Rough = Fast; Quality = Slower
“MATE, I WANT AN ‘AEROSMITH’ DRUM SOUND,
|500 CD’s @ $20 each = total earnings $10,000
So investing $2,500-$5,000 would seem reasonable
Moving up up up for an international selling CD - come and see me - I need a new house!!
The point is don’t expect to spend $200 on a recording and expect to do a silverchair.
I had a band call me. They had recorded twice before. They said they wanted to book a 10 hour block to do a 7 song CD - that’s:
OK, being in a particularly cruel mood that day I said OK let’s see how much time 10 hours allows us per song. He said “Sure” - like a lamb to the slaughter.
How can it take 1.5 hours you say? Easy. Because the band haven’t had a whole lot of experience in the studio - it’s unlikely that (for example) the drums are going to have a perfect studio thud that the guys expect to hear on playback - we’ve got to work at it.
You see, what the band expects to end up with in 10 hours is a sound exactly like a Sound Garden or Pearl Jam CD that took 300 hours and $300,000 to create. Let me ask you a question: If Pearl Jam could make a CD in 10 hours wouldn’t they do it? They don’t spend that extra 290 hours in the studio because they like being around microphones - it’s because it takes that long to do it!! Fleetwood Mac took 2 years to make “Tusk”; Jesus Jones took 18 months to mix their 1994 CD.
OK. Where were we?
Let’s put in 1/2 hour for warm-up and headphone mixes.
Band recording songs - 7 songs @ 4 minutes each = approx 30 mins. Let’s assume all songs get recorded on the 3rd take and no-one says a word between takes.
Guitar solos, overdubs - shall we say a bit less than 10 mins. per song (in your dreams).
Lead vocals - as above (in your wildest dreams).
Overdub backing vocals, tambourines, handclaps, Chinese finger cymbals, and gong.
1 cup of tea, and inevitable chit-chat and loo breaks
TOTAL 6 HOURS
This is in a perfect world situation - we now have 4 hours to mix 7 songs = 34 mins. per song.
On my best day if everthing was perfect, no-one talked, everyone in the band agreed 100% with how I was mixing 100% of the time - I could maybe do a mix in 34 mins for a demo if the songs had no stops, no quiet bits and went 1,2,3,4, go - to the end then POW!!! Stop.
BUT it’s not what they want and that’s not how the songs go - the guys want a panning flange on the guitar in the quiet bit, a nice fade in and fade out on song 3, swelling chorus on the girls in the 2nd chorus, etc. etc.
So - the good news is he spoke to me again and booked in 3 days; a wise decision.
The point is you can’t expect to go into a car yard, proudly slam 5 grand on the desk, and say “Gimme a Ferrari” - in short, quality takes time - your budget and your expectations have to be appropriate and realistic - I hate to rely on old sayings but “You get what you pay for”.
But having said all this, you should still strive for a good honest studio with a good dedicated engineer - they are around. Ring around the 30 that
live in your city, get a vibe off them. Out of the 30 you’ll ring you’ll get onto 10, another 10 will ring back, and 10 more will have answer phones.
At the end of the (looong) day, you’ll have a good vibe for 5 of them - Go and see them - don’t be lazy - I know we’re only talking about a $200 demo by a band that’s only 3 months old, and nobody in the band has ever recorded before - BUT - it’s important to you, the songs are important, your education as musicians and a band is important - TAKE CHARGE AND FIND SOMEONE GOOD!!
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as long as you include attribution to myself including contact details
and let me know where you have used the material.
A# Sharp Recording Studio
Phone: +612 9153 9988