Here are some of the most common questions musicians ask about recording with me, or recording in general.
What are your rates?
For my complete rate sheet, please contact me with the details of your individual project. I charge by the hour for recording and by the song for mixing. While I do have set rates, my first priority is help you make a record to be proud of, and that includes working within your budget.
How much time in the studio should I book?
That totally depends. How many songs? Are you recording live? What instruments are we working with? There are countless variables that we’ll talk about when planning your session.
I’ve tracked live sessions where we laid down basics for 12 songs in a day. I’ve also spent entire days on a single song. It really does depend. But no matter the approach, it’s always best to prepare as much as possible…
How should I prepare for my recording session?
You should rehearse. A lot, if possible. Besides saving you time (and money!) in the studio, if you are well-rehearsed it will show in your performances, and every step of the process will be more fun. And your record will sound much better for it.
Keep in mind that rehearsing for a live gig is NOT the same as rehearsing for a recording session. Try and decide on the right tempo, arrangement, key, tone and amp settings, and effects before coming into the studio.
Of course, it’s not always possible to come to a decision on all of these elements before your session, and adjustments are inevitable once you’re actually recording, but by thinking through the details beforehand you can drastically improve the recording experience and final result.
What should I bring with me on the day of the session?
Many of these will be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times a guitarist has shown up without a pick.
- Your instrument and amp (if applicable)
- Supplies like strings, picks, sticks, reeds, 9V batteries
- Cables (including patch cables for effects)
- A hard drive to take your recordings when the session’s over
Those are the basics. Some other items that might be a good idea include snacks, drinks, a nice pair of headphones that fit you comfortably, a book (essential if your session is heavy on overdubbing), chord/lyric sheets, extra instrument stands. If you’re not sure if you should bring something, just ask.
What gear do you use?
I love working in studios with Neve consoles and vintage RCA ribbon mics, but that’s not always possible. My personal gear collection is limited to pieces that I know inside and out. Some highlights include:
- Custom-built mics plus others from Shure, Michael Joly, Cascade, and 12 Gauge
- Preamps from Shadow Hills, Rupert Neve Designs, AEA, Avedis, and Hamptone
- Effects from Electro Harmonix, Subdecay, dbx, and more
- Pro Tools and Logic
Is mixing included in your day rate?
Not normally, as tracking and mixing are two different creative processes, and I find it best to have a bit of space between capturing sounds and crafting a final mix. I will certainly give you a reference mix at the end of a recording date so that you can listen to all your hard work when you go home. If time is limited and you need a track recorded and mixed in a day, let me know and we’ll make it happen.
Will you master my tracks?
I will happily help you find a great mastering engineer in your price range, but I’m not a mastering engineer. Mastering is an incredibly important step in the production process that should not be skipped or taken lightly. Be wary of budget mastering services as they can very quickly undermine all of the hard work we put into your music to get it sounding awesome.
Can I bring in tracks recorded at home or at another studio?
Absolutely. I will happily mix tracks that were recorded elsewhere. If you want to record additional tracks to incorporate with existing recordings, I’ll work with you to ensure a cohesive sound so that whatever we add works well sonically with whatever you bring in.
Get in touch if you have any other questions about making records. I’d love to hear from you.