Are recording studio prices breaking your bank? You are definitely not the only one. Once you throw in the cost of the engineer, the musicians, and many other factors recording studio prices can climb quite high. So how exactly do you cushion the damage while still getting the most out of the sessions? Easy, you do things a different way. Having had my home studio running for quite some time now I have learned that when it comes to the professional studios there are a few tips I can give to lower the costs which we will discuss below:
Tip 1: Practice, Practice, Practice
I cannot stress this enough. If your goal is to spend the least amount of money for high quality recordings you need to realize that most studios charge by the hour. If you walk into that studio spending 2 hours trying to figure out where to start you will be seeing quite a heavy bill once it is all said and done with. Before you even consider booking a session learn your material until you can say it in your sleep. This will make a huge difference with the recording studio prices because the less time spent in the studio the less you have to pay. Many studios tend to have a minimal amount of time you must book the session for but how I see it is if you spend 2 hours on one song it is way better than spending 3 or 4 hours. If you are really good you could complete 2 songs within the timeframe given which is a win-win.
Tip 2: Negotiate a Flat Rate
As I have just mentioned, many recording studio prices are based by the time and not necessarily per project. If possible, try to negotiate a one-time fee for the services. For example, let’s say that Studio A charges $5 an hour for a studio session and you have to spend a minimum of 3 hours in the studio. You have an album you would like to put together that contains 12 tracks. With their policy, you will spend at least $15 so if you spend 2 hours a track you will end up spending $120 for the whole project. The key is to advise that you plan on recording a certain amount of tracks and negotiate from there. So if you guarantee to do 12 tracks at the studio you could get a deal of maybe $80-$100 for the project instead. Many times this is possible if you are professional and the studio does not feel it will take you a very long time to complete each track. You get your album recorded at a reasonable price and they are happy with your business.
Tip 3: Find an Investor
Recording studio prices are sometimes unavoidable. So what do the big dogs do? They find investors. Let’s say the Lil Wayne needed to record an album and to recording the whole thing would cost him $100,000. His label would be the investors because they will put up the money, because they believe he will bring in well over that amount. Lil Wayne concentrates on his craft and they worry about the money. This strategy usually works if you are making money with your music. People like to know that they will get money back from the recording studio prices so having a good plan on how you would give back the money is important.
Tip 4: Record Your Own Vocals
Many times a recording studio will charge for the tracking, mixing, and possibly the mastering of the recording. They include it all in the session costs and sometimes this can be reduced tremendously by learning a little. Let’s say that the studio charges $5 an hour for the session, $20 for the mixing and $20 for mastering. If the session lasts 4 hours you are looking at $60 whereas if you just needed your music mixed and mastered you could save yourself $20 which could be used towards mixing or mastering another project. Learning to record your own vocals takes practice but is very possible with a quality microphone and a little know-how about the recording process. A simple Google search will put you on the right track and this tip actually leads me to my final tip.
Tip 5: Build Your Own Studio
There is no better way to reduce recording studio prices better than having your own studio. You can write a song, record, mix, and master your song right from home. As time has passed the cost of buying the equipment has dropped significantly. You could put together a respectable studio for under $1,000. It takes time to learn how to put together a home recording studio and learn to use the equipment. I suggest, again, that you do a search on the topic and get ready to take a lot of notes. The time and money put forth in the beginning will save you plenty of money in the long run.
I hope these tips help you reduce the recording studio prices that you are currently paying. As a fellow indie artist I can relate to how tough it gets sometimes and every cent really counts. With proper planning I am sure you will succeed. Good luck.
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