L.A. area studio reccomendations?

December 30, 2009 11:30 AM

Probably a bit of a long shot, but does anybody know of a good studio in the greater Los Angeles area that has experience with rock bands, isn't too expensive, and produces quality results? We're a 4 piece (drums, bass, guitar, vocals), and we'd like to record the instruments live and overdub lead and backing vocals. Maybe do a second guitar track if the song needs it, but that would be kept to a minimum. The goal is to have a good demo to book shows with, so we want to match our live sound as close as possible. Budget is less than $500, and we'd hope to get 5-6 songs for that.
posted by InfidelZombie (4 comments total)

If you're not intending to sell it, you're better off getting a good board recording from a gig, or even just a nice 2-mic setup in your practice space where an audience would be. Anyone listening to it will get a good sense of how you sound live without the investment.

IMO paying for studio time is for when you want to sell the output. If you want to do an EP, it'll be very difficult on your budget to get a good recording for $500-600, because that's probably just one 10-hour day of studio time (in a small place where you're lucky if there's a separate control room). It's doable (my band in college did a couple EPs on 1 day recording) but you have to have your songs REALLY down pat.

Good recordings nowadays are within the reach of anyone with a computer and a couple mics. I know that isn't really answering your question, but for a demo-to-get-gigs, you're almost better off recording a gig and using that.
posted by chimaera at 3:27 PM on December 31, 2009

I get what you're saying chimera, but we've done the 2 mikes in a room thing before and weren't really happy with how it came out. This song is a stereo recording of the music with the vocals overdubbed-- it's not that it sounds bad, but it doesn't sound great either.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2010

Hmm, maybe I should spend some time reworking that. We would record a lot more if I could figure out how to get a good sound out of the equipment I've got on hand.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:09 PM on January 5, 2010

Yeah I think you'd actually have a hard time topping your sample song on a $500 budget. I think this is actually the sort of thing that would make quite a decent sample for how you'd sound live. A few judicious mixing tweaks and you can easily send it out to venues as a sample. If you wanted something that sounded better than your linked song above I think you'd be moving away from demo into EP quality.
posted by chimaera at 9:08 PM on January 5, 2010

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