Recording Studio Commonly Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring in my own engineer?
Yes. But we recommend using someone from our staff as they know the room, gear, and everything involved in the facility. We are confident that you will be more than happy with your end product! If you choose to use your own engineer, we do require a meeting with the engineer chosen to make sure they are familiar with our equipment prior to your session.
How much does it cost to record a song?
There are so many factors that go into the price of recording one song. Much of that depends on you. Are you well rehearsed? How many instruments / tracks will be involved? What quality product are you looking to receive (demo or commercial)? We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your project goals to give you an accurate estimate, but there are literally thousands of correct answers to this question.
What do I need to start a session?
We require a deposit equal to half of the projects estimate prior to booking. Bring any practice tapes or practice recordings of the material you will be recording. Make sure that all guitars have new strings and proper intonation, and are free of any fret buzz or extraneous noise. Drums should have new, properly tuned heads. We recommend that you purchase two hard drives: one as a work drive and one as a backup drive. The bigger the size of the drive, the better. It is essential to always keep important material backed up in case of a blackout or drive failure. Audio Real Studios will only retain a backup of your session for 14 days from the conclusion of your project.
I have a home studio, what can a bigger studio possibly do for me?
The advances in technology for home recording studios have been astonishing over the past 20 years. Honestly, we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for home recording. However, home recording has it’s disadvantages. Most people’s homes or apartments are not built with proper design or acoustical properties for a “clean” recording. Commercial recording studios invest tens of thousands of dollars on designing and building rooms that are properly balanced for resonance, timbre, and sonic frequency response. You may be able to “bury” your neighbor’s lawnmower in your mixes,but fragments of unwanted noises will always remain. Larger studios are also equipped with microphones and gear that are typically impractical for the home studio. Thas allows us to capture intricate details of the performance and dynamics that are often lost in home recordings. Then there is the mixing / mastering… most musicians and DIY engineers have a pretty good ear for what they want, but don’t have the experience, gear, or ability to incorporate that sound in the mix.
Do we all pay the same room?
In most cases drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards will all be in the same room. We do this so all the musicians can make eye contact and groove together. This does not mean the guitar amps, bass amps, and keyboards amps are all together in the same room. Bass and keyboards are most often recorded direct. Guitar amps, and keyboards amps can be put in isolation booths leaving only the drum microphones in the main studio room. We do this to provide maximum isolation between instruments to aid in the mixing process.
How long does it take to set up and what does it cost?
Typical setup is about 30 minutes for us. It is incorporated into your scheduled recording time, which stats at the time you have booked with us, whether you are there yet or not. Please be on time to get the most out of your recording session.
Do we do vocals at the same time?
Yes and No. In most cases we record a scratch “rough” vocal during tracking to help the band have the feel of the music. It is best to record lead and backing vocals by themselves so we can concentrate on the best possible performance.
I have a lot of guitar effects that I use. Can I use them to record?
We prefer to record all instruments dry. Excluding distortion and expression pedals, we highly recommend that no other effects be used during the recording process. Any effect you like to use can be sent in through a headphone mis while recording, but we have found that getting a good, clean take is always the best way to record. We will aff any any effects you would like during the mixing process.
Can you take the vocal off of a production CD so I can sing on it?
No. Audio Realm Studios LLC can’t remove vocal. That process leads to very poor music quality and is illegal. If you would like to record your vocals on a pre-recorded son, there are places to purchase reproductions of most songs sans vocals, which we would be happy to help you with.
What if I make a small mistake? Do I have to perform the whole song again?
No. We can punch in small parts to fix minor issues. We can also record more than one take and edit them together to achieve the best final result.
What if my pitch is a little off? Can you fix it?
Yes. We have a program that can fix minor pitch variations and timing inconsistencies.
Can you sample things from old recordings to put in my songs?
Yes. We do it all the time, but you are responsible for obtaining any necessary copyrights to use those sound clips.
Can you produce the copy for my commercials?
Yes. We work with some great writers who can work with you to deliver your message to the masses.
Can you provide the talent for my voice-overs?
Yes. We work with many talented voice actors, but you are free to provide your own as well.
Do you have music for my production?
Yes. We can produce original music for your production. We also have a library of ready-to-go music beds for your commercial.
Does Audio Realm Studios LLC have musicians on staff?
Yes. We have a network of musicians that we work with that are proficient on several different instruments in several different styles. Audio Realm Studios LLC does not make a profit from providing studio musicians and each have their own rate.
How do you create a “sound” for me?
We will have an initial consultation with you, where we will listen to your material, find out what music you like, and work on artist development to create a sound that fits you.
Do you do Radio Commercials and Sound For TV Commercials?
Yes. It’s one of our specialties.
What is mixing?
Mixing is one of the most important components to creating a quality recording. Once the sound is recorded from the performances, volume, EQ, compression, and effects levels are set to create a cohesive and natural sounding recording. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the level of production you are seeking. In our state of the art control room, we pride ourselves on being up to date and highly experienced in the processes necessary to make your project “radio ready”.
Do you have gear that I can use for my session?
Yes. We offer a wide variety of amplifiers, guitars, and specialty instruments available to you for recording purposes. We also have a studio drum kit for percussionists to use during recording. There is a small fee to use this gear, but all of our equipment stays properly maintained for your convenience. You can find details about price and specific equipment in our Price List and our Equipment List sections of this site.
Why should I have my finished product mastered?
Mastering is the final step in the recording process. It involves cleaning up beginnings and endings of songs, establishing the spacing between tracks, balancing the relative levels between songs, and generating the code information denoting track start and end locations. It can also involve compression, limiting, equalization, expansion, normalization, and other processes. The removal of extraneous noises, clicks and pops is also done during mastering. Good mastering can help an album feel more like a cohesive whole.
Do you do mastering?
As one of Ft. Bend County’s premiere recording studios, we do offer mastering. Although if we feel the project may need that extra surgery that it sometimes requires, we also have a great relationship with mastering houses in New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles that we can send it to!
Who do I contact about booking and billing?
For booking and billing, contact Audio Realm Studios LLC at 832-303-3323 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get to Audio Realm Studios LLC?
We are conveniently located at 4376 Gessner, Houston, TX 77041.