The final budget of your project depends on many variables.
These can include the style of music, the amount of songs, the amount of parts within the songs, your expectations for the recording, the requirement for additional musicians. We endeavour to provide the best possible productions for the most
reasonable prices. We're always happy to discuss this in specific detail for your own situation.
Can I come to see the studios?
Yes! Coming to see our studios will give you a great feel for all the possibilities that we can offer and will give us a
chance to chat about your project. Please contact us to arrange a visit. Please don't arrive without an appointment,
we will most likely be in session.
Can I Record With You?
Yes! We are here to provide recording, mixing, mastering and many other audio services to everyone who would like to work with us. We have recorded Pop, Rock, Indie, Country, Folk, Trad, Hip-Hop, EDM, Metal, Techno, Grindcore, Disco, Blues, Doom and genres that don't yet exist.
We are an open, inclusive company who do all we can to make our clients feel secure, welcome and valued while making their recordings. Our studio began as an alternative to the elitist "know it all" attitudes that can make artists nervous and unsure.
We spend our time enthusing about music and pushing sonic boundaries as far as we can. If you feel like you need help or collaboration with writing, recording, mixing or mastering your music, we would love to hear from you.
Can we record live?
Yes! We are set up to record in many different ways. Our main studio offers many isolated spaces, many channels of input, personal headphone mix systems and all the facilities to make live recording easy, fun and sound amazing. We will always
discuss the best approach for your recording. Sometimes this is all live, other times recording parts live, and sometimes it's recording everything separately. Even when this happens, we will usually record the whole group performing at the same time.
I sing and play guitar. Can you play everything else?
Yes! Depending on your style we can usually play and/or programme all the other instruments. If you would like a fully live, performed feel we can hire session musicians such as drummers, string players, pianists, brass and more to suit your production. Most of our producers play a range of drums, guitar and keys. For other instruments we can arrange the players
in a variety of budgets.
I have a song / lyrics. Can you help me arrange a song?
Yes! This can be a long process. We would start by getting a feel for the style of music you would like and then map out
the song for melody, structure, arrangement etc. How long this takes varies widely. On average it would take one to five days per song to write, arrange, record and mix. This can be a large investment. We often recommend that if you are just starting out, you should connect with a songwriter friend and begin the process organically before entering the studio environment.
What hours can we work?
We usually like working "by the day" in order to take the pressure off watching the clock. Once we're engaged in a project, we're driven by the common goal, rather than the hours in a day. Generally we operate 8-10 hours per day, with time for lunch in the middle. This usually starts at 10am, but we can work evenings and night times to suit your needs. Prices will reflect the length of days worked and sessions begin when you or the engineer arrive to begin setting up. This is an important part of the session where decisions are made on instrument set up, tuning and microphone choices and placement. We will often begin this process before you arrive in order to keep the session moving at a good pace and give the engineer time to begin properly.
Can I load in / set up the night before?
If you are travelling from out of town and don't have anywhere safe to store your equipment, please let us know
and we will do all we can to accommodate storing it at the studio for you. We cannot begin set up before your session start time, as this is in reality starting your session early.
We forgot our guitar/amp/pedal/drums. Can you help?
We have everything you need to make a record. If you've forgotten something important, need new strings, or fancy something new then head to nearby Matchett's Music who cater superbly for guitars, amps, drums and accessories. Dawson's for Pro Audio and synths. Lowden Guitars are in nearby Downpatrick and can sometimes offer workshop tours if arranged in advance.
Where should we stay?
There are a range of nearby hotels to suit all budgets. The nearest to Studio 1 are Ramada By Wyndham. Premier Inn, Waring Street. Other options are Malmaison, Etap Hotel Dublin Road, Travelodge City Centre. Air B'n'B is the most popular option for groups travelling on a budget. Central Belfast Apartments also offer a range of great accommodation in the Cathedral Quarter and around the city.
Where should we eat?
Our studio one location is now surrounded by eating and drinking options. For lunch The Dark Horse offers great options and connects to The Duke Of York. Established offers Belfast's best coffee and fine range of treats. Grapevine makes homemade lunches including incredible gumbo and vegan rolls. The National serves sensational breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Cloth Ear gives quiet dining and drinks with interesting vegetarian and vegan options. La Taqueria offers sit down Mexican dinner options with cocktails.
Closer to Studio two has an array of eating options within a short walk including Archana (with great vegan menu) Joy Inn, Thai Village and fantastic pub menus at Lavery's Gin Palace, Woodworkers and The Empire.
What else should we do in Belfast?
Head to Starr Records to buy some vinyl. Walk to Botanic Gardens and The Tropical Ravine and visit The Ulster Museum beside Queens University. Check out a noisy gig in Voodoo. Search The Limelight for touring acts in town. Take a walk across the river Lagan towards Titanic Quarter. Head to Belfast Castle and on up to Cave Hill for stunning views of the City. Go see a local football match. Travel along the County Down coast to Dundrum and Newcastle or north to Ballycastle, Portstewart or Bushmills. There are Game Of Thrones tours to many local locations where it was filmed. Northern Ireland is stunning. We're mostly friendly, helpful and extremely chatty.
Do You Accept Work Experience Students?
While we make every effort to encourage as many people as possible to come and see our studio in operation, recently
it has proven really difficult to accommodate work experience students in a professional recording session. We have a responsibility to our clients to ensure they have a perfect day recording. This is sometimes at odds with having other people in the room who aren't up to speed on studio etiquette.
If you are a school student we recommend taking work experience in a less extreme environment such as live sound, venue operations, post production audio. If you are passionate about music production please become familiar with studio set ups
and etiquette. The Tape Op Magazine, website and books are incredible resources for all of this.
We run several workshops throughout the year to cater for young people with an interest in music production. These are a much better way to engage with what we do. We'd prefer this than to take you on work experience and have you cleaning shelves, emptying bins and dusting guitar pedals outside of sessions.
We do take longer term placements from local established educational faciliies such as Queen's University, BMC and SERC.
These are taken as and when we can accommodate them. For more information please contact us.
Can I Have a Job?
We don't have any openings for new members of staff. In the twelve years of the studio we've only taken on a handful of people and everyone of them created a role for themselves through their own ambition. The best advice we can offer is to bring your own projects into a studio. Show the studio what you can do with your recordings, offer to help out in any way you can see they need your help. If you are trustworthy and dependable then sooner or later they will ask you to cover a session. Before you know it a decade will have passed and you'll be writing the FAQ's section of their website.
We are always delighted to hear from engineers and producers and always happy to offer advice and guidance in any way that may be helpful.
Do you print records, CDs, distribute my music?
No! We focus on the production and recording of great music. There are many companies who can help with this. Sound Performance are excellent for physical copies. There are several options for online distribution such as Tunecore and CD Baby.
While we are aware of the process, we are not always up to speed on the latest happenings.
Can you help my music career?
The best thing we can do for you is offer our services and expertise in production, recording, mixing and all things audio.
Beyond that we are always happy to offer advice based on the successes we have seen while making recording for the last decade. There are now thankfully many great companies and organisations in Belfast who can offer advice, assistance and expertise in many aspects of the music industry. These include The Oh Yeah Music Centre, Help Musicians, Output Belfast, Glasgowbury, Third Bar Artist Development, Music From Ireland, AVA Festival, Arts Council NI, PPL UK, PRS for Music, PRS Foundation and IMRO