What does it mean that you guys want to produce our music?
At the root of it, when we say we want to produce your music we are telling you that we want to take responsibility for making sure that the track comes out as good as it possibly can. What this requires, changes from project to project but includes everything; from helping with arrangements, part writing, dialing tones, capturing the best performances, writing parts, helping with harmonies, drum editing, vocal editing, etc.
Do we have to play to a click?
Why do we have to play to a click?
There are actually several reasons that you have to play to a click. The first and most important reason is that makes you sound good. This doesn’t meant that you can’t incorporate tempo changes, ritards, and rubato sections into your arrangements but when it’s supposed to be a consistent tempo we use a click to ensure that’s the case. The second reason you have to play to a click is that being able to work against a “grid” is an important part of our production process.
Will the band be playing live?
Yes. When we are recording drums we have the entire band play together with the intention of going back later and overdubbing all of the other instruments. This ensures that we capture the proper energy and dynamics in our drum recordings.
Why does it take so long?
Achieving a world class production requires meticulous attention to detail and a lot of patience. Our process involves breaking down the music so that we can focus on one element at a time. This means taking our time to ensure that we get the highest quality results.
Are you producers?
Yes. Production is our specialty and you’d be wise to take advantage of it.
Do you guys live at the studio?
Yes. Our business model is focused on keeping overhead as low as possible to allow us to offer the most competitive prices possible. Living in the studio was a no brainer for us and allows us to really sink our teeth into your project.
How much does the artist apartment cost?
The artist apartment is included when you book the studio. We find that it helps our clients save money and also lends to an immersive family style recording experience.
Should I bring my own gear?
Yes. We have a great selection of high quality gear and instruments but more is gear is always better so bring it on down!
Does it cost extra to use the gear?
Nope. We are all about making your music as good as it can be so anything you see, you can use.
Do you have Nintendo 64?
Is there a kitchen we can use while we are there?
Yes, there is a community kitchen that we all share in the middle of the house. The band apartment is equipped with a full size fridge and a coffee maker as well.
How far from the studio is the Denver airport?
The Denver airport is 33 miles from the studio and it takes about 40-60 mins to make the drive depending on traffic.
How far is Lakewood from Denver?
Lakewood is just to the West of Denver and it takes about 15 minutes to get from the studio to downtown.
Can I bring my friends?
Yes, we try to keep things relaxed around here so your friends are welcome. All we ask is that they respect both you and us by being quiet while we work. We would also suggest that you save your friends visit for before and after session. Working in the studio is intensive and it’s generally best to minimize as many distractions as possible.
What should I do to prepare for the studio?
The studio requires a different set of skills than just jamming with your band and there are a variety of things you can do to prepare for the studio to maximize your time. Here’s a list of the big ones!
- Know your songs backwards and forwards. This means being able to start at any section of the song, having a thorough understanding of the arrangement, being able to sing the lyrics without having to read them, etc. We are going to ask you to do a variety of unnatural things from playing the chorus repeatedly to trying to double a part exactly and the more you know you’re song the easier it will be.
- Know exactly what you’re going to play. Writing in the studio isn’t a bad idea but it is expensive. It’s better to have the meat and potatoes locked in so you can write new parts that will take the song over the top in the studio instead of figuring out the part you’ve been playing differently every time for two years.
- Know the tempo of your songs and figure out if there are any tempo changes. Figuring out the proper tempo can take time so it’s better if you figure them out before you start paying for our time.
- Practice With a Click. We can’t emphasize this enough. You are going to be playing with a click while you track so it’s a no-brainer that you should be doing so while you practice.
- Tune Up your Instruments. This is also extremely important. This means getting your guitars set-up, re-heading your kit, making sure your pedals are working, etc. We can’t tell you how many times people have come in with guitars that sound amazing but the intonation is jacked up and they won’t play in tune. We can tell you that we don’t record with those guitars.
Do you guys do Mastering?
Mastering is included as a part of our production. If you have a mastering engineer that you like to use we are more than happy to deliver unmastered copies of mixes. Because we deal with so many independent artists we’ve incorporated Mastering into our process to ensure that our clients are always putting their best foot forward.
What is Mastering?
Mastering is the final stage of producing a single, EP, or Album. Mastering is the process of preparing your release for distribution to ensure that it will translate across the wide variety of playback devices that people use today. On a more technical level is consists of applying equalization, compression, and limiting to the stereo mix of a track.
How many people can the artist apartment comfortably house?
This question really depends on your definition of comfort but according to our definition of comfort the apartment can comfortably house 6 people.
Are meals provided?
Meals are not provided. We offer snacks and beverages but you’re responsible for your three squares.
Will you guys mix projects you didn’t produce?
We are more than happy to mix projects that we did not produce or track (record), and for that matter we are happy to just track projects that will be mixed by someone else. Having said that, our strength lies in taking projects from start to finish so it’s always our preference to do it all in house.
Do you have a tape machine?
We do not have a tape machine. Although there are many benefits to tape, there are also quite a few drawbacks and we’ve found that we are able to get everything we are looking for using Pro Tools as our “tape machine”. We are actually quite fond of digital recording because of the permanence and stability of it. Tape is constantly degrading each time it’s played back and the analog process is coloring the sound on the way in and out. We’ve found that we are able to get all of the color that we want utilizing our analog outboard gear, and digital recording faithfully delivers the exact same color on each and every playback. When you factor that in with the ease of editing, storage, and plug-ins we’ve found that we’re just fine without the tape machine.
If we are bringing files from another studio what format should they be in?
We run Pro Tools HD10 so the best scenario for us is to have you come in with a Pro Tools session that we can just open up and get down to work. We understand that not everyone uses Pro Tools so the next easiest method is to bring in the session as .wav or .aiff files. If you use this method it’s very important that each of the files have the same starting point so we will be able to line them up on our system. Having tempo/time signature information is also important when you’re just bringing in audio files.
Do we need to bring a hard drive?
Yes. We will use our hard drives while you are working with us but you will need a hard drive to put the sessions and Masters on once we’ve completed the project.
How long do you keep files after the session is over?
We keep copies of every project that we work on but we are not a storage house and will not guarantee the safekeeping of your session files after the completion of the project. This is why it’s of the utmost importance that you have a drive handy.
Are there many places to eat around the studio?
There are a variety of restaurants in close proximity to the studio. There is basically any standard American chain you can think of within 15 minutes of the studio and there are a variety of local restaurants as well. The studio is only a 15 minute drive from downtown Denver where there is no shortage of delicious restaurants to choose from.
Do you guys have cable?
The studio has DirecTV complete with movie packages and The Theatre features a projector. We also have an Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo 64.
Is there a grill at the studio?
Yes, there is a propane grill at the studio.
Is the studio close to Red Rocks?
The studio is 15 minutes from Red Rocks and we suggest you check it out if you’re visiting from out of town.
Is there good skiing close to the studio?
It’s less than an hour drive to the closest ski hill and there are a slew of world class ski hills within 2 hours. The hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing are just as good.