The recordings that your band makes are incredibly important to your musical career; they’re what will generate buzz, get you better shows, and for many bands, they’re the most important part of music–a good, quality recording of even a few tracks can take your band to new heights.
Therefore, it’s crucial to find as good of a local recording studio as you can, to make sure that your recordings are representative of your sound and playable on radio stations or on other mediums. Here are a few tips for finding a great local recording studio for your independent band.
1. Hit up Google. The best place to start looking for a local recording studio is the Internet, and you can check out a variety of recording studios by simply typing “audio recording studio near (your city name)” into Google. Look through as many websites as you can, and don’t automatically write off the home and project recording studios–they can offer great quality recordings, and often a producer that’s very dedicated to helping your band get the most out of its recordings.
2. Ask your fellow bands. If you play a show with a band you like, ask who they’d recorded with. Listen to their music and see if the recordings sound professional, and more importantly that they’ve got good energy–a studio that can bring out a band’s live energy is a rare thing, and it’s often worth paying some extra money per hour.
3. Listen to a lot of samples. For any recording studio that you’re considering, you need to listen to samples of their work–if possible, more than one or two samples. The recording studios typically put their best-sounding recordings on their websites, so you can’t go just off of that. Ask for more clips, or investigate a few of the bands that a studio lists to see if all of their recordings sound equal.
4. Genre matters. Some recording studios will do a fantastic job of recording bluegrass music. That doesn’t mean that they’re right for your metal band. Different genres require different production and mixing techniques, so look for a local studio that can do your music justice.
5. Know your budget. Before looking for any local recording studios, know what you’re willing to pay, whether it’s $20 an hour or $40 an hour. This will help you automatically rule a few out, and maybe even talk down a few studio owners, or even talk them into charging by the song, which gives your band more freedom in the recording studio.
6. Be prepared. Once you’ve found a great local studio, practice with your band. The recordings will only be as good as your band, and even if you’re recording tracks separately rather than all at once you want to make sure that you’re as tight as possible before heading into the recording studio.
Do you have any other tips for finding a great local recording studio for a band? Post in our comments section below.