Make no mistake: finding the right recording studio for your band is vital to coming out of a recording session with something that you are proud of. When choosing a studio, there are many variables to consider. Here is a primer for finding the right recording studio for your band:
The equipment at recording studios can vary greatly. Go with a studio that has the support you need. If you need AutoTune and various Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers tricks and effects to get the sound you’re looking for, but you’re holed up in some spare room with just a microphone and a stool, you probably didn’t choose wisely. Learn what equipment is needed to get your desired sound, and find studios with that equipment.
Don’t let anyone rush you into a session before you have had time to get inside, examine, and get a feel for the studio. Musicians are sensitive to subtle and subjective things. If you have a bad feeling about a studio’s vibe, don’t ignore that. It may be a perfectly fine studio… but not right for you.
When looking for good recording studios, consider how easy it is for you to get there. Famous musicians may travel far and wide to record their albums, but is this something you can afford to do? If you don’t have the funds or time for travel, find the best studio in your area that you can easily get to. If the best fit for you is far away and you can travel, ask the studio for recommendations or options on places to stay.
Another factor to consider in finding an amazing recording studio is word-of-mouth recommendations. When interacting with others, especially fellow musicians, mention recording studios. You might be at a concert, talking with random friends, or even on a music message board when you discover your perfect recording studio.
There are a lot of great resources for finding recording studios and the best part is you don’t have to scavenge all over unfamiliar urban territory and dead ends to do so. Online resources like Studio Referral Service, The Jam Stop, and Indie Music Digest are just three of the many websites that can help you find the best recording studios for your particular needs.
If you have used a recording studio, how did you pick the right one? If you used an online source to find it, would you recommend the source to other artists?
See also: Recording Studios: The Process