Selecting a Recording Studio
When it comes to choosing a recording studio to record and mix your music,
you’re going to want a professional studio with plenty of experience who can
complete the job on time and to a very high standard.
The best way of choosing a studio is often to go by personal recommendation from
someone you trust.
Alternatively, you could speak to other local bands/artists who have recently
recorded in a professional studio. They may be willing to give you some feedback
on the studio they used.
It's important to ensure that the studio you select is suitable for your
particular project. The following points are important:
It's normally best to select a recording studio close to home.
That way you can minimise travelling and accommodation expenses.
If you're travelling to the studio by car, it's wise to check whether there
is adequate parking available, particularly in the city centre. You may also
wish to check what other facilities are available in the immediate area
(eg. shops, pubs, etc.).
Cheaper rates don't necessarily represent better value for money.
A studio with better rooms and a more experienced engineer will get
better results more quickly and may therefore save you money.
It's a good idea to discuss your project with the studio in some detail
before committing yourself. The studio will help you to estimate how much studio
time is required, and thus allow you to check that the project can be completed
within your budget. Make sure there are no hidden fees. Some studios charge extra
for services such as instrument hire.
You should check that the studio is large enough to comfortably accommodate all
the musicians you intend to record. If you need instruments to be isolated from
each other you should also ensure that there are enough separate recording spaces.
Many studios provide lounge and kitchen facilities - make sure that these are
adequate for your needs. It's also useful if there is somewhere quiet for musicians
to warm up and rehearse parts.
It is important to select a recording studio with good sounding recording rooms.
The best studios usually employ professional studio designers to design the acoustic
treatment for their rooms. It's also important that the acoustics are suitable for
the instruments and style of music you wish to record. For example, if you are
recording a string quartet, you may prefer a large room with plenty of natural
reverberation. For an R&B vocal you would probably want a room with almost no
natural reverberation. Some studios have a number of recording rooms with different
acoustics. Others have ways of changing the acoustics of their rooms to suit
different styles of music.
- Engineer -
The choice of engineer is likely to affect the quality of results more than
any other factor. It is important that your engineer has experience with the
style of music you will be recording. He/she should be easy to get on with
and enthusiastic about your music. If possible, listen to examples of his/her
Equipment - Although equipment is not as important as the acoustics of the room or
the skill of the engineer, a good selection of high quality equipment can make a big
difference to the quality of the final result.
Most studios record onto a computer using software such as Protools or Cubase. Some
studios still offer multi-track recording onto tape but this is becoming less common.
Although tape gives better results for many types of music, the cost of the blank tape
is often prohibitive. Tape also has the disadvantage that a great deal of time is
spent winding the tape backwards and forwards.
Recording Studios in the Manchester Area
For a list of recording studios in the Manchester area, please visit our