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Inspiration Recording Studio

Contents Page

What To Expect During A Recording Session

                                                     Contact Us                             Studio Photos

                                                     

Services Offered

(Click on the service description for more details or just scroll down this page)

 

Digital Multitrack Recording  - Price $35.00 per hour,    Mixing - $35.00 per hour,

Mastering - $35.00 per hour,     Copyright Assistance –free for anyone recording here,

Radio Station Listings for the entire Southeast United States- free for anyone recording here,      Mailing Addresses for top Christian Artist - free for anyone recording here, Short run, quick turnaround CDR duplication,   Label Design and Printing,     Real Time short lead-time Cassettes , Assistance in becoming a member of BMI or ASCAP

Studio Musicians,  Studio Instruments

 

Digital Multitrack Recording  (and practical tips to consider)

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Most modern recordings are made by placing each instrument on individual tracks. This process allows the artist to correct a mistake made on any instrument or vocal without everyone having to re-play their part. This also allows you to replace any portion of the track. It could be one line where there was a missed note or the whole verse or chorus. You can also replace tracks on more than one instrument at a time. An example of this would be to replace the bass guitar and the vocal on the chorus of an otherwise perfect performance. This type of recording is called “multitrack recording” and has been around since the mid 1960’s. Some of the Beatles recordings were done on the newly introduced technology of “4 Track”. It is currently common to see studios with track availability of 8, 16, 24, 36, or even 48 tracks. Inspiration Recording Studio is a 16-track facility. You may ask “why not 24 or 48 tracks”? The answer - there is a common misconception that more is always better. More is only better if you need more. When choosing a studio keep in mind the amount of tracks you will need by sketching them out like the layout below. I use tracks fairly generously and seldom require using all 16 tracks. Most recordings use an average of 10 to 12 tracks. My track layout might be something like this:

 

 

Track 1 - Kick drum

Track 2 - Snare Drum

Track 3 – High hat

Track 4 – Right side -Overhead mike for toms and cymbals

Track 5 – Left side - Overhead mike for toms and cymbals

Track 6 – Bass Guitar

Track 7 – Rhythm guitar –left

Track 8 – Rhythm guitar – right

Track 9 – Piano –right

Track 10- Piano – left

Track 11- Steel guitar

Track 12 – Lead guitar

Track 13 – Lead vocal

Track 14 – Backup vocal 1

Track 15 – Backup vocal 2

Track 16 – Strings or organ

 

Studios with higher amounts of tracks have to charge more money to recover the cost of the equipment. You will have to pay for the tracks even if you don’t use them all. If you are doing a recording that will require adding a string section, horns or large sections of brass or maybe a huge choir for backup you will need more tracks than the usual but for most purposes 16 tracks are the most cost effective. If you are recording a song with a solo singing part and a guitar and that is what your whole album consist of you could do that on a 4 or 8 track with few limitations. On the other hand, 4 or 8 tracks are seldom enough when doing a larger recording because they pose serious limitations by making the engineer mix more than one instrument onto one track. This means far less control when mixing the tracks down to a finished 2-track master. For instance, if the kick drum and the snare are recorded onto track 1 together and you would like more kick drum in the final mix down you will have to bring up the volume of both because they are already mixed together on the track. If a mistake was made and the snare is much louder than the kick you will not be able to fix that problem unless you record those parts again in the right proportion. 

 

Another common misconception is that only studios that charge high dollars produce good recordings. I submit to you this thought  “IT IS NOT THE TOOLS, BUT THE CARPENTER”. It is true that the carpenter needs good tools to perform the work but a carpenter with a truck full of the best tools available may do a poor job if his skills are lacking. I have recorded in state of the art studios that charge upwards of $125 to $180.00 per hour and the finished master tapes were not as good as the recordings made in this studio when played side by side. Studios of this caliber often offer sleeping quarters, kitchens, listening rooms, and expensive surroundings. You are paying for this service in the cost of the recording. Regardless of where you choose to record, asks for several copies of CD’s and recordings they have done to take home and compare to other recordings. If they produce good quality recordings they will be more than glad to show you their work and let you put them to the test.

 

There is a phenomenon that most everyone seems to fall prey to at some time in his or her life. I call it the fisherman’s mentality. This always seems to go hand in hand with the above statement that more is always better. Have you ever noticed that a fisherman will stand on the bank and cast as far as possible out into the lake? Put him in a boat and he will cast to fish near the bank!!! You see this oftentimes when a person is deciding what college to attend and when choosing a studio to record at. The mentality that the far way and unseen is better than what is in front of us. The real truth is far away is more expensive because you have to travel there and rent a place to stay for the duration of the trip. It also means that you will have to do your recording quickly to keep your lodging expenses down. That will probably mean you will rush things and settle for less than your very best. If you record close to home you will have more money for the recording and will probably feel less rushed and enjoy the experience a lot more. Choose a studio that will allow you to record a few hours and come back later on a different day. I have found that anything longer than 4 hours of recording at one setting is downhill all the way after the 4 hours. You get tired, make more mistakes, and do less than your best if you have to go for 12 hours straight. Recording is very enjoyable for most musicians; don’t ruin that by traveling too far from home. You may be thinking “this guy just told us not to come to his studio because we live a long way off”. I say to you that I would be less than honest to tell you anything different than what I just said. If you choose to ignore my advice you will eventually come to the same conclusion on your own. Getting you to come here across country to do a recording is not the reason this page exist. Giving you advice and help in making a decision about choosing a studio is.

 

Mixing                                                   Back to Top Of Page

                                

 

When all the tracks are correctly recorded they must be mixed down into a final form of 2-tracks. This is the stereo left and right. You may choose to place an instrument in the center of the left and right stereo image or you may choose to place it more to one side to create a wider stereo image. This is called panning. You will also want to make some instruments appear to be more up front and others more in the background. A good example is you would want the backup singers to appear to be further away than the lead vocalist. To do this you would lower the volume of the backup singers a bit and add reverb to the backup singers. This will make them appear to be further away and the lead vocal up front. You should place the lead vocal in the very center of the stereo image and the backups slightly left and right. Be careful not to pan them all the way to the extreme left or right. Other things to be done during mixing are to set the correct volume for each part. Changing the volume of one instrument can drastically change the feel of a song in many cases. An example of this would be to add more kick drum. This would make the overall sound appear to be punchier. Reduce the kick drum level and the recording seems to be more smoother and just kind of lay there kind of flat without much energy or peaks. Mix down also includes adding other effects or processing necessary to make the final recording better. That may include things like gating (helps noisy tracks and tighten things up in some cases, used on individual instruments), chorus (sometimes used on vocals or lead guitars, adds a thickening effect), compression, expansion, multitap echo, snapback echo (like heard on Elvis’s recordings at Sun Studios), equalization, peak limiting, stereo image enhancement, reverb, etc.

 

I offer you some practical advice on mixing. Do not mix down your recording the same day you do the tracks. The reason is you loose the edge of being able to hear your what your recording really sounds like after about 15 minutes of listening. To best understand how this happens is to compare it to shopping for cologne. You spray the first one and smell it and you get a very accurate image of what is smells like. You start to loose this ability after the third to fourth one and can no longer truly distinguish what the tenth one is really like. If you wait a period of time and come back later you may find the tenth one was nothing like the scent you thought it to be. The same happens in mixing. When you play your recording after resting for a period of time from hearing it the impression you get for the first minute playing is the right one. You may discover that it is overly bright or too boomy or that the vocals are much louder than they should be but you didn’t notice it while mixing because you got accustomed to listening to it over a long period of time. A good practice is to work with one song until you feel the EQ, volume levels effects and everything is correct. Turn it off and leave everything set. Come back a few hours later and play it. Your first impression will be the right one. Make adjustments on anything that needs to be changed and cut it off again. Repeat this process until it sounds right the first time you hear it. That is what others will hear it when they put it on for the first time.

 

Mastering                                                   Back to the Top Of Page

 

The mastering process involves recording the stereo mix into a computer as well as using other outboard gear to improve the overall quality of the recording. The computer allows extremely precise editing of the sound. It is very similar to the way a person would use a word processor to write a letter except we are editing digital sound information instead of characters. This comes in handy for things like removing a noise that happened 1/100th of a second before the recording begin or removing a click in the middle of a recording. It is also used to make the volume levels of each song to be exactly the same by a process called normalizing. This makes the recording easier to listen to. Have you ever had an album that required constant volume level adjusting from song to song? This is easily fixed with a normalizer. Mastering is also used to do a very precise fade in or out. If you don’t like the results just tell the computer to undo it and your back to the original. Other uses are removing hiss or background noise, filtering out hum, creating silence before and after the recording so your music springs cleanly out of complete silence to full volume, raising the volume of the intro to match the rest of the song so it will be heard. How about removing a word from a sentence of narration or a verse from a finished song!!! This type of editing is next to impossible to on tape but easy for a computer. I also use a TC Electronics Finalizer in the mastering process. It contains a whole set of tools that are chained up for the purpose of increasing the overall volume of your finished recording as well as other handy dandy tools. It is very important that the overall volume level of your Cd be as loud as commercially released recordings. Take two recordings of similar quality and set one to play slightly louder than the other and you will see what I mean. The louder one appears to be better. This trick is also used to sell stereo equipment and make one appear to be better than the other.

 

 

Copyright Assistance Back to top of Page

 

We offer forms and some assistance helping those who record original songs to apply for a copyright as well as other printed materials explaining details about a copyright.

 

 

Radio Stations                         Back to Top Of Page

 

We offer a listing of radio stations in the southeast United States for those who wish to get airplay. The listing includes phone numbers, call letters, types of music played, city of location, Web page and email addresses on some. Don’t waste your CD sending it to a station that does not play your type of music.

 

 

Mailing Addresses for top Christian Artist Back To Top of Page

 

Those who write original compositions often want to make the song known to other singers or groups in an effort to get a well-known artist to sing it or maybe do a recording to release on a national scale. We have the names and mailing addresses of many of the top Christian artist to help you on your way. We also have books with publishers and record companies addresses along with their music preferences. These are loaned out freely to anyone recording here. A word of advice on sending out materials! Call first and ask for permission to submit to them. Most will not accept outside material without prior permission being granted beforehand. You should also apply for a copyright before sending out any of your songs.

 

Short run, quick turnaround CDR duplication Back To Top

 

When you have a finished recording in hand the last thing you need after all your hard work is to be told it will be 8 to 10 weeks before you can get any copies to sell and that you have to buy a minimum of 500 or even 1000. We offer quick turn around on cd’s and the best part is there is no minimum order and we can have them for you within a few days tops. Most people don’t have the initial investment to buy 500 or 1000 cd’s or the market to sell that many. We encourage you to buy for your market. If you can sell 500 or 1000 in a few months time then replication is the best way to go. The cost is less per piece when you buy high quantities. We offer names and information of reputable companies that do this. By handling this yourself you can deal directly with the company. The studio is not the middleman as in most cases elsewhere. Many studios offer package deals that include a set amount of copies you will receive. They mark up the price of the copies to cover the cost of handling the job for you. If you are not one of the lucky few who can sell that many copies don’t buy huge quantities just to get a lower price per piece and let them sit in your basement. Most groups who do this end up doing some heavy discounting to get rid of all the older music that has grown outdated. You end up with not so good a deal after all, even though they were cheap. You had to make a large investment that becomes increasingly hard to recover as time goes by. We supply cd’s to many of our customers on an as needed basis. They buy what they can sell in a couple of weeks or a month and use part of the money they make on the sales to finance the next order. Some groups find they can pay for their whole recording by selling as few as 100 copies. All depending on how much time they spent in the studio and how well prepared they were when they came to do the recording. To read more about this go to the What To Expect During A Recording Session section.

 

Label Design and Printing                                    Back To Top

 

Label design is free for Cd or cassette orders over 50 or more. This includes photograph scanning, texture backgrounds (over 6000 to choose from such as wood, rock, clouds, cloth, etc) text, word art, and some graphics. Your logos or artwork can be used as well as long as they are provided as jpeg, tiff, and bitmap or gif format. All labels are inkjet printed and made from 65-weight card stock. This service is available to our customers only. We also have the software to do some custom 3d art as well as Adobe Photoshop and many plug-ins for hundreds of special effects on photographs. There will be a charge for this service for orders less than 50 pieces. We will provide template if you wish to design your own labels.

 

 

Real Time short lead-time Cassettes Back to Top

 

 

All of our cassettes are duplicated at real time speed from a Cd master.

Blanks can be custom loaded to the right length for your recording.

Large quantities can be sent out for high-speed replication. We will refer you to

reputable companies who specialize in high volume orders. The same things apply as when choosing a method for Cd manufacture. Please read the CDR duplication section

to understand about the trade offs in high-speed duplication versus real time and small quantity duplication. Buy for your market cannot be stressed enough.

 

                                   Here’s how it all stacks up:

 

Real Time

High Speed

 

 

Cost more per piece

Cost less per piece but most have a large

 No minimum order

minimum order (usually 300 to 500)

 

 

Short lead times – order often

Longer lead times – 8 to 10 weeks

 

 

Paper labels

On shell printing (30 to 50 dollar charge to)

No plate required

make the plates

 

 

Ink jet printing full color                    

4 color process (charges for separations)

Prints on standard finish paper

Prints on coated (shiny) paper

 

 

Custom label design free                            

Usually charge $150.00 to $250.00 for

If over minimum order                      

this service or use generic off the shelf labels

 

 

No shrink-wrap

Shrink wrap

 

 

Buy as you sell                                

Large initial investment

 

 

Chrome Tape - standard                    

Charge extra for chrome tape                             

 

 

Best for small quantities

Best for large quantities

 

Best recording quality

Good recording quality

 

Assistance in becoming a member of BMI or ASCAP Back to Top

 

If you write original songs that receive airplay or are performed in a public setting such as a concert or before an audience you can receive money for it. To collect the money you will need to become a member of one of the above-mentioned organizations. We have the forms and will get you pointed in the right direction. There is no cost to become a member and it is a very simple process to sign up. We provide this information free of charge to anyone who records here.

 

 

Studio Musicians Back to the Top

 

We have a number of talented musicians that play for recordings here on a regular basis. They have many hours of experience in playing for various artist and differing music styles. You will be given a list of names and phone numbers as well as the instruments they play and styles of music they prefer. If you have your own musicians but need an extra instrument for a song that can be arranged as well. It is best you contact them well in advance to set up the date they should be here for your recording. Payment is negotiated on an individual basis since these people do not work directly for the studio. I have examples of each ones work if you wish to hear recordings they have played on to get an idea of their playing style and ability. We are very selective in the musicians we choose to recommend by adding their name to this list. They have to be of good character and reputation as well as agreeable to work with in the studio and show excellent musicianship.

 

Studio Instruments

 

We have several instruments that belong to the studio that you are free to use when you record here. We have a Technics PR-303 digital piano. It has full size keyboard with 88 keys that are weighted and velocity sensitive. It has the sound and feel of a grand piano. It is suitable for recording a Piano solo as well. I have samples of music

that was recorded using it. Please ask to hear them. Click here to go to the PHOTOS PAGE see a not so good picture of it. We also have a new set of Yamaha Stage Custom acoustic drums that are equipped with triggers to play an Alesis DM PRO drum module. The DM Pro is the latest and the best sounding module available. It features six outputs to allow outputting drums to different tracks. No other module offers this to my knowledge. This allows recording the drums as one normally would an acoustic kit, keeping the snare, kick, and high-hat on separate tracks and the toms and cymbals panned across 2 tracks. This makes it possible to make the snare louder in the final mix or change the EQ or maybe add some gated reverb without changing the rest of the kit. Most modules mix everything across a stereo left and right output. This is a serious limitation for a multi-track recording. The drums also feature a HYPER HAT foot pedal for the high hat and Pintech Trigger Cymbals. These are made by PINTEC.

 

You may ask “why do you use an electronic module when you have an acoustic set on hand”. The answer is that I have used both. The main drawback in using electronic drums is that drummers hate the way the pads play. They are just don’t play like a real set. You are playing a real set with the studio set. The main advantage with this set-up is that you have over 1200 drums to choose from to make up a set. Several hundred kicks, snares, toms, shakers, or what ever you wish to compose a set from. That means that you have a suitable set for Rap, Techno, Euro, Country, Disco, Rock, Heavy metal, Ska and just about everything in between. All the drums and cymbals are velocity sensitive which means you can do a swell on a cymbal that starts out at a low volume and gets louder as you pay is harder. The high hat pedal emulates the action of a real highat by sensing a closed hit, open hit, open with foot (no hit), Closed with foot (no hit). Click here to see another no so good picture of the drums on the PHOTOS PAGE.

 

 

Contact us                               Back to Top of Page

Phone 706-245-6031

 

Click below to Email me:

 recordin@intergate

We are located in Royston Georgia.

Royston is in the Northeast section of Georgia (U.S.A.)

Home of baseball great Ty Cobb .

Visit the Ty Cobb Museum while you are here.

Burial mausoleum is located less than a mile from the studio.