You need to know whether a prospective studio provides an engineer. If so, find out how much experience the studio engineer has, and more importantly, how much experience he has with that particular recording equipment or facility. This can be a huge factor in how long it takes to complete your recording, and in the overall sound. The more experience the engineer has, the less time it will take to make your recording and get a final mix.
If the engineer comes with the studio, it’s a really good idea to ask for a meeting with him, as well as for copies of materials that he has recorded in the past. At this meeting, you want to ask as many questions as you can about the entire recording process there. Establishing a rapport with the engineer is crucial, because you will be locked in the studio with him for quite a long time. Make absolutely sure that you get along with the engineer and he has the ability to capture your artistic vision. You should also ask what will happen if the main engineer is not available. The last thing that you want is to work with some replacement engineer if the main engineer is unavailable.
The engineer may be included in the price of the studio, may be paid a flat rate per song, or may be paid by the hour. You need to know these costs up front, or you might not be able to afford to finish your CD. Finally, an engineer with any experience will want to negotiate his credit on your recording. As long as his demands are not unreasonable, by all means, meet them. Once you feel good about your engineer, you need to give some thought as to who is going to be producing the recording.