Before You Price Recording Studios

By: Jerry A. Greene

This is Part 1 of 2 of: "Don’t Waste Time and Money In The Recording Studio"

Question: I am about to record my first CD in a professional recording studio.
I have heard that many people completely blow their budget and obviously, I don’t want that to happen to me, so I was wondering if you have any pointers on what to look out for so that I don’t waste time and money in the studio.

Be Prepared

I have heard many stories about bands being quoted prices for studio time, but once they get in there, they end up coming out with less recording than they expected and ended up spending more money than they expected. A double whammy! You need to be prepared. Here are some tips for making sure that you don’t waste time, or money, when heading to the recording studio:

Have Your Songs Finished

Before you even think of pricing studios, make absolutely sure you know which songs you want to record, and make sure that they are completely finished. All lyrics and melodies, to each song, must be 100% finished. I can’t overstate this point! You’d be amazed as to how many times I have heard of bands/recording artists writing in the studio. It’s the number one time and money waster!

Musical Arrangment

You should have the arrangements of the songs figured out ahead of time. Even though you can change the arrangement of the song, once recorded, in just about every digital multi-tracking software package, it will save you time and money if you can work out your arrangements ahead of time.

Scratch Tracks

You’ll want to be sure to put down a basic “scratch tracks" with a click track, if possible (make note of the tempo). This way you will be able to have a guide from which to construct the songs in the studio. You can make these recordings in on tape, your computer, or digital multi-track.

Lead Sheets

It will help your producer and recording engineer, as well as everyone performing in the recordings, if you could draft up lead sheets for each of the songs. It’s best to do this after you have your scratch tracks done, because you can go back and listen to the scratch tracks and make sure that what you have is what you want. It will also give you an overall perspective of how everything is going to work.

Signature Licks and Solos

This is the only part of the “creative process” that you may want to save for when you are in the studio, but the more prepared you are the better. Having an idea of what you want will save you time and therefore money when going for the real-deal.

End of Part 1 - Part 2 to Be Posted Shortly