Some people are OK cutting their band's first demo on a beat-up four-track in their buddy's garage on a TDK D90 IEC1/Type I audio cassette. Unfortunately, there are far more people these days who'll require a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the last sentence as well as the author's cheeky attempt at humor with items from his personal collection in the photograph above. Those in that category and a band will probably benefit from the technological advancements of today's professional recording studio and professionals.
Most musical acts can't pull together the monies to reserve adequate time for a rehearsal space and even less for recording studio with a trained professional at the board who'll assess the right paths for them to take while honing their sound.
There has been a resurgence of studios popping up all over Broward County as of late, and while most places deal with postproduction and assorted supplementary work, there are a few out there offering space for young and established musicians to come and get that professional sound that'll set them apart. Here are six studios that have caught our eye for their relative newness and affordability for various stages of recording-ready outfits.
6. AAMG Studios
Situated in Oakland Park, AAMG Studios offers the full range of services including graphics, video, mixing, mastering, printing, and CD/DVD duplication. It even boasts in-house songwriters for assistance with your projects. The 5/10 hour rates from the "online package" go between $150 and $250, which is not too bad for a band or artist on a budget. If you're looking to cut your hip-hop single or need that touch on your mixtape to stand out, these are the guys to see. Good for young heads who want to elevate but maintain that DIY, homemade flavor.
5. Purgatory Recording Studio
Owner and operator Michael Waxman is an engineer with years of experience in South Florida's garage-band circuit, and whilePurgatory Recording Studios in Tamarac might sound like some gothic mess, he's probably the best bet for a young band with zero recording experience to work with, as his past will surely cast a patient guidance they will not find elsewhere. He's also the guy behind Wax Worx Cables, which are pretty choice. This is a good place for starters who want to experience the process with a solid guiding hand who knows both sides of the recording console.
4. CT Music Studios
CT Music Studios in Sunrise has worked with artists like Michael Sembello, Talib Kweli, and Brisco. This might not be the shop for the young guns, but seasoned locals could definitely take advantage of this type of setting to get themselves primed for the big time. Mixtape and singles packages range from $150 to $1,500 depending on your engineering concierge, with album-length work open for negotiation or at least a chance to block out a deal. If the types of artists these guys have dealt with are in your veins, we'd recommend them regardless of you or your group's experience.
3. Pillar Records Studios
Pillar in Pompano Beach caters to the punk, hardcore, and ska scenes. As some of these operations tend to go, the atmosphere is a little more casual and though not less professional, there might be some room for negotiating, so if you're ready to get your shit together and cut a seven-inch that's worth some rank between some Ebullution or early Dischord releases, this might be the place to go. Calling for rates is encouraged. This would be our go-to joint for new bands trying to get a taste of the recording process and would encourage all types to inquire, cuz what could be more punk rock than that? Though pillar means to catch in the act or run over in Español, they seem legit.
2. Debonaire Recording Studio
The elder statesman of this pack, 17-year-old Debonaire Recording Studio in Sunrise is an upscale operation that values time and its services. Aside from various recording packages, Debonaire is particularly proud of its beats and makes them available to clients whether they record with them or not. Of all the operations listed here, this is the only one that requires deposits and further telephone inquiries for appointments. We recommend this joint for artists/bands with plenty of rehearsals and recordings in their background.
1. Insane Sounds
Insane Sounds in Lauderhill makes a big deal of its one-stop-shop, industry-quality services and even offers a referral benefits package to clients, so if you know someone who's dropped tracks there, it might be a good idea to start singing names or get them to sing yours. You'll have to figure that out on your own. From pop to metal, hip-hop to EDM, they handle it all and seem willing to work in any capacity on any project, so we recommend them for outfits/artists who already have some recording experience under their belts.
Other places we'd recommend for recording-ready outfits are Upcoming Studio Inc. in Wilton Manors, which has more than 20 years in the business, and Fort Lauderdale Beach's 42nd Street Studios, which has just crossed north of the 25-year mark and has a large and varied clientele of recording artists.
Feel free to add your favorites in the comments.