Recording Studio Prices

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by rodr55, Jan 22, 2006.


  1. rodr55

    rodr55 Member

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    What are average costs for a recording studio? My band is thinking about putting togethor a CD. The band is made up of Guitar, Guitar/Vox, Bass/Backup Vox, Drummer.

    If the songs are not too complex what is the average time it takes to recording a song?

    Thanks
     
  2. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    That is a tough ??? First have all the material prepared and well rehearsed. Once in the studio it all changes. Some get the nerves ...sometimes there are tempo problems....what if one guy screws up his part but the take is good?....punch in the part? ...do the track over? There is the studio itself....will the drums sound the way you thought they would/..... Guitars and bass?.... vocal mics and blend....harmonies ? .... record all at once? Does the studio owner allow for set up time.
    the list goes on.........If a song is 3 mins. long it should take 3 mins to record right?............well it does but there are alot of variables.
    Being in the studio is like being under a microscope. All things are revealed.
    If you can record your rehearsals -w- a decent stereo recorder {not a cassette job... something digital} you can get a handle on alot of these things before the money starts to flow.
    And always keep the the first take......... sometimes it is the best!!!
    Rico
     
  3. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    Regardless of how many songs you do, if it takes around 4 hours setting up levels/recording and 2 hours mixing/mastering....call up your local studios and get their rates.
    Sounds like a minimum of $500 if it's any kind of studio beyond someone's
    personal home studio...?
     
  4. covert

    covert Member

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  5. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    you need to look at studio rates in your area and remember that studio rates don't alway include the engineer and assistant engineer. a good room with great equipment will be approximately 500-600$ for a 12 hr lockout. you could probably find a funkier project studio for a lot less and that may be all you need.

    good luck.
     
  6. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    For a self-produced, "indie level" quality record, you can expect it to take about 12-15 hrs. per song, if you track basics in groups of 3-4. Any less and you'll be cutting corners on some aspects. Much more and you can get into diminishing returns. The band must be well-rehearsed, competent and have a very clear idea of what they're going to do. That's the biggest determining factor.

    It depends on the style, but I've done a TON of records like this and 90% of them fit that budget. If the studio you're looking at can't give you results that sound at least 85% as good as major label productions, you should look elsewhere, IMHO.

    You can get a decent room for $35-50/hr.

    Most important, in order:

    1. An engineer who is good, and understands what you're trying to do.

    2. A nice acoustic space.

    3. A decent selection of gear.

    Schedule a meeting, see if you like the folks that own the studio. Every room has a "vibe" - you should place that over a studio having the best gear. Provided your engineer is competent (at that $ level, it should be a given) the vibe will be a bigger factor in how your project comes out, than having the latest and greatest gear. Listen to projects that have come out of that studio, and more importantly, ask other bands who've recorded there if they dug it, and if they'd go back.

    Good luck,

    Loudboy
     
  7. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

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    I respectively disagree with the first sentence from the prior post; if my band took 12 - 15 hours per song, it would have taken a whole week to record our last album and it would have been cost prohibitive.

    We're fortunate to be located in Chicago and we scraped together enough money to record with Steve Albini at his studio (Electrical Audio). He's raised his personal rates since then, but lowered his room rates. When we go back, we won't be able to afford him, but we'll record with either Russ or Greg who are both accomplished engineers in their own right. We did seven tracks in two days plus a couple of hours on a third day. Let me say right now that Albini is a genius in the studio and an absolute pleasure to work with. Don't believe any of the b.s. you read in the press about him; he couldn't have been a more easy-going fellow. Best of all, he gave us exactly what we wanted: a record that sounds like our band.

    It's hard to find a good engineer because in my opinion, you want someone who not only has a lot of experience and technical knowledge, but more importantly, someone who doesn't have an attitude and wants to impose their own aesthetic sense on your music. Perhaps most important is finding someone who can communicate effectively with the band. Unfortunately, all these things are tough to verify when you're shopping for an engineer.

    Check out Electrical's website: www.electrical.com. They have a session rate calculator plus an extensive catalog of all their gear. Furthermore, there's a forum you can explore and post on to perhaps solicit some suggestions from people there about who you could go to in NJ.

    If you can swing the trip to Chicago, book a long weekend with Greg or Russ and bunk at the studio.

    And I would echo the earlier sentiments from some of the previous posts - know the songs you're going to do backwards and forwards before you go into the studio. Know what instruments will be played on each track. Know how you want to lay down basic tracks. Know how you want to do vocals. Know which parts you're going to overdub or layer. The more you iron those things out in pre-production, the quicker things will move along in the studio and the less you'll spend.

    You can hear the results from my band's recording at Electrical by going to our website and streaming or downloading the audio tracks for free: http://www.therolls.net/trading_punches_with_allah.htm.

    Good luck!
     
  8. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    We've done several projects which went quicker, but it's not the norm. Last summer we did an old school punk album in 32 hours, for 14 songs. I'm just saying that our average project, with an average band, takes about that long.

    You guys sound like you're very good players and your arrangements were pretty no-frills, so I can understand why it went quick. Electrical is strictly analog too, if I'm correct, which means that you didn't spend hours massaging things in the DAW, which probably accounts for 25-30% of time spent on a typical project.

    Cool songs and great recording, I dug it...

    Loudboy
     
  9. rodr55

    rodr55 Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the info. I didn't realize there was so much that was invovled. We need to really think about what we want to do and how.
     
  10. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    beautiful recording! nice work! :AOK
     

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