Alta Vista Recording
Igniting Excellence Since 1995

FAQ

Here are questions about recording that we hear most often. If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to contact us.

How much will a recording project cost?

That’s the question we’re asked the most and, unfortunately,the one that we are least prepared to answer. There are so many variables that factor into the equation that it is almost impossible to give a pat answer, but what it mainly comes down to how fast a client can complete the recording process and how picky they are during the mixdown process. These are elements that are outside our control. We can help you develop a budget and to stay within in it’s guideines.

XYZ Studio says they can do the whole process for a fixed amount. Why can’t you?

Over the last twenty years that we have been one of the busiest recording studios in Austin, and we have seen many studios try the fixed amount approach and, as far we know, none of them are still in business. There was either bad blood because the studio rushed the process at the end because they had made a bad deal for themselves and they started skimping during critical stages or they honored the deal but could not stay open because they weren’t bringing in enough to pay the bills.
There are some producers that use the fixed amount approach successfully but they have control of the process and they are experienced enough to factor in and deal with any contingencies that may arise. There are occasions where the client is not happy in this scenario as well.

How can I pick the studio that is best for me?

Believe it or not, we are not going to say that Alta Vista Recording is the best choice for everything related to audio production in Austin. We have decided not to have an acoustic piano in the studio, so we farm those sessions out. And like almost every other studio in Austin, we are not big enough to do orchestra or large choir sessions in the studio, although we have regular clients that have us record them on location. In nearly any other situation, we are confident that we can provide excellent work at an excellent price. A client tells a story about being in a budget studio in the Northeast where the engineer became overwhelmed and ran out of the room. Obviously, not much work will get done if the engineer is too freaked out to stay in the same room as the client and that’s not a good deal, even at $30 an hour. We recently worked with a client who had recorded at one of the most popular studios in town, and at the end of a very long, uncomfortable day, the only tangible things she left with were a large bill and a lot of frustration and anger. Fortunately, one of our clients told her about us and, after giving us a try, she left here feeling very happy about both quality and price and with some strong opinions on where she will be recording in the future. The next time you are tempted to book some time with whoever can offer the cheapest deal, you may want to ask yourself ‘ Can I really afford to go cheap?

Are there any hidden costs?

No, in fact we are one of the few studios in town that don’t require you to buy your own hard drive to record on. Go to our rates page for a full rundown of recording rates and CD and archiving prices.

Can I use an introductory offer more than once?

No, introductory offers can only be used one time per client. Once the introductory offer is used, we go to our regular price structure, which is still an amazing deal.

Can the eight hour blocks, or the introductory offers be spread out over different days?

No, they must be done in the same session.

Do you charge extra for using any of your equipment, such as the drum set?

No, they are part of the deal.

Why do you require a deposit?

Our longtime clients understand that if they don’t show or cancel less than 48 hours before the session, we are likely to be unable to fill the slot and we will lose money. Newer clients may not understand that and the deposit is a deterrent. Our goal is to never have to enforce it.

I am new to the recording process and don’t know the first thing about it. Can I start recording with no experience?

Sure. We’ll shepherd you through project until you have a grasp of the situation. That will probably be sooner than you think.

Do your rates include an engineer to run the session?

Yes.

Could I bring my own engineer or producer?

Yes.

Can I just do part of project with Alta Vista Recording, and the rest elsewhere? Or could I record somewhere else and bring the tracks in for you to mix and/or master?

Sure, we are happy to be involved with any phase of the production.

Can you help me find studio musicians?

Yes. We have access to many of the best musicians in town.

Do studio musicians cost extra?

Yes, they set their own fees.

How far ahead do I need to book a session?

It depends. We are one of the busiest studios in town but things ebb and flow. As a rule, the earlier the better.

If you haven’t released anything in a while or this is your first time, call us at (512)326-5490 or email tom@altavistarecording.com and we can discuss what it might cost to get those great new songs out of your head and on the shelves of your favorite record store. It might be a lot more doable than you think.