Why do recording studios charge so much?
Why do recording studios charge so much?
Music contributed a staggering £4.1 billion to the UK economy in 2015. Over the past 4 years the UK music industry outperformed the UK economy in terms of economic growth, with Britain continuing to dominate global music charts, bringing with it both economic rewards and cultural power to the United Kingdom. The UK music industry is booming and while record sales have slipped slightly against audio streaming figures, the overall popularity of British music is still enjoying a steady increase.
While the UK boasts many longstanding musical icons such as Paul McCartney and even Adele, there are many with all the makings of a superstar, should their talent be honed. One Direction may have shot to stardom thanks to The X Factor UK but they have nonetheless reiterated the notion that young artists have the ability to outsell and outperform their older counterparts as long as they have the right guidance. Artists who aren’t reality stars seemingly have a harder time establishing careers for themselves with many not even being able to afford the services of a professional recording studio. Luckily there are many alternate avenues to explore, such as recording at home and gigging at local venues to get their music heard.
The biggest advantage of using a recording studio is that it’s professional. Recording at a pro studio will give you access to people who know the ins and outs of the music production business. They know all the tricks to get your songs sounding great and are even able to fix any flat notes and questionable guitar riffs. The quality and quantity of the recording equipment available at a professional studio is always impressive. Such a studio can offer everything from professional microphones to processors, limiters, compressors, EQ’s and effects, all which can make a significant difference in your recording.
A recording studio is a specialized facility for sound recording, mixing, and audio production of instrumental or vocal musical performances, spoken words, and other sounds. They range in size from a small in-home project studio large enough to record a single singer-guitarist, to a large building with space for a full orchestra of 100 or more musicians. Ideally both the recording and monitoring (listening and mixing) spaces are specially designed by an acoustician or audio engineer to achieve optimum acoustic properties (acoustic isolation or diffusion or absorption of reflected sound echoes that could otherwise interfere with the sound heard by the listener).
The biggest issue especially young musicians has with a pro recording studio is the exorbitant rates. Higher-level studios charge as much as £100 per hour and taking into consideration that it can take anywhere from 50 to 300 hours to complete an album you are left with a sickening bill to pay at the end of the recording process. Most young musicians are on a tight budget meaning that they cannot afford to spend any time in the studio formulating ideas and strategies. It will simply be too expensive.
Know your genre and the kind of flow you want your album or EP to have. Some albums tell a story from start to finish and the songs are all relevant to each other whereas others are simply compilations of songs. Make sure you have the right questions to ask when you’re looking to get studio time.
If it’s your first time recording, visit the studio beforehand and take into account price, recording equipment and the environment itself. This will help you understand what the process will be like. You will also get a chance to meet the staff there and see if it is a good fit. Get to know them – smile and be friendly. There’s so much knowledge among the people working there, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the equipment and process.
Not all studios price the same so make sure it’s clear what you are paying for. Also, find out if the studio can do cheaper rates with longer sessions. You need someone there to run the session and some studios may have options at different rates depending on experience. Find out who is available, what genres they have experience in and how this affects the price
You must make sure you’ve rehearsed to perfection before you arrive. The recording studio is not the place for unnecessary mistakes, as you’ll eat into valuable time. Practice your songs with a metronome to avoid timing issues, especially if you are used to singing along live with instruments.
The equipment is very expensive, the training is expensive, and the engineers’ time has got to be worth something. If all that stuff were cheap, you could do it yourself and forego the studio.
Post by: Sammi Swinton