R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...  (Read 2103 times)

Bivouac

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123

Hi, I lurk here a lot and post when I have something useful to offer (RARE!), but I could really use some advice here...

I'm in a rock band (the kind of rock sort of depends on the day Smile) and we need to go into a real studio for the first time to do some recording.  I love recording myself, but I have really limited resources and am not really capable of any real quality.  This music project is getting of to a slow start, so the most important goal in all of this is to make all the band members see how good we can sound and get excited about taking the next step.

So, what I want to do is go into one of the nicest studios we can and walk out with a truly excellent product.  I want to do 3-4 songs as quickly as possible...

Right now, we're considering the Blasting Room (SSL), Colorado Sound (Euphonix), and Rocky Mountain Recorders (Amek).  All of these facilities run Pro Tools and 2".  Money will probably be the biggest concern though.  So here's the predicament:

All of these places charge $200-300 for a hard drive.  WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD WE NEED TO PAY FOR A HARD DRIVE?  I don't really need the tracks, just the mixdown.  Can't they just erase and reformat the thing when they're done?  I mean, we're probably only going to do 4 songs?  I'd rather pay $200 for a reel of 2" (if that's even possible) and I'd probably be more proud in the end...

Do they really really make you pay for hard drives or is that just if you want it?  That would just completely ruin our mastering budget...

Oh, and who might you recommend to do good mastering on 4 songs?  None of these places offer affordable mastering rates for E.P.'s in my opinion...

Shoot, I know I have more questions.  I'm blanking...



Logged

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2005, 07:13:18 pm »

i've seen jason livermore from the blasting room post on these forums before. shoot him a message, lots of places have spare drives for demos or whatever (they get erased eventually of course). he also does mastering i believe.
Logged

Bivouac

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2005, 07:37:20 pm »

Yeah, I've sent them an e-mail, I just thought I'd try to some objective opinions here while I'm still considering everything...

Also, I'm trying to consider some other mastering options besides what the Blasting Room has to offer...

"SQUISH!"
Logged

floodstage

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 543
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2005, 09:28:58 pm »

<rant mode on!>
Erase the files after mixing!?!?!?

MY GAWD MAN, HAVE YOU LOST IT!?!?      Shocked

I still have tracks I recorded in the 80's.  Erase the tracks after mixing?!  I would never suggest that to anyone.  Yikes!  No can do!  What if you notice something later, need a dance remix, vocals up mix, etc, etc.....? aye yi yi!  
</rant mode off>

Why not find out what drive they need and pick one up on your own and save some bucks?


oh, by the way! (seriously!) I hope your sessions go well!!!
Logged

Bivouac

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2005, 11:12:58 pm »

floodstage wrote on Mon, 11 April 2005 19:28

<rant mode on!>
Erase the files after mixing!?!?!?

MY GAWD MAN, HAVE YOU LOST IT!?!?      Shocked

I still have tracks I recorded in the 80's.  Erase the tracks after mixing?!  I would never suggest that to anyone.  Yikes!  No can do!  What if you notice something later, need a dance remix, vocals up mix, etc, etc.....? aye yi yi!  
</rant mode off>

Why not find out what drive they need and pick one up on your own and save some bucks?


oh, by the way! (seriously!) I hope your sessions go well!!!


Ha!  You had me at dance remix...

Smile

Seriously though, why couldn't those files be exported to a $1 DVD?  This sort of charge seem completely superfluous...
Logged

xonlocust

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 237
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2005, 11:21:41 pm »

for me i'd say blasting room - strictly just cuz i've heard records from there that i've liked and i feel they'd be closest to my personal backgroud. but where will YOU be most comfortable - and you will only know that by talking to all the places and listening to the stuff they've done - explain your situation and see how they react.  they may all be awesome.  

the person behind the board makes a bigger difference than the board itself.  i'd try and meet up or at least talk with/email with your prospective dude/lady and see how comfortable you are with them.  

i have no idea what your band is like, but i came up from the indie/punk backgroud, and working at a studio built up by legendary underground people - people who are "cut from the same cloth" so to speak, would (and do) make me and my band much more comfortable, and we'd make a better record.  it's not really an indie snob thing - but i think familiarity and comfort and being on the same page are super important - the communication between you and the people helping you make your art or whatever is super important.  i've worked at places and with other AEs where we didn't click, and it just wasnt as rewarding of an experience.   nothing wrong with them - they just werent for me. as much of a studio genius as dr. dre or timbaland are, they wouldnt get the call to record my rock band.  just like i dont think i'm probably the best guy for a rap group to call if they're looking to make a record. however that's also why i freelance!

re: drives.  and media.  check out george's forum and the ...inches from going albini thread.  tim gilles makes some great points.

here's why i want my band's mulititrack masters (of which i still have almost every single studio session i've played on) - hopefully it doesnt sound as pompous as it looks rereading it as i'm trying to be genuine - it's my personal legacy and something that was terribly important to me at whatever time in my life.  even if noone cares (and i've recorded a lot of shit that noone has heard or gives 2 shits about) but still i want the option of having that in the future - for remixing. for shits and giggles. for whatever.  it's an investment in me and what i did at that point in my life. the mulitracks are a intergral part of the recording process.  it's awesome to thread up old session reels and re-hear everything for the first time again.   maybe i only care because i was pre-disposed to becoming a recording dork - but still, i've always believed what i was doing was important enough to be around 50 yrs from now, even if the general populace didnt think so at the time (or have the opportunity to think so). clearly a subjective aesthitic call, but nonetheless.

i've always been the guy talking the rest of the band into going into better studios and spending more time/money than they thought we could afford at the time, and they've always looked back in retrospect and thanked me for pushing them to raise thier bar - because to me it's totally different - and the higher money rooms/engineers just ultimately sound better, and that's very important to me. rhetorical question: are you guys just fucking around playing a game of grab-ass or are you gonna step it up and make it happen?!  i mean that in a positive, motivating way! Smile  one thing i've tried to abide by (maybe not adhered to the best!) is conduct yourself like a professional and you'll be treated like a professional.

you can also get a reel of 1 pass 2" for 85$ at tape tape and avoid this drice mess. you can totally do 4 songs on 1 reel at 15ips.

if you want a really good recording, take your time.  put it off for 6 months and start saving so you can afford a real ME (there are tons on this board). do tons of preproduction.  know your shit inside and out. play a bunch of shows in the meantime - you'll get tighter and each show you'll make some cash to go towards the session.

this has turned into a huge bloated rant, im sorry - i hope it helps shed some light - even if you totally disagree. good luck & let us know how it progresses!  

Bivouac

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2005, 01:00:47 am »

Ha!

Well, there are actually a lot of good reasons to try and do this at the blasting room, but the best is price.  Their "A Room" is $650/day.  The other places are $80/hour...

I listed the consoles just so show what kinds of studios I'm looking at...

I really want to do something top-notch...

Oh yeah, the whole ALL/Descendents/Black Flag thing definitely impresses us too...

That's weird, I was just looking at tapetape.com the other day after reading about it.  Anybody think this is a bad option?
Logged

lord

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 206
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2005, 08:30:22 am »

You know you want to do it on 2 inch, but... if you even want to keep a single alternate track for each song ... you might need 2 reels. etc. etc.

Studios charge you for the hard drives because

1. It's a pain in the nuts dealing with them
2. Most people want to take their multitracks for the archives
3. Backing up to optical is a waste of the facility's time

If you REALLY need to skimp, you can always borrow a hard drive from a friend, back everything up to DVD-R yourself after the session, and then return it.

Good luck.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 09:08:38 am »

i'm not casting a vote for any of the rooms

i've heard work out of the blasting room that was great, and some that was terrible......and i haven't heard anything from the other rooms, so it isn't really fair to compare.

being a mixer i simply CAN NOT promote erasing muti-tracks.

i get plenty of projects that were mixed horribly and need to be mixed again.  if you erase your multi-track and get a few months out of the studio and decide you don't like the mixes, TO BAD.

you at least need a DVDR are everything you cut.

i'd suck it up and buy 2 rolls of tapetape's 3M 996 and track everything at 30ips and mix off tape.

these are my opinions.....that's all.

i aslo think that if you end up with a stellar sounding product, mastering becomes MORE crucial then if you have an awful sounding product.

seems a bit weird to push it that way.  but the better the mix, the better you need your ME to be, so he/she doesn't totally BLOW IT
Logged

brandondrury

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 703
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2005, 09:58:54 pm »

I'm not sure how hardcore of a recording guy you are, but on this big dog website there are few things that are extremely important that are very often implied.

1)Recording gear.  When these guys talk about consoles or the difference between that preamp, this converter, that transformer, this mic, the difference is usually mega minute to the average band guy.  Most of these little differences add up, but they are little differences.  I've recorded tons of shitty sounds through a Neve preamp.  I've gotten great sounds out of a Mackie.

2)It's all about what you put in front of the mics.  Your drum set is only as good as it sounds in the room.  A drummer that can't hit his drums consistently is a big pain in the ass and this ends up in a ton of work for the mixing guy and it still never tracks right.  Do extra work to make sure that your gear is happening ahead of time.  Borrow extra snare drums, toms, kicks, or whatever.  The big boys don't dick around.  They can get perfect sounds for each song because they have gear that sounds that way.  You may need to switch out a snare drum just as you would use a different amp on a different song.  Work hard on your instruments.  Put one mic up in your jam area.  You should sound like a band.  (It may not be hi-fi) but everything should be intelligible.  If you have placed the mic in a reasonable spot and some things don't come across, then the odds are that something is wrong with your gear or your arrangements.  Lead guitar players dicking around on low strings can be a problem.  The solo won't cut without reducing the rythm guitars.  If the cymbals kill you then except a smaller snare drum at least that's my experience.  You get the idea.

3) If you songs are structured to sound big, they will.  If everything is fighting each other, it won't matter if you using an SSL or a Radio shack dj mixer.  Generally, if things sound good at rehearsal, they'll sound good when you rehearse them.

4) For me, the best way to make a band sound great is preproduction.  Since, I've spent millions of hours trying to fix bullshit arrangements, I can usually point out when a given this or that won't sound good on a recording.  Again, all these stem from problems I hear in the room.  I almost always tell the drummer to smash his snare much harder.  The same usually goes for the kick.  

5)The song.  Nothing is easier to mix than a great song.  I'm amazed at how easily great songs mix themselves.  Songs that are shit are a big pain in the ass to mix.  It takes some big mixing balls to turn junk into something great.  I question if this has ever happened.

Just a few tips that you may or may not be aware of that I've picked up.  Great musicians with great gear and great song will sound great just about anywhere.  

Brandon



Bivouac

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 123
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2005, 11:54:01 pm »

Thank you for your reply Brandon...

I record quite a bit, but I've never really intentionally made a finished recording.  I've always felt that I should concentrate (or concentrate my money, rather) on being a musician or a recordist, but not both.  I usually just record something to get the idea down and end up finishing it because I have a lot of fun.

Throughout this process, I've learned how to put complimentary sounds together and make interesting arrangements--I know how to make instruments sound so they might be recorded well.  

I've somehow managed to get some really satisfying recordings on some really horrible equipment too.  My band has also gotten a ton of recording experience because I'm always recording (in the worst working conditions too!).  Can you picture a vocalist holding up a speaker grill between him and the mic because we don't have a pop-screen?

Smile

I can't imagine how well we'd sound in a PRODUCTIVE studio environment...hehe

Bill Stevenson e-mailed me back yesterday (how cool is THAT! Smile) and I'm really, really interested in working at his studio.  TONS of instruments--like four top-of-the-line drum sets, and 15 amps...

I hope it works...

Logged

drumsound

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 638
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2005, 01:41:01 am »

Bivouac wrote on Tue, 12 April 2005 00:00

Ha!

Well, there are actually a lot of good reasons to try and do this at the blasting room, but the best is price.  Their "A Room" is $650/day.  The other places are $80/hour...

I listed the consoles just so show what kinds of studios I'm looking at...

I really want to do something top-notch...

Oh yeah, the whole ALL/Descendents/Black Flag thing definitely impresses us too...

That's weird, I was just looking at tapetape.com the other day after reading about it.  Anybody think this is a bad option?


I buy almost all of my tape from tapetape.   I've had very few problems and they've always been corrected.
Logged

bloodstone

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 268
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2005, 01:32:28 am »

The studio has to charge for the drive because it cost them money.  If I was going the digital route, I'd want 2 copies: one on HD and one on DVD-R.  You could also probably "rent" tape and then print everything to HD & DVD.  Unless they're selling you SCSI drives, the price sounds pretty high.  Maybe you could buy your own and bring it to the session.
Logged

Bob Olhsson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3968
Re: Please help me make some decisions about going into the studio...
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2005, 03:40:59 pm »

bloodstone wrote on Sun, 24 April 2005 00:32

...  Maybe you could buy your own and bring it to the session.
I'd go ahead and pay the studio what they ask. That way if a problem develops with the drive, it's the studio's problem and not yours. Recording media is generally not a wise place to try and save money.
Pages: [1]   Go Up