Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
1697 W 11th Alley, Eugene, OR 97402
In an alley near 11th and Chambers in Eugene, OR. Contact us for really detailed directions and parking map.
What are the hidden costs?
NONE! We don’t want to be nickel and dimed either, so we won’t do it to you.
*The only additional costs are your recording media (CD-R, DVD-R, external hard drive, etc…)
*During recording you are welcome to use any studio instruments free of charge, except drums. Sprout City has two drum kits available for use, one for $5/hr the other for $15/hr. We only ask you to pay to use these to cover wear & tear and maintenance costs.
Space – $20/hr
Gear – $5/hr each item:
PA, Amps, Drums, Keys, etc…
What payment types do you accept?
We accept cash, check, or any major credit card (4% additional fee for cards). Unfortunately, due to a recent incident, we can no longer accept cows as payment.
Do I pay by the hour, or by the day?
Rates depend on the engineer that you’re working with. Generally, studio time is booked by the hour. But if you have a lot of material to record, and the studio is available, we will often work out a per-day rate. Contact us to discuss pricing.
Can we break up the day rate over two days?
No. That’s why it’s called a day rate. (We get asked this a lot for some reason!)
Do you have a demo CD of tracks from Sprout City Studios?
There have been over a thousand LPs/EPs/Demos completed by many different engineers and producers since we opened in 1997. We don’t have a compilation disc to demonstrate the wide variety of sounds and styles that have come out of Sprout City Studios. But, you can use the player in the sidebar to get an idea of a tiny sample of what we have done.
Can we get a tour of the studio?
Of course. Email or text is easiest, 541-687-0947. Sometimes we can do the tour that day, sometimes a week or so away. It depends on the sessions that are active. The only thing we ask is that you are serious about recording here. Also, please do not drop by the studio without an appointment – either a session is in progress or the studio is closed. You wouldn’t want someone dropping in on your session, so let’s talk to set-up a meeting! Thanks for understanding.
Do you work weekends/weeknights?
Of course. In fact, weekends are usually booked up several weeks in advance, and weeknights 5-10PM are studio primetime. Check our Calendar online here for availability. If you see a free time that works for you, contact us ASAP to lock it for your project.
Can we come in early or the night before to set up?
Generally, no. Sessions begin at the time you schedule them. Much of the engineering work begins as you start setting up so we have to charge for this time.
Can we all play live in the studio?
ABSOLUTELY! We prefer capturing the performance live, whenever possible. We’re set up to do basic tracks live with groups. We can isolate the drums, guitars and bass with our three iso rooms, or run them live in the same room. Doing live tracks with acoustic guitars is possible, but remember that if you are singing a foot away from your guitar that the mic on the guitar will pick up your voice as well and that recording acoustic guitar in the same room as a loud drum set is difficult!
Can I bring my own engineer for my sessions?
Yes, but we’ll need to talk to them and see if they are qualified to run the studio.
What software do you use to record?
Each engineer working out of our space is most comfortable in one or another DAW.
We have Pro tools 10-11, Digital Performer, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Reaper, Studio One 3, Ozone Advanced 7, and iZotope RX5. We are happy to install your favorite DAW if it is not on this list as long as it is Mac Compatible.
Do you do voiceovers, video editing, music for film or radio spots?
Can I record to tape?
Due to the rising cost of Tape, and the low demand we see for it, we sold our trusty old analog machines and opted to invest in some of the best Digital Conversion technology on the planet.
What should I bring if I record digitally?
We recommend you bring your own hard drive/memory stick to back up the session to. This will speed up your backup time.
Can you transfer my old vinyl/cassette/reels/etc. to CD-R?
Sprout City Studios can transfer most 1/4″ analog reels and cassette 2- and 4-track by a flat rate. Mastering rates apply If edits or cleanup required. Contact us for details.
Does Sprout City Studios have blank tape for sale?
Generally, no. Contact us to find out.
Is Sprout City Studios non-smoking?
Yes. Smoke cigarettes outside only. Smoking “other stuff” is not allowed due to liability/impoundment issues and misguided government policies.
Can we sleep in the studio overnight while working?
No. Outside of an accidental catnap on the couch while mixing, using the studio as a living space overnight is expressly forbidden and in violation of our lease.
Do you have beats?
We have a large selections of drum tracks, samples, etc. but remember that building up tracks is gonna take a lot of time and creativity. There are no “walk in and sing and walk out with a CD” services available at Sprout City Studios. Unless you have previously arranged this with one of our several in house beat producers.
I have never recorded and don’t know where to start. Can you help me?
We love working with independent artists. Never have there been more opportunities for unknown singers and musicians to get themselves heard. Recording is not expensive, and more powerful now than ever! We can walk you through the entire process. Whether you need one demo recorded or help producing an entire album, we have the knowledge and experience to make you sound better than ever.
I only have one song to record. Is one hour enough?
Depending on your level of experience in the studio, you may be able to finish it, but we recommend no less than a 2 hour session to start, and see how far that gets you. Generally, instrumentation is recorded as the first step, then vocals are recorded. Once all the recording is completed any editing is taken care of. This might include comparing various vocal takes and compiling the best of each into one master take. Any vocal tuning that is needed is taken care of in this step. Then the levels between any instruments and vocals are balanced in a mix.
So if you have a 4 minute song to record, plan on more than 4 minutes in the studio! Usually our customers want their best foot forward when they make a recording, and we can get you as close to a perfect performance as you’d like. It just takes time.
How long will it take to record my album?
We don’t know. A well-rehearsed band can lay down most of the basic tracks for an album in two to three days. Overdubs can take anywhere from one to seven days depending on the amount of work and pickiness. For mixing, budget three hours per song or so at Minimum!!! A guitarist-singer who has their tunes down can track hours of live stuff in one day, mix it all the same day and have a decent live demo. It really depends what you are looking for. Many of our better songwriter/band projects have taken 4 to 14 days. Some projects go faster. Always add time to your estimates! We’ve made albums in one day and one month. Just don’t try to make The Dark Side of the Moon or The Blueprint in a day!
How much will it cost to record my album?
We don’t know.
We prefer working by a project budget that you set, to get the recording finished within what you would like to spend.
Working this way gives all involved a good idea of what timeframe to allow for experimentation on your parts, and how much time we would have to do editing and mixing to reach your goals. Let us know what a good budget for your needs would be and we can go from there.
That being said, It can all boil down to an hourly or day rate if you prefer.
We have many engineers here working at different rates, so we can meet any budget you require.
We work with folks that set $30 a song budgets all the way to $3000 a song budgets. For example, we have people come in and do 6 songs in a day, and others do 12 songs over 6 months, with lots of production elements and a big budget. It all depends on your goals and what you feel comfortable investing in your product. We’re here to make sure it gets done the way you like, within the budget you set.
If you need musicians, we have MANY to call on. They usually want something close to either $25/hr or $50-75 a song per player depending on what you arrange. If you have folks that are good for what you are after, that is an obvious way to save on budget.
We Look forward to recording your music!
Are you currently accepting interns?
Yes. It takes a LOT of self-determination and stick-with-it-ness, and VERY few people have what it takes… but you might be the exception. Contact us for more information.
Does Sprout City Studios hire engineers or assistants?
No. The engineers all work freelance, many times bringing in their own work. There are no assistant, runner or tape op jobs available. But if you are a competent engineer who can bring in your own sessions please contact us – we always want more freelancers! Especially if you are reliable.
What’s a recording studio?
A recording studio is a space where music is played and the sound is recorded. What Sprout City Studios is NOT is a record label looking for talent. Please do not ask us about representation.
What’s an engineer?
In general terms: An engineer is someone that knows how to operate the recording equipment in the studio, get sounds and accommodate the requests of the artist or producer. One would hire an engineer based on a recommendation from the studio, work they’ve done before and their familiarity with the studio being used.
What’s a producer?
In general terms: A producer is someone who is heavily involved in your project, possibly attending shows and rehearsals, working on arrangements, checking your equipment, recommending outside musicians, deciding what songs to record and more. They will see your project through completion, and help you get the best takes. A producer doesn’t have to be an engineer, and you may see sessions where a producer and engineer work together. One would hire a producer based on the quality of the previous work this producer has done, familiarity with their style and an understanding that they will be calling the shots and raising the quality of the album project.
What is a beat producer?
Someone who makes the backing tracks for Rap/Hip-Hop/R&B/Pop tracks. These artists work with singers and rappers to make the custom arrangements that fit their lyrics.
What’s a co-producer?
In general terms: A co-producer is someone who will engineer your album and make suggestions and subjective comments in order for you to make the best recording possible. They will be active in assessing takes and suggesting sounds, arrangements, etc. Usually they will jump into the session cold on the first day. Generally they will be the sole engineer as well. One would hire a co-producer based on work they’ve done before and their familiarity with the studio being used.