Recording Vocals: Finding The Right Recording Studio

Vocals can make or break your song’s potential.  Having a sub-par vocal track can bring down an otherwise great song.  But an excellent, professional vocal recording can be the key element that puts your song in “radio ready” territory.  There are any number of reasons why you might want to find a recording studio to record your vocals in.  Lots of people have home recording setups, but while you can sometimes get by recording or sequencing instruments in your home, high-end vocal microphones are often out of the average person’s budget.  For people with no home recording setup whatsoever, there aren’t too many options for recording vocals other than renting out a recording studio.
Maybe you’ve recorded some backing tracks or used Studio Pros’ music production service to have professional session musicians play on your song.  If the rest of your track sounds top-notch, it’s important to make sure your vocal track can hold up to the quality of the rest of the song.  So how can you find the right vocal studio to record in?

Get a great location

The level of convenience you need is ultimately up to you, but it’s probably a good idea to find a studio that’s near where you live or work.  You’re most likely going to have to take multiple trips to the studio, and you may already have a busy schedule to contend with.  Since it’s far too easy to say “I’ll do this later,” you’ll want to leave yourself as few excuses as possible to avoid getting out there and recording your vocals!  You might try using Google Maps to find a studio near you.

Find an affordable recording studio

It wouldn’t make much sense to pay for studio time if the total costs equaled those of buying a nice microphone and recording software yourself.  Luckily, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a place that will save you money in the long run.  These days home recording gear is readily available, which means recording studios have needed to adjust their rates to keep competitive.  Additionally, there are plenty of people with excellent home studio setups that will probably charge less than renting out a full recording studio.
Keep an eye out for studios with rates in the $30-40/hour range, which is very reasonable and, depending on where you live, could be common (it’s also typical for studios to charge in the $50-75 range, so shop around for the best deal near you).  But you’ll want to establish your budget ahead of time, as it can be easy to lose track of time once you start the creative process.  You might want to talk to studio staff beforehand about how many songs you want to record and get their estimate on how much time it will take, especially if you’ve never recorded before–it may take longer than you’d expect!

The importance of a welcoming atmosphere

Your comfort level in the prospective vocal recording studio is of the utmost importance.  Singing can be a very personal thing, so you’ll only be able to get your best performance if you feel completely at ease.  Take a tour of the studio before you commit to it.  Do you like the atmosphere of the facility?  Are the people friendly and professional?  Does the studio appear to be well-kept and maintained properly?  These are all important questions to ask yourself before laying down any cash.

Music production skills in-house

You’ve found a place nearby with good rates and a great vibe.  Last, but certainly not least, is making sure they have competent engineers/producers in the staff.  While the first three steps are all about getting yourself in a comfortable frame of mind for singing, this step is about being confident that the people you are paying are the right ones for the job.  Not only should the in-house engineers know everything you’ll need to get a great vocal track, but they should also be familiar with your style of music.  The ideal vocal part for a country pop song can be very different from that on a punk rock tune, and your music producer should be able to tell the difference and get the right performance out of you.  Listen to samples of work done in the studio by the people you will be working with.  Do they know how to record an awesome sounding vocal track?  Do they know how to work within the confines of your particular genre and style?
After taking these things into account, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a sweet place to sing on your next hit song.  If you’re not quite at that stage, consider using Studio Pros’ full music production service to get the professional sounding backing tracks you’ll need to sing your heart out!
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