Thank you – DTS Management
All recording sessions/projects are unique in size and style (some simple, some more elaborate). They are usually determined by how many instruments/musicians and how many songs are to be recorded. Some projects can be accomplished within one session, whereas most are comprised of several. A typical recording project with multiple sessions usually consists of 7 stages.
1. FILE PREP – After first discussing a client’s specific needs and requests for their project, the engineer begins to then create computer file templates customized to the client’s songs or pieces of music. This ensures the studio’s ability to be prepared to record the client when they arrive for their scheduled session.
2. SETUP – Is 1 hour BEFORE recording/tracking begins when the client brings in and sets up their equipment into the studio. Simultaneously, the engineer connects the equipment to the studio and positions necessary microphones.
3. TRACKING – This is the actual recording session time as scheduled when music is recorded either as live recording or step recording. Tracking may take several sessions depending on project size and complexity.
4. MIXING/EDITING – Mixing is usually done on a later date, (unless feasible within a session allotted time) allowing a fresh perspective when reviewing the recorded material. This is considered the “rough mixing” stage as edits and corrections are made, and effects and creative decisions are determined.
5. FINAL MIX-DOWN – The client returns to the studio to fine-tune mixes per their approval. Any final changes or corrections are made and any audio coloration is applied.
6. MASTERING – Mix-down song files are processed and reviewed for content, arrangement and consistency. It is during this stage that a project becomes the complete final entity.
7. MEDIA AUTHORING – The final song order is authored to disc (or to another digital medium should the client wish) and copies are made. Only one free CD master is given to each person involved with the creation of the project.
Your session time begins promptly as scheduled beginning with your 1 hour of free setup time. Setup time is negotiable and at the discretion of the engineer. After this setup hour has expired, the “Tracking/Recording” time clock & associated fees begin. This is why it is imperative to arrive on time.
*Please note* – Arriving late does NOT, in any way, obligate DTS Recording Studio to grant extra session time for the client. It is suggested to arrive earlier than the scheduled session time to allow for transporting equipment into the studio. Special setup circumstances occur with the involvement of large instruments or equipment which need acclimation time, such as drum kits. This is usually done prior to session start date.
Even though the studio STRONGLY encourages clients to practice and prepare the material they wish to record, (prior to their session date) performance related mistakes often happen during recording even with experienced musicians. It is NOT the responsibility or obligation of the studio to suspend (or pause) recording and associated fees due to any client-related performance errors or issues. This is why pre-production preparation is in the client’s best interest to maximize their time spent recording.
It is the sole responsibility of DTS to cancel or postpone a client’s session to a later date due to STUDIO-ONLY equipment failure or malfunction resulting in the inability of studio operations. This however does NOT apply to CLIENT equipment failure or malfunction and does NOT warrant any session time extensions. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure their equipment is maintained and functioning properly. It is the sole responsibility of the studio to continue with the scheduled session, as it seems fit.
Alcohol or illegal drugs of any type are NOT permitted on the property or within the studio. DTS Recording Studio reserves the right to terminate or cancel any scheduled session (resulting in the loss of deposit) should any client bring or possess any illegal substances, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol according to the judgment of the studio. As a result, the studio is in NO way obligated to reschedule or grant studio credit for any lost session time.
We at DTS Recording Studio wish to make your recording experience an abundantly creative and comfortable one. Below you will find a number of useful tips, FAQs and guidelines which will better prepare you for your upcoming recording session. These helpful gems of information were created to maximize your studio dollars by focusing on just recording, and by spending less time worrying about uncertainties or distractions.
STUDIO RECORDING OR LIVE RECORDING, WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
A common misconception with music recording studios is how the music is actually recorded. More often than not, many assume musicians/bands arrive at the studio, setup, play together as if they are performing a show as the engineer hits record, then hit stop and they are finished. The answer is yes….and no. It all depends on what “type” of recording you are trying to achieve. The type just described is known as a “LIVE” recording. Simply meaning, all the musicians perform together in the studio and that performance is captured in one pass or several passes (assuming no one made any mistakes). Because of this, there is zero room for error and the artist(s) must play as perfectly as possible. The major downside to a live recording is, there is usually no way to correct a mistake that might occur. Editing is pretty much not possible with a live recording for many reasons. One of which being vocal microphones bleeding into other microphones making it impossible to replace a section of recording because that audio still exists in other microphones. A live recording is best suited for those on a tight budget and usually have no professional interests involved with promoting or even selling their recordings. However, there are exceptions to this such as remote recording at performance venues or rehearsal spaces for one reason or another.
A “STUDIO” recording, also known as “Step” or “Multitrack” recording, is the most common method of recording musicians in a recording studio. It produces the polished professional sound that most people associate with commercially bought music. It is a much more advanced method of recording than “Live” recording and also takes considerable more time to do so. However, it is also more creative and allows the artist(s) to experiment with their recording in many many ways!
A good analogy best to describe studio…or step-recording is that like building a house. A foundation must be established first to build off from. This almost always is usually the drums or whatever dictates time-keeping for the song. Scratch-tracking usually means the entire band or group of musicians perform together during a song, but the focus is meant to capture/record the drummer’s performance to the best of his/her ability. The other musicians are also recorded during this, however it is not crucially important how well they perform because they will be returning one by one to replace or overdub their initial recordings. This process is typically ordered as drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and then vocals. (Hence, the building process of a song.) It gives each musician their own due attention to their parts (time & budget-allowing), to craft their parts as creatively as possible with the usual help from the engineer or producer. Once all parts are recorded or “tracked”, then follows the mixing and then final mastering stage.
So as you can see, there is much more involved with a “studio” recording versus a “live” recording. It all depends on what you want or what your project demands. The question remains… which is right for YOUR project?
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR RECORDING TIME
1. It’s an Investment
Reserving time with a recording studio is an investment. For some people, it’s a chance to finally capture many years of devotion and hard work learning their instrument or craft. It’s important to treat your recording project with the same level of care. If you are not financially prepared to enter a recording studio, you should not reserve time until you have the means.
Each client and session is unique and the length at which someone is recorded varies for a multitude of reasons such as: live or step-recording, how many people, how many songs, how many overdubs, how well someone performs, how complex of an arrangement. However, DTS Recording Studio uses a formula to gauge how much time will be needed as an estimate for the majority of clients that we see. It involves calculating the number of songs within a project and the number of performers with projected tracking and mixing times. Once a client submits a booking request, the studio will correspond with the client over details of the project including a scheduling and billing total cost estimate.
Try to schedule your recording session at a time that does not conflict with anything else. It’s important to focus while recording and not be distracted by worrying about other appointments you may have the same day.
It’s important to get the most time for your money when recording in a studio. Which is why it is critical to rehearse and know exactly what you want to perform BEFORE entering the studio. Try to create a “game-plan” of how you would like your session to go, such as: which songs to record in what order, vocal layers, what effects you wish to use, where solos will be played, etc. Also, be sure to make written copies of these notes for the studio. This will help the engineer better understand your vision of how your project should be.
Make sure all your equipment is working properly PRIOR to your scheduled session. Inspect your gear early enough should you have to send anything out to be repaired, which may take weeks depending on certain manufacturers. It’s also important to perform maintenance tasks on your equipment to achieve the highest level of quality possible during recording, such as: installing new strings on guitars, replacing worn drum heads, investing in high quality instrument cables and purchasing fresh batteries for guitars and effects pedals for each member of your project.
Due to a limited amount of space in the studio for storing equipment, it is suggested to only bring what you actually plan on using to record your project. Should you wish to use a different guitar for each song, then feel free to do so…it’s your project. We just ask to please be conservative with anything you “may not” need or use, as studio space tends to fill up rather quickly.
It is important to be in tip-top shape when entering the studio. Good stamina is very helpful as sessions can often go very long. Be sure to take care of your body and especially areas that directly reflect what you play or how you perform. Vocalists should drink plenty of “room-temperature” water, as cold/chilled water tends to be too abrasive on vocal cords while singing. Getting enough sleep the days before your recording date is also crucial for your endurance. Also, be aware of any allergies you may have. You may not want to reserve studio time at the beginning of seasonal changes when possibly your allergies are at their worst. Plan ahead.
Dress comfortably in layers. Typical of all recording studios, we keep the temperature rather cool due to the amount of lights and computer gear present, but we also try to keep it comfortable for our clients as well. It is our advice to wear light layers to adapt as you record.
Your session time is valuable, which is why you should consider eating BEFORE coming to the studio. Once a session has begun, there are no meal breaks. The tracking time clock continues through the duration of your scheduled session. Any breaks, meal or otherwise, would still be at the cost of the current recording/tracking hourly rate, so its best to eat before or wait until the end of your session.
12. And lastly, Studio Courtesy…
– Food of any kind is not permitted within the studio. Please eat BEFORE coming to the studio.
– Only bottled water or drinks in closable containers are permitted inside the studio.
– Drugs or alcohol are not permitted within the studio or on studio property whatsoever. (Bringing these substances to the studio property will automatically terminate the session and void refunding any deposits.)
– Smoking is only allowed outside the studio in designated areas.
– Clients are responsible for their equipment and operating it safely and properly.
– Please be respectful of the environment and keep the studio and surrounding area clean.
– Animals of any kind are not allowed in the studio.