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studio vs. home recording (for my somewhat interesting needs

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hithere, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    hey guys thanks so much for all the tech help but I wanted to look at my music career from another standpoint.

    I am 19 soon off to berklee college of music, and write and perform pretty much everything myself. This is what I enjoy to do, but with my latest album my biggest issue was dealing with my boss 864 multitrack for the last time.

    errors/pain/annoyance galore.

    I am alright at basic recording principals and will be learning more in school.

    I had 2000 dollars to buy one nice long term investment and was even looking at a neve duo mic preamp as a keeper, but I am also starting to think about turning a new leaf and picking up a fast track pro or something!

    The main reason I just wanted a stable (working system) was because my writing process is so closely tied to overdubbing.

    That being said as I really am not as interested in being a amazing mixer/producer/ as I was at tracking at home. I will be learning this new stuff in the near future though anyway.

    But as much as I am ambitious to have the best gear for myself, I realize that even buying one piece of high quality equipment with the money I have and will have for a long time (college won't be the best time financially!) I won't even have the ability to put more money into a decent mic.

    as I have said I don't want just a decent setup, I really want to have the best.

    So my thought is this, having a computer setup, with my mac mini and even the most basic m-audio box would allow me to have a good hassle free demo setup. I could write everything and have things well rehearsed when I go in.

    Even in college having really good drummers and bass players around who are better than me will help me not waste tons of time in the studio.

    So two questions (there is a local studio around here that charges 40 dollars an hour and they have some api/Neumann/huge nice live room.

    What is an average charge for a fairly pro studio, not one with the biggest clients or name, but one with a knowledgable staff. I know this varies but any estimates?

    and lastly what is the cheapest two channel interface I could use with my mac and garageband, that wouldn't sound any worse then my boss br864 for my demo needs?

    thanks so much for any replies!
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    A decent commercial studio in a large city will average about $45.00/hr for the studio and around $30.00/hr for an engineer.

    In more rural area's probably less.

    Of course, block rates and project rates could drop those prices even more.

    Don't know about cheap interfaces. You're probably on the right track with M-Audio. Fairly good rep and prices.
  3. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    I am currently emailing a lot of "reputable" studios but would curious to know if places like Sound City, or Abbey road's prices are way up there? Do they even do hour charging?
  4. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I am under the impression that any studio that is really up there in quality is charging a flat day rate for the most part.

    Just my experience from talking to people who know people.
  5. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    yeah thats what I have recently found

    for me what was really scary is that the last record I am finishing up was recording on a sm57 and boss br-854, with some of the more important stuff like drums being done in the studio. So the budget was very low, but it sounds very good for what it is, and the mood of the album.

    I just talked to a very credible source that makes a lot of indie records, and the fact that a record costs 25k in the low budget (for an indie record) is really scary.

    More so in that I am not in a band where we could split up the money.

    It makes home room recordings prices look great, but at the end of the day it is still a slippery slope into expensive gear. With my small budget of 2000 right now, I still would only be affording one nice piece of gear. Which leads to another piece and another piece.

    The thing that bothers me the most is I have so much material and I know that I could get gear for 2000 that would do my songs justice, but I just really want the best for myself, and I am somewhat overly ambitious in that wanting the best at my younger age is hard.

    Also I love every aspect and am not just trying to be a singer songwriter to be signed and have the attention of a solo artist. I just am at the time in my life, from when I grew up that I always did everything myself, and would like to be able to continue, but the cost really puts a huge issue on any artist who doesn't have it.

    so I suppose that is the point of being signed.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    So, I'm confused.
    Do you want to record yourself just once? Are you trying to get a single demo down?
    If yes, just go to a good studio.

    If no and you want to get the a setup that will allow you to record quality stuff...well, that's another deal altogether.

    For the $2000 budget, you have some good choices. First, a good but inexpensive interface is in order. Consider a TC Konnekt 24D. It gives you 2 pretty usable preamps and it has line inputs as well as digital inputs. It will allow you to grow. Bear in mind, once you're in school, you're going to find out what DAW you like, what mics and preamps you like and so on. Don't get stuck on any decisions you make now. The TC will give you options, but the one obvious option it leaves out is ProTools.

    If you must go PT, consider some of the higher-end M-Audio pieces so they'll give you the option of using it with other DAWs too.

    I would think that the following would be a good setup for ~$2K.
    TC Konnekt 24D
    Cubase/Sonar or similar
    Single Channel Preamp (Daking, UA, Focusrite ISA, etc).
    A couple more SM57s/SM58s.

    Between the 3 preamps (the 2 built in and 1 external), you should have a very versatile setup and more than enough room to grow. Of course, all of the gear listed is top notch and ready for "pro" prime time. If you can't get awesome sounds using that gear, then it's not the gear...

    But hey, that's why you're going to school for it...

  7. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    no quite more than one demo, I already have a pretty good cd put together, I was just weighing my future options.

    but I think another thing is that some of the independent studios I was looking at had decent day rates.

    Some were even around 300 dollars for a day, but I was told more pro studios have a seperate hiring rate for engineers, so some are more around 500 a day.

    I think what I really have to think too is tracking at a studio if you know your parts well isn't the big price hitter, I guess it would be more on mixing and mastering. A guy I was talking to said that some bands at his studio spend as small as 1000 and upper to the 6000 range on mastering alone. While his recording rate wasn't so bad.

    So maybe it would be good to track at a nice studio and shop around for the mixing and mastering.

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