Recording Studio - FAQ
1. Is it ok to visit the studio before the recording session?
Most certainly, in fact I encourage artists to visit the studio first to take a look around and get a feel for the place. It is also important for me as your recording engineer to arrange a ‘pre-production’ meeting with the whole band prior to the recording session in order to discuss the bands artistic requirements and to ensure that the session is fully planned out in advance. We are based in Benfleet, Essex (In close proximity to Southend, Leigh On Sea, Rayleigh, Basildon and Canvey Island).
2. Is a deposit required?
Yes, this is essential. We have been stung in the past by bands booking and then not showing up. Consequently a deposit of 30% of the total recording cost (which will be established during the pre-production meeting – see above) is required and this will need to be paid before a studio booking is confirmed.
3. Do we need to bring our own instruments?
We have various instruments here at our recording studio; drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars which you can use but in most cases you will probably feel more comfortable playing your own instruments. We have a collection of valve and solid state guitar amps as well as amp modelers available.
4. How long will it take to set up?
For the average band it will usually take around an hour to set up the drums, microphones, routing, session templates, headphone mixes etc, but can take longer for more complicated set ups. In some cases for more complex arrangements, it can usually be arranged for the band to set up at the studio the night before so that everything is prepared for the recording session the following day.
5. How long does it take to record a song?
This depends on many factors including:
The complexity of the song arrangement
How well rehearsed the performers are.
How many overdubs you wish to do
Whether you want it to sound ‘live’ or a polished ‘studio’ sound.
For a basic demo I would suggest allowing half a day per song for all recording, editing, mixing etc.
For a fully produced commercial release, I would suggest 1-2 days for the recording of 3 songs and 2-3 days for the recording of 5 songs. With this second scenario It is best to allow at least half a day per song for the mixdown and mastering process. Again, the time frame will be discussed and planned during our pre-production session (see above, FAQ 1)
6. Will all the musicians be playing together during the recording session?
For most bands it is usually best to record the main rhythm parts together (drums, bass and perhaps rhythm guitar) and then overdub everything else. ‘Scratch’ guide vocal are often recorded too, along with the rhythm parts in order to make the song easier to follow and extract a stronger performance from the other musicians. However, there are various approaches that can be taken and the best option is often dependent on a number of factors including the songs arrangement, musical style etc. Again, this can be established in advance to the recording session during the 'pre production meet' as covered above in FAQ 1.
7. Can we record some of the material at home and then record specific parts at the studio such as drums, vocals etc?
This is not a problem. We can open or save Logic files directly and can also easily import or export standard wav files compatible with all DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations).
8. How long does it take between the recording session and obtaining the final CD?
For some smaller, less complex recordings (solo artists, duos etc), the mixing, editing and mastering can often be done immediately after the recording session if necessary. However, in most cases it is generally preferred that the editing and rough mixes are done without the artist present and then get them to come back into the studio for the polishing and refining of the mix. It is easier for the engineer this way and means that you won’t loose your focus during the boring and tedious bits of audio editing and setting up routing, outboard equipment etc. It is also well advised to have a day or two between recording and mixing to allow the brain to clear and become more subjective.