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P R O J E C T S

Studio Project Evaluation Criteria

Since I do not operate as a conventional commercial studio, I may have a somewhat different set of goals I set for projects I take on than other commercial studios (I can't speak for them). I generally seek out the people I choose to record. I sometimes take on projects brought to me, however. In any case, I figured it would probably be helpful to explain what I look for in a project.


I seek projects:

  • that feature talented singing, talented musicianship, and talented songwriting. Without this there is no project! I am not typically interested in recording covers, but might be some exceptions to that.
  • that have all band-members in place, rehearsed, and ready to record. Solo artists are fine, but performing all the parts on your record out of necessity is another thing altogether. Most people will be better off finding some bandmates.
  • that will properly credit my role and compliment my discography. I'm doing this for fun and to build my discography. That's what's in it for me. I like to do projects that are different from what I've done in the past. I prefer bands that have at least a local following. To not properly credit my role and my studio is not only uncool, it creates trust problems for future collaborations.
  • that will promote the finished record and are well-known locally. Being in the music business means you need to plan on doing the business part, too. Effectively using social media, touring to support your record, making it available on iTunes and other popular platforms are all good ways to promote your finished record. If I think the record will not be released and promoted, I will generally pass on the project.

I tend to avoid projects:

  • that involve musicians who want to "self-produce". There's plenty of work to do just writing your own material and performing on a record. If you have not produced before, you may have very little awareness of the production decisions necessary to make a good record. My studio exists solely for the purpose of allowing me to produce the records I am interested in producing.
  • that just want do part of a record here. There's little discography benefit to me for working on part of a record. While that makes perfect sense for a studio that is trading money for time, this studio operates on a different business model.
  • that have trouble reaching completion due to excessive mix adjustments and failure to commit. With modern recording technology you can second-guess yourself forever. I look at records like a snapshot in time. If you're lucky enough to have a hit record and you decide to go back and re-master it, good for you. If you're a local artist playing in local venues and recording in small studios like mine, do your CD or EP and move on to the next thing.
  • that involve people who refuse to work sober or expose me and the studio to the odor of tobacco smoke or pot. This is a nonstarter for me. I don't want drunk/stoned people in my home unless they're me.
Every project falls on a spectrum. In a perfect world, having everything in the first group and none in the second group would be the perfect project for me. Of course all projects are less than "perfect" by these measurements. All things being equal, I also prefer to work with nice people. Don't we all? But these are my motivations and this list is what I use to evaluate the offers I receive.


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