Q: What kind of work do you do at Audio for the Arts?
A: Our engineers have a wide range of experience, from rock to classical to jazz, audio for your business, radio production, audiobooks and more. Tell us about your project and we will help you plan out the process.
Q: You have a great list of artists and endorsements but I am not a professional musician, and frankly, my project is kind of small; are you still willing to work with me?
A: Like most studios, we list some of the big names so clients will know we are credible, but we love working on projects of all kinds: family bands, music-making friends, music students of all ages, the music hobbyist who wants to record a love song for her partner….we’ve done it all and we would love to work with you, help put you at ease and make the process fun. We believe the recording process should be creative, relaxed and enjoyable.
Q: How might I prepare for a recording session? What do I need to bring?
A: In addition to our studio equipment, including microphones, music stands and other items such as tuners and metronomes, we have a well-maintained grand piano (Yamaha C6; a 7-foot instrument) and a basic drum set (without cymbals). You bring your musicians, instruments and amplifiers, if any. An extra set of ears can be helpful: your music teacher, a professional producer or a trusted friend is welcome to join us at your sessions. Keep in mind, however, that larger groups often become counter-productive, causing unnecessary distraction and conversation which can waste valuable time.
Q: How long will you keep my project on file?
A: If we use our own drive, we will hold onto your project for a maximum of 30 days after completion (if you want us to hold it longer, please discuss this with your engineer in advance), after that, it will be deleted to make room for new projects. Because of this, we strongly recommend clients purchase an appropriate hard drive for storing their session. We can make recommendations or purchase a drive for you and bill the cost of the drive to you.
Q: Do I need to make any special arrangements for use of the grand piano?
A: Our Yamaha C6 grand piano is serviced regularly and kept in excellent tune and voice, ready for recording sessions. When you book your session with us, let us know that you will need the piano so we can make any final adjustments that may be needed. If you or your accompanist, want to try out the piano in advance of your session, this can be arranged, usually at no charge. Pieces for prepared piano or which require special tunings are subject to approval; let us know well in advance so that your needs can be discussed with our technician. If additional tuning, voicing or other adjustments are needed throughout the session, the cost of the technician’s time will be billed to your session. While we do not have a resident studio pianist, we can recommend several accomplished pianists as accompanists for you if needed.
Q: Can you record outside of your studio?
A: Yes. We can and do record at many different locations, both in and out of the Madison area. We are happy to go to any acoustically suitable location and make your recording. If you have questions, please contact us.
Q: Can you make a reference mix that we can listen to?
A: In most cases we can. You can usually get a reference (or “rough”) mix right after your session. The purpose of this is for you to listen to the performances from that session and determine where you are at and what needs to be done next. We strongly recommend that you do NOT distribute these mixes to anyone outside of the project: remember that these are rough, unfinished mixes that will not present you in the best light.
Q: Do you handle CD duplication and distribution?
A: We generally do not handle distribution and/or marketing of any projects (there are a few very specific exceptions to this rule, but they are rare). As to duplication, we are happy to make a few copies for you, but in very small quantities (generally a half dozen or so), and these discs will be labeled in a very basic way for identification of the project only. We do have a duplication company with whom we work closely, and Audio for the Arts clients can sometimes qualify for discounted rates through them. We have an in-house graphic designer who can help you with the artwork for your CD, insert booklet and back-tray card.
Q: Do you offer discounts to students?
A: Anyone currently enrolled in school, no matter your age, will receive a 20% discount on our hourly studio and on-location rates. We also offer video recording for those students who need to submit video auditions. Call for rates and details
Q: Do you have a day rate, or lockout rate?
A: Many studios offer what is called a day rate or lockout rate. This usually requires the artist to commit to a 10- or 12-hour day of recording, during which the studio is “locked out” to other projects for that day, hence the name. Because we work with woodwind and brass players whose embouchures would give out long before then, and with singers of all styles whose voices could be damaged from such long hours, we offer a client-friendly alternative. If you commit to ten or more hours of total studio time, you get the lockout rate (a 10% discount), and as long as the studio is available, you may book time in a way that best fits your schedule and energy level. With this system, there is no need to work one long and exhausting day. If you’d rather have a traditional lockout, we’d be happy to arrange that for you as well.
Q: I am coming in from out of town. What can you tell me about parking, hotels and restaurants?
A: We are located in downtown Madison, just a few blocks from the Capitol building. Because of our central location, there are many fine restaurants and hotels for to choose from. Contact us in advance of our session and let us know your preferences, and we’ll be able to make some good recommendations for your stay here in Madison. Parking is easy, too; we have several off-street, reserved parking spaces for our clients to use.
Q: If I have questions that are not covered here, how should I proceed?
A: Contact us! We are happy to chat via email, phone or even in person to discuss your specific needs.
Phone: (608) 255-0511