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Rates, Mixing, Mastering

and Home Recording Enhancement


Prices vary b/n $50 p/h and $100 p/h depending on the service required. Unsigned acts typically spend b/n $2,000 and $10,000 for EP's and b/n $4,000 and $20,000 for Albums. All prices and options are negotiable and flexible, eg, block bookings receive "bonus" time, or try tracking in the "B" room and mix and master in the "A" room.


Mixing projects from the outside world (either other studios or "home" studios) has become a house specialty. It's truly amazing how much better recordings sound when brought through high end converters into 40 Harrison vintage channels and then processed with high end analogue compressors, eq and effects. A little extra time buys you the insurance of having an analogue mix be totally recallable. This way mixes can be revisited and touched up as often as deemed necessary for a fraction of the cost of usual analogue recalls. Birdland's unique method is due to the Harrison's unique ability to send 32 post EQ and FX sends to 32 simultaneous "stems". Enquire for more information.


Mastering has become another house specialty, with 12 years experience, Birdland consistently outstrips the "big boys" in this department and now offers this service to bands who have completed their recordings elsewhere. The huge sounding monitors are also a perfect way to check "club" mixes without the limitations usually imposed by the smaller dimensions of most mastering suites. Not happy with mastering you've done elsewhere? Bring in your project for an obligation free re-assessment.


Here's some sobering thoughts for those aspiring home recordists trying to do it all by themselves:

Despite the advent of affordable digital/computer multitrack recorders designed for "home / project" studios, not a single band has had a "hit" made entirely in this way in Australia. For the last dozen or so years A&R departments at all the labels have been bemoaning the fact that nearly all the demos they receive all have that trademark "amateur lifelessness" associated with home or cheap project studio recordings. At some stage you will need professionals with proven track records to help you get that "expensive" sound. If you want to compete with the "big boys", even in Indie-Rock land, it's going to cost you. Many unsigned bands have secured record deals based on the impressiveness of their recordings at Birdland, whilst many others have released their recordings and have gone on to have massive hits ("Prisoner of Society" by The Living End is the longest charting single in Australian music history -- 73 weeks!). An investment of a few thousand dollars to make a pro recording can more easily be made back in sales if the quality is good, particularly if it is deemed "radio ready". Contrast this to a typical scenario where a band invests in dubious equipment (soon rendered worthless by the vagaries of improving technology) and wastes hundreds of hours on the necessary learning curve only to be frustrated that their recording efforts always fall well short of the mark.

You can't buy the knowledge, techniques and the experience it takes to make pro recordings. If there was a "Monthly Medical" magazine that advertised various "revolutionary inexpensive" surgical equipment, would you buy these in order to, say, operate on your friend's appendix? What if there were periodic "tutorials" on how to operate like a real surgeon? No? So then why show the same lack of disregard for your music? If you need an operation. you pay for a good qualified and experienced surgeon at a reputable hospital. If you're serious about recording your music, you'll pay the experts at a good studio. Are you "getting the picture" yet?

In a 4 year period the average band could easily spend upwards of $12,000 on home recording equipment only to produce several second rate recordings which achieve very little. If, however, in the same period the same band were to release 4 studio recordings costing the same amount in total, not only could they be ahead financially through superior sales (forget the equipment, it'll be worthless in 4 years!), but there's also a saving of hundreds of hours of frustration in trying to learn how to be a sound engineer whilst other bands use the time at what they're good at, creating music!

Remember that there is such a thing as "false economy" with regards to home recording, despite what the manufacturers and the magazines (who run their ads) want you to believe. It's no accident that the bands who seem to succeed are the ones who pay good studios good money to make them sound good. Ask yourself if it's worth spending your precious time reading endless mind numbing manuals, or being someone's "guinea pig" at a "project" studio? Perhaps it's more worthwhile instead to spend the time to create, rehearse, perform and, when your ready, to professionally record your music, for fun, profit and posterity.

After all, it's nice to be able to look back in the years to come and not be embarrassed by the music your making now........

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