|For those of you that are thinking of moving on and changing your own improvised home studio (AKA PC) for a real deal. Congratulations. While it's good to start with your own PC, if nothing else just to get a grip and better understand your own music, it's a good idea to eventually let the pros handle the production while you concentrate on the music. If all goes well, you'll an affordable rates, with an experienced producer that takes pride in his work and respects yours. Top of the line gear and great sounding rooms wouldn't hurt either. How to find such studio you ask? These few tips should help you.
1) Get samples. It's always good to check out their "portfolio" first. Depending on where you live, a good way to find the studio you want to work with is to listen to local artist CDs and find the best sounding CD that resembles your genre and type of delivery. Of course that doesn't mean you should sound like them, but it's good to know what certain producers are capable of before you approach them.
2) Don't make your decission based solely on it's visual appearance. What good is that going to do for your music? So they have a visually appealing studio. Big deal! One of the rules of producing is to use your ears and not your eyes. The same applies to recording studios. Some great records have been made in dumps and terrible records in amazingly decorated studios. Sad enough, some studios buy gear with flashing lights just to impress people who don't know what those lights mean.
3) Contact the studio, talk to the producer / engineer. Ask him what you need to do to make the best recording possible. If he seems interested, great. If he doesn't, go elsewhere. The most important part of the recording is what happens before you walk in the studio doors. If he tells you not to worry about it, he's lying or he's an idiot.
4) Don't be a sucker. If they are trying to convince you there is one secret trick that will turn you album to gold, they're full of shit. If he tells you he can turn water into wine, but his records don't sound like major label cds, ask him why. A real producer isn't going to just tell you what you want to hear, just to keep you happy in illusion. Instead, he's gooing to work with you and prove himself with deeds. He'll tell you it's first up to you to sound great, he comes in second.
5) Don't be afraid to counter them, ask all the questions you want. It's your your future and your rep on the line, so don't stop untill you are sattisfied. This goes for cooperation as well as the final product.