Compound Recordings - A Santa Cruz Recording Studio - 831.295.4369The Compound - Santa Cruz Recording Studio
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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the studio rate for recording?
Each project is unique and we are always willing to work within your particular budget. Please feel free to contact us and we can plan out an affordable recording package with you.

By filling out the Contact Form you will give us an idea of your project. We will then contact you as soon as possible. We will never give out your personal info and by filling out the form you are not obligated to anything.



What's a day?
A day is an 8-10 hour lock-out. The advantage to the day rate is if you book consecutive days, you can leave everything set-up, walk in the next morning and pick up right where you left off. But please be aware that engineers are people too! They need to eat, sleep, and crap just like you! We leave time for a couple meal breaks in the day for everbody's sanity.



Does the studio rental rate include an engineer?



Can we break up the day rate over two days?
Nope, that's why it's called a day rate. (We get asked this a lot.)



Can we come in early or the night before to set up?
No. Sessions begin at the time you schedule them. Much of the engineering work begins as you start setting up, so we have to charge for this time.



Do you work weekends?
Of course. In fact, weekends are usually booked up several months in advance. Check out our special weekday rates engineered by Evan.




Can we all play live in the studio?
Yes, having all musicians record simultaneously is entirely possible. We can isolate each instrument in separate booths or can record everyone together in the main live room. However, there are lots of options in between, and we most frequently use a combination of live recording and over-dub recording techniques, even for basic tracks. The more information you give us about your particular project, the better we can plan out the best and most efficient technique for you.



I've seen cheaper studios, why should I/we come to The Compound?
World-class gear, experienced, professional engineers, a microphone closet to die for, ProTools, and a welcoming, convenient, laid-back atmosphere for making records. You may think by paying a lower rate somewhere else that it's cheaper, but we can very often get you much better results more quickly (less time = less money!). If you want a certain tone, big live drum sound, certain amp or effect, it's all here--in rooms specifically designed for recording music.



How long will it take to record my album?
This is a common and difficult question and depends on several factors. To be taken into account are basic tracks, over-dubs and fixes, vocals, editing and mixing. If you are recording a serious full-length album and want it to sound its absolute best, we ideally would want about one day per song in overall time (i.e. 14 songs = two weeks). However, we do have experience completing 2-3 song demos in a single day including mixing. The amount of time really depends on how prepared you are, how perfect you expect your performance to be, and of course your budget. Certainly the more time you can spend on your performance, and the more time we have for production and mixing, the better the overall recording is going to be. We are more than happy to work with your specific situation, so feel free to contact with any questions or concerns.



What are the hidden costs?
The only additional costs are your recording media (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, external hard drives, etc.). Each band gets 2 listening CDs and 2 Master CDs. Additional CD's are 2.00 each. We recommend bringing an external hard drive (Firewire is the fastest) with you to your last session so you can keep all of your recorded data as well as your final mix down of your record. We can provide you with a 60 gig hard drive for $50.00. We will store your digital files for up to one month after completion. You will never be charged extra to use any of our instruments or gear.



Can I bring my own engineer for my sessions?
Sure, but we'll need to talk to them and see if they are qualified to run the studio here.



Do you do mastering?
Yes, please call or email us the for the rates of each of the engineers. It's typically between $250-$600 to master a project.



What's a producer?
In general terms, a producer is someone who is heavily involved in your project, possibly attending shows and rehearsals, working on arrangements, checking out your equipment, recommending outside musicians, deciding what songs to record, and more. They will see your project through to completion, and help you get the best takes. A producer doesn't have to be an engineer, and you may see sessions where a producer and engineer work together. One would hire a producer based on the quality of the previous work this producer has done, familiarity with their style and an understanding that they will be calling the shots and raising the quality of the album project. A producer is generally paid a fee on top of studio costs.



What's a co-producer?
In general terms, a co-producer is someone who will engineer your album and make suggestions and subjective comments in order for you to make the best recording possible. They will be active in assessing takes and suggesting sounds, arrangements, etc. Usually they will jump into the session cold on the first day. Generally they will be the sole engineer as well. One would hire a co-producer based on work they've done before and their familiarity with the studio being used. Our engineers act as co-producers at no additional costs. If you would like to hire one of our engineers to produce please let us know and we'll hash out all the details.



I don't have a band, can you provide one?
Yes, we've done many projects for singer/songwriters that needed accompaniment. The rates for individual musicians vary. Sometimes we can work out a day or project rate for musicians. In the long run, paying some top-notch players can be the most efficient way to make a great recording. It goes much quicker than getting a buddy that hasn't played drums since high school.



Do you do voiceovers, video editing, music for film or radio spots?
Of course There's no job too big OR too small. The Compound is best known and geared towards recording performance-based music sessions.



Analog or Digital?
Our philosophy is that we can achieve the best of both worlds. We run your signals through entirely analog gear (including our mixer, preamps, and other outboard equipment) before it gets recorded through our ProTools HD2 system where we can store an unlimited amount of data and manipulate it to our heart's desires. Ending up on a computer also allows for you to take home any data we have recorded on your own hard drive.



Can we get a tour of the studio?
Of course! Start out on our studio page for the basic overview and photos, and contact us for the live-action version. Email is easiest, or call and leave us a voicemail at 831.295.4369. Sometimes we can do the tour that day, sometimes in a week or so. It depends on the sessions that are active. The only thing we ask is that you are serious about recording here. Please know that we NEVER show the studio during someone else's session. You wouldn't want strangers traipsing through your session would you?



We're coming from out of town, what can we expect?
We've had bands come from as far away as Oregon. There are a number of nearby, modestly-priced hotels and lots of great restaurants in Santa Cruz and neighboring Scotts Valley and Felton.



What if I have another question?
Email is best: or call 831.295.4369. (We're very nice but can't always pick-up the phone--it's noisy here!)




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