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Recording studio cost

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by megabass153, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. megabass153


    Mar 27, 2009
    How much does a good recording studio cost with a budget below $400?
  2. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    excuse me...?
  3. $399.99

    And with Kalle... What is it that you are actually asking here?
  4. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    A good studio will cost millions. That's why few of us buy studios.:ninja:

    If you're talking about renting studio time, $400 will typically buy you about 20 hours at a *very* low-end project studio, or 10 hours at a better established low-end joint. That's enough time to track and mix a good demo for a well-rehearsed band that has its gear, song arrangements, and instrument tones in order.

    Shop around. The $40/hr place won't necessarily be better than the $20 joint. Book time based less on the studio than the person you'll be recording with. Find someone who has a lot of recording experience in your band's genre (metal, blues, klezmer, whatever), and whose work sounds good to you.

    Assuming a bare minimum quality and amount of gear, the results a professional sounding band will get from a low-end studio depends a *lot* less on the gear than on the ears and experience of whoever is tracking and mixing. At that hourly rate, the quality of tracking and mixing ranges from bargain-rate professionalism to almost criminal incompetence. Listen to samples of work done at that studio by whoever will be working on *your* sessions. Also, I'd recommend contracting to book time with the tracking/mixing "engineer(s)" you want to work with. And if you just book time at a low-end place without specifying who runs tracking and mixing, you could end up with an absolute newbie ruining your session.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That question needs a lot of help. But it's entertaining.
  6. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    400 bucks is better spent as a start to building your own project studio
  7. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
  8. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    here in Los Angeles, $400 will get you about 20 minutes of studio time with an engineer. No mixing, no mastering, no rough mix onto a CDR, no nuthin.

    The least expensive I could find was $1500.00 for two days tracking and mixing of four songs.
  9. I know what you are getting at, and I made that same decision, but if I wanted good results without having to deal with the learning curves(s) that recording a decent demo involves I would definitely say: find an inexpensive project studio, one that knows your style of music and has some results that you like the sound of, and see how much you can get for your $400. You will have access to better gear and experienced people and you will have a nice product for less than the price one good mic.
  10. Stiv


    Oct 10, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    Perhaps I'm biased, as I own a small studio and occasionally do sessions at a big one, but shop around and listen and talk to people and research the process and most importantly: do some pre-production. As far as I'm concerned, $400 can get you a great sounding demo, or half a record (minus mastering costs). You need to find someone yes that gets good sound onto tape, but more importantly is efficient and bills accordingly. Talk to bands that have worked with an engineer that you're considering and ask those kinds of questions. Guns don't kill people, remember? Gear matters very little relatively to efficiency and profficiency of both the engineer and musicians. Know your **** before hand, and have a meeting with the engineer beforehand to discus the process, songs, sound, etc. Any good engineer will be happy to do this, because believe it or not, he wants your record to sound badass. It's his reputation on the line.
  11. phall2112


    Dec 31, 2008
    get to know people in town, check the local music shops for people who have home recording studios. for that kind of scratch you can find someone who a recording set up in there basement and get some good tracks.
  12. Local studio rates here in central VA range from $15/hr to $200/hr. I'm currently working on a project at a studio that charges $75/hr. This is the second project I've done there.

    The first one we did six songs in about 10 hours and I'm pretty sure that included mixing. We were going for demo quality, but I think we got something better than that.

    Preproduction (practice and planning) is certainly key to the process.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Depends on how good your band is, if everyone listens to each other, and sound is well balanced already. As far back as 4 track recorders have been available, some bands have recorded with them and had hit albums. Other bands need individual tracks, re-dubs, and a lot more mixdown work.
  14. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    With only $400 you will have to replace the word "good" with "bare bones". Whether that is building a project studio or renting time in a studio.
  15. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    You're not looking nearly hard enough. Half a grand will get you a whole day at places like In Fidelity, and there must be hundreds of $20-40/hr project studios in the area (more, if you don't mind recording in some dude's Gramercy Pl bedroom).

    That's not an endorsement, but I don't get the feeling the OP is looking for a top-flight/top-dollar joint.
  16. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    Good point, although my estimate was a bit sarcastic.

    I also like the post about the band being ready, +1 for that!
  17. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
    To be fair, my favorite place to record at has a rate of 40/hour and several well known national/international acts have recorded there.

    I've definitely spent more at other places and got less. But I've never spent less and got more! :D

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