The basic rate at Hilltop is $40 dollars an hour.  This includes everything except materials you use like tape and cdr's.  When we discuss "your" project I can give you an estimate on how much time may be required.  I can suggest ways to scale down your project if necessary to fit within your budget. Block rates are also available, please inquire about pricing.  You will be asked to sign a contract of sound recording before we begin and a deposit will be required.  This protects everyone involved and insures no misunderstandings.  Material costs are explained in  detail in the contract.
To give you a general idea of what might be required I'll take you through a typical project.  Lets say you have a four piece group consisting of drums, bass, guitar and a lead vocalist.  You would like to record a three song demo to play for club owners and agents to help your group obtain bookings.  At the first session we would record drum parts, bass and rhythm guitar.  These are typically called rhythm tracks.  It's best if the drummer arrives an hour or so before the scheduled session to set up his or her drums and get comfortable.  While the drummer is setting up I'll be setting up mic's and once we're ready I can begin getting levels on the kit.  About a half hour before the scheduled session the rest of the band members should arrive and begin setting up their instruments.  I do not charge for this setup time.  (Of course if the session is booked for 1pm and no one shows up until 1:30, well there goes the set up time.) As soon as everyone is ready I'll have you begin running through the first song you intend to record.  Once all the levels are set and we're happy with the sounds we are getting the actual recording process can begin.  If a band is well rehearsed and everyone has good quality equipment, (no buzzing guitars and amp's, no crackling wires and no rattling drum hardware) most bands can complete three rhythm tracks in an hour or two.  Some bands can work faster and some may require more time.  Allow time to listen to play backs and discuss  what you have recorded.  If everyone is happy with the rhythm tracks I would recommend calling it a day and scheduling the next session.  I have found and most folks who have done this agree that after about 3 to 4 hours our ears begin to loose their objectivity.  Hey we may be just plain tired !
       At the next session(s) we would begin the overdubbing process and record additional guitar parts, lead and backing vocals etc.  How long this takes depends on how many parts you desire to add and again how well rehearsed you are.  Once all the parts have been recorded we can schedule a session to begin the mix down process.  Mixing a song can take anywhere from a half hour to a couple of hours depending on, again the number of parts.  Typically mixing 16 tracks, auditioning different effects, erasing or gating out background noises that seem to always creep in averages out to about an hour.  Take home some rough copies, live with the mix for a few days and if your still happy we can move on to the next song.  If not we can make some minor adjustments and then move on.  Once all the songs are mixed we would make a master copy, typically to a cdr.  If you would want more then a few copies I would recommend you use a duplication service, such as Disc Makers
  Hilltop is a member of the Disc Makers Studio Partner Program.  Budgeting for art work, professional mastering, promotional costs etc. etc. should also be considered depending on  your intended purpose for this recording.
       As you can see a typical project can get pretty involved but hopefully some of this information will be helpful to you in planning "your project".  If you have any questions please send us an
email or give us a call at 610-588-4968.   Thanks for stopping by ! 


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