You’ve got music, you’ve tried recording it on your own, but something is missing. It’s difficult to record, mix, and master your own music and have it sound just right.
That’s because there’s much involved in the process, and a lot of skill goes into crafting a great recording. The best route is to hire a recording studio and work with someone who can bring out the best in your music.
It’s tough to know what recording studio features to look for, though. We’re going to take a look at how to choose a recording studio today, giving you some insight into what to look out for.
If you’re looking for a great recording studio to work with, explore our site to see if we would be a good fit for your band and your music.
Any musician has a friend or two who would love to record their band.
“Come over! We’ll do the whole album in no time!”
That friend tends to produce low-quality recordings because they haven’t had the experience working with bands before. There’s a whole process that goes into recording each instrument, each layer, and managing artistic integrity from start to finish.
The first thing you should look out for when choosing a recording studio is the presence of existing work. Take a look at the other bands or artists that the studio has worked with and see if the recordings are what you’re after.
It isn’t as if a studio just makes a recording sound good. The engineer offers their own personal flavor to the music, and that quality shines through in the finished product. So, make sure that the imprint you hear on the other recordings is something you’d want to hear on your own.
Additionally, experience working with various groups gives the studio engineer practice handling the creation of others. You wouldn’t want someone to stifle your ability and tell you exactly what to do. Instead, you want someone who knows how to get things done while bringing out your best qualities. That can only come from experience.
A good studio session should come equipped with a variety of gear for you and your band to explore.
You’ll utilize any of your own equipment that you’re comfortable with, of course, but it’s always nice to have great instruments at your disposal when inspiration strikes. A close listen to most great records reveals a world of subtle touches, many of which come from instruments that don’t dominate the track.
Having those tools in your presence might be enough to produce the idea that will take your music to the next level. You might also have limited gear of your own.
A good studio should have options for you if your personal gear is a little worse for the wear.
The same idea extends out to the recording equipment used in the studio sessions.
Microphones, interfaces, recording software, and a selection of cables should all be at hand and ready to be used. A good engineer understands how to streamline the process of setting these things up and working them into a session.
Be careful when you ask about the gear at a particular studio, though, because the engineer might have a lot more to say about it than you have time for. That’s a good sign, though.
Someone who understands and loves their gear is someone that will use it to help you make something beautiful.
You don’t have to be best friends with the people who work at the studio, but know that you’re going to put in a lot of work together.
There’s no science to recording a good piece of music, so you’ll be collaborating with ideas and methods of recording with the engineer and others who work at the recording studio. Someone that you don’t like or don’t trust might not be able to provide the experience you’re looking for.
Look for someone who gives you the impression that they’ll understand what you’re going for.
See that they’ll give you the respect you deserve and put work into creating your project.
You can gather this impression from a phone call or two with the studio, but you’ll also be able to gather a lot by the way the studio is set up and designed. If the space feels conducive to your creativity, that’s a good sign.
That said, some recording engineers are notoriously hard to work with but produce excellent results. That isn’t to say that amiable and friendly engineers aren’t excellent as well, but note that there could be an element of giving and take.
Things to Note Before You Book Studio Time
It’s important to mention that studio time is just that, time. What the studio and the artist do with that time depends largely on how the artist comes to the session.
Preparation is a huge advantage when it comes to making the most of your time and money. A well-prepared band also tends to make music that sounds tighter on the finished recording.
There’s always room for exploration and spontaneity, but note that it’s difficult to conceive a whole album in the span of a few days with some studio time. It’s easy to browse YouTube videos of iconic recording sessions and get the impression that all of those songs were written and recorded in one instance.
It doesn’t always go down like that, though, so it’s important to have a clear vision of what you’re working toward and allow the studio engineers to fill in the blanks where they can.
Naturally, all art is a little different and artists have unique approaches. Your approach might require a little more improvisation than others. Make sure to have a talk with the studio you plan to work with about how you’re going about the process of preparation.
They might have some insightful things to say and encourage you to do a couple of things to get ready for your sessions.
Looking to Book a Recording Studio?
Hopefully, the ideas above will be helpful as you try to find the right place to actualize your music. There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing a recording studio, but it’s well worth it when you hear the final product.