faq - Frequently Asked Questions regarding Audio Recording in the Studio
Q. How much do you charge for studio audio recording?
A. For standard recording services we charge a flat hourly rate and discounted rate if you purchase a larger block of time. If you purchase a 5 hr block of time, it must be used in one session, a 10 hr block in consecutive day sessions. For custom and production projects, provide us a detailed description of the project and we can generate a free estimate.
Q. What styles of music do you record?
A. We mainly specialize in recording acoustic singer/songwriters, vocalists and small bands such as duos, trios, in the folk, world, jazz, and rock genres.
Q. Do you record rap, hip-hop and R&B?
A. No, that is not our speciality - see the music styles above.
Q. Do you rent out rooms or have space for band rehearsals?
A. No. We have one main room that is used for recording, production and/or multimedia projects.
Q. Do you have an acoustic piano?
A. No, but, we have an 88 key full sized midi keyboard (non- weighted keys) with sustain pedal and very high quality piano samples from Apple Logic Pro Studio. You can listen to a sample recordings of it on our Audio Recording Samples page.
Q. How and when do I pay for my session?
A. You must pay in full for your entire recording session before the session begins. You can pay cash or via the internet using credit card, paypal, cash or money order. We do not accept personal checks.
Q. Do you teach Logic Pro Studio or offer courses in Logic Pro Studio?
A. No, we do not offer instruction.
Q. Are you hiring?
A. Currently, we are not hiring and do not have any positions available.
Q. I do not have my own instruments, can I use yours?
A. Ideally we encourage you to bring your own instruments. We do have some instruments available for a rental fee that can be used for recording session. Rental instruments can not be taken out of the studio.
Q. I have started a project in Pro Tools, Audacity, Cubase, (or another sound editing program) - can I bring you the files and remix and/or add addtional tracks such as vocals?
A. Yes, bring your entire project files on a portable hard disk. We will need the .wav or .aiff file for each audio track. We are not able to import automation data from Pro Tools. We can import the raw audio tracks without the specific software effects (plug-ins).
Q. I have a recording on ADAT tape, can you import and digitize the audio tracks?
A. If you bring in your own ADAT machine and the tapes we can import and digitize the ADAT tape from the laser light pipe ADAT output. We do not have our own ADAT machine.
Q. Do you use a Digidesign Pro Tools system?
A. No, we use Apple Logic Studio (Logic Pro 9 - the latest version) and have an Apple Certified Pro Logic engineer.
Q. Can I take home an mp3 file or rough mix of my session?
A. Yes, assuming you have paid in full for your entire session. The creation of mp3 files require a mixdown and encoding process which is billed at the standard hourly rate. Many people bring in USB keychains or Firewire/USB portable hard drives to take home mixes.
Q. How long do you store the recording session on your hard drive(s)?
A. We store data from your recording or video session for 1 month free of charge after the last recording session. Multitrack audio and video projects take a large amount of disk space so we need to clean off the hard drives for new projects. If you are working on a long term project, we can store your session on our hard drives for a longer time but there will be a $10 per gigabyte monthly fee billed in advance. Non-payment for storage will result in permanent deletion of the files.
Ongoing projects that are booking time on a regular basis (8+ hours/month) are
Q. Can you provide a full copy of my session on an external hard drive or DVD?
we can copy your session data to an external hard drive (USB or Firewire) and/or DVD. You are billed at the normal hourly rate for the time it takes to transfer the data or burn to DVD(s).
Q. What happens if I am late for my session?
A. As stated in the recording contract, you will be billed from the time the session is scheduled. Traffic is often very heavy in the bay area - we recommend you factor this into your travel time.
Q. How long will it take to record one song?
A. This can vary greatly depending on various factors: 1) How prepared you are to record. 2) How many musicians are in the band 3) The number of tracks and overdubs or takes you wish to perform.
In general, if you and your band know the material tight and are doing very minor overdubs (ie, minor corrections on the guitar solo, 1 or 2 overdubs of the vocal) the process will not take as long.
If you only have a vague idea of what you want to compose and are using large amounts of tracks, want to experiment with loops and different synth patches, etc – the time typically takes much longer.
In general, the more prepared you are – the shorter the time.
We can not guarantee how long it will take you to record because of different musician’s working style.
Q. What tips do you have on how to prepare for a recording session?
- Make sure your song(s) are finished before recording. You should have identified the intro, verse, chorus, solo sections and ending.
- Print out your lyrics and the basic structure of the song set (indicate where the verse, chorus & solo’s are). Provide a copy of this to the engineer.
- Rehearse your song numerous times before your recording date. Ideally, you want to be at the top of your game and have us record your best performance.
- Make sure your instruments are tuned up and in good condition (check for buzzing, wierd noises when playing).
- Make sure your amplifier and other equipment do not make any buzzing or noises that the microphone will pick up.
Q. Do you have a vocal booth or sound proof room?
A. No, at this time we have one large room which we record in. We are looking into a separate vocal booth for the future. We do have an sE Reflexion filter, sound blankets and some gobos.
Q. Do you have musicians that can play on my tracks?
A. Sometimes. Session musicians may be available depending on the genre (musical style) of your song. Session musicians are hired separately by our studio and not available every day. You are charged an hourly rate per musician in addtion to the regular studio hourly rate. The hourly rate for a session musician will vary (email or call for availablity & the latest prices - please include the style of your music). For example, you are a singer and want a 4 piece band to perform on your recording. You book 4 hours of studio time and hire 4 session musicians for 3 hours each (4 musicians * 3 hours each at $50 an hour). The price of the 4 hour session would be:
Standard hourly recording rate $37.50 * 4 hours = $150
Session musician (drummer) - $50 * 3 hours = $150
Session musician (bassist) - $50 * 3 hours = $150
Session musician (guitarist) - $50 * 3 hours = $150
Session musician (keyboardist) - $50 * 3 hours = $150
Total price of recording = $140 + $600 = $740
If you need us to hire session musicians for your recording please call well in advance of the date you would like to record on.
Q. We have a 24 track session recorded somewhere else. Do you do remixing?
A. Currently we are not providing mixing services for projects recorded at other studios.
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Production entails working with a singer/songwriter to develop a basic song into a full polished track. An example would be developing a song consisting of vocals & rhythm guitar into a song with a full band (bass, lead guitar, piano, drums, backing vocals, etc). Production rates vary depending on the job and whether session musicians need to be hired for various tracks. E-mail or call with your project details and we will give you a quote.
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