How to choose the right recording studio for your band, what is important to know and how you can save your money – I discuss the music production for the unsigned bands.
As you probably know, we started to record my next album. There was a lot of thoughts about. When I should finish writing the songs and recording the drafts, which studio we should go in, how long we need to complete the record, who will mix and master the songs and specially, how much will cost the completely production.
In my previous bands we made some records in our rehearsal rooms, garages, at home or let to make a record some guys with no ideas (one guy said to me once, „why we should double the guitar, it’s loud enough…). At home, as I just started writing and recording my own songs, I used an amp „Yerasov“ (russian amps with the pretty cool sound) and a karaoke-microphone to records the sound of the amp. I had no audio interface or any plugins, just my computer and „adobe audition“ – that was a challenge to get an audible sound.
Way to „Performance Studios“ & Debut Album
Anyway I was tired of all these experiments and my first album I wanted to produce in the professional studio. I found one studio near Worms (GER), where we recorded a demo for my previous band. One day before a signing the deal with this studio, I had an unplugged show with a side-project near Frankfurt. I’ve gotten to know a guy (Jörg See) who made the sound for us. I told him, that I want to make an album, but didn’t find any good studio in Frankfurt. He invited me to visit his „Performance Studios“ in Frankfurt I’ve never heared about just for checking out.
On the next day I was there. The first room doesn’t impressed me – small room with the kitchen and two office tables, small recording station. My first thought was sceptical. But in this moment Jörg said: „Let’s go in to the recording room“. haha
Man, I was damn shoked: 300 qm space, control room with an analog mixer and EQs, huge boxes ect.
We’ve listened to some bands Jörg produced and talked about music and what I’m looking for. I was really afraid of asking about the prices. I just wanted to stay there for my whole life. haha But the prices surprised me also. For this sort of studios it was really reasonable and I gave him my „Yes“.
On the same day I’ve cancelled the session in the studio near Worms. The dude was pissed off, but come on – the studio in Frankfurt was 20 Min. away from home and more favourable.
I booked Performance Studios for 2 weeks (1 week recording + mixing). The most important condition for me was „no time pressure“ and Jörg offered this.
I can’t explain how I was feeling these 2 weeks long. Every day I woke up with the smile on my face… walked to the studio like to the job but with the best mood ever, worked there 12 hours long, walked home completely exhausted but happy. For the first time I’ve got the feeling, that I’m musician and I really want to do this life long.
- When we’ll make an album in the big professional studio, the doors will open for us everywhere and we can bring our message to the masses playing 100 gigs a year. Too naiv! haha
- To establish contacts with right people in this business. I hoped, the studio helps me on this way – I was right. I met not only supporters but friends as well: Daniel Aigner from „Blue Lines Backline Rental“, Sonja Maksic (Graphic design), the guys from Radio X, some event-organisers ect.;
- Tired to excuse about bad quality of recordings we made in my previous bands. Of course, my debut album is not perfect, but it shows our beginning. In my opinion, it sounds cool and I can proudly say: „Hey, here is my album. Check it out“;
- I just needed this experience… needed to know how good we are, how creative we can be, how much time we need for an album.
My name is Reality:
The bitter truth comes after your friends bought your music on the release party.
What’s next? – you still have no response from the venues and bookers, nobody invites you to playing, nobody buys your CDs and music in the internet, nobody visits your homepage, nobody knows that you exist and released an album… I startet to annoying the studio to help me out.
My 1st advice, don’t expect a lot of help from the studios. They can support you in some way, but they can’t dedicate much time to you, because there is already the next band, which is recording their stuff and has the same hopes.
The truth is, you’re just staying alone and almost on the same point, but with the ****€-album in the hand. If you have a bit more money, it’s ok, but my bank account was empty and I still booked the shows by myself, asked people for a review or an interview and promoted my band by myself ect.
My 2nd advice, don’t expect becoming more popular after your first record. Sure, when you sign a deal with Roadrunner Records and release your debut album, you’ll achieve an other effect. You also have to consider the time we’re leaving in with its informational overdose. But even if you’re damn good – THERE IS A LOT TO DO!
In Part 2 I would share my next steps in the music production and explain why we went to the professional recording studio again.
Hope you enjoy this part and it was helpful for you in some way. Share it with the friends or leave a comment! Be cool and respectful.