Finding the right recording studio, be it a home studio or a large professional studio, is not often an easy decision. There are a lot of things to take into consideration like budget, acoustics, equipment and engineer experience. This article is written to give you some clarity on what you should consider when choosing a recording studio. So let’s get started!
The Home Studio vs. The Pro Recording Studio
With good equipment more accessible, there has been a surge of home studios and of people who are choosing to record in someone’s basement over a pro recording studio. Here are some things to consider when choosing one or the other:
- Budget: Home studios generally have fixed rates, where pro studios have hourly rates. So if budget is important to you, a fixed rate will often be cheaper with a home studio and you don’t have to constantly focus on how much extra time it’s taking to record your tracks. They can do fixed rates because they have a lot less overhead costs than a professional Music recording studio production. If you do choose a pro studio, plan your budget out. Half for recording, half for mixing and mastering. It will help you spend less time focusing on the hours going by and more on your performance.
- Scheduling: Scheduling is always a tough one. It really depends on the amount of work needed to complete your album, how many other projects they have on the go, the experience of the engineer, and so on. Scheduling can often be more difficult at a pro studio if they are busy and you are not their most important client. At home studios, you may be the top client or the only client, making it easy to get in and work on your album. However, the actual recording process can be more time consuming at a home studio
- Quality: This is debatable, but often you will get better quality from a major studio. They will have top notch equipment and engineers to get the job done. At the same time, a home studio might have everything you need and at a much cheaper price. Acoustics and quality go hand in hand, and larger studios will often have better acoustics because they are able to invest heavily into their recording rooms.
What other stuff should you take into consideration when choosing a recording studio?
Equipment Quality & Engineer Experience
Many studios will have good engineers working for them with years of experience. You want to make sure they have the right experience for the sound and style that you want. If you require certain equipment, you want to make sure they have it, otherwise it will be more money coming out of your pocket for them to find and rent to your specific requirements. However, well-equipped studios will have more overhead costs, meaning higher rates. It’s a little give and take.
Recording Space & Atmosphere
Check out the recording studio before signing anything! You are going to have certain needs, so make sure the studio meets them. For example, if you need to track drums, make sure they have a drum room that has the acoustics you want. Don’t take acoustics lightly especially if you have a certain style or sound in mind. If you plan to record live, you need a studio with enough mics, cords, etc, to be able to do so. Make sure to find that out!
Will it be a comfortable space to play? Comfort level will affect your performance, so you need to make sure you and your band like the feel of the studio since you will be spending a lot of time there. You want a creative environment where you can thrive and produce your best work.
Know what you want your final product to look like. If you aren’t on a major label, most of the time a small to medium sized studio will do the trick and will be much lighter on your budget. If you need certain equipment, acoustics, etc, don’t compromise quality if you don’t have to. You need to figure out what is best for you and your band and what you value more from your recording experience. Make sure to do your research about the studio and the experience of the engineers. If you are a heavy metal rock group, you do not want an engineer with experience in country recording.