Frequently Asked Questions
Is your recording studio near me? How does online mixing work? Can I book a session today?
Get answers quick to some of the Frequently Asked Questions that we get the most!
If you’ve got some more to ask, let us know!
In This Post
What is the difference between Mixing and Mastering a song?
Mixing is the process of adjusting and balancing the individual elements of a song, such as the vocals, instruments, and drums, so that they work together effectively. It involves adjusting levels, panning, EQ, compression, and other effects to create a cohesive and polished final mix.
Mastering, on the other hand, is the final step in the audio production process. It involves taking the final mixed version of a song and preparing it for distribution by adjusting the overall volume, EQ, and compression to ensure that it sounds as good as possible on a wide variety of playback systems. The Mastering Engineer also addresses technical issues such as loudness, stereo imaging and format constraints. The goal of Mastering is to create a consistent and professional-sounding product that sounds great on all playback systems.
Should I mix my own music?
Whether or not you should mix a song yourself depends on your level of expertise and experience with mixing. Mixing is a complex process that requires a certain level of knowledge and skill to get right. If you have experience with mixing and are comfortable with the software and equipment used in the process, then you may be able to successfully mix a song yourself.
However, if you are new to mixing, or if you are not confident in your abilities to mix a song effectively, then it may be best to work with a professional Mixer. A professional Mixer has the experience, knowledge, and equipment necessary to create a high-quality mix that will sound great on a wide variety of playback systems.
It’s also important to note that mixing is a creative process, and having different ears and perspective can bring new ideas and freshness to your song. If you’re not confident in your mixing abilities, it may be best to work with a professional Mixer who can bring a fresh perspective to your song and help you achieve your desired sound.
In summary, if you have the experience and confidence to mix your song effectively, you can do it yourself, but if not, it may be wise to work with a professional Mixer.
How long does it take to mix a song?
The amount of time it takes to mix a song can vary depending on several factors such as the complexity of the song, the skill level of the Mixer, and the equipment and software being used.
For a simple song with few tracks and few effects, the mixing process may take only a few hours. However, for a more complex song with many tracks and a lot of effects, the mixing process can take longer to complete.
It’s also worth noting that mixing is a creative process, and the mixer may spend time experimenting with different techniques and sound until they achieve the desired result.
In general, a professional Mixer with experience, good equipment and well-organized session can mix a song within 3 to 4 hours. However, it’s not uncommon for a song to take a day or even longer to be mixed correctly.
It’s important to keep in mind that quality takes time, and rushing the mixing process can lead to a less than optimal result. A good Mixer will take the necessary time to achieve the best sound for your song.
If you’re in need of mixing services be sure to connect with the Suburban Pro Studios team!
Can I release a song that hasn’t been Mastered?
Yes, technically it is possible to release a song that hasn’t been Mastered, but it is not recommended. Mastering is the final step in the audio production process, and it is crucial for ensuring that a song sounds as good as possible on a wide variety of playback systems. Without proper Mastering, a song may sound inconsistent or lack professional polish.
Releasing a song without Mastering can result in a loss of quality, especially in terms of loudness, stereo imaging, and overall balance. The song may not translate well on different speakers or streaming platforms.
Additionally, many music distribution platforms have specific requirements for the format and loudness of a song, and if a song is not properly Mastered, it may not meet those requirements and could be rejected for distribution.
In summary, it’s not recommended to release a song without Mastering, as it may not sound as good as it could and may not meet the requirements of distribution platforms.
Be sure to reach out to Suburban Pro Studios if you’re in need of Mastering services. Our rates start at $25/song.
I have an older recording on a hardware unit that I used, can you mix that?
Transferring an old multitrack recording off of a hardware unit involves extracting the audio files from the original recording medium, typically a tape or a hard disk, and converting them into digital audio files that can be used in modern recording software. This process can be time-consuming and technically challenging, as it requires specialized equipment and knowledge of the specific hardware and software used to create the original recording.
On the other hand, re-recording a song involves performing the song again using modern recording equipment and software. This can be a quicker process, especially if the original recording is relatively simple or if the musician or band has experience playing the song. However, re-recording may not capture the same performance or sound quality as the original recording, especially if the original recording has unique characteristics that are difficult to reproduce.
Ultimately, the choice between transferring an old multitrack recording and re-recording a song again will depend on the specific goals of the recording project, the quality and condition of the original recording, and the available resources and expertise of the recording team.
Where can I get beats?
Artists are often looking for a Producer to collaborate with on their music. We sponsor a monthly beat battle called Fresh Produce STL that showcases Music Producers locally and from around the country. It’s an amazing networking event designed to connect Artists and other creatives through our music community. Visit FreshProduceBeatBattle.com for more info.
We also have lots of Artists that bring us music from YouTube to use. This is perfectly fine as well, we can get the files from YouTube for your project. You would want to look into the licensing the music from the creator as well, to make sure you are able to proceed with your new record when it is ready to release.
There are lots of Producers, both local and across the globe, ready to connect with you on your project. Let us help you out!
Can I book a session today?
We sometimes have same day sessions available, but it it’s not always possible for you to get into the studio today. We do list our available times on our scheduling website and you can book with as little as 2 hours advanced notice. The Engineer would still have to approve the session before confirming you can come in. You can view our next available session on our booking page.
Can I bring cash instead of using a card to book?
We need a session paid for ahead of time to secure your Engineers time in their schedule. You can arrange a time to drop off cash ahead of scheduling your session, but we prioritize our online booking system for reservations and cannot hold time otherwise.
Do I have to pay separately for Mixing and Mastering?
There is not a separate charge for Mixing or Mastering in our studio. We will Mix and Master your recordings in session as long as time allows. You are welcome to schedule separate sessions for Recording or Mixing and Mastering, but it is not necessary if you would prefer not to.
Mastering is included in your time in the studio, but we can also provide Mastering services for records not recorded in our space. We offer Mastering for $25/song.
Any additional time needed for Mixing or Mastering will need to be scheduled.
What are the differences between Engineers?
Freelance – You bring your own Engineer or Engineer the session yourself. You or your Engineer would want to be familiar with how a recording studio patchbay and routing works in addition to using one of the DAW’s we have available. We will not be available assist you during your session, so if you’re unsure whether you might need an engineer we recommend not choosing a freelance session.
Recording Engineer – We have a Recording Engineer in the studio with you to run your session. They can do basic AutoTune and Mixing in your session as well.
Senior Recording, Mixing and Mastering Engineer – We have a Senior Recording Engineer in the studio with you to run your session and help produce your records. They can do vocal editing, arrangement, and tuning, as well as full production mixes and mastering of your recordings.
What are the differences between AutoTune and Melodyne?
Auto-Tune and Melodyne are both popular audio processing software tools used for pitch correction, but they differ in their approach and features.
Auto-Tune is a real-time plugin that automatically corrects the pitch of vocals and instruments in real-time as they are recorded or performed. It works by analyzing the incoming audio signal, identifying the pitch, and then shifting the pitch to the nearest semitone in key. Auto-Tune is often associated with the “robotic” effect that is commonly used in pop music.
Melodyne, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive audio editing tool that allows for precise control over the pitch and timing of individual notes within an audio recording. Unlike Auto-Tune, Melodyne doesn’t just shift the pitch to the nearest semitone, but allows the user to adjust the pitch of individual notes in real-time, with a much more natural sound. Melodyne also offers a wide range of tools for audio manipulation, including time-stretching, tempo adjustment, and more.
Another key difference between Auto-Tune and Melodyne is the way they are used. Auto-Tune is typically used as a real-time plugin in the recording or mixing stage of a project, while Melodyne is used more as a post-production tool for fine-tuning and editing recorded audio.
We often use a mixture of both tools to achieve a finished sound.
Do I need to book another session for Mixing?
That is a great question. Ultimately it comes down to how you can afford to spend time in the studio. If you are needing to focus on getting a lot of records made and aren’t worried about getting the perfect mix, you might be great to go with the mix that your session used during recording. We can quickly master it and deliver it finished in session.
Sometimes we have artists that only want to focus on getting one track perfectly Recorded, Mixed and Mastered in one session. That is another great approach. By focusing on one song, we are able to prioritize every aspect of that recording from start to finish.
Other times, and artist just wants to record a few songs and then decide which ones to mix at a later time. This works great if you’re still writing or developing ideas for a larger project. You can leave with a rough mix of your song and then return to mix further or even record more.
We also have songs that are recorded by our more affordable Engineers or Freelancers and then shifted to the Senior Engineers for Mixing and Mastering.
All of these are great approaches to record making and have their own benefits. Consider which might work best for your project!
What is a live or dead room for recording?
In recording, a live room or dead room refers to the acoustic characteristics of the space in which the recording takes place.
A live room is a space with reflective surfaces that can create natural reverb and echo. This type of room is typically used for recording instruments that benefit from a more ambient sound, such as drums, pianos, and orchestras. Live rooms can have high ceilings, hard floors, and walls made of reflective materials like concrete, tile, or glass.
A dead room, on the other hand, is a space with minimal to no reflections. This type of room is often used for recording vocals, voiceovers, or acoustic instruments that require a dry sound without any room ambience. Dead rooms have walls and ceilings that absorb sound, such as foam panels, acoustic tiles, or curtains.
Both live and dead rooms can be beneficial for recording, depending on the desired sound. In some cases, a combination of both types of rooms may be used, such as recording a live instrument in a live room and isolating a vocal track in a dead room for later editing or mixing.
The choice of a live or dead room can also affect the overall production of a recording, as the sound of the room can add to the character and vibe of the final product. Therefore, choosing the right room for a recording session is an important consideration in the recording process.
How does Online Mixing work?
Online mixing refers to the process of having your audio tracks mixed remotely by a professional Audio Engineer. It allows Musicians, Producers, and Artists to work with talented Mix Engineers from anywhere in the world without physically being present in the same studio.
Here’s a general overview of how online mixing typically works:
- Track Preparation: You gather all the individual audio tracks that make up your song, including vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards, and any other instruments or samples used. These tracks are usually exported from your digital audio workstation (DAW) as separate audio files (e.g., WAV or AIFF).
- File Transfer: You securely transfer the audio files to the Mix Engineer. This can be done through various methods such as file-sharing services, cloud storage, or dedicated platforms specifically designed for online collaboration.
- Communication and Reference: You communicate your mixing goals, preferences, and any specific instructions to the Mix Engineer. It’s essential to provide a reference track or describe the desired sound you’re aiming for, as it helps the Engineer understand your vision.
- Mixing Process: The Mix Engineer loads the audio files into their own professional DAW and starts the mixing process. They apply various techniques and tools to balance the levels, equalize frequencies, enhance the stereo image, add effects, and create an overall polished and cohesive sound for your tracks.
- Iterative Feedback: The Mix Engineer provides you with a preliminary mix for your review. You listen to the mix and provide detailed feedback, pointing out any changes or adjustments you’d like. This feedback loop may continue for several rounds until you’re satisfied with the final mix.
- Final Delivery: Once the Mix Engineer has incorporated your feedback and made the necessary revisions, they provide you with the final mix. This can be delivered as high-quality audio files (such as WAV or AIFF) or uploaded to a secure platform for you to download.
It’s important to note that the specific workflow may vary depending on the Mix Engineer and the online collaboration platform used. Some platforms offer additional features like real-time communication, live streaming sessions, and project management tools to facilitate the process.
Overall, online mixing offers convenience, flexibility, and access to talented Engineers, allowing Musicians and Producers to achieve professional-quality mixes without the need for physical proximity.
What is a Freelance Session?
When a studio allows Freelance booking, it means that the studio allows independent professionals, such as Freelance Audio Engineers, Producers, or Musicians, to book and use their facilities for specific projects or sessions. This arrangement enables freelancers to rent the studio space and equipment on an as-needed basis, without being affiliated with the studio as full-time employees.
Here’s what it typically entails when a studio allows freelance booking:
- Access to Studio Facilities: Freelancers can reserve and utilize the recording rooms, control rooms, isolation booths, or other areas within the studio for their projects. This includes access to professional-grade recording equipment, instruments, microphones, mixing consoles, and other audio gear available in the studio.
- Rental Duration: Freelancers can book the studio for a specific period, ranging from a few hours to several days or more, depending on the requirements of their project. The studio may have different rental packages or hourly rates for freelancers to choose from.
- Technical Support: While freelancers are responsible for their own work, the studio may provide technical support or assistance to ensure that the equipment is functioning properly and help troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the booking period.
- Studio Policies and Rules: Freelancers must adhere to the studio’s policies, rules, and regulations while using their facilities. This can include guidelines for equipment usage, noise levels, safety protocols, and respecting the studio’s property.
- Payment and Agreements: Freelancers are typically required to pay a rental fee or a percentage of their earnings from the project to the studio as compensation for using the space and equipment. Depending on the studio, freelancers may need to sign agreements or contracts outlining the terms and conditions of the booking.
Allowing Freelance booking benefits both the studio and the Freelancers. It allows the studio to rent out their facilities when they are not being used for in-house projects. Freelancers, on the other hand, gain access to professional-grade equipment and facilities without the need for a long-term commitment or the expense of building their own studio.
For more information about Freelance sessions, check out our post about Freelance Engineering!
You can view the available time for freelance sessions on our booking website.
Is your recording studio near me?
Well, that can be a complicated question right? If you’re in the St. Louis area, we are absolutely near you! We are located in South City Saint Louis, at the corner of Jefferson and Chippewa. It’s the same intersection that Broadway takes over for Jefferson so we have a bit of a wild 3 way intersection at our building.
If you’re not in the St. Louis area, luckily we have the internet to help us out! We can mix and master your recording and send it back to you for revisions. About half of the mixing we do at the studio comes from people not local to our area, but we are able to collaborate just the same!
So if you’re looking for a recording studio near you, we’ve got you covered.