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How much does it cost to produce a singer-songwriter album?

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  • How much does it cost to produce a singer-songwriter album?

    I'm not looking to do anything fancy, just vocals and acoustic guitar. I'm trying to figure out whether or not to buy 2 good microphones and do it all myself or spend money at a studio. I don't really like the thought of being pressured to produce good takes in a certain time limit.

  • #2
    Cost wise, you should try it yourself first, and see how it goes....but there is a bit more to it than just two microphones...and actually, you could do it with just one.

    If, as you say, you don't like the idea of being pressured for a good take, studio time will kill your budget.

    That said, if you can't nail the song in two takes, you are not ready to record it.
    _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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    • #3
      That depends on who you're working with, and if you know anyone with a home studio.



      I did my entire album in 3 days in a basement studio of a family friend and paid approximately 350$ for it all to be master/mixed (and he even played instruments on it)



      Mind you, key factor in price for me was he was a "family" friend and he did give me a bit of a discount on the per day cost.



      Studio time WILL kill your budget so if you do decide to go studio route, shop around. Look for a studio that suits you. You're paying them, so you can take as much or as little time as you need.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;You've got to dig it, to <u>dig</u> it. Ya dig?&quot; - Thelonius Monk</div>

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      • #4
        I take around 8-12 takes for my home recordings. That just seems like it would cost too much in a studio. I have a lot of songs I want to record and produce and with the advancement of today's recording technology I think it makes more sense to buy a microphone for yourself instead of paying to use someone else's. If I had a band I would definitely need studio time to get it all sorted out but my approach is very minimalist so I am leaning towards just buying a microphone. I have over 90 originals ready and I imagine I'd go broke trying to get them all recorded at studio rates.

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        • #5
          Most studios charge by the hour, or by the day, or even in 4-6 hour blocks of time. You'd be surprised what you can get done in 4 hours especially if you're a solo artist.



          If you are going to buy as microphone and DIY then get something akin to ProTools. Cakewalk and Frootyloops are sub par IMHO. You'll also want to make sure the recordings are Redbook (or whatever you call it down there) compatible if you're interested in getting the CD's pressed.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;You've got to dig it, to <u>dig</u> it. Ya dig?&quot; - Thelonius Monk</div>

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          • #6
            Buy a decent condenser mic and download Reaper recording software. You'll have everything you need to lay down your songs and learn a thing or two to boot.

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            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by VladM
              View Post

              I take around 8-12 takes for my home recordings.




              If it takes you 8-12 takes you ight want to take Daddymack's advice and think about spending your time in the woodshed instead of the studio.

              That being said, you might want to record as you work on that. it'll get you used to the process, figure out your icing techniques and you can go back and listen to your practice.





              Especially if you an acoustic musician, one piece that people forget about is the room acoustics

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              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by MargeHowel
                View Post

                If it takes you 8-12 takes you ight want to take Daddymack's advice and think about spending your time in the woodshed instead of the studio.

                That being said, you might want to record as you work on that. it'll get you used to the process, figure out your icing techniques and you can go back and listen to your practice.





                Especially if you an acoustic musician, one piece that people forget about is the room acoustics




                I can do a song in 1-2 takes if I really had to but it takes a while until I'm really feeling the song. Playing live, I can play a song error free easily but when I am sitting down and recording in my room I tend to go through a lot of takes to get the exact feel that I want, especially if it is a finger style piece where one bad bass note can ruin the whole song. If you miss a note playing fingerstyle live no one will notice because there are many more coming up after it, but on a recording one missed note really stands out.

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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by VladM
                  View Post

                  I can do a song in 1-2 takes if I really had to but it takes a while until I'm really feeling the song. Playing live, I can play a song error free easily but when I am sitting down and recording in my room I tend to go through a lot of takes to get the exact feel that I want, especially if it is a finger style piece where one bad bass note can ruin the whole song. If you miss a note playing fingerstyle live no one will notice because there are many more coming up after it, but on a recording one missed note really stands out.




                  then you aren't getting it in 1-2 takes.



                  That's what getting it in 1-2 takes means...actually getting it in 1-2 takes

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                  • #10
                    I am also looking for pricing advice. Can anyone tell me if the recording quality of this person is worth $25 an hour?



                    http://lifeaftersix.weebly.com/



                    There are links in the music samples section at the top of his page.



                    Is this sound worth paying $25 an hour for? I liked the sound of the first acoustic track in his samples section it sounds professional to me. I could never get that sound without some serious investment in recording gear. I know I can record my debut album in under 3 hours quite easily. I've recorded a home demo of my album in under two hours all the songs are worked out to their maximum potential. To me this person seems like he knows what he is doing with his recordings but I would like some advice.



                    This is where my home recording quality stands at this time:



                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxMqt23ILYQ



                    I feel like with an investment of $100 I could make some serious improvements to my sound.

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                    • #11
                      so that makes your tunes less than a minute and a half long on average





                      say 10 tracks

                      with 10 takes (your estimate)



                      that's 100



                      so if they were a minute and a half long that'd already be 150 minutes...two and a half hours





                      then you have to factor in if it's in your interest to record your debut album...if it's really time for that

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                      • #12
                        I'd produce that for $1200.00 for 12 tracks. 10 days work. Mixed, mastered and cover art.
                        Or you could you know, just buy a microphone and a computer like every other tool on this site...

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by VladM
                          View Post

                          Playing live, I can play a song error free easily






                          You may think it’s error free, but probably not if you had to listen to the "live" playback. Recording is a totally different ballgame. Every little blemish that wouldn't be noticed in "live" playing will stand-out like a gigantic wart on a recording. It will be like a Chinese water torture when listening to it over & over.



                          If you’re on a fixed budget, recording in a studio where the clock is running will force you into compromises you wouldn’t have if recording in your home. In the long run, purchasing your own gear and learning how to use it will produce more satisfying results. Plus you’ll be able to record as many songs as you wish, rather than the occasional affordable one.



                          Good luck whatever you decide.



                          John
                          Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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                          • #14
                            well, the advantage in recording is that if you have a great take, with one bad note, you just do a punch in/punch out on that one note, and voila! all better...

                            Still, Vlad, in all seriousness, if you are not at the 1-2 take level, then I have to doubt that you are up to performing these songs consistently live...which, for most singer/ songwriters, is the goal, right?

                            Do the home recording thing, hone your skills on these songs, write some more, learn the recording process...because most people who spend big $ money on their debut CDs rarely recoup their initial investment. [this is the music business forum, right? ]
                            _"We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminant period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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                            • #15
                              What most people fail to take into account with DIY recording is the necessary software and interfaces needed to make is sound like it isn't a home recording done on a mic in someone's living room.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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