Loading...
RRFC is fully functional during the current Coronavirus public health crisis. Find out how.close X

Things To Look For in a Recording Studio

If you’re a band or musical artist looking to record a demo, EP or full-length album your choice in recording studio is going to impact the finished product more than you realize. Different studios specialize in different things, and they feature engineers and producers who have skills in very particular regions. 

Picking a studio to record in is like picking a silent partner in a business. If you pick poorly, it’s going to come back and haunt you. You’re a hard-working devotee of the music profession. You’ve worked hard, you’ve struggled, and you’ve hustled. And you’re now just trying to get a foot in the door, a leg up. 

You’re trying to take your hopes and dreams and distill them down into something that’s going to connect you to a fanbase. That’s the whole point of doing this, right? To make work that connects with people, that brings people together. If you choose of recording studio that isn’t aligned with your goals, you’re going to regret it. 

You’re going to feel it in the recording. It’s going to be tangible.  It’s going to be impossible to get what you want if the people who are helping you make it are working against you the whole time. Picking the right studio is key to the record’s success. When making this choice, here are some practical things to look for:

1) CHOOSE A STUDIO THAT SPECIALIZES IN YOUR GENRE

If you’re an EDM artist who focuses on MIDI and computer-generated sounds, a recording studio that focuses on classical, country, folk or other acoustic styles of music is probably not going to be a good fit for you. It might be the best studio in town, but if they are so focused on analog recording that they rarely open their DAW, chances are they won’t do a good job for you. Pick a studio whose engineer has experience working with your musical style. That way, you’re more assured that they’ve already figured out ways to make you sound good.

2) CHOOSE A STUDIO WITH PROPER ACOUSTIC TREATMENT

These days, it’s become popular for start-up studios to set up in houses, warehouses and other facilities without doing any acoustic tuning or treatment, claiming that the place has some cosmic properties that just “make it sound good naturally.” Sometimes this can be the case, but other times this is just laziness (or a bad ear).

You might not want to record in a completely controlled environment, but you need to make sure the acoustics sound good on recordings. Listen to records that were recorded in that studio; talk to bands who have recorded there. Make sure the studio puts out a good sound before you spend your money on it.

3) CHOOSE A STUDIO WITH A GOOD REPUTATION

Even if you find a great-sounding studio, if the people who run it don’t have a good reputation for working with people, it’s not worth your time or money to record there. A reputable studio is happy to give references. Call those references, and ask about their experiences.

4) CHOOSE THE BEST STUDIO YOU CAN AFFORD

Of course, at the end of the day, your budget might be the deciding factor in picking a studio. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. But sometimes it’s worth waiting and raising a little extra money to get a studio that could make the difference between a “good” recording and a “great” one.

The good news is, the most expensive studio isn’t always the best one for you, and sometimes talented engineers will cut deals with indie bands in order to build their own reputation. If you do your homework and look for a studio based on the other criteria we mentioned above, it is possible to make a great recording even on a limited budget. Just don’t cut corners: if you have to come up with a little extra to get into the right studio, do it.

5) MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR LEVEL

Finding a crew of people who see the common vision you’re attempting to drive at is paramount. You’re someone who has a vision, you’ve been working towards this moment for years. And you’re constantly trying to improve your skills and make the world see your talent. If the people you’re going to be working with at this studio don’t see that? That’s an issue. You need to find a different studio. 

Ultimately, the music is the thing that matters most. That’s what needs to be protected. That’s what needs to be shepherded. That’s what you as the artist need to strive for. You need to be guarding the music first and foremost, and picking the right place to create it… IS protecting it.


Our Site

ApplyExternship LocationsView Your ClassroomFAQReference LibraryAudio TermsMission StatementStudent Consumer InformationContact Us
Request Info