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Advice Needed! Choosing a studio for my band's CD

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by FungusHumungous, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Hey all,
    I have a dilemna that I need advice. Hopefully, some of you have enough experience or knowledge to help me out. Here goes,
    I am in a hard rock band with 3 other high school/college aged guys. We've been playing really seriously for about 8 months with 3 hour practices about 3 times a week. Currently we have about 7 songs done and are seriously looking into recording in order to promote shows, display our talent, and sell when we do have live shows. This CD is not a demo, but will be recorded professionally as we are quite serious about our music. Currently we're looking for studios to record in and we have come upon 2 choices.
    Studio A is run by an owner of a small shop called Guitar Hangar -high end guitars and amps and what not. The studio is run in his basement, is set up for 'live' recording and he records to DAT through his console(I still need details on his equipment). He has recorded local singer-songwriters, Ian Hunter, and Dennis Dunaway of Alice Cooper fame. His rates are 75$ an hour. Selling guitars is his main job, producing seems to be more of a jobby.
    Studio B is run by a teacher of one of the guitarists in his home/studio. The control room is set above the live room which has 18 foot vaulted ceilings. The owner is a producer and music teacher who is confident in his abilities to get the best performance out of a musician/vocalist, etc. He suggests recording the album in pieces because of our budget- He would record drums, I could record guitars at my house using Pro Tools, send the guitar tracks to his studio to add vocals and mix. His rates are 50$ an hour for drums and 65$ an hour for everything else, but these rates are for a limited time as he is in a slow time of the year(as most studios are). His studio features Pro tools, Soundcraft Ghost console, an Iso/vocal booth, vaulted ceiling live room, etc.
    Our budget is 600$ and we will be fully prepared to record in 3 weeks 7 songs. We do not want to compromise by recording 4 songs, nor do we want to compromise tonal quality- we are not the average high school band.
    So here the dilemna lies- Are the benefits of one more obvious to you all than another? Will there truly be a difference if we spend 7 hours in one studio doing live recording, dubs, vocals, and mixing in one rather than splitting that same money up between drums, vocals, and mixing and having a lot of time to spend on recording dual guitars at my house for free?
    This situation is turning into near-arguments between myself and the singer/guitarist/friend. I don't want this to be something that hurts the band and I do not want to compromise sound quality.
    It's easy to say I need to make the decision myself but any advice you can add beside that would be greatly appreciated.

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Your biggest problem is your BUDGET.

    $600 at those rates gives 8-10 hours total studio time. That's OK for a 3-4 song demo but if you want a well done 7 song CD, forget it...you'll need way more time.

    Between tracking, overdubbing and mixing it's easy to spend 4 hours or more per song...meaning you'd need at least 25-30 hours to get the job done.

    Sorry if I sound like a wet blanket here.

    Notice I haven't addressed the studios at all...your second option allowing you to record the guitars at home MIGHT get you by budget wise but now you are depending on your own expertise with Pro Tools to get good guitar tracks so that when the engineer gets them for mixing they will actually be usable.

    So the way I see it you have to compromise somewhere unless you can come with more money (yes, I know that may be impossible).