Finding the right fit for your band/musical act/recording needs can be tough. Gasoline Alley’s Chief Production Engineer, Jerry Gaskins, gives us a few tips on what to look for in a recording studio.
1. A comfortable environment
You are comfortable with your bandmates, your booked venues, and your songs. You should feel comfortable with your studio/engineer/producer. A good vibe and a great hang go a LONG way to making a better project.
2. An equipment list that can substantially separate the studio from a bedroom/garage recording set up
You should look for things like a Live Room, an Isolation Room, a Control Room, a healthy selection/variety of microphones, pre-amps and assorted hardware.
3. A clean, maintained, environment
You don’t want to be walking onto the set of “Sanford and Son” when you go to record. If the place looks trashed, the gear probably is, too. Conversely, if the studio is clean and organized, your odds are much improved that care has been taken with the equipment as well.
4. A safe/secure environment
If you plan on recording a few days and you bring in your drum kit or guitar rig, you may prefer to leave your equipment in the studio. This minimizes set up time and eliminates the need to accurately re-place mics for consistency of recording. You know you want to feel your gear will be there tomorrow when you return to track!
5. A certainty would be the sound quality being produced by the studio
You should ask to hear examples of material that has been recorded at the studio. Even if the studio you are checking out has the coolest gear, and the greatest floor plan, and is the perfect photo op, if it can’t make good sounding recordings, you’re wasting your time and your money.