The studio rate is $75.00 per hour plus the cost of the tapes and CDs used. Cost of studio musicians, if needed, is extra. There is no charge for set up time or reasonable breaks.
Total recording costs are highly variable. They depend on the type of material, the length of the program, the complexity of the arrangement, the skill of the performers, and the degree of perfection you are trying to achieve. For a standard multi-tracked rock or folk tune, with relatively skilled performers, an average cost per song is in the $200 to $500 range, including mix down. There is a definite benefit to doing 3 or 4 songs at a time, as it reduces set-up changes and makes final mix down more efficient.
There is an ongoing analog versus digital debate in the music industry. At Dome we let you choose.
Analog Multi-track Recording
Many clients use our facility because we still offer analog recording. Analog is percieved by many to be a superior medium, providing a warmer, less brittle sound. It is also more forgiving of dynamic excesses that sometimes occur during the excitement of a recording session, reducing the need for electronic limiting and other processing. At Dome, analog recording is done on a 16 track Tascam recorder using 1 inch tape. There is a fixed cost for a reel of recording tape ($140) capable of recording 33 minutes using the full 16 tracks. The recording time on a reel can be doubled by limiting the track count to 8. The tape becomes the property of the client at the end of the project and it can be reused if not needed for archiving. For very short projects and non-critical recording, rental of used tape may be an option.
Digital Multi-track Recording Stand alone digital hard disk recording and synced analog and hard disk recording using DigiDesign ProTools is also available. At present we are able to record 8 digital track inputs simultaneously, with a total digital track count limit of 32. Original digital tracks are normally recorded to the in house server. At the end of the project, the session files can be tranfered to the client's portable drive or to DVD. Digital recording offers a number of advantages in tracking and overdubs. It can also have advantages in mix automation. However, we would caution that at times, the added features can lead to increased experimentation resulting in higher total project cost.
Live 2 Track Recording
Going direct to 2 track can cost significantly less, since the recording media costs less and the mix is done while recording rather than as a separate process. This requires more skill by the musicians, since you can't dub over mistakes in the performance. You have to do complete retakes until a satisfactory performance is achieved. However some acts are able to record 3 or 4 songs an hour using this method.
Once your songs are recorded, the selected takes are transferred to a master recording where they are edited into the correct sequence and final level adjustments are made. The master is then used for duplication. Again, the time required will vary depending on the processing and effects sweetening desired.
We would be happy to give you a tour of our facility and develop an estimate for your project. Our phone number is (907) 457-1993, ask for Jerry or Rif.