Should You Buy Studio Time or Record At Home?

I have been asked this question several times from artists who have purchased beats from me and my answer is not a definite yes or no. Let me explain. We have all heard about the #1 records that were recorded in someone’s hotel room or bedroom as well as the legendary studios where classic albums were created. However I think sometimes we as creatives start to fall for the trap of believing that there is some kind of formula to making great music. Recording your next project at Westlake Studios will not guarantee you will make the next “Thriller” nor will using Fl Studio mean you will have a hit record like “Honey” the Erykah Badu hit produced by the Grammy award winning producer and high profile Fl Studio user 9th Wonder. 

The key elements in both of those examples I previously mentioned were not the commercial studio Thriller was recorded in or the DAW that “Honey” was produced in. The key elements were the talents behind all of the equipment and software. “Thriller” was produced by arguably the greatest music producer of all time in Quincy Jones who notoriously always brings in top level talent for all of his projects. On “Thriller” the creative team consisted of people like the incredibly talented audio engineer Bruce Swedien, Eddie Van Halen, top level songwriter Rod Temperton, musician/producer David Foster and so many others.

Erykah Badu’s “Honey” was such a great record because she brought an authenticity and vibe that only she could and though 9th was not the first producer to use Fl studio he brought his style and influences growing up a Hip Hop head to the way he chopped samples and produced that record. If someone else had produced that record or tried to “re-create” what Erykah and 9th did it would not be the same and may not have had the same amount of success. 

What all this boils down to is talent. Hit records have been produced in expensive studios, bedrooms, hotel rooms and even on iphones. What made those records hits were not the tools used but the creativity behind it. Some records coming out commercial studios completely flop and some songs made on Fl Studio just suck. The most important tool to getting a great song is your ear. Just because you have the means to record from home doesn’t necessarily mean you will be good at it and recording  at a commercial facility doesn’t guarantee a hit either. You have to look first at your budget and then your skill set.

If you cannot afford a commercial studio fee then find a second set of ears to help you with a home production or record in a talented producer/engineers home studio as opposed to recording your self. If you are going to a commercial studio make sure you are prepared. Know what you are going to record before you arrive and have an objective ear listen to your songs prior to your session and when I say objective I mean not friends and family. Find some one who can be brutally honest with you. 

No matter where you decide to record take your time to get the best recording possible and don’t settle for mediocrity just because you have a small budget or rest on the laurels of the studio just because they have cool equipment and an engineer with credits. So take your time and make the best decision for you and your music and as always guys take care and continue to CREATE AND INSPIRE!


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