Pros and Cons of Virtual Recording Studios, Fox Tracks Music
Pros and Cons of Virtual Recording Studios
Should I record my music in a studio... or online?
Fox Tracks Music is a network of top-tier studio musicians. This means that we don’t actually operate a physical recording studio. Some people may be confused about how this works and end up missing out on some of the benefits of online recording. What do you think? Do you prefer the traditional recording studio, or are there more possibilities when you record online?
Read on and decide for yourself…
How does a virtual studio work?
Imagine spending a day getting the perfect guitar tone. You try different amps, different microphones, and eventually come to the best setup for your style and your instrument. Well, there are thousands of studio musicians who have perfected their set-up in their own individual studios. At Fox Tracks Music, we audition and accept only the best musicians to join our roster of top-tier studio pros, and only choose to work with those who truly know how to serve the music.
What are the benefits of recording online?
The benefits of recording virtually are plentiful. Between efficiency, cost, and creative freedom, recording online is a great option to get your music produced.
Benefits of recording online:
Work with anyone, anywhere. You aren’t limited to local musicians. Our network of studio musicians spans across the country, and we even have some talent living in Africa, India, and across the globe! We choose our players based on skill, musicality, and sound, not based on who lives closest to us.
Save money on recording engineers and studio time. The musicians are their own engineers, and they each own their own studio, so you don’t have any studio fees to pay to produce your music.
Instead of racing the clock in the studio, you, and each musician can really take their time compared to a traditional studio. Maybe you need to step back and think about a certain section. When you record online, that won’t cost you extra money to take extra time.
When you record online with Fox Tracks Music, our process is very strict and efficient. We create a mockup, then an arrangement, then we record, and then we mix and master. We do not follow our process backwards, and when a phase is complete, only then can we move on to the next phase. This means that you are guided to make commitments and decisions as we go.
We’ve learned that it is sometimes difficult for artists to ‘let go’ of a song, and this is a way to encourage you as an artist to allow that song to be completed and released into the world. Without a guide nudging you forward, it is easy to slip into never-ending perfectionism, which in a traditional studio can lead to complete stops or setbacks that cost lots of time and money.
When you work with us as an online studio, we ensure that each phase is done correctly before moving on. This means 100% efficiency and professional recordings, with zero confusion. For example, we always create charts and/or transcriptions of a song to give to the musicians. This means they aren’t going back and forth with us asking about the key, or chords, or what to play. They have plenty of direction, and also a good amount of freedom to play what they feel is right.
Speed and efficiency
If you’re ready for your music to be enjoyed by fans, submitted to sync licensing opportunities, and heard in all its glory, you’re going to want to record it sooner rather than later. With Fox Tracks Music, we take pride in our streamlined and efficient process. If you want something done this week, we can do it. We don’t have to spend time in the tiny details and minutiae of booking a studio, checking calendars, waiting for an opening, hiring the musicians one at a time and juggling their schedules… we just contract the right musicians who are ready to go.
This means spending more time making music, not making calls.
Cons of recording online:
The one most obvious benefit for most people of recording ‘in-person’ or in a traditional studio is having all the musicians in the same room so they can all feel the music together.
BUT - to be honest, most traditional studios actually record instruments separately anyway. In a studio, it is common to record drums and bass first, then guitars and rhythm instruments, and then finally vocals to avoid bleed and to get an isolated sound (depending on the genre). So, in reality, it might not be different at all, depending on what kind of music you are making.
With that being said, there is a special energy when all the players can perform together in a room, especially for Jazz, improvised music, or something that should be experienced ‘raw’.
If this is your thing, we always recommend live/mobile recording of your group either on stage or in various venues/studios that we work with in the area. We also recommend filming the session to use as EPK and booking material. If your band is well-rehearsed, the energy of a live performance can be so special to capture - both audio and video.
One disadvantage of recording online is that the artist or producer can’t hear the mix in the moment as the song is happening. One nice thing of creating things in the studio is that inspiration can strike suddenly and a part might emerge from the ethers.
The flip side of this is that in-the-moment decisions can turn into in-the-moment back and forth and end up wasting time. There is definitely something to be said about having a tight arrangement determined before recording and adhering to it. Keep it simple and don’t get stuck in the weeds!
It’s widely accepted that traditional recording studios have the best gear. This is somewhat true. Back in the day, it was necessary to go to a studio because they had the right board, preamps, analog equipment, etc. Nowadays, with the advent of digital technology and emulators, it’s not as necessary. We have the ability to use just about any compressor we can think of in the digital realm.
On the other hand, there is something to be said about analog. So, lots of our studio musicians opt for the analog gear for their setups (especially the guitar players!) because they are used to it and it helps them get the right sound quicker. At the end of the day, the only question is: does it sound good? It doesn’t matter how you arrive at that point.
Efficiency for multiple songs
At a certain point, it does become more efficient to record multiple songs in one day, once you get set up to do it. If you have 5+ songs ready to go, it might be good to get a bunch of awesome musicians in a room and complete all the songs in one session. Of course, you should have a super-tight plan for how you want to prepare yourself and the musicians to make the most of your time. We can help with arrangements and charts, and communications with instrumentalists and any engineer/studio you decide to work with.
Of course, this means you have less time for each individual song, and this does end up giving you mostly the same sound for each song on the album (which could be good or bad). So there are two schools of thought here as well… lots to think about!
So should I record online, or in a studio?
That’s up to you! We see benefits to both. Either way, if you want a partner in crime during your production process, we would love to assist you in bringing your music to life. Fox Tracks Music is dedicated to helping talented musicians produce their music efficiently and effectively. We would love to hear your music and meet another fellow musician. Hope to hear you soon. Click here to schedule a call