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Picking a Studio

More options than ever before

Deciding where to record is a big decision. Fortunately, there are more options available than ever before in history. The following information was created to help you in making these types of decisions. 

Important things to consider:

  • budget

  • gear and equipment

  • engineer

  • comfort


This is usually one of the top concerns when picking a studio. However, it doesn't always come down to price per hour. If you have two studios that charge the same rate, it can come down to the engineer. If it takes you two hours of recording time in studio A and five hours in studio B, the same hourly rate doesn't help. 

The other side to this is if studio A they are running budget equipment and studio B is running professional equipment. Higher-quality equipment usually takes a shorter amount of time to get professional results whereas you may never get the results with consumer-level equipment. 


Gear and equipment

With the advent of affordable recording equipment, it has become possible to record acceptable results in a properly equipped home studio.

Gear and equipment

There is a significant difference in the sound quality when it comes to gear. Professional level equipment has the capability to capture much higher quality sound. Microphones, preamps, interface, and monitoring all play key roles. Additionally the space itself is of the utmost importance when capturing vocals or live instruments. The difference in sound between recording in an untreated room verses recording in a properly acoustically treated room is huge. When a room is not treated properly it can difficult, if not impossible to make the recording sound right. 

To capture a professional sound each piece of the signal chain can be critically important. A professional microphone going into a consumer interface may still be lacking when it comes to the finished product. A high quality microphone going into a professional preamp and interface makes a big difference. Additionally it makes it easier for the engineer to process the sound without having to fight a poor recording. 


Having professional level equipment will not make enough of a difference unless you have a professional engineer. Knowing what microphone, preamp, and eq to use one voice or an instrument is key. A professional engineer will make decisions on the best way to record and mix your music based on education and experience. 

The other consideration when it comes to an engineer is how comfortable the artist is working with him or her. It is incredibly important that your engineer understands what you are trying to achieve in the studio and how to produce your desired results. The right engineer will ask questions to determine a plan of action for recording and mixing. The artist should feel comfortable and trust that the engineer has their best interest in mind. 

The final thing to consider is whether you should use the same engineer and studio for mixing as recording. It is common for one engineer to perform both recording and mixing, but many artists may use more than one studio/engineer.


Make sure you are comfortable in the environment where recording. Does the staff and engineer make you feel welcome and valued? Does the studio make you feel inspired to do your best work? Does the studio have a comfortable place to record vocals and/or instruments? Is there a good place where you can listen back to your work where you can hear a good representation of your work?

Before you decide where to record we suggest you tour the facility. Even if it is a home based studio it a good idea to visit the location before recording.



Artists that are the most successful will have a combination of all of the things discussed here. In many cases, artists will have their own modest set up at their home. This is usually used to capture ideas and work out parts prior to going into a pro studio. Once they have caught their ideas and worked out all of the parts including ad-libs, harmonies, and dubs, they will make the move to a pro studio.  This way when they go to a pro studio they already know what they are going to record and they are looking to capture the best performance and quality recording. 

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