Old House Studio | FAQs
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Do You Really Know What All These Buttons and Knobs Do?

Yes, we really know what all these buttons and knobs do.


It’s Not A Question, But…

The control room really has very little in common with the Starship Enterprise.


What DAW Do You Use?

We currently use Pro Tools 2019 on a twelve-core Mac Pro Tower with a 24-channel Burl Mothership I/O, connected via Dante. We also have a Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad Custom PCIe card for our UA plugins, as well as plugins from Sound Toys, Waves, Antares, Izotope, Flux, Boz Labs, Fuse Audio Labs, HOFA, Ohm Force, Brainworks, ACME, SPL, Tokyo Dawn, and several others.


How Long Did It Take You To Learn All This Stuff?

Chief engineer Chris Garges’ interest in recording began in 1989. He’s still learning stuff on a near-daily basis. That’s over twenty years of schooling and they put us on the day shift, as Bob Dylan might say.


How Can We Book Your Studio?

Contact us by phone or through this website. Generally, if you ask about a date and we have it open, you can book your session whenever you want. It’s that simple.


As a result, we don’t write tentative dates in our schedule. Old House requires a 50% deposit on the time you plan to book. That way, we know that you will be there and you know that we will not book something else during that time. Once we receive a deposit, the date is yours. Deposits are non-refundable, but if unforeseen circumstances arise, you can reschedule your session once as long as you give us seven days’ confirmed notice.


What Hours Are You Open?

All sessions are booked by appointment, but we will work just about any hours necessary. We will do sessions seven days a week.


What Are Your Rates?

Due to COVID, we’ve had to make some temporary adjustments, so please see our Rates page for details.

Rates include a house engineer.

We do offer special rates to qualified freelance engineers who would like to bring projects to Old House. Please contact us for more information.


Can We Split A Day?

Our rates for shorter days are $60/hour. If we have to make more than one trip to the studio, that’s two separate sessions.


Are There Any Extra Costs?

If you’d like to use our grand piano, piano tunings cost $140 and we require getting the piano tuned prior to your session if you plan to use it. Our Yamaha G7 is very well-maintained, has a climate control system installed, and is tuned fairly regularly, but we make no guarantees about the intonation of the piano if it is not tuned. If an out-of-tune piano is okay, you are welcome to use our Melodigrand spinet, which has a fine “saloon sound” and is tuned a couple of times a year for exactly that.


We do not charge a rental fee on any of the studio’s instruments or equipment. New drumheads, drumsticks, guitar strings, picks, etc are the responsibility of the client.


Other than that, we ask that you bring a portable hard drive to back up your project when it’s done.


What Time Should We Arrive For Our Session?

Please arrive at your scheduled start time. If you arrive early, your clock for the day will start at your arrival time, whether the engineer is ready for you or not.


Can We Record With Everyone Playing At The Same Time?

Unless the ensemble has extremely unusual considerations, YES!!!!!! Old House is set up very well for live ensemble recording. A large live room and good isolation with excellent site lines, coupled with a flexible headphone/cue system and an abundance of microphones and outboard equipment for a large number of inputs makes Old House an excellent facility for this type of recording. But we’re happy to record one instrument at a time, too, if that’s what you wish to do.


Do You Have Instruments Or Gear Available For Musicians?

Yes, especially when it comes to drums, guitars, and keyboards, although we do not require that you use any of it. (You are more then welcome to bring any of your own equipment.) We have one of the best instrument collections of any commercial studio in the area and we provide the studio’s equipment at no additional cost (with the exception of drumsticks, new drumheads, batteries, guitar strings, or picks). Certain pieces of equipment in our collection are made available by our staff, so if there’s something specific you would like to use, please check beforehand so that we can ensure it will be there for your session.


Can You Recommend Musicians For a Project?

Yes. We know many, many instrumentalists and singers who can provide talents in classical, jazz, rock, country, bluegrass, R&B, gospel, and many types of ethnic and folk styles. If you need an arranger for a project (for horns, strings, etc.), we know several excellent ones, as well. Rates for these services vary according to the specific project.


Can You Mix Something We Recorded At Home/Elsewhere?

Yes! We do this kind of thing fairly frequently and enjoy the process.


We Have A Home Studio. Can We Transfer Files Back And Forth from Old House?

Yes! We have, on numerous occasions, mixed projects that were recorded in people’s homes or other facilities. We have also tracked music for artists who have done additional work at home. We have done numerous projects were artists have recorded drums at Old House and done additional overdubs at home and then brought the project back to us to mix. This allows the artist to take advantage of Old House’s space, acoustic design, and selection of instruments, microphones, and outboard equipment for more involved sessions, while maintaining a pace and/or privacy element with which they are comfortable in their home setups. The setup at Old House is specifically designed for the ability to track an entire ensemble at the same time. The arrangement of our isolation areas and recording spaces, our large microphone and outboard gear selection, and our flexible headphone setup allows for full-band tracking easily.


If you would like us to work on something that was initially recorded elsewhere, we ask that you get us the audio files well in advance of your scheduled session, in order to ensure that there are no unforeseen problems with the file transfers and we’re happy to help with facilitating these transfers in any way possible. If we get your files at least two weeks before your scheduled session, we do not charge for the time to import your project and make sure that everything works.


Do You Provide Mastering?

While we are technically capable of providing mastering for most projects, we prefer to recommend people who specialize in that area. We have had good experiences with many mastering engineers locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and will happily refer you to someone who will fit your specific needs.


Do You Handle Duplication?

We can handle very small-run duplication jobs, but generally, we refer projects to one of several different companies, depending on the size of the duplication order. There are several excellent local companies and large international companies to which we can refer you.


What Can We Do To Prepare For Our Session?

The best advice we can offer is to suggest that you plan well, rehearse, make sure that your instruments and equipment are in good, working order, and know what you plan to achieve in the time you’ve allotted. Anything that you can do along those lines before you get to the studio means you’ll be doing those things while you’re not paying for studio time.


Can Freelance Engineers Use Old House?

Yes, assuming they meet certain qualifications for working at a commercial facility. Old House is set up in a very logical and easy-to-understand manner (well-labeled patchbay, mic closet, ergonomic equipment layout, etc.), but because each studio is different, we require that freelancers initially book a staff engineer from Old House as an assistant. Please contact us for additional questions, rates, or to discuss qualifications.


Who Designed Your Website?

Our website was designed by Michael Slawter and Chris Garges. The photographs of the studio were taken by Cal Mitchener, Flavio Mangione, Daniel Coston, and Chris Garges. We welcome any comments that would make this site more user-friendly.


Feel free to contact us HERE or by phone at 704-488-1790 if you have any additional questions or concerns.