Many people have this idea that artists are eccentric, almost spiritual, figures. Their work just comes to them in a burst of emotion or a moment of inspiration.
If you’re an artist, you know that’s not usually how it goes. Artists are just like other types of workers. They need a work environment that allows them to practice their craft without inhibitions.
This need is especially present in musicians. If you make music, you need a place to go where your playing and mixing won’t make your neighbors call the police. That’s why you need a professional recording studio.
A recording studio is an ideal place for recording music, but what makes a studio the right place for you to work? If you’ve ever wondered about that, look no further! In this article, we’ll address all the things to look for when selecting a studio.
One of the most critical aspects of your search for a recording studio is its location. Depending on where you live, this may not be a problem. Cities like Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York have recording studios in abundance.
However, if you live in a more remote location, this could prove quite an inconvenience. The nearest recording studio could be an hour or more away. You may not think you’d mind the commute, but think it through.
Making music is a time-consuming process. You might be full of energy on your drive to the studio. But, by the time you set up your instruments, tune them, record your music, and spend time mixing and mastering it, you’ve spent a lot of time at the studio.
You’re probably exhausted by this point in the process. The last thing you want is to drive an hour just to get home. Aside from practicality, though, there is another benefit to using a nearby recording studio.
Working locally shows an investment in your community. If you’re a band, your hometown is where you built your first fanbase. Having that connection makes the music personal to your locale.
Professional Recording Studio Staff
You may not spend much time thinking about a studio’s staff. However, the staff is often the thing that makes or breaks a recording studio. In particular, a skillful mixing engineer provides you and your band some much-needed help.
Mixing engineers make a tremendous difference in the flow of your recording session, the quality of your album, and keeping things cool between you and your bandmates. They also serve as mediators between artists and producers, helping the two translate their goals to one another.
The other essential staff person you need is a producer. These guys help artists realize their creative visions by utilizing all the necessary tools to record and polish the sound.
Producers and mixing engineers are artists in their own right. They have a thorough knowledge of techniques and help shape your raw material into an album that reaches the masses.
Producer and engineer combos have helped bands to make legendary albums. For an example, check out this article about the mixing engineer who worked with Queen on “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
However, while the producer and engineer are the highlights of the perfect studio, other staff help the place run seamlessly. If you can find a studio that’s easy to get in touch with, keeps up with your appointments, and keeps the equipment clean, you may have found a gem.
Make Sure There’s Enough Space
When you’re checking out recording studios, the amount of space they have is crucial. Space may not be as big a deal if you’re a solo artist. However, if you have a band, you need to make sure there’s enough room for all of you to fit and play your instruments comfortably.
The amount of space you need will vary depending on the size of your band and the amount of equipment you need. If you’re a jazz group with a big band, including drums, trombone, sax, horns, bass, and others, you’ll need more room than a three-piece rock band.
The amount of space you require could also change with the song you’re recording. Maybe one piece is a bit more experimental and includes instruments you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Capturing the Sound
While it’s easy to get lost in the details and fine print, don’t forget why you come to the studio. You’re there to make a masterpiece of music, and you need an expert sound design to pull that off.
Sound design relies on certain equipment. First and foremost, you need a range of microphones from reliable brands. Some specific types of mics to look for include condenser, tube, and dynamic mics. Each of these has its specialty in capturing your vocals.
Beyond microphones, you also require equipment for creating desired effects. A high-quality recording studio will include an assortment of technology for reverb, delay, EQ, compression, and distortion.
These effects are vital to layering your effects and sounds for your music mixing and mastering. They’re the sort of effects that make the difference between Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and a random street drummer’s cover.
The cover might be spot on, but it won’t be as textured as the studio version. Phil’s drumming sounds the way it does through an expert blend of mixing techniques.
Lastly, check out the console in a studio’s control room. Does it have all the input options you need for your recording? Is there a maintenance person on staff to fix things if channels go down?
Beyond those hardware concerns, check out the types of music the console has produced. Does it seem capable of producing music with your style and aesthetic? Once you know a bit about the tech, you should be ready to go!
Find a Recording Studio Today
A professional recording studio is crucial to creating phenomenal music. It holds the equipment and staff to help you achieve something that you could never have done otherwise!
If you want to learn more about what makes a great studio, check out more online resources until you’ve learned all you need to know. Then, start checking out studios!