Home Studio or Pro Studio

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by unplugged_unsigned, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. I'm in kind of a bind with my band. We come to the point of wanted to get a great cd recorded. I've got a pretty decent set up at home that we recorded our first song on the other day. I believe that with patience we can get some great results.

    What I record with:
    Sonar 7 Producer
    Waves Diamond bundle
    Presonus FP 10
    BX5a Moniters
    Several 57's and 58's
    AKG Perception 220 condenser
    MXL990 Condenser
    AT4033CL Condenser

    The other three members of the band believe that we can not get great results unless we go into a "real" studio!? I disagree. I live in Nashville and have been in many great studios, downtown and in peoples homes, and other than "bells and whistles" the one thing I've noticed in nearly all of these studios is that they look alot more fancy then they really are. Some of the better recordings I've heard came from home studio's that had equipment that rivaled what I use.

    At this point we are not trying to get songs on the radio, just make good recordings to sell at our shows. I don't think its wise for the band to spend 5 grand on studio time for a few songs when we can be patient and get it done in house. I've already stepped on a few toes with the other band members when I told them best way to get better recordings is to play better on them. I also have a great engineer/producer that is a really close friend that is willing to help me with mixing/mastering the projects as we do them. He is well experienced and well versed in recording with tape and digital.
    Am I wrong to think we can get good results with what we are doing? You can go to http://www.myspace.com/isaacmathews to hear a copy of the tunes I've recorded. The song I recorded with my band is called "Out Tonight".

    I'd love to hear what you guys think and if I should give in.
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Like most home recording the thing that suffers most is the drums. The happy medium is to go to the studio and cut basic tracks for as many songs as you can do in a day.
    Don't worry about anything else except drums. If you can do it with just Drums, bass 1 gtr and scratch voc, that would be best. If Bass and gtr come out good, you're ahead of the game - keep 'em. If not, don't worry about it. Don't go back and overdub them. Take all that home and do all the overdubing there.
    After you're done and mix one song. You might want to go back to the studio and have them mix the same song.Take home and compare. Make a decision as to continue mixing at home or go to the studio.
    This can yield excellent results and will not break the band bank.
    And just keep chanting. D E M O.
  3. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I think Natural has given you some outstanding advice. I totally agree that recording drums at home is at best frustrating, mic placement, the room itself are just two of so many variables. The big issue here is that the band has to really have the arrangements figured out completely.
    Unplugged "I've already stepped on a few toes with the other band members when I told them best way to get better recordings is to play better on them." This is of course quite true but also being prepared to get a good recording tone. There are techniques to getting a good sound in the studio that have nothing to do with the recording engineer but with the musician, the advantage to doing this in a good studio is that the engineer will tell you " maybe you should try bringing the treble up a little or the gain down, after that it is also the producer (sometimes one in the same ) that can help with advice on certain passages or approaches that seem to go a little easier when they don't come from a fellow band member. You say that you might have the right person for that so you are a head of the game there.
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    If the other three members in your band think the studio is a good start then I suggest that you must compromise with them. I totally agree with what natual and jg49 added. Do as much as you can in a day and then you have the files to bring home and improve upon.
  5. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    My thoughts are...you have a few hundred dollars in mics and $3k in effects software?

    Crack is Wack

  6. Yea Probably wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done, but I didn't spend 3K on it either. Thats just what happens when you don't know much about something and take advice from somebody who doesn't know much about it either. I'm sure we've all made misguided purchases, or maybe I'm the only one???

    I appreciate everybodys input on the matter.
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You most certainly have enough gear to make more than decent recordings provided you have the know-how and the patience to do so. Perhaps you can approach the problem with the 'pro-studio' in mind but use what you have to completely flesh out and build up the songs to the best of the bands potential before committing to studio time.

    In my experience, most young bands get a few songs down to a certain level and they immediately want to shill out for the studio, which most have never been in nor experienced the effect that recording has on your abilities, and they spend their money before they are anywhere near ready to record. Hours and hours under the phones in an environment that provides you with a no-nonsense picture of exactly how you play can be a sobering and painful experience. And costly.

    Or you can simply find another band that understands this concept and use what you have as a training tool for you and others of a like mind.

    That may sound harsh, but the reality is, you wont have a band that isnt all on the same page for very long no matter what the circumstances.
  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    I have to echo many of the other suggestions, in that I too would seriously suggest that you guys get your beds down, then go to a decent studio for getting the drums and/or rhythm trax done. Be well rehearsed and seriously ready to to try to knock your tracks out in one or two passes. Then take your tracks back to your place and finish everything off.

    A buddy of mine in Nashburg has met up with a studio owner who was just starting out a few years ago. The studio owner just moved into a new facility a few months ago. His rates are really decent and fair, according to my friend. (Actually, my friend is is closer to me than a friend... almost like a son... so he's not feeding me a line of BS.)

    PM me when you get a chance, and I'll get you the info.
  9. Davedog,

    You hit the nail on the head with exactly how I'm feeling about the issue. I've tried to convince them that if you put mud in a cake pan and bake it in the oven it will still be mud when the timer beeps.

    Update on the original post is that only one member of the band still feels like we need a pro studio right now. This member is also the weakest link as far as studio musician.

    I really do appreciate all the advice from everybody! I will use it to try and reach some middle ground with the other members. I'll also keep using this forum to improve my skills and knowledge of recording.

  10. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Why not just try recording at your place unless you are in a hurry to get the songs out. The suggestions above about tracking and possibly mixing some stuff in a different studio is likely your best bet to get to a "great" recording.

    If you do have the time to try recording some more at your place, I would focus on your best song, mix it and then take it to another studio with a dialed control room and listen like it's not your music. It's hard to be objective of your own songs, especially if you are the one recording them but a different, nice room can help.

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