Recording can be an amazing or daunting experience in the minds of modern musicians. There will be questions,
"What do I need to bring? What IS being prepared?"
"How will this change what my fans think of me?"
"Will this really be MY music?"
"Am I wasting my money? How do prices compare between studios?"
These are all valid hesitations and thoughts, the same that even we had as we started our musical adventure and began feeling out how we would like to grow our brand as Fat Stallion.
And while we are far from end-all be-all experts on the subject, we are more than happy to share our journey through the recording world with you!
The big decision...
We were very lucky, and met some really amazing people early on in our adventure who are higher-ups in the company KMGLife. After some talking and budgeting, we decided to make the plunge and go down to Boulder to record an EP (our first major project!). You will need to compare many facets of recording businesses, and decide what is going to be right for you.
But why did we decide to do this?
For us, there were many things to take into account. We were new as a band and as friends, still going to school, and definitely not the musicians we are today. But we had a dream, and the first goal was to get ourselves some professional content! So first:
The price was right.
As you peruse the internet for recording studios and their prices, you'll notice price tags differ WILDLY. While we did have a recording studio in the town we lived in that was within our budget, we knew that the value we would get with KMGLife would greatly outdo anything we could find locally. We were given an amazing deal, and we knew the experience would be well worth the price. And so we pooled our funds and booked our week, with the plan of recording our 5 best songs.
How do you equip yourself for this?
We did our very best at being as prepared as we could be. We rehearsed like madmen, and packed up all our musical essentials. Things like:
- Our instruments, including the amps/gear (AND DEFINITELY YOUR STRINGS) we regularly use. While KMGLife did provide things for us, like higher-quality guitars, amps, and drumheads aimed at getting a more specific sound, not all studios will provide this service.
- Our music! While we memorize all of our tunes (as one should before recording...), we did make a point to bring along our rehearsal charts for reference, and making notes and adjustments.
- Our willingness to listen, learn, and adjust. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be able to change, even if you think what you are doing is perfect. A recording technician hears everything, and is trained to make your music the best that it can be. Be willing to grow and change!
So what did we learn?
First and foremost, we were given a large reality check. But before I go down that track, we learned that this was what we wanted to do with our life. After an absolutely life-changing week, we became closer than ever. We decided to move and make being Fat Stallion our career!
Beyond self-discovery, we learned after some time that we were not the group that we thought we were. An expression we like to use is
"Recording is brutally honest."
We finally could see what our music was really like, and how we interacted with each other within the group. There were plenty of toes being stepped on, and general messiness that detracted from the overall feel we were going for with our music. But without this experience, we might never have known. We learned exactly how much more in tune with each other we really needed to be to be successful.
But back to why we decided to record, and how we made our decision...
We knew that this studio had our best sound in mind.
A good recording technician is someone who can turn themselves into an extension of the band. Different recording techniques can drastically affect the sound of the music, for better or for worse. This person needs to very quickly understand the goal of the band, the personality of the players, and the same for each song that will be recorded. This is a tall order, and one that not all studios can really say they can fulfill. Do your due diligence as you prepare to record: listen to the products these places have put out, read reviews, TALK to them to make sure that they are on your wavelength. There is no "best" when it comes to personality, only what will be good for your sound.
This is where things get tricky- not every technician is perfect for you. Some musicians decide against outside help entirely to hopefully avoid this musical-miscommunication, to keep the authenticity of their music. We as Fat Stallion see the benefit of both methods, as you might see in our mix of independent and professional projects.
It's good to have good-quality recordings.
Having professional-sounding music is essential in this day and age. With the listening technology progressing the way that it is, having excellently mixed and mastered music to offer your fans is more important than ever. Good recording technicians can turn your music into an absolute experience, for original fans and new!
But why else go to a recording studio?
It's all about who you know.
At the end of the day, we are only where we are because of who we are as PEOPLE, not necessarily as musicians. Those first impressions matter, and while sheer luck has a lot to do with it, your rapport with the people around you will have a great effect on who will want to work with you. This will mean many different things to different people with different goals, but for us as Fat Stallion, it means being genuine with those around us.
Beyond meeting these people, your actions will dictate who the people you meet will talk to, and so on. The recording world is a giant club, and expanding your musical business can really hinge on your ability to make good impressions, so that people are inclined to spread the word. One thing will quickly lead to another... So make your best decisions based on what your musical goals are (looking at you, underground 😉).
The first studio that looks good isn't the only one!
We have spent a lot of time looking at different studios that offer different services and have different people. Our latest professional recording to be released was done down in Lakewood, CO at The Spot Studios, which in many ways was an entirely different vibe than KMGLife.
Does this make it better? Worse? That is all up for interpretation. What matters here now however is that we have taken many things home with us...
Now we are beginning our adventure as an affordable recording studio option in the northern Colorado area, and we are calling ourselves-
With artist accommodations such as housing and studio musicians, we are entering the business at an affordable rate and with professional results. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask Jack Elliott directly through any of his social media platforms or via email.
We really hope that you found this interesting and/or helpful, so please let me know your thoughts and comments down below! And let me know you took the time to read by leaving a like! You are all the best, and we're so excited to have you with us.
Thoughtfully and respectfully from all of us in Fat Stallion-
Emma Dawn, Jack Elliott, Riley, and Light ✌🐴❤