When you look for a studio, you obviously want to choose one that has the best equipment, sound and experienced staff with all the latest gadgets and tools to make your project sound its’ best. But you also need to consider the fact that you need to have a good working relationship with your engineer. After all, this is the person that’s going to capture what it is you’re trying to present to the world, and you don’t want to be another number.
A good engineer is not only knowledgeable in technical areas, but also in creative areas. In the old days, you would have separate entities involved in a musical production: (1) an ENGINEER and his support staff who would make a proper recording; (2) A PRODUCER, who would take what was recorded and turn it into something cohesive, and (3) A RECORD COMPANY who would take this finished package, arrange artwork, market it and distribute (and give the artist a pittance for their efforts!!)
These days, a studio almost has to offer all of these things to their clients. An "engineer" is no longer merely a technical person, but is involved in all aspects of a production, from making microphone to mix decisions, to making sure there is fresh coffee in the coffee maker and bottled water in the fridge.
You want to have a good relationship and rapport with whom you work with. You want to have fun! Fun is going to make your session a success!! And most of all, within this relationship, you need to be able to trust that the person behind the console or DAW (or mouse) has the knowledge, passion, and desire to make your dreams a reality.
So, when you shop for a studio, consider the fact that a smaller studio — A PROJECT STUDIO — may better fit your needs than a larger one. Their prices are usually reasonable too (i.e., we are $35/hour), and you will have a more relaxed, homey atmosphere to work in. By all means, if you can afford a larger studio there are many great ones here in the Kansas City area! But please don’t think that you absolutely need that type of place to take your music to a professional level. What is paramount is signal chain, clean connections, good preamps and AD/DA conversion, good microphones (and I’m not talking about $5K mics; you can do it with a mic that costs a couple hundred); and a knowledgeable person behind the desk. It also isn’t about: does this studio have Pro Tools HD, Neumann mics and Pultec EQ’s?! You think a software program is going to make you sound better? It isn’t. Certainly, expensive mics are sweet; but you can get a great capture with one that costs a few hundred too. And, there are NICE NICE NICE software plugins for EQ’s and compressors that emulate some of those vintage tools that are just fantastic. Most small studios (like Audio Cave Recording) have those.
And another note about fancy, expensive equipment and software: It is WHO is using the software – no matter what it is — that is going to be able to most effectively get the benefits from it. Give a crappy drum set to Dave Grohl and he’ll play the hell out of it. (Yes, there is a YouTube video with him playing a toy drum set, but I digress….)
Our philosophy is this. Sure, we're in this to make a buck. This is how we eat. But Audio Cave Recording is not into this to make a quick buck. There is a difference. We want our clients to come back again and again; and to tell other musicians about us.
That is more valuable to us than charging a large hourly rate and watching the clock like a hawk. We want to build good, long lasting, working relationships. We want you to come back. If you talk to a studio and they seem too busy to care, say they’re “BETTER” than everyone else in town, come off like know-it-alls, take a while to get back to you, or just have a general, lackadaisical attitude – RUN AWAY. You WILL be sorry. This is YOUR project; and you are doing THEM a favor with your patronage. Don’t let them make you feel like they are doing YOU a favor.
If you want to talk with us more, contact us and we can chat and maybe arrange for you to come down for a cup of coffee and talk about getting you recorded. If you don’t want to talk to us, please contact a few of the smaller studios around here.
This day in age, us small guys need to stick together!!
Thanks for reading.
AUDIO CAVE RECORDING STUDIO
YOU THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING?!