You are here

Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Jay Poet » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:44 pm

Hi All,

I thought I would raise this one with the professionals...

My home setup consists of a decent spec'd machine (pro sound card etc) and loads and loads of very nice plugs. Its a production setup for track building only... No live vocal or instruments are recorded.

My questions surround 'industry standard' quality.

In todays world, with todays technology, is it achievable to create the track at home, mix from midi to audio (no effects), then go to a professional studio for vocals, mixing and mastering? Would the result be the same in theory? The end product should undoubted be industry standard quality of sound.

Thanks for your time and I very much appreciate your opinion.
Jay Poet
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:00 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Wease » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:10 pm

It's not that uncommon.....it used to be called pre-production.

There are many studios I know who offer tracking services.....and who will mix recorded tracks.....will even do it online!

I actually think its a good idea to do...especially if your not using "real" instruments. You get the benefit of arranging and messing with the track in your own home, and the mixing skills and higher end/more plentiful etc gear of the studio.

I know a sax player who's doing this now with his latest release......especially since the budget is limited.
User avatar
Wease
Frequent Poster
Posts: 816
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Walsall
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Jay Poet » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:10 pm

Sorry, I should mention this is 'pop' music.
Jay Poet
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:00 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby The Elf » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:35 pm

It's the way a lot of work is done now. I have several clients who come to me for tracking drums and vocals, then go away and create much of the rest of the arrangement themselves before returning to me for mixing. It's a cost-effective way of working and it can yeild great results.

It's a good idea to have a chat with a studio engineer before you embark on this, because they can invariably steer you to methods that will have considerable mutual benefit. From my own point of view I know I can save my clients days of time, and lots of potential frustration, with just a couple of hours guidance up front.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13052
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:55 pm

Jay, the only limit is you and your artist. Loads of pop stuff is basically done by teams of writers working in small private studios. Yes they have some lovely bits of kit, and yes the room is probably a well treated one in a nice complex. But at the end of the day the difference is that they're brilliant at what they do, and the artists they're producing are equally very good in that genre. The mix is crucial and you need to get it properly done, and obviously you're tying the mixers hands if the vocals aren't nicely recorded.

But it is genre dependent. You can't do this so easily with most types of rock music. Obviously it doesn't work at all with classical, Jazz etc. For those things you need a performance in a specific space to compete with the best. But in pop and electronic, the bedroom is your oyster.

J
Jack Ruston
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3778
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:00 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby CS70 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:23 pm

From my own point of view I know I can save my clients days of time, and lots of potential frustration, with just a couple of hours guidance up front.


If it's not a business secret, and obviously without compressing two hours in a few paragraphs, what are you thinking about?

Thanks!
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4486
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Jay Poet » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:54 pm

That's all, this is pretty much what I thought and i'm glad to have had confirmation from some experienced professionals.

cheers all
Jay Poet
Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:00 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby The Elf » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:09 pm

CS70 wrote:
From my own point of view I know I can save my clients days of time, and lots of potential frustration, with just a couple of hours guidance up front.

If it's not a business secret, and obviously without compressing two hours in a few paragraphs, what are you thinking about?

It depends on the client, and the nature of the project, obviously, but typically I'll cover topics broadly including:

    Settings for recording - file formats/word-length/sample rates.
    Recording levels/headroom.
    The benefits/drawbacks of using a 'click'.
    Re-amping options.
    Recording with/without processing/effects.
    Preparing/transferring files between myself and client.
    Exploiting MIDI...

This isn't an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea.

The important thing for me is to save my clients time and trouble, and minimise their costs - even if that means they use less of my time. Although this appears that I'm reducing my own income, once clients know I'm genuinely trying to help they realise I am actually worth their money - and I get a lot of repeat work!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13052
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Wease » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:28 pm

Jay Poet wrote:That's all, this is pretty much what I thought and i'm glad to have had confirmation from some experienced professionals.

cheers all

Don't know about the "experienced professionals" bit......more the cheapskate artist :D
User avatar
Wease
Frequent Poster
Posts: 816
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Walsall
http://soundcloud.com/seaapes

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby jd4ladyatsoundcloud » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:27 am

I've browsed this forum daily over the past 4 years. I really, REALLY, appreciate all of the pointers and assistance from those in the know who regularly mentor and provide their expertise. Everyone of you who gives that knowledge freely without hesitation validates music's ability to engage and communicate what the soul cannot. I wanna thank all of you!

Respectfully,

JD
jd4ladyatsoundcloud
New here
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:00 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby CS70 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:36 am

This isn't an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea.


Thanks, appreciated.

And absolutely agree with the service thing, it pays off very well in such 'personal' things like music.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4486
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:58 am

Jay Poet wrote:In todays world, with todays technology, is it achievable to create the track at home, mix from midi to audio (no effects), then go to a professional studio for vocals, mixing and mastering? Would the result be the same in theory? The end product should undoubted be industry standard quality of sound.


Like all things in life, it all depends on what you want to achieve. The way you record and what you record at home and what gets tracked at the studio depends on what you are able to do and what exactly you want to achieve. Let's for the time being, pretend that you want to achieve a band sound, i.e. drums, three guitars, keyboards and vocals and let's say that you have a couple of friends that can cover all these instruments.

You can save huge amounts of expensive studio time, by sending all your guide tracks and the click tracks as broadcast WAV files to the studio in advance. That means that when you and your guys walk into the studio, the tracks are already loaded into the DAW and you are ready to roll. Laying guide tracks at the studio is a waste of time and money.

Drums are better recorded in a large room and with space for ambience mics etc. and using first class mics and a decent kit with fresh skins.

Very important - I don't care how much you may want to use your best buddy as the drummer, if he is not absolutely first class, get a real drummer for the day. The number of aspiring rock bands that try to make do with a less than adequate drummer never ceases to amaze me. You can use your buddy on the road, but you can end up wasting thousands trying to box poor drum tracks into shape.

Also - ALWAYS use a click track for rock, pop stuff. Without it, editing becomes an exercise in knitting fog.

NEVER use samples for things that ought to be organic like drums and guitars. Samples sound great - until you hear the real thing played by a real musician!

You can track things like guitars and vocals at home. The SM58 is your friend and you don't need a M149 or a U87 to sound great.

There are two real differences between professional and amateur recordings -

1. Arrangements. Madonna's song 'Music' has eight musical themes, Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face' has nine. The themes (or tunes) weave in and out for just seconds. Each theme has a different sonic signature and each is given its prominence in the mix. Amateurs seem to think in terms of one tune = one song. If you can come up with eight good tunes that are really catchy, you do not have the makings of a CD. You may just have enough for one single song!

2. Editing. Is every bass note perfect and in perfect time? Is every drum hit on the beat? Is every guitar solo perfectly phrased and in tune? Does the horn section come in, in perfect time? Are those backing vocals in perfect pitch? It can take a week to edit a song, but once it is edited, the mix will pretty much take care of itself. Editing is something you can do at home, but it requires a few years of practice to get really good at it.
The Red Bladder
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2283
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:00 am
Location: . . .
 

Can the contemporary home studio completely replace the traditional commercial recording studio or are t

Postby hazthatcher » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:57 pm

Hello, I am a music technology student and I am doing my dissertation on wether a home studio can replace a professional studio or are there some tasks that still require a professional facility and was wondering if any of you would be able to share your thoughts as part of my research?
hazthatcher
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:52 am

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby The Elf » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:22 pm

Sure. How are you collating?
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13052
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby blinddrew » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:22 pm

by resurrecting 12 year old zombie threads apparently... :D
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8496
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:40 am

Now now Drew - this query is basically about the same subject, so is perfectly valid ;)

Hi hazthatcher, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14602
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:42 am

I seem to remember another, more recent thread too asking a similar question.

Welcome 'hazthatcher' hope we can help.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10538
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Can the contemporary home studio completely replace the traditional commercial recording studio or are t

Postby Dave B » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:42 am

hazthatcher wrote:Hare there some tasks that still require a professional facility

Check out Red Bladder's post above yours. Nail. Head. etc.

In short, a bedroom is not a nice recording live room so anything which relies on a nice, tasteful ambience for the sound (like drums) will be compromised somewhat. Yes, you can use plugins for drums, but you then sacrifice the individuality of the sound. (no engineer will ever get exactly the same sound in the same room, with the same mics, drums and drummer - but you get that with a plugin)

Also as stated further up the thread, for genres where there is little need for the sound of the room, and where tracks can be built up in layers rather than recorded (in part, at least) live, then it is quite possible to do it in your bedroom. Whole pop tracks have been done that way for some time now..
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5356
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Home Studio VS Pro Studio - Production

Postby Arpangel » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:16 am

Just picking up on what Mr Red Bladder said, you do have to be brutally honest sometimes, a friend has a great band that's let down by a bad drummer, I did try and approach it, but he's his mate so....
Also, Mr Bladder is extremely lucky, he has a live room that's sublime, even I sound good in it!
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2033
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users