What should you consider when choosing a place to record? First of all, you should ask for a copy of something that was recorded at the studio. Listen to the overall sonic quality of the recording. If you have the capability, try to A-B compare the recording to some professional recording that you want to sound like. To truly A-B compare, you will need some way to play two CDs at a time, and then switch back and forth between the studio demo and the professional recording. This will allow you to compare the two in real time. That way you can hear the differences much more easily than if you rely on your memory.
The best way to save time and money in the recording studio is to be prepared – and I mean completely prepared! I have seen so many bands that just can’t get it together in the studio for one reason or another. Either they haven’t put much thought into how difficult recording can be, or they just can’t pull everything together like they can at their live shows. These bands can waste a lot of studio time trying to come up with parts or arrangements, or even fixing problems with their equipment, and all of this wasted time could be prevented. They end up spending way more money than they should have, leaving less money for manufacturing, advertising, and promotion of their record. In some cases, they never finish their record because they can’t afford the costs. Remember, this is a business, and controlling costs is the key to any business. Some simple steps, such as thoughtful preproduction and being prepared for as many contingencies as you can, will go a long way toward controlling costs.