HOLD UP! Booking a studio. I think there should be some very dramatic music right now… excuse me, “DUM DUM DUM DUM”. Did that do it for you? How about listening to this short clip on youtube to get the dramatic effect I’m looking for…
Let me take a second to explain this part to any readers that are contemplating doing an album in the future. This is a very important step and if done wrong it will become a major setback. If you are thinking about doing mainstream music listen closely. I trusted a studio that I had never used before. (Bad mistake) No one I knew had ever used it before. (another bad mistake) I hadn’t ever heard any final products from this studio either. (triple bad mistake) Let me repeat, this is a major decision so make it wisely.
The first red flag was…there were no sample tracks to hear? It seemed odd, but the studio had a nice piano, the dates I needed were open for recording, and it was not too far away. A lot of other things lined up so I went with it. (Listen to your inner self. Do not rush this part. I was excited to get the album done. Take the time necessary to make sure the studio you are considering knows what they are doing before continuing.) Insist on hearing final products to show the mixing ability of the studio engineer. If the studio does not offer a sample for you to listen to, and you do not have any recommendations from friends about the studio. Do NOT use the studio. Learn from me. Okay? I’m moving on…
Without thinking too much (BIG BAD TERRIBLE MISTAKE) I booked a studio, recorded tracks with the piano, something didn’t feel right to me so thankfully I stopped the project after two days paid the engineer and took the tracks to sing on at another studio I was familiar with. I do not know what really happened… All I know is that after several different recording engineers listened to the tracks I sent them, all four studios agreed that the files were recorded too hot. Basically, the session I paid for was unusable. What a mess It put me back time and money and I never did get refunded anything. This is partially why the project has taken me so long to complete. (Good you are learning that I am human and have tons of flaws. I have lots of stories about losing money in this business. It is very disappointing.)
Obviously I’ll never go back to the studio that stiffed me. It was a big waste — there I said it. I really try hard to find something positive in negative situations but this one was a big learning mistake on my part. If I had to pick something positive out of all this? Well, I guess I would say that I learned a great lesson. I learned to be careful and now I get to help you and pass on this valuable information to you so that you hopefully can learn from my mistake. So be very cautious with whom you book your recording session with. It is a very important decision. Let’s get past this part already shall we? It still stings me a bit to think about it.
Another wonderful thing came out of this disappointment and that is, I had more time to really decorate the second attempt with icing galore, it came out so beautifully the second time I can honestly say it all happened for the best. I am in love with this album and I think you will be too. It is now crunch time. Instead of being done in May with plenty of time ahead for my release date it is now unfortunately down to the wire. All the last minute details need to be finished without any problems or I will miss the deadline date for the release party. I hope it all comes together. This has been a huge ordeal and it has taken me a lot of extra time but I believe it has all been worth it. I will be so happy holding the nicely wrapped little album in my hands in a little less than three weeks.
1. Get sample tracks from the studio to hear their mixing and recording ability
2. Get recommendations from friends who have recorded but make sure to check into details yourself
3. Be careful and really listen to your heart. Let it guide you.
4. If something doesn’t feel right trust your instincts.
5. Check the recording equipment and find out what system the engineer uses.
6. Start with your project far in advance in case you run into any snags. (most likely you will run into some)
7. Set up a due date to be finished so you have something pushing you to get it done in time.
8. Check 3-5 studios in your area and compare prices. Most places book by the hour.
9. If studios are expensive it doesn’t guarantee they are good.
10. If studios are inexpensive it doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are doing.