frequently asked questions
If you are serious and concerned about getting a professional, high quality, product. If you feel it would be advantageous to work in a professional studio environment together with trained and experienced engineers.
Yes, we're serious, we've had quite a few inquiries from people who say they are interested to book a studio for recording, but are concerned that we can't fit in more than 2 people.
Rest assured, we are a professional recording studio, not a home studio. Therefore, we CAN fit in more than 2 people. As a matter of fact, we could fit in up to 70 people, and still have room left over for the grand piano.
Most (although we would also admit that, not all) smaller studios, especially those running with just a PC and (maybe) a small semi-pro mixing console, are usually not much more than amateur set-ups that like to advertise themselves as "a professional recording studio".
These "studios" have little knowledge of professional recording techniques, neither do they have access to top quality equipment (be it Microphones, Mixing Consoles, or "outboard" effects units), nor do they have a professionally designed recording environment.
Sure, these so-called "studios" are cheaper than us (although not much) - but then don't expect to get the same quality out of a $3000 mixer as you would from a $300,000 one. Remember, you get what you pay for.
With us, you will be working in a professional studio environment, with professional equipment, and with trained and experienced engineers to help you - leaving you - as an artist - free to concentrate on what you do best, without the hassle of having to worry about the technical side of things as well. This results in an all round better final product.
I wish there was a simple answer to this question. What CAN be said for sure is that Mastering is the final stage in the creative process and NOT the first stage in of the manufacturing process.
In all the very concentrated work that goes on in the recording studio - listening to tracks over and over again - judgments on many aspects of the production - relative levels, EQs, Reverbs etc. can get distorted.
When you give a final mix to a Mastering Engineer, you'll be getting professional advice from a fresh set of trained ears as to how your product sounds.
Although it is every mastering engineers wish that all the components of your production sound fine just as they are, in reality this seldom happens. The Mastering Engineer is able to call on his experience from dealing with many wide and varied productions, and advise you if anything on your production can be improved on.
Apart from the basic things that we look for, such as relative levels between tracks, whether the starts and ends are clean, overall dynamics and EQ. We can enhance certain frequencies, widen or narrow a mix image, pull vocals forward or push them back in a mix, tighten & clean-up "muddy" sounding mixes - and generally add an overall gloss to your production and tie all the tracks into a cohesive whole so that the final product will compare favorable with other productions on the market.
The tools we have at our disposal include Limiters, Compressors, Parametric EQs, Gates, Enhancers, Stereo Spreaders, Reverbs etc... as outboard processors - and if any processing is required within the digital domain, this is all carried out at 24-bit resolution.
Yes, Mastering does cost. However, how much it costs depends on how much is required to be done to bring your production up to international standards.
When quoting a price we often get the comment that, either "I can do it at home on my PC for free" or "I can take it to such-and-such radio supply shop and they will give me a "master" for less than a quarter of what you charge" . They can give you something, but the "master" you get will probably be little more than a straight copy of your original.
Mastering is actually a very specialized combination of both skill and art which takes many years to learn, and unlike some studios & CD factories that have jumped on the "mastering bandwagon", we have decades of professional experience mastering recordings for commercial release and our work, sometimes acknowledged by Gold or Platinum awards, has been seen in the best seller charts locally and regionally.
Our preferred formats for your original mixes:
1. CD-R either as an Audio CD or as an ISO-9660 CD-ROM or DVD with your material as either .AIFF / .WAV / .BWF / or .Sd2 files.
2. 1/4" Analogue 15 ips (Dolby encoded if required).
Other formats may be acceptable - please discuss first.
We can accept digital file formats with anything up to 24bit resolution and up to 192kHz sampling frequency.
If your Original master is on Analogue tape, please be sure to have a complete set of alignment tones recorded on the head of each reel. The tones required are 1kHz @ "0"VU, then again 1kHz, 10kHz & 100Hz (or 63Hz) all recorded @ minus 10dB. If your tape is Dolby encoded be sure to include the Dolby alignment tone (or "Dolby noise") as well. All tones should be of at least 30 sec. duration and should be recorded with the Dolby NR switched OUT.
Remember that, for digital formats, alignment tones are not necessary.
Yes, you can be with the Mastering Engineer as he is working on your product - in fact we welcome your input into the mastering process as we feel it is vital to giving you a final product that you are happy with.
Although we may be a little more expensive than some of the smaller, or home, studios, we are not nearly as expensive as you might imagine. If you come in on a Package deal (see below), our rate translates to around the same as is being offered by many of the smaller studios.
Normally our charges are based either on a "per hour" rate or on a "daily" rate.
Our "hourly rate" speaks for itself, however, unless the circumstance warrant it, we do not normally accept one-off bookings of less that 3 hours. Thereafter time is charged as used to the nearest half-hour.
Our "daily rate" covers 10 hours of studio time, say from 11am to 9pm, and would give you approximately a 20% discount on our hourly rate. This "10 hour rate" is designed as a "lockout", meaning that we will not book any other sessions into the studio after your session, enabling you to leave the studio and console set-up undisturbed for continuation the next day.
Alternatively, if you require a substantial amount of studio time (in excess of 100 hours) for an album project, if you would like to discuss your project with us, we most probably will be able to offer you an extremely competitive Package Price for the whole project.
All quoted rates, either Hourly, Daily or Package are inclusive of Engineer's Fee as well as the free use of all our listed equipment. Tape and any other media stock supplied are charged extra.
We do get many inquiries asking us how much it would cost to record 1 song. The answer to this is that it could be as low as $100. if you are just singing and playing guitar or piano at the same time, OR it could be as high as $2000. for recording a completely orchestrated arrangement with backing vocals as well as lead vocals. The bottom line is always "how long will it take?".
To discuss your project with us either call 64734677 or e-mail us
Our Backdoor scheme is designed to allow individuals and bands (but NOT Companies) who may have very limited budgets , access to a professional recording studio to record their material as a "demo".
If you qualify to come into the studio at Backdoor Rates we will give you a substantial discount on our normal hourly rate, however you should note that:
1. Any studio time you have booked may be canceled by us at short notice if a full rate paying customer requires the time slot you have booked.
2. The Engineer we assign to your session may be only a junior/trainee engineer.
3. Your recording will be done "live", probably straight to stereo, with no multi-tracking, or with very limited multi-tracking facilities.
We offer you, first and foremost, a fully equipped, professionally designed recording environment, with professional equipment operated by professional engineers, and coming complete with most of the basic musical instruments, including Drums, Guitar and Bass Amplifiers, Synthesizers, Sequencers, and Grand Piano at no extra charge.
Our Studio 1 is able to accommodate anywhere up to 50 or 60 persons.
Our engineers collectively have over 60 years of professional recording experience and have recorded many of the major artists from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand... and of course Singapore.
If you require Composition or Musical Arrangement services we have freelance Composers and Arrangers/Programmers working with us.
If you require the services of professional "session musicians" to help you out in your production, we can also source these musicians for you.
After Recording and Mixing, your Album (or Songs) will be Mastered to a "Pre-Master CD" (PMCD). If you require only CD-R copies for your own personal use we can duplicate a limited quantity right here in Lion Studios.
If you wish to have your product pressed and mass produced for commercial release we can introduce you to the CD Manufacturers, liaise with them, and together with them, advise you on all aspects of manufacturing requirements.