As an artist, your choice of recording studio to capture your art is a vital decision. There is a fine balance when choosing a recording studio between quality and cost. Use the tips in this guide to find a quality recording studio that will help you get the most for your money.
Ask around. Networking and talking to other artists is the best place to start when looking for a studio. This will give you an idea of what different studios offer from an artist's perspective. Ask to hear what other artists have recorded at different studios.
Listen to some work recorded at different studios. This will give you a good idea of what a studio is capable of producing. Listen to the music in some different systems that you are familiar with, such as your home stereo and your car, and listen for the differences of quality. A good recording should sound good in every system, mono or stereo.
Visit the studio to see if you feel comfortable there. One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of a recording studio is the vibe you get. If you cannot feel comfortable because the studio is dirty, not well lit or just not to your taste, it is going to be difficult to perform a quality recording. Check out the different rooms in the studio to see if they sound good.
Consider the quality of the studio's equipment and personnel. Good equipment will help you get the best possible recording so do your research on the gear that the studio offers. This can include gear like microphones, preamps, interfaces and external processing gear. A good engineer is even more important than the gear. A good engineer can create amazing sounds from average equipment so be sure to consider the quality of the person hitting the buttons and not just the gear the buttons are on.
Set a budget. This is the trickiest part of the process. Big, professional studios can offer world-class gear with engineers who have decades of experience with numerous awards, but all of this comes for a price. There is no set price for what recording costs, which means that there is some negotiating room at most studios. Don't try to bite off more than you can pay for though.