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Its hard out here for an 8th grade Teacher
November 9, 2009 5:57 PM   Subscribe

How much money should I try to raise to get 8 kids in a studio, with a producer, to cut some songs? I'm working with 8 inner city students in the city of Chicago. They all have a passion for music, but limited experience with music. They all write, rap, and a few of them can sing like crazy. I just received a kickstarter invitation, and have no idea where I should set my sites.

1. I guess I should call some studios? Does anyone have any suggestions?

2. Any suggestions as to what cost I'm looking at working with someone to create beats, samples, and recording time in the Chicago area, I would appreciate it as well.
posted by allthewhile to Education (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Try this cost calculator for a start. When in doubt, call and ask. If it's for a school or a good cause, you may be able to work out some sort of special deal with them. Phone numbers ca be found in the Chicago music studio listings in the Yellowpages.

To save money, practice, practice, practice ahead of time so that when you do go in, you nail it with minimal takes. If it costs anything to rent instruments from them, see if you can borrow some from friends.
posted by battlebison at 6:08 PM on November 9, 2009


Try contacting the people at Reversible Eye.

They aren't a "professional recording studio" per se, but they do have recording capabilities. They've done projects like this in the past, and I'm sure they'd be willing to help you out or pass you on to other like minded studios.
posted by at the crossroads at 6:25 PM on November 9, 2009


practice, practice, practice; and then, your camcorder & you-tube & do it yourselves.

You might not want to spend too much money for expensive professional recording technology on amateur musicians, unless you have an independent source of funding.
posted by ovvl at 7:34 PM on November 9, 2009


No suggestions, but please post results to MeFi Music :)
posted by flutable at 7:56 PM on November 9, 2009


I'd suggest using the budget to buy yourself some recording equipment for these kids to be able to use on a more permanent basis. Then they can practice, practice, practice and record, record, record to their hearts content.
posted by merocet at 8:00 PM on November 9, 2009


Off topic, but suggesting you set up a MySpace for them to put their work on, if it is worth other people listening to. Hopefully they'll get some external positive reinforcement and continue.
posted by mhuckaba at 8:45 PM on November 9, 2009


I can't answer for your location. But, creating a CD or a block of songs is not too terribly difficult given today's digital technology. A performance space, someone with a digital recording setup who is willing to donate time and effort, and mics/speakers etc as needed for setup. I basically pulled a whole benefit album together with a similar setup and 12 different acts a few years back. May I suggest going around to small to medium sized performance spaces and asking around, local bands may also be a good resource to tap into as well.

It can be done, and fairly inexpensively, if you find the right people.
posted by edgeways at 9:22 PM on November 9, 2009


Check out Experimental Sound Studio. They have a decent looking studio with reasonable rates. Maybe a member can help you in the production.
posted by chillmost at 12:50 AM on November 10, 2009


Second buying the equipment: if you can interest kids in recording as well as performing, it's another job avenue potentially open to them. Few singers/rappers make it big, but maybe a few more recording engineers, producers, etc. do, and they'd still be in the business they love. Find someone who can train them to use it, and they can help train the next group.
posted by rikschell at 5:28 AM on November 10, 2009


you might try looking on craigslist or music stores for some musicians who have some sound equip.

someone may be willing to donate some time to come up with a recording for them.

they don't neccesarily need an actual studio and all that cost.

but the sound will be better using sound equipment as opposed to a camcorder.
posted by sio42 at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2009


Agree on DIY. With cheap software and a cheap microphone and a cheap computer you can do pretty much anything these days. The only reason I'd say you'd need a studio is for recording live instruments and drums - everything else you can do at home.
posted by momentofmagnus at 8:02 AM on November 10, 2009


Maybe your money would be better spent on a computer with Garageband or Cakewalk Music Creator 5 on a PC and some microphones?
posted by sully75 at 9:18 AM on November 10, 2009


You can probably find entry-level studios for between $25 and $50 an hour, and should probably budget an hour or two per song. I’m basing that on my experience with my band, which involved recording live instruments (including drums, which take a long time to set up for a good recorded sound.) If you are bringing your own backing tracks and only recording vocals you’d need less time, but if you want the studio to write backing tracks with you that could take a lot longer.

This would be an exciting experience for the kids (hell, its exciting for me when I go into the studio), but I think they would learn more in the long run if you invested that money in recording equipment for the school. You could get a USB or firewire recording interface for a couple hundred bucks and a decent condenser mic for maybe $100 more. Then they could record as much as they want, and get a lot more hands on experience with recording music.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:34 AM on November 10, 2009


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