So you’re in a band, or you’re a solo artist looking to drop an album. You go to the local music store and buy the latest Pro Tools rig or similar interface, a few microphones, cables, monitors, and some really cool plug-ins that will solve all your problems. You organize your bedroom or basement into your dream home studio setup and put some egg-crate foam on the walls with a lava lamp on the desk. You configure your DAW, press record, perform, edit, mix, and master your songs and then BAM! Your album is done! But wait, you dropped all your cash from under your mattress, maxed out your credit card, donated a kidney, and pulled your hair out during this 8-month process to record 10 songs. And also, your neighbors can’t stand you because of all the late night drum tracking, your significant other is tired of you mixing the same song 9 hours a day (which sounds the same to him or her), and you forgot how to play your primary instrument because you spent all your time on YouTube and reading the Studio Engineer’s Handbook to figure out how to record, mix and master. And finally, your songs still don’t sound loud or crisp enough! Does this sound familiar to any aspiring producers/audio engineers?
I went through the exact same situation about 10 years ago when I dove headfirst in attempting to engineer/produce my band’s album. Trying to do this can place a significant burden on your time, money, and relationships especially if you lack the experience or adequate space. If you are a hobbyist or enthusiast this approach is fine. However, if you have professional aspirations of getting significant radio play or license your music to film and TV, a professional recording studio is your solution. The following factors should be taken into consideration when planning to record your next album.
Music production is a time consuming process. How much time are you willing to put into your project? Do you want to take the DIY approach or hire a professional? A professional recording engineer is well versed in the art of music production. A pro will have the experience and workflow to complete any project much faster than a novice due to the hours they spend in a control room. They are experts in dialing in the right tone for your project and know all the tricks of the trade in capturing sound efficiently.
Studio time cost money, so does filling your house up with expensive gear that you may only use once or twice depending on how serious of an audio engineer you plan to be. Let’s do a quick cost comparison: Audio Interface-$300, Monitors-$400, Preamp-$500, Plug-ins-$200, cables, $300, dedicated computer-$1000, instruments/amps-$$$$…etc. Do you see where we are going with this? On the contrary, a 10-hour block at Blue Room Productions will cost you $800. A lot can be accomplished in 10 hours if the client is prepared to enter the studio ready to track.
Gear & Location
Have you ever heard the difference between vocals recorded through a low-end condenser microphone or an average guitar recorded through an average guitar amp? Now compare this with recording vocals in an acoustically treated vocal booth going through a $2000 microphone into a world-class preamp at the hands of an experienced engineer. Industry standard gear is STANDARD for a reason. Names like Marshall, Fender, Neve, Fender P-bass, etc are found on most professional albums A professional recording studio will have the top of the line gear that will ensure clients’ needs are met and that audio is captured in the most pristine setting. Have you ever tried to record vocals in your home studio and you can hear a dog barking in the background the construction going on down the street? This can certainly interfere with your process and workflow.
Lastly, a professional audio engineer’s experience and technical knowledge cannot be beaten. It takes years to master this craft and a good producer/engineer can take an average project and make it awesome in a very quick and efficient manner. Most audio engineers started off as home recording artists and musicians and they know the process. This factor is probably the most critical. Even the best engineer can take a Macbook Pro with Garageband and make a recording sound very well produced due to their extensive expertise of sound recording/mixing principles.
There is nothing wrong with attempting to record your own album if you have ample time, money to spend, the adequate space, and the desire and determination to learn all the tricks that can take years to master. But really, if you are serious about your project and want to take it to the next level…hire the professionals and you will certainly be pleased with the end result while saving time, money, and resources. Now contact a studio and book your session HERE!
Jay is the Studio Operations Manager for Blue Room Productions and is the primary point of contact for booking, project inquiries, marketing, and artist outreach. He has a very unique background in multiple industries and provides a wealth of diverse experiences to the team at Blue Room. Jay was actually a client for Blue Room Productions as a recording artist prior to joining the team. Jay is also a driven bassist (http://www.xeonesbass.com) and provides expert advice for artists, musicians, and bands on career development in the music industry. In addition, Jay served in the United States Army for 20 years and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from American Military University (AMU) and is currently enrolled at Liberty University Masters of Arts Program for Executive Leadership. Jay is dedicated to assisting recording artists accomplish their musical and artistic endeavors here at Blue Room Productions. Email [email protected] or call 240-707-7993 to schedule an appointment.