FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'm new to recording. What do I need to know?
Working with a studio for the first time can be intimidating, but we definitely want to work with you! We'll do everything we can to make the process as smooth, comfortable, and FUN as possible! Download our New Customer Packet for more information!
Do you have Gift Certificates?
We offer Gift Certificates for all of Packaged Deals.
If you're looking for a Gift Certificate for something other than a Packaged Deal, just Contact Us.
What types of Artists/Musicians do you work with?
All types of Artists!
We don’t care about your genre, your level of experience, your fan base, your plans for your music, etc. We just want to help you make good music. We’ve done work ranging from rap to folk, heavy metal to pop, country to punk, and everywhere in between. We’ve worked with artists who are just getting started, and artists who have been in the music business for 50+ years. We’ve seen artists with 1 fan, and artists with too many fans to count. We’ve handled projects as small as a part-time hobby and as big as a career-defining album. Whatever your situation, we’re here to help your dreams come true,
and deliver the best sound quality that we can!
Do I really need Mixing and Mastering services?
What about a Producer?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely Yes!
It’s understandable that you may not be familiar with the difference between recording, mixing,
and mastering (See Serivces for more information), or the importance of working with a quality producer. But each of these elements is extremely important to getting a good quality finished product.
If you do recording only and don’t have your song mixed and mastered, your song is going to sound very empty, muddy, quiet, and overall very unprofessional. Taking your raw recordings and having them mixed and mastered will make a huge difference in the sound – everything will sound more full, balanced, crisp, and powerful instead of hollow, awkward, and muddy!
If you choose not to work with a producer, you're missing out the opportunity to work with a creative mind that has spent years learning and understanding what makes music sound good and what listeners want to hear. A producer can help take your music to a completely new level you never even knew existed. It's a producer's job to make your music sound better than you can on your own!
The Premium Package is the most cost efficient and highest quality option we offer.
Listen to the samples below for an example of the difference in sound between an Un-Produced Recording and a Produced Recording, followed by the additions of Mixing and Mastering.
PLUS Mixing AND Mastering
Do I have to play an instrument?
Some of the Artists we work with play multiple instruments. Some play just one instrument.
Some play no instruments at all. It doesn’t matter to us what instrument you play or how
many instruments you play – our job is to make your music sound the best that it can, so we’re
available to handle the recording of any instruments that needs to be in your song!
Do you provide sessions musicians?
On most projects, we actually handle recording most of the instrumentation you hear in the final mix. You are definitely welcome to play any instruments that you want to play on your recording project.
But if you don’t play, or you don’t have a band, or you don’t think you’re good enough to play on a professional recording, BackBeat is happy to handle instrument recording for you! We can provide drums, bass, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, strings, horns, organ, synthesizer, percussion, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, vocals, and various other instruments. If the instrument you want us to
record isn’t on this list, just Contact Us and we’ll see if we can work something out!
Please note, sessions musician work is INCLUDED in your project cost if you’ve hired BackBeat
to Produce your recording project. If BackBeat is NOT Producing your recording project,
sessions musician work may involve an extra cost. For more info, click here.
Do I have to write my own song?
Many of our customers do bring their own original music. But you don’t have to be a songwriter to follow your dreams of recording or pursuing a career in music. Many of today's biggest artists buy songs from various sources and then record those purchased songs as their own. BackBeat has
access to a number of different resources when it comes to purchasing songs, and we’d be happy
to either provide a song for you to record, or help you pick out a song to purchase.
Costs start as low as $50 per song for full rights to the music.
Also, if you’re new to songwriting and aren’t sure how to finish a song, or how to put music
to your melody, BackBeat can help with Songwriting and help to get your original composition
ready for recording! For more info, click here.
Can I do a cover of someone else's song?
You can record your own version of some else’s song. However, you cannot SELL your version of the song unless you purchase a special license to release and sell a cover song. You are welcome to release the song for people to listen to for FREE, but if you’re planning to sell the cover or make money from it in any way, you would need to purchase that special license. The cost of the license varies per song.
How do I get my song on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, etc.?
Through a Distributor.
To get your music available for sale and streaming, you have to release your music through a digital distributor. While there are many digital distribution companies available to work with, and the cost from one to the next can vary greatly, BackBeat recommends working through CDBaby.com. In our experience, CDBaby is the most reliable digital distribution service. If you are unfamiliar with the steps required to submit your music for digital distribution, BackBeat is happy handle the process for you. We do charge a fee for handling your digital distribution, but almost all of that fee is passed directly along to CDBaby to cover the balance that they charge for submitting your music. For more info, click here.
Should I get a Copyright for my song?
In the grand scheme of things, securing a copyright for your song or album is not that expensive.
The unfortunately reality of our world is that people steal, and that includes stealing music. If you
HAVE a copyright and someone steals your song, it’s easy to make a case for your ownership rights to the song, and in turn you would be entitled to monetary compensation for the song theft, and automatically be able to stake a claim against any revenue generated by person who stole your song.
If you do NOT have a copyright and someone steals your song, you’ll have to embark on a long and expensive process of proving your ownership to be able to stake any claim against their revenue. To
put it another way, obtaining a copyright BEFORE someone steals your song only costs you a few dollars, guarantees your ownership, and ensures you get paid if someone does steal it. Trying to
obtain a copyright AFTER someone steals your song could cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees, and you may miss out on getting paid if you're unable to prove your ownership. If you can spare a
few bucks now, just do it. Because those few bucks now can save you a lot of headaches later.
Filing for a copyright can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. But BackBeat is
happy to handle the process for you. We do charge a fee for handling your copyright filing, but
almost all of that fee is passed directly along to the United States Library of Congress to cover the balance that they charge for submitting a copyright claim. For more info, click here.
What is the Studio like?
The studio is a 400 square foot dedicated space within the home of owner Brent Crowe (don’t
worry – plenty of major radio hits and grammy award winning songs have been recorded at studios
in producer’s homes). The atmosphere is comfortable and laid back, and the studio is very tidy.
Acoustic absorption panels line the walls to ensure a quiet recording space and provide a pleasant aesthetic. Lighting is adjustable to your comfort level, a couch is available to ensure you remain
relaxed, and water and free wi-fi are provided. Unlike many studios that have cables and clutter all
over the place, BackBeat strives to keep everything neat, tidy, and pleasant for anyone who enters!
How much does it cost?
Cost varies quite a bit, depending on what type of recording project you’re looking to do. The most common service we handle for our customers is the Premium Package. For a rate of $300 per song, you get a package that includes all recording, mixing, producing, and mastering. In other words, it’s everything you need from start to finish. When we’re done it’s 100% ready to hit radio airwaves, go on a CD, or be released digitally, and it will meet industry standards for sound quality, EQ, and volume level.
To give you a fair comparison, you can expect to pay $350-$600 per song at studios with
similar sound quality in the Chattanooga area, or $500-$1,500 per song in Nashville!
For more info about rates, click here.
Why does it cost this much?
We work hard to keep our rates lower than other studios, while still providing excellent sound quality. But we know the rates can be intimidating, even if they are lower than other studios. There are a number of reasons why we charge what we charge, and why we can't afford to charge a lower rate:
Cost of Equipment - The computers, equipment, electronics, software, instruments, etc. that we have are EXPENSIVE! We're not talking about a beat up laptop and a cheap microphone running through Garage Band...This is high quality gear, and high quality gear costs money!
Knowledge and Training - A lot of people think anyone could do our job if they had the same equipment. But the reality is that it's taken 15+ years of education and experience to reach the level of sound quality we can provide you with today. Simply put, there's no way an untrained person could take our equipment and get the same professional grade sound. You're paying for expertise, just like many other professional services.
Time Commitment - People think that we can throw together a full song, start to finish, in a couple of hours. The reality is that a project might take anywhere from 10-30 hours to complete. If you do the math, you can easily figure that we're sometimes making minimum wage or LESS on a job. It's tough to keep the door open and the lights on for minimum wage. We're not trying to price gouge - we put a great amount of time and effort into our projects, and we're just trying to be fairly compensated for it!
How long does it take?
The amount of time a project takes for BackBeat to complete depends on how extensive your
project is, and how many other projects we have going on at the time. For example, if you’re
having BackBeat mix and master a song you recorded somewhere else, it might take 3-5 days.
If you’re doing the Premium Package for 1 song, it might take 2-4 weeks. If you’re doing a
complete 10-song album, it might take 3-6 months. We always try to provide a general time
frame to our customers, but rarely set hard deadlines. If you have questions about your
specific project’s time frame, Contact Us and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you!
How do I know if my song is good or not?
Get a Professional Critique.
If you’re serious about your music, spending a few extra dollars here and there is well worth the investment. BackBeat partners with a collection of industry professional who provide detailed critiques of music at any stage in development (rough, demo, final, etc.). If you’re unsure about your song, your talent, or how your final mix sounds, ask for a critique. You’ll get 1-5 ratings in multiple categories, and written feedback about each. These professionals tell the truth and don’t hold back, so once you’re critique is completed, you’ll have a much better idea of your potential! For more info, click here.
Is smoking allowed?
BackBeat is a Smoke-Free facility. You may smoke outside, off the property (on the street).
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
BackBeat Sound Design does not offer refunds for services rendered. The music industry is such
that there is not a set “right” or “wrong” way of performing sound recording and related services. BackBeat puts the utmost creative effort into every Project, and the final product that results is
always considered to be our absolute best work. If the Artist is unhappy with the work that
BackBeat has done, they may request that BackBeat make certain changes and BackBeat will be
happy to adjust the finished product until the Artist is satisfied. However, refunds will not be offered.
When an Artist cancels a recording project or recording session on short notice, that reserved
studio time generally cannot be rebooked, resulting in an unfair loss of revenue for the studio.
If a customer needs to cancel a recording project or recording session, please contact BackBeat at
least 48 hours before the scheduled start time for that project or session. In the event that a
recording session is cancelled without 48 hours advanced notice, or the customer does not appear within 30 minutes of a scheduled recording time, BackBeat Sound Design reserves the right to
charge a $30 cancelled session fee. In the event that a contracted recording project is cancelled
without 48 hours advanced notice, BackBeat Sound Design reserves the right to charge 20% of
the agreed upon rate for a recording project.