When preparing for your studio session, determine how many songs you want to include as this will impact your budget. When selecting songs, consider factors such as key, tempo, feel/groove/instrumentation, and album construction to ensure variety.
We advise carefully choosing your strongest songs in advance. While it may be tempting to plan on recording all your songs and then selecting the best later, this can lead to unnecessary studio expenses and subpar performances. By selecting your best songs beforehand, you can ensure that each one receives the necessary attention to sound its best.
You can register your songs with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) either before or after recording to collect royalties for your compositions. Writers can join a PRO for free, but can only affiliate with one. The main PROs in the United States are:
Any rehearsing or pre-production before recording will save you time in the studio and keep your budget happy.
With that in mind, it is highly encouraged, but not required to have song form and instrumentation worked out before recording to avoid delays and ensure musicians leave the proper amount of space for any overdubs (parts recorded after the main recording session) you plan to record.
If you are hiring musicians for the session, it is really helpful for them to have charts, especially if playing original music. If you are not comfortable making charts, talk to one of the band members to see if they can help you create charts for the session
You can also give a copy of the chart to the engineer to help guide the recording process. Ask your recording engineer if they would like one.
To release a cover song on your album commercially, you will need a mechanical license. Mechanical licenses can be obtained through licensing distribution companies such as:
As of March 2023, the cost for a compulsory mechanical license is 9.1¢ per copy for songs under 5 minutes. For example, if you want to make 1000 CDs, it will cost you $91 per cover song.
Streaming services often operate under a blanket license, but some distributors require a digital download license for each song before distribution. Check with your license distributor and the terms of the streaming services for more information.
Compulsory mechanical licenses require that you perform the song with the melody and lyrics in their original form. While there are many examples of artists changing melody and lyrics, doing so without express permission can result in the forfeiture of your license, even after the album is released, so proceed at your own risk.
Basic tracking is the session where the band records their tracks.
When it's time to record the final vocal or lead instrument, we bring in the singer or solo artist.
For an additional $200 setup fee, you have the option to include a video shoot during your tracking session. We also provide video editing services for recorded sessions at an hourly rate of $50. If you decide to edit with us, $100 of the setup fee will be credited towards your editing costs. If your goal is to record music for an album project while capturing video, we recommend limiting the video shoot to one or two songs, as it significantly impacts the speed of the recording process. If you are interested in shooting video off-site, please get in touch with us for a personalized quote. Visit our Gallery Page to view sample video sessions.
Once everything is recorded, the editing process begins.
After recording, tuning, and editing, we begin the mixing process to make each song sound its best.
Mastering is the final step in the recording process, which focuses on making an entire album sound as cohesive and balanced as possible. It involves adjusting the space between songs, the volume levels, and the sonic characteristics of each track to ensure they all fit together as a unified body of work. Additionally, global compression and limiting techniques are applied to the tracks to make them sound louder and more consistent.
At the end of the mastering process, you will typically receive a DDP (Digital Distribution Protocol) and/or WAV audio files at various sample rates and bit depths. These files are what you will send to your duplicator (DDP only) or distributor. Your mastering engineer may also add metadata and provide you with ISRC codes, which are unique identifiers used to mark your specific recording. However, it is becoming increasingly common for these codes to be added during the distribution process. Check with both your mastering engineer and distributor to see what the best course of action is.
For mastering services, we recommend the following mastering engineers to our clients:
Graphics include album covers, back covers, CD covers, and inside sleeves. Completing graphics before mastering ensures that the final product is ready for distribution without any delays.
Duplication is the process of turning the final master (DDP) received from your mastering engineer into a batch of CDs. Some duplicators may also function as distributors, offering both CD duplication and digital distribution services.
For duplication, we recommend the following organizations to our clients:
The approximate dimensions for each recording space are as follows:
Below is the floorplan for the studio:
Yes, we know a variety of highly skilled studio musicians in the area. We would be happy to get you in touch with them. Contact us to discuss the nature of your project so that we can find who might be the best fit for your project.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it for the first mixing session where we establish the sonic characteristics of your project and the final mixing corrections at the end of the process. You are welcome to attend all of the mixing sessions. However, once we have established the sounds in the first session, it is primarily our responsibility to apply those settings and fine-tune levels for each song. At that point, we mainly require the artist's input for revisions, which can also be conveniently done from home. In other words. You’re welcome to stay for the whole process, but after the first session, bring a book. You are also welcome to join us for editing, however, because we would have to reserve the studio to edit on-site, you would be charged for the mixing rate rather than the editing rate.
Yes, we often hop in and out of the process at different stages depending on the needs of the artist. We are happy to help in any way we can.
Yes! We encourage you to bring a hard drive to your final session to receive a copy of the raw files. We strive to have two copies of a project at all times. However, we cannot guarantee the integrity of files in perpetuity, so it is in your best interest to keep a copy of the raw files for yourself.
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own engineer. You may rent the studio for $50 / hr. It is encouraged to have your engineer contact us to ensure they have everything they need before the session.