Northfire Recording Studio

What styles of music do you record at Northfire?
Everything. We have a solid team of engineers who are proficient in styles from classical to metal to world music, and everything in between.

Can I come visit the studio and meet an engineer before I book time?
Yes. We love to show people the work we do and the studio we built. Just give us a call, and we'll schedule a time for you to come by.

What are the steps in recording an album?
While it can be different depending on genre and the specific project, most albums start with basic tracking. In this type of session, the songs are recorded with a focus on getting excellent foundation tracks (bass and drums in a typical rock or pop album). After that comes overdubs, where all the rest of the instruments and the vocals are recorded. Next comes any editing that that needs to be done. This can include anything from shifting a line of vocals a bit for feel to moving whole sections of songs around. The final stage, mixing, is where we take all of the different elements and combine them to a stereo mix, applying effects and other processing as needed.

What happens at typical tracking session?
At a typical tracking session, we start with setup and getting sounds. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on the complexity of the setup. Taking our time at this step is critical — a few minutes saved by rushing can add a lot of time in mixing. After setup, we run takes until we get a great performance. If it's a pop or rock project, we focus on bass and drums for basics, and we worry about the other instruments in overdubs. We do our best to help you feel as comfortable & relaxed as possible; our interns can light candles, bring coffee, or make food runs, and players can take as many breaks as they need.

How long will it take me to record my project?
Every project is different, so it is tough to give a definitive answer on this. A jazz album could be recorded in a day, and a complex pop project could take a month or more. Generally speaking, if you include overdubs and mixing, half a day to two days per song is a fairly typical pace, although if a group is well prepared it can be done faster.

What should I do to prepare for my recording session?
Practice practice practice - but not so much that you're bored with the songs. If you want to record to a click track, practice to a metronome. It's generally a good idea to change your strings and drum heads the day before the session. That way they'll be bright and crisp but not constantly stretching out of tune. If you can figure out tempos for your songs, you won't waste time recording them too fast or too slow. If you are looking for a specific sound, feel free to bring in a CD for the engineer to reference. Remember that the reference is for sound, not songwriting or performance.

I am new to recording. Do you offer any services to help guide me through the process?
Absolutely. We can help you with everything from a quick meeting the week before the session to full production and arangement services. Feel free to give us a call, and we'll help you figure out what's best for you and your music.

I need some musicians for my project. Can you help me find some?
Yes. The owners and the majority of the staff are working musicians, so we know most of the players in the area. The music scene here is a rich one with a tight network, so we can usually find players of even the most exotic instruments. The best players tend to be the busiest ones, so it helps to let us know your needs well in advance of your session.