Euphonic Studio ™

Recording studio and music instruction adventures since 1979

How to get started recording with Euphonic Studio

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Euphonic Studio
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Serving the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor
Call 319.895.8002 for a tour or recording appointment or write bill@euphonic.us
We record all types of music and your satisfaction is guaranteed!

Here’s the short version for those who prefer succinct advice!

If you like, I will be HAPPY to guide you through the process of organizing your recording session!

Just a reminder… video services also available!

1. Tour the studio to determine if this is a good fit for your project

2. Determine the scope and size of the project you are going to record. (How many musicians, how many songs, timeline for completion, etc.)  Also determine how this music is going to be used (self-published CD, demo, audition, vanity project, etc.)

3. If you are a vocalist who is going to sing to backing tracks (like karaoke) make sure you can find accurate tracks in a key you can sing (I can help you with that!!!)  If you are going to work with a band or accompanist, make sure the material is well-rehearsed.

4. If you are a band be prepared to create and play along with a scratch track of your song.  This is so the vocals and solos can be overdubbed later.  It’s very easy to do and it will help you resolve any outstanding arrangement problems that still exist.

5. Producer.  If you can find someone you trust to make intelligent decisions and resolve disputes between band members it would be great! If not, I can do that for you.

Some tips for those of you considering a recording session at Euphonic Studio

Here are some ideas for songwriters, instrumentalists, vocalists, and bands and ensembles to help you plan your session at Euphonic Studio.  Planning is important no matter where you are recording, and we hope you choose Euphonic but you are welcome to this information no matter where you are recording.  Some of this applies to everyone and there is information specific to different types of recording.

1.  Come over for a no-cost no-obligation tour of the studio where I will show you the environment in which you’ll be working plus some recordings in various stages of completion.

This is where your performance becomes a CD

This is my workstation, where I will turn your performance into a CD

2.  When will you know that the project has ended?  This may seem like a strange question, and it is, on purpose.  What I am trying to get at is this: what is your target for the end product?  Is this a collection of songs to print on CD and distribute through some house like CD Baby?  Is it a single song or a small collection for YouTube or a gift?  Is it an audition? (I have had very good luck with audition CDs).  Do you want to do some video with it? How familiar are you (and group) with recording studios? Do you need to use the grand piano? If you are a band, can you record using overdubs?

All of these questions are things that you should think about as you are planning your project as they will affect the time required for getting your project done, and of course, with recording as with so many other processes, time is money.

3. For vocalists

If you are going to be singing to backing tracks, you should try to get the highest quality (meaning the best recording and the most accurate arrangement) of your song(s) that you can find.  Karaoke tracks are not all created equal, so you should try to find the one that sounds most like the original singer’s production.  I will help you with that!

4. For bands.   Due to restrictions in the size and shape of my room, you are likely going to have to record a scratch track and play along with it for the final takes.  Don’t worry about this, it’s easy to do once you get the hang of it and I have recorded several bands using this method with great results.  This is a bit more time consuming, but if you think about the time it would take to get everyone to play their parts completely perfectly at the same time you can see how this easily saves you time (and therefore $$).

EVERYONE SHOULD BE AWARE of copyright laws and understand that you cannot record your version of someone’s song and then sell it.  There is a fair chance that you could get away with that on a small scale, but it’s important to understand the ethical issues here.  An entire team of people including the artist, songwriters, and musicians created the production.  It may not be THEIRS, or maybe only a tiny portion of it is, but it belongs to somebody other than the general public (except for expired copyrights) so you should not make money by selling recordings of it without permission from the song’s owner.  If you can make money by using the song as a vehicle to show someone else that you have talent, then GO FOR IT but you cannot sell the recording.

This does NOT mean that you cannot sell your version of a song belonging to someone else!!   You can  can pay for the mechanical reproduction rights for the song.  It’s not FREE, but it allows you to use the song.   Cost?

Here’s an example.  In 2012 the rate for a song is $.0175 per minute per copy.  So each copy of a 5:30 song would cost you $.105 (ten and a half cents)  because 6 * $.0175 = $.105

This is good up to 2500 copies with discounts for quantities.  So if you record a CD and use someone else’s 5 minutes and 30 seconds song on it, and print 1000 copies of it it’s going to cost you $105.  Not free, but doable if you really want to include the song.

*Please note:  the costs per minute may not be current, but they should be good budgetary numbers.

5.  Finding a producer is an important step yet it’s not essential. The wrong producer will just be another problem we have to work around.  In a sense, I will function as a producer when I mix your project unless you bring in a functional producer and tell me to work for them).  As recording engineer, I will be making hundreds or thousands of decisions about balance, position, effects, pitch repair, and so on.  When I am seated at the controls recording you, my artist, are my primary concern.  I will work my tail off to make a recording that makes you shine.

What the producer can do for you during recording is manage your performance.  She is familiar enough with your abilities and material to know when you have done your best or when something needs to be redone.  Many times the track boils down to one or two difficult vocal passages or instrumental licks that are hard to hit.  Do not worry, we have ways to assist you to hit the parts and if you can’t quite get there on that particular day I can use software to make sure it’s perfect.

Just a reminder… if you need a video, I have 2 cameras, Sony Vegas professional editing software, and a green screen to make your project look and sound professional.  Check out my videos of Seamus Taylor’s violin audition for a 2 week music camp in Italy.

http://euphonicstudio.us/?page_id=594

Euphonic Studio
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Serving the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor
Call 319.895.8002 for a tour or recording appointment or write bill@euphonic.us
We record all types of music and your satisfaction is guaranteed!
 

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Written by Mr. Bill

October 20th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

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