What Nashville Recording Studio Rates Depend OnGoing to a Nashville recording studio and producing your project at a professional level can be a big investment. It’s essential to know what to expect before you decide to seek the services of professionals to help realize your music dream. One question people commonly ask is about what they would have to pay in case they decide to go to a Nashville recording studio for their work. Contrary to popular belief, though, there is no simple answer to that question. Here are some of the most important questions to ask when researching recording studios and record producers.

What you are going to the Nashville recording studio for

This may sound fairly intuitive, but the main determinant of what you will have to pay for the services of a recording studio is what exactly you are looking for them to do. If you are new to the recording world and are looking to complete a basic demo recording of yourself and your instrument or backing track, rates could range from under $100 to a few hundred (per song) depending on the quality of studio and whether it is a “demo factory” or commercial facility. Maybe you are an seasoned artist with some recording experience, and looking to take the next step in your career with a “master” quality recording. In that case you should expect to budget in the thousands. If you are creating a “full-band” it is also important to decide whether you have players that your trust to play on your record, or if you want to rely on the producer to hire your studio musicians. I believe the most important aspect of the process is defining what you will be using the recording for. Will your music mainly be sold at local shows, on a major tour, or through online distributors. Are you planning to promote your record to independent or mainstream radio? Are you confident with your creative direction as an artist? Or are you looking for a producer to help you discover that in the process? The answers to these questions will help you define, from a business aspect, what a reasonable investment is for your project, and what type of recording studio is the best fit.

What payment plans the Nashville recording studio offers

Generally, recording studios charge depending on how much time you spend in the studio. Most recording studios also offer packages for creating a complete album. These can include recording, mixing as well as mastering.  Generally, studios will offer a discounted, project rate when combining services. Most studios will require a deposit to secure your scheduled session time. Some studios offer an option to pay as you go, and others may provide payment plans and financing. It is very important to determine when payments will be due in order to budget properly for your project, and not get stuck with something half completed.

What Nashville Recording Studio Rates Depend On

How to find the best Nashville recording studio rates

The best recording studio rates are not always the lowest prices in the market. Nor are they the most expensive. It is important to find a balance between who you feel most comfortable with to capture the vision of your project, and who can do that within a budget that is realistic. Go out and talk to many different recording studios. You are sure to find a range of prices. However, it is pretty easy to tell what you are going to get for your investment if you ask the right questions. Find out what projects the studio has been working on lately. Ask to hear some recent recordings that were produced at the facility, with a similar budget that you have, and by the same crew as you will be working with. Learn about their creative process, and what to expect in each phase of production. Ask if you can speak with other clients, similar to yourself, that the studio has recently worked with. Once you survey the market, you will have a better understanding of the different types of studios that are available and the costs associated with them. Finally, go with your gut and don’t get sold on the, “we make hit records and can make you a star” pitch. With the proper research and careful consideration the decision will be easy to make.

If you would like a quote from The Record Shop, contact us and we can discuss your project in detail to find the best option that fits your individual needs.

One of the biggest advantages of visiting a Nashville recording studio is that you will have professionals handle every aspect of your live music recording experience. However, visiting a professional recording studio is not for everyone. It requires a fairly substantial budget, which not all upcoming musicians can spring for. There are some things you should keep in mind in order to enhance your live music recording experience.

Use a quality microphone

If your input device is not going to give you high-quality audio recordings, you should be prepared for an average end-product. You should make sure that if nothing else, you invest in a proven microphone that suits your needs. Although they are slightly more expensive, unidirectional microphones should be preferred to their omnidirectional counterparts so that background noise is minimized. A large diaphragm condenser microphone might suit your needs perfectly.

Avoid noisy places for recording

The last thing you want to do is have to sift through a whole lot of background noise on the computer and manually remove it, since it is both frustrating and not particularly effective. Ideally, you should record in a soundproofed room. Make sure you are able to cut off as much background noise as possible, especially fans and loud air-conditioners.

Get a preamp

Preamps are the cheapest way you can get a professional feel to your recordings. Instead of plugging your instrument or microphone directly into the recording equipment, you should pass it through a preamp since it will enhance the quality of your source sound significantly.

Invest in good mastering software

Mastering your own music is not an easy task, but with the right software, there is no reason you can’t do a great job from your own home. There are countless products available for various price ranges, and you should choose one based on your particular needs, expertise, budget and level of usage.

With the continual growth of the internet, the number of tools available to musicians on the internet to help boost the quality and understanding of their music has increased dramatically. In an increasingly competitive industry, what often separates one aspiring musician from the other is his or her knowledge of music recording websites that every musician should be familiar with. This blog post hopes to familiarize you with 4 music recording websites that you must use frequently if you want to expedite your success in the world of music.

1. audiotuts+

audiotuts+ has some of the most comprehensive music tutorials anywhere on the internet. If you don’t want to spend your money on expensive music classes, you can simply visit audiotuts+. Some tutorials are available free, but for others, you will need to buy access to the Tuts+ Premium section of the site. Here you can learn the best techniques on how to mix, produce and master the art of creating music.

2. Scalerator

This powerful online tool allows musicians to generate scales and tablatures. All you have to do is enter in the scale you wish to learn and click on generate and you’ll get all the charts you could possibly need. This is a really effective way to learn different notes and scales that every musician should be familiar with.

3. YouTube

YouTube may not be solely a music recording website, but make no mistake. It probably has the most training resources anywhere on the web. The downside to using YouTube is that it is not as easy to find useful resources as it might be no dedicated music recording websites. However, if you master the search feature, you will definitely stumble onto some real gold.

4. musictheory.net

As its URL suggests, this is among a handful of music recording websites that teaches visitors the ins and outs of music theory. If you feel you don’t have the kind of knowledge people around you do about the ins and outs of music, musictheory.net has just the resources for you. It features trainers, lessons and a number of utilities.

Eric Conn of Independent Mastering drops by For The Record to share some insight on preparing for mastering. Eric has mastered records for a variety of artists. From Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, and John Prine, to Skid Row, Hank III, and Young Buck. Here at The Record Shop, Independent Mastering is our first choice to put the final touches on our records.

You can learn more about their work at Independentmastering.com 

1. Sequence Your Album

Preparing an album sequence before mastering is a must. You can play with the order in iTunes or in your DAW, then make a CD and take a listen! How does it flow? Anything jarring? Does the sequence take you on a journey or tell a story?

2. ISRC CODE

Many radio stations track music via an ISRC Code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Recording_Code), and digital distribution company’s use this code to track purchases.  Check with your digital distribution company—they may assign a code to you, or you can purchase your own code. The ISRC Code can be imbedded in the TOC at mastering, or you can have it done later. The benefit to having it done at the time of mastering is that the code will be on your manufactured discs.

3. CD-TEXT

Do you want CD-TEXT on your disc? CD-TEXT allows your recording to be identified on some (but not all) CD players.  If you do, please type out: Artist, Album Title, and Name of Songs. Better yet, email it to the mastering house so they have it the way you want it before you arrive!

4. MEDIA

Labeling your mix media is a must, especially if your not attending the mastering session. Artist(s), song titles, sample rate and bit depth are a must when using digital media. Analog media needs reference tones and phase clicks, and leader tape in between the cuts. Other details should include: contact information for the artist, producer, and engineer, with both a phone number and email address. A sharpie with the artist’s name scribbled on the DVD does not count as labeling your media. If you want to be considered a professional, label your mixes. Hand a professional mastering engineer a CD/DVD/Tape with nothing written on it and even if he doesn’t say anything about it, he’s thinking “amateur”.

5. DECISIONS!

Do you like your mixes? Have you made decisions regarding alternate versions of the mixes? Vocal up? Vocal down? TV-Tracks? Instrumental-Tracks? Radio Edits? Being satisfied with your mix is the number one key to having a successful day at mastering. Coming in with all the versions you need to have EQ’d will save you time and money.

6. ATTENDANCE

Are you familiar with the mastering room? If not, bring a reference disc! The reference disc can be anything, but it should be something you are familiar with, something you like. Take 5 or 10 minutes to listen to your reference material in the mastering room before you start making critical EQ decisions in a room you might not be familiar with. Trust the mastering engineer. He / she works in the room every day and knows it. If you’re feeling unsure, take the time to make a reference disc of one or two songs that you can listen to in your car (or other system) before you go down the wrong path in a room you don’t know.

7. Getting What You Want

Sometimes you might not get what you want the first time around. Sometimes you will. Make sure you have a realistic attitude towards mastering and know the limitations of the craft by talking about it with the engineer. Miracles can and do happen in mastering! Or, it may be that you need to remix something. Communicate your needs!

8. Compression on the Mix Buss vs. Compression at Mastering

Get what you want out of your mix buss first. If you like it there, you’ll like it after mastering. If you’re pumping up your mix for your client via a digital limiter to make it “louder”, make sure your mastering engineer knows!

9. Your reference media VS. The mastering reference media

What have you been listening to? Did you mix to tape but all your reference versions have been digital copies bounced to disk? If that’s the case, you have no idea what your mix sounds like. Make your reference versions reflective of your mix media. Then bring the mastering house what you’ve been listening to.

10. Don’t be swayed by price.

Cheaper isn’t always better. Joe Blow in the bedroom charging you $50 bucks an hour after he gets home from his day job is a hobbyist at best. Twenty-seven hours later you’ll have spent $1350 and you might not be any closer to getting what you want than you were at the first hour. Use a professional, in a real studio, with real tools. In 3-5 hours you’ll get what you want and have the peace of mind that the master will be right. Good, Cheap, Quick: pick two.

Coming in prepared will save you money, and your project will go much smoother! These are some of the questions I like to ask my clients, and your mastering engineer may have more or less questions! If you take the time to communicate your needs and the desired outcomes you would like to achieve from the session, you will be much happier with your final master. Your mastering engineer will be happier too!

-Eric Conn (Independent Mastering)