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Real Studio vs. Home Studio
Old 2nd May 2011
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Real Studio vs. Home Studio

Hello all,
First post and I will try to keep it short. I was just curious as to which road is most cost effective for a rapper making a mixtape with beats I will be using from the internet.

Should I just spend $600 or so on a decent home studio setup (I already have the cpu and studio monitors) and then send everything to someone to master?

Or should I go to a studio and record everything there and also have them master it?

The only audio program I have is Adobe Audition 3 and I have no idea if that is a good program or not to you guys. I am a complete amateur, n00b, and every other synonym when it comes to sound quality of a song, etc.

So, for a rap artist, with really zero knowledge on mixing and mastering, I was wondering what direction you guys would advise me to go. I appreciate the time and thank you for any responses.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #2
Gax
Lives for gear
 
Gax's Avatar
 

Dont waste money on cheap gear, especially since you dont have any experience, just rent pro studio, its cheaper and you will get pro results if thats what you desire. Leave mixing to people who are doing that for a living.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #3
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
First, $600 won't buy you a "decent" home setup. You'll need to add at least one or possibly two zero's (or three if you really want to do it full on) to that to have a "decent" setup.

Second, spending $600 will probably be the "cheapest" most "cost effective" alternative for you - however it won't be the best. Your recordings will probably sound like a guy that just bought a sequencer for $600 instead of one done by a professional.

The good news is that you can learn by doing it yourself. The FASTEST way to learn though is to go to a real studio and see how it's done. No amount of software, forums or youtube can educate you as much as hanging with someone who knows what they are doing.

Good luck. thumbsup I'd suggest splitting the cash and spend some time in a studio, and start building your own setup. Or who knows, maybe you won't want a setup of your own after working in a real studio.

Cheers,

bp
Old 2nd May 2011
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thank you both for the responses, and I also feel I should clarify something.

I really only meant I was planning on buying a condenser microphone, and a PCI interface. I'm sure since you guys are professionals, those two items do not in any way qualify as a "setup" at all, so I apologize for my mis-use of the term, but that is the "setup" I was planning on going after.

While I realize you get what you pay for, and this might not yield super professional results, I was hoping that paying $300 or so to have it mastered by a engineer, would compensate a bit for the low budget affair.

One other thing, I know this is a hard question to answer, and it varies with studios, but what is the range of what it would cost to make a 13 track mixtape? How many hours would it take? How much would I pay per hour? I am very unfamiliar with that process and just wanted the board's expertise as to what to expect (ballpark of course).

Thank you again for your time, I really appreciate it
Old 2nd May 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
affe110's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshSnyder View Post
I am a complete amateur, n00b, and every other synonym when it comes to sound quality of a song, etc.
Do you have the time, patience and will to learn this craft then do so. Otherwise leave it to a profesional and concentrate on your skill, rapping (I'm glad I didn't miss one of the P's in "rapping" :p).

Find someone young and motivated with low rates.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

Its worth using that money towards studio time, not only are you getting the use of great equipment but a professional who knows how to use it.

Its possible to get great home results due to technology but it takes time and effort to reach this standard. a solid computer, software, sound interface, mic's are all needed. you'd be looking at £3000-4000 for all this.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Hello Josh, I though i'd chime in with a bit of advice. I run an 'affordable' studio in the UK, and do quite a lot of mix tapes. Most guys come in with a beat, that is a stereo file i.e what you play on your CD or mp3 player. This means all the drums, bass, synth etc is all in the same file and can't be controlled independently. The ideal way to mix is to have a multitrack, so you can turn down the synth, but turn up the bass drum etc, and more importantly sculpt the sounds around the vocal, rather than just having the vocal sitting on the top.
However just having the stereo track makes mixing quicker, as you can't really do much. For most people who record in this style it takes under 2hrs per song, to record, mix and 'master'. (Which at my studio would be £260 for a 13 track mixtape (about $400?).

The main problem with recording at home is the sound of your room, most normal rooms sound pretty horrible for recording vocals, and will give your recording a demo sound that the mastering engineer won't be able to do anything about. One product that might help but i've never used is an SE Reflexion filter, which is designed to minimize the sound of a bad room when recording vocals.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Sorry got my maths wrong. It'd cost £400 for £26hrs, so nearer $600.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billface View Post
Hello Josh, I though i'd chime in with a bit of advice. I run an 'affordable' studio in the UK, and do quite a lot of mix tapes. Most guys come in with a beat, that is a stereo file i.e what you play on your CD or mp3 player. This means all the drums, bass, synth etc is all in the same file and can't be controlled independently. The ideal way to mix is to have a multitrack, so you can turn down the synth, but turn up the bass drum etc, and more importantly sculpt the sounds around the vocal, rather than just having the vocal sitting on the top.
However just having the stereo track makes mixing quicker, as you can't really do much. For most people who record in this style it takes under 2hrs per song, to record, mix and 'master'. (Which at my studio would be £260 for a 13 track mixtape (about $400?).

The main problem with recording at home is the sound of your room, most normal rooms sound pretty horrible for recording vocals, and will give your recording a demo sound that the mastering engineer won't be able to do anything about. One product that might help but i've never used is an SE Reflexion filter, which is designed to minimize the sound of a bad room when recording vocals.
Thank you everyone for the posts, I appreciate it, but especially to bill, I wish you were down the street from me, because it sounds like your kind of studio is exactly what I need! heh Thank you for the information though, I will start shopping around for a local studio
Old 2nd May 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
giraffe's Avatar
 

you just can't get a good mic+ pc interface + mic pre for $600.

bummer, but true. you could spend $600 on each piece and you'd still only have "mid level" equipment.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
mike vee's Avatar
Where are you exactly my brother? If you are near PA I have the exact studio you need and I do exactly what you want to do as about 75% of my business. You will be recorded and mixed through SSL pres, converters and compressors, high end Lexicon reverb and all of the best plugins. Give me a shout if you happen to be in the Philly area.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #12
Here for the gear
 

PM atcha Mike thumbsup

I love this place already haha
Old 2nd May 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
if you are a rapper..save up..and DIY..over the long run you'll save money..and drop more beats..
then farm out mixing or mastering
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