FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What do I get for $40/hour?
The rate of $40/hour includes all services offered by Big Bug Sound. Please note that new clients receive two hours of recording for free. Also, an initial consultation to discuss your project is provided at no cost. (back to top)
I don't have a lot of money to record. Do you offer any discounts? Is it cheaper by the hour if I book a lot of time?
We offer the very competitive rate of $40/hour, which is less than similar studios will charge you. (We encourage you to shop around!) However, we do not offer any reduced rates. (back to top)
Where is Big Bug Sound located?
Big Bug is located in South Phoenix, inside of the Legacy Golf Resort. Cross streets are 32nd Street and Baseline Road. (back to top)
What are your hours of operation?
Big Bug Sound is open from 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM, 7 days a week. (back to top)
I've never recorded in a studio before. What do I need to do before we start?
In the initial consultation before your first session, we'll cover all that stuff. There is no charge for this consultation. We appreciate the fact that you're most likely not a multi-millionaire, and we'll help you prepare for your recordings, so that they go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. (back to top)
I recorded some songs in another studio, but I'm not happy with the mix. Can you re-mix them for me?
Yes, if you have the individual (un-mixed) tracks. The individual tracks should be on a CD-R, as .WAV files. We can handle up to 96 kHz sampling rate, and up to 24-bit depth. Here is a linked sample of a remixed project: Solitude, by Bob McCarroll. (back to top)
What types of music have you recorded?
Big Bug Sound has recorded many types of music. Please visit the Music page to listen to samples. (back to top)
Can I visit the studio before deciding if I want to record there?
Yes. Please contact us at your convenience to arrange a time to visit the studio, and discuss your project. There is no charge for this consultation. (back to top)
Do you have a piano in your studio?
Although Big Bug Sound does not house an acoustic piano, we do offer amazing piano sounds by way of the Ivory software. These pianos are triggered by our full-size (88-key) Korg N1 keyboard which is provided for clients' use. For examples of the Ivory piano sounds, click on the samples below. (back to top)
Do you have a drum kit in the studio?
A drum kit is not provided, but ample room to set up a full kit is available in the tracking room. (back to top)
How many microphones do you use to record a drum kit?
This depends on the drummer, the kit, and the style of music. Generally 6 microphones are used to capture a typical rock/pop trap kit: 2 overheads, 2 in front of the kit, a kick drum mic, and a snare mic. (back to top)
In recent years, professional studios have used a mic (or two) on every drum. However, many classic recordings use only 1 or 2 mic's to capture the entire kit. More mic's don't necessarily mean better recordings. We believe in spending the time to get the right mic's in the right positions, in a good-sounding room, and we think you'll be happy with the results. (back to top)
How many tracks can you record at once?
Up to ten audio tracks can be recorded at one time. However, there is NO LIMIT to the number of audio and MIDI tracks available within a song. In other words, you could start your song by recording the drum kit with ten microphones on it, using all ten audio inputs. Then, you can add guitars, bass, lead and background vocals, etc. to your heart's content. Additionally, many takes of each part can be recorded, and then the final takes are selected from these. Want to try recording your killer guitar solo 27 different times? We can do that, and then choose your favorite, or create a composite track made up of the best pieces from different takes. Cool stuff. (back to top)
How big is your studio?
The tracking room is approximately 10 feet by 12 feet, and has been acoustically treated. (A full drum kit is easily set up in the room, with plenty of room to spare.) The control room is also 10' x 12'. (back to top)
I only play guitar (or piano) and sing, but I want a "real" CD, with drums, bass, and some other instruments on it. Can you help me with that?
Yes, in fact, we LOVE to do that stuff! The creativity involved in arranging - taking a song from a stripped-down "solo" version to a rockin' jam - is FUN, FUN, FUN! We will help you get the most out of your song. See the next question…
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Can you bring in other musicians to play on my project?
Yes, we can provide you with many great musicians who can add their talents to your project. Some of the best musicians in the Valley have recorded at Big Bug, including members of the Phoenix Symphony. (back to top)
How much do those other musicians cost?
Professional musicians charge different rates. A good starting point is to assume $50-$100 per musician per song. (back to top)
I'm still learning to sing, and sometimes I sing flat or sharp. Can you fix that?
Yes, Big Bug Sound provides the Tune Lite Tuning Correction software, which will bring your vocals up or down as needed, without imparting an artificial or processed sound. (We can also recommend a great vocal coach!) (back to top)
Can I have my friends/family/girlfriend/boyfriend/groupies hang out while I record?
We request that NO ONE outside of those who are actually recording be brought into the studio. It makes it more difficult to get work done, and that means you end up spending more money. Plus, it's REALLY boring for your girlfriend to listen to your band work on the same song for four hours. However, if you want a trusted friend/confidante in to give you their opinion, that's cool by us.
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What do you give me when I walk out of the studio?
Big Bug Sound can provide you with a CD, an MP3, cassette, or DAT of your songs. (back to top)
Do you do mastering? (And, what IS mastering anyway???)
Big Bug Sound does not offer mastering services, but works in concert with Sonorous Mastering of Tempe, just a few minutes from Big Bug Sound.
Mastering is the process of fine-tuning the mixed CDs that are the final product of Big Bug Sound. Think of it this way: your songs are pieces of cake. All the tracks you record (vocals, guitar, piano, drums, etc.) are the ingredients in that cake. The better the ingredients, the better the cake. Mix all those great ingredients together well, and it's very satisfying. The mastering process is the icing on the cake, taking it from great to amazing. The process ensures that all tracks have a consistent level (loudness), enhances clarity of tracks, and can (if you wish) give you a more competitive (i.e. radio-friendly) sound.
Please note! A qualified mastering engineer is a highly skilled, extremely experienced engineer with a very specialized skill set. Several studios throughout the Valley offer "mastering", with no qualifications besides ownership of mastering software! Some of them have never recorded music AT ALL! Would you trust your health to someone who called themselves a doctor simply because they went out and bought a lab coat, a stethoscope, and rented an office? We wouldn’t either. (back to top)
Can you do the graphics for my CD?
Big Bug Sound does not offer graphic design services, but we do recommend amato image Design in Tempe. (back to top)
If I record a song at your studio, and it becomes a hit, do I have to pay you royalties or anything like that?
Nope. (back to top)
Please note, however, that you ARE responsible for paying royalties on any cover tunes (i.e. any songs written by someone other than YOU) recorded at Big Bug, if you plan to sell your recordings. These royalty payments are NOT handled by Big Bug. Please visit the website of the Harry Fox Agency for more information. (back to top)
What is the meaning of life?
Opinions vary, but we believe it is to make great music. (back to top)