How Long Should I Book?
We understand that no-one wants to waste money, but sadly, the only real answer to this is "how long is a piece of string"! There are so many factors that affect this decision, the biggest of which being whether you plan to record live, or overdub individual parts. However, we generally suggest that you allocate a minimum of one day per song, plus half a day per song to mix. This is a realistic target, which generally yields excellent results. Of course, the more time you allow yourselves, the more "polished" your material can sound. The best advice we can offer, is to know your songs inside out before booking. This always results in better use of your time and tighter recordings.
Should We Master our Music, and Should We Master With You?
This is entirely up to you. Mastering is often considered a bit of a "black art" within the industry, and is a process which can boost the volume, unify the sound between tracks (using a variety of EQ, image enhancers, phase correction etc. etc.) and improve the flow of an album by changing the space between, or even subtly cross-fading tracks. There are Mastering Suites out there that have hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment (some even more!), often custom built, whose sole purpose is for mastering. We at Evil Tree can't offer this... What we can offer is knowledge and expertise, coupled with professional quality mastering software. This can achieve results that stand shoulder to shoulder with commercial masters but cost a fraction of the price. If you record with us for a day or more and are still unsure, we can demonstrate a "quick" master of one of your songs. We hope this will offer more guidance and clarity to help assist you on making a decision.
Should We Change Our Drum Skins and Guitar Strings Before We Record?
Yes! ALWAYS!!! It's something that doesn't cost you much and can make SUCH a big difference to the final recording. Good microphones don't lie, and record only what is put in front of them. If a drum or guitar sounds flat or dull, that's what will be recorded. Generally, we recommend changing skins and strings a week before your recording and giving them a light playing-in over that week. This helps to keep the strings in tune (there's nothing more annoying than noticing half way through a perfect take that the guitar has drifted out of tune), and gives you time to find a drum tuning you're happy with.
Some Studios Say You Have to Change the Way You Play to Achieve the Best Results... Is This True?
We've heard people say this before, and while learning to play like a session musician, or hitting cymbals softer can be a good thing, at Evil Tree we believe this often results in squeezing the life and soul out of a musician, band or recording. Here, we believe relaxed musicians make the best music, and if you're trying to change your style because you've been told to, the results will be worse than if you were just calm and relaxed. Just be yourself and you'll get a recording you'll be proud of.
Can You "Auto Tune" the Vocals for Us?
In one word "NO"! At Evil Tree, we believe in capturing real music, played by real musicians. If you're considering asking this question, maybe you should be questioning "do I need to practice more"? Of course we can take multiple takes and harvest the best bits, or overdub and cut and paste bits here or there, but auto-tuned vocals are, for us, not only a cheat too far... They also sound REALLY bad! It's once again a case of practice, practice, practice before you record. If you're serious, you won't regret it!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Should We Bring?
The most simple answer is bring anything you think you might like to record. We have some good drums, guitars and amps here, but in our experience, musicians know their own gear best... It's your sound after all. Sadly, we don't supply cymbals for drummers after several breakages... We want to keep the prices as low as possible and this helps! You should also bring food with you. We have a kitchen area with oven, toaster, microwave & fridge freezer so stock up on your grub before arrival! We provide hot drinks, such as tea and coffee. Other drinks are not provided, but alcohol is welcome... within reason!
Will Our Finished Recording Sound Like Our Favourite Albums?
Whilst having a sound in mind that you want is a good thing, it's important to remember that commercially available albums often take months to record and have tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on them in the process. We pride ourselves on getting great sounding recordings, but you have to be realistic in what can be achieved within the time you book.
When and How Do We Pay?
We accept cash, cheque or PayPal and expect payment to be cleared before the CD's or MP3's are given out. Sadly, we currently cannot accept card payments. For bookings of a week and over, we ask for a 40% deposit before recording commences.