A more subtle factor that is not talked about much- when you are paying for a service you are more conscious of the amount of time you are taking. Think about it. If time is “free” there is less incentive to prepare so the entire process can easily take 2-3 times as long.
And how much value is there when something is “free”?