My Band Wants to Record, Now What?
If you have found yourself saying my band wants to record then the first thing you should know is well done! Many bands never make it to that point. Too often they fall apart under the strains of external pressures, internal squabbling, creative differences or a myriad of other potential pitfalls that arise when a group of creative people get together to try to turn several different personal concepts into a single artistic vision. The fact that you have succeeded to the point that you want to now record some music is a terrific feat and worthy of praise. That said, you have now reached the true hard part of your band's journey together; because recording music is often easier said than done.
You have several options for how to proceed with getting your music recorded, and all of them require time and money or a great deal of luck. If you have managed to get yourselves noticed doing live performances and have an offer to be represented by an agent or to sign a record deal this will greatly alleviate some of the financial stresses that recording an album entails. What it comes down to is if your band wants to record, there are some major expenses involved with working in a record studio. The process of professionally recording an entire studio album with the costs of renting the studio to do it in and paying a studio engineer to work with you, and the final cost of having your recorded work turned into a master can easily cost over $12,000. If you have this money to invest in your band, then you should be confidant and go for it.
However, most people cannot put that much money into investing in their musical aspirations – and that is where a record label comes in. Record labels front the money for musicians to record an album, and then take payment back on that fronted money out of profits from record sales. This allows musicians to record without having to find a way to pay for it upfront. If you do not have a record deal, however, nor the money to pay for your own studio album there are still a few other options available to you.
With modern computer software and equipment your band can set up a home studio for a fraction of recording studio costs. You will, however, need to commit the time necessary to learn all the aspects of recording to ensure you end up with a quality product. For many bands, however, this investment of time is easier than the costs of studio recording. You could also record a single song demo in a studio to get yourselves out to agents and record labels for only a few thousand dollars. In any case, if your band wants to record you should be encouraged to do so, but prepared for the realities of the process.