Archive for October, 2008

The Home Studio – useless chatter

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Well I don’t have anything to really base a topic on, I just feel like talking about the studio.  It’s my way of unwinding I guess.

Here’s some things I’ve come to understand and realize in the past little while that may be of some use to anyone starting up their own little studio:

- Get a good tuner that people like to use.  It’s very hard to record over out-of-tune scratch tracks, and also annoying if you realize your last amazing take is not in tune.  Use this one tuner for everyone.
-Don’t take it personally if potential clients back out or don’t reply to calls or emails/msgs.  It’s the name of the game.  Network yourself, but realize that some of the younger clients don’t have the social maturity to do you the courtesy of being on honest with you.  They would sometimes rather not deal with telling you that they are going to go elsewhere or do it themselves (hehe).

- If you want that huge tight wall-of-guitar sound, it’s more easily achieved using the same rig and player.  Often the two guitar players in a band will want to each track a rhythm part, meaning two guitars, and sometimes using two different amps, and always two different playing styles.  Completely different doesn’t equal giant singular sound when double tracking and whatnot.  If the guitar player whom you want to take a backseat during the rhythm parts is offended, get him to try his hand at it and then show him the results.  Worse thing that can happen is that the band will discuss and decide which way they want to go.
-  Having a nice desk relaxes clients!  It’s sad, but soooo true.  I had a PC desk from Office Depot that I used in the studio for awhile.  It was ok, did the job.  However, I could tell that some potential clients were put off because my setup did not have that professional studio desk look (you know, those guys that think you must have Pro Tools to record their record that they only want to spend $1-2k on).  I got an Argosy desk, and suddenly my clients began to listen to me more closely and the potential clients who came to check out the studio were always excited when they saw the setup.  I thought it was just my head playing games, but I swear that the appearance of your studio does in fact play a part in the whole scheme of things.

-  Put a light air freshener in your control room.  Nothing crazy, but one of those Glade plugins that give off a small amount of nice scent.  Relaxing… and better than body odor of the drummer who just finished laying down some tracks.  Nobody wants to work in a stank room.

-  Go to see your potential clients play live at shows.  They will be impressed that you came to see them and it will definitely help your case in trying to get their project in your studio.  Otherwise you will only be recording your friends whom you already know and they will probably want a discount ;)

-  Try to stay away from “I want to sound like this band”.  I mean, I always ask about influences, fav records, etc…. but I try to not let the client think that they can spend pennies on a song relative to what the band they are referring to and get the same results, especially since quite often Andy Wallace or Randy Staub or CLA or TLA or etc etc mixed the cd.  I can get their project to sound good and make the client happy and excited to get their music out there, but you have to be realistic.  If you can come to peace with what you have, work on your abilities within your room and space, and not promise the client what you cannot achieve, then you’ll be ok.

That’s about it from me.  Random, very random, but all of this has helped make my studio life a little bit better as time goes on.