record myself or go to a demo studio

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by wescattle, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. wescattle

    wescattle Member

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    after trying to record my entire band with my tascam dp-01fx i realized that i should maybe leave it to the pros. We used the mixer outs on my behringer mixer to the stereo INs on the dp-01fx. When i went to listen to to the tracks there was nothing there, on one song it was just distortiotn. There is a decent recording studio about 25 minutes from my house and looks suitable for a 4 song demo. Its 40$ an hour and i figured for 4 songs we could maybe end up recording a nice demo in about 3 hours. Its not a serious demo, just one for getting gigs.
    Ive been told that 2 to 3 hours is def not enough time and that i would need 25 to 30 hours. That seems ridicoulous. So i was just wondering, should i try to get my dp-01fx system up and running (behringer mixer into the dp-01) or should i just go pro for the extra cash.

    here is the site

    http://www.briansstudio.com



    info on my band....

    we are a 3 peice 2 guitars, vocals and drummer
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    1. It would take 2 hours just to set up. That would leave 1 hour for tracking and mixing. The fastest I've done an acceptable club demo is around 10 hours, and that was working fast with a very good band.

    2. $40/hr. for that studio is steep. For that price you should be able to get a nice mid-level room, w/real mics and outboard.

    3. You've got nothing to lose by trying it yourself. If it sucks, you've lost nothing but an eveming or two of rehearsal. Better yet, get someone to videotape you at a gig or rehearsal and make a DVD of it - then the clubowners will get to see what the band looks like as well, and the sound quality won't be as much of an issue.

    Loudboy
     
  3. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I'd pass on that studio. It's project level gear at best and the rooms look like they have lots of parallel surfaces with minimal acoustic treatment =BAD.

    It looks like someone who did live sound and used their leftover gear for a project studio. Wouldn't pay $40/hr for it.

    Practice with your own gear on your own and learn it. You will never regret it.
     
  4. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    If your recorder isn't working, try a cassette deck, line in on a pc soundcard, VHS HiFi, borrrow or rent an ADAT for cheap. Learn to use your stuff.

     
  5. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    This ii not expert opinion here, but there is a lot to be said in favor of just walking in and letting someone else have the hassle of capturing the band sound.

    A 4 song demo in 3 hours seems a bit or two optimitistic, so, ask the studio for an estimate and decide on what process you want to use i.e. live, overdubs, etc., and how much mixing/mastering time you are willing to pay for.
     
  6. therigaletto

    therigaletto Member

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    going to have to agree and say pass on that studio. If you are going to go the studio demo route though, the best possible way to get your money's worth is to have all the songs structure and all your parts nailed so you dont have to "waste tape"...I know everythings digital now, but I still like the term :)
     
  7. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    As Matte is fond of saying, that's a process, not an event.

    Have you ever tried tracking a full band, live, with prosumer gear?
     
  8. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    +1. If you do go the studio route, know 3-4 songs down cold so there's no questions, everything tracks quickly. If you know your stuff you can do a 4-song demo comfortably in 2 8-hour sessions.
     
  9. Antero

    Antero Member

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    I'd pass on that place. You can definitely find a better studio for less money.

    BUT

    You will definitely see great benefits recording in a real studio, so it's worth tracking one down.

    BUT

    You will need a full day at minimum. If you think you can get 4 songs recorded in three hours, you will be in for a nasty surprise.
     
  10. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    For my last project I recorded and mixed a full record of very complex music with odd instrumentation (including a flute, upright bass, farfisa organ...) in 2 days so it CAN be done.

    But all my guys were seasoned pros and I had good charts and we went in meaning business (but with ZERO rehearsal!) and cut six rather long pieces. Two takes each... more on one or two of the more difficult ones. tracked live. Mixed the next day (to 1/2" tape even). However I had very definite ideas of the sounds I wanted and was working with a good engineer so it all went smoothly. BE WARNED though that this is the exception rather than the rule.

    All that to say that you can save MUCH time and money by having your ducks in a row BEFORE you go in and start rolling tape. Things always can and do go wrong though.
     
  11. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes I have.

     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>I'd pass on that place. You can definitely find a better studio for less money.<<

    I'm surprised at you guys. You have no idea whether the guy operating the gear is good, great, or not good. It's not about the gear, it's about how it's used.

    If all you want to do is rent some equipment, go do that. If you want a good record, it's about who's making it, not what's making it.

    Sorry. I really feel strongly about this. I've heard garbage coming out of million dollar rooms, and killer things coming out of very ordinary rigs, if the right person is at the helm. In this day and age especially, a "better studio" is all about the people operating it. And 40 bucks an hour is silly cheap. Imagine trying to pay rent and make a living on that kind of take.

    I wouldn't work for that number with NO overhead.
     
  13. wescattle

    wescattle Member

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    i understand
    ill let this thread sink to the bottom and make another on getting my tascam dp-01 working
    thanks
     
  14. dhines

    dhines Member

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    Without knowing more about the quality of your music, or the reason why you need to record, I would offer the following input...

    1) Sgt. Peppers, and other great albums, excelled sonically because of one thing. TIME. They had the time to record the songs and experiment, capturing the best performance and arrangement.

    2) Great songs are ALWAYS easy to record in ANY setting. If you've got good, undeniable material - any recording format will capture it and any listener will know it.

    So maybe you should lean towards investing a few hundred dollars in good home recording equipment, preferably something like Cakewalk (ProTools, etc...) for computer recording. Lexicon Omega?
     
  15. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

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    I agree with all of this it is what you do with the kit not what it is:

    The number of home recording studios is great but just to set up a compressor correctly takes a lifetime of experience.
     
  16. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Gotta agree with Gary (and Les). Request his demo reel and listen in.
     
  17. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    While I agree that the engineer is the most important part of the picture, I think the point being made is that in today's super-competitive market, you CAN have it all. $40/hr. will get you some nice outboard, top-name mics and an engineer who really knows what he's doing.

    $40/hr. is high for what that guy's offering - both gearwise and sonically, if you'll listen to his samples. You could do that for $25/hr. at a dozen places around here.

    As to your last comment, both the studio owner and I make money at $35/hr. - he's been doing it for over 20 years, I'm heading into year 7, next month. Sure, our wives work, but whose don't? My house and car are paid off, we've got very nice retirement savings programs going, carry no debt load and take 2-3 vacations/year. Our lifestyles are very comparable to those who make much more... In fact, I'd have to say we're much happier than most, because we don't have to support the huge superstructure of crap most people build, as an attempt to make themselves feel worthy.

    Due to the white male/white collar skew on boards like these, it's very easy to forget that the average US household income is about $43,000/yr., which means that it's totally possible to live a more than satisfactory lifestyle, on what many people here would consider chump change. It's done through not buying into the false promises of consumerism, a little hard work early on and showing some self-control. And while it's a PITA every now and then, it's VERY nice to have music be a part of almost everything I do.

    Sorry for the rant, and I still think dude should go into a studio. <g>

    Loudboy
     
  18. covert

    covert Member

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    If you, and the rest of your band are really well prepared, or have failry low standards, you might get 4 songs done in 3 hours.

    5 minutes of music to one hour of work is a fairly common ratio.

    $40/hour is a quite reasonable amount for studio with engineer.

    You don't say much about the purpose of your recording. 4 songs isn't an album project, unless they are endless prog pieces. Is it a demo for yourselves? To send to possible gig bookers? an ep to sell at gigs? Appropriate levels of investment for these uses might vary.
     
  19. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Not much music that i'd want to hear, i'm afraid!
     
  20. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    For a local/regional release, standard production level, we use 12-15 hrs./song as our benchmark. It's right about 90% of the time.

    It could be much less for a club demo - but I'd have a hard time doing anything that would very good in less than 10 hrs. for 4 songs. And that would be if the band was REALLY on it, and it was very basic stuff.

    Loudboy
     

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