General Information – a note from Hal Winer
BiCoastal Music is both my home and a private world-class recording studio.
As is obvious to all in the music industry, home studios have become the norm over the past 20 years. Commercial space has become cost prohibitive for most musicians and producers, and the vast majority of music recordings are now being created in private space using affordable computer technology and recording gear. Though it is certainly possible to create a professional recording in one’s bedroom, it is not an optimum environment to do so. Interior and exterior noise are always problematic, acoustics are usually inappropriate, and the artist’s concentration is split between the music and a host of distractions. At BiCoastal, I’ve created an intimate environment that allows for a proper recording experience at reasonable rates where musicians can concentrate on the music. Recording should be about the music.
Listed below are some answers to frequently asked questions I’ve encountered over the years. If you need additional information, feel free to call or email any time. Thanks for visiting !
Please allow a 3-4 weeks lead time to book your session. It is possible that we’ll have an opening sooner and you’re welcome to inquire, but to be safe, please allow plenty of lead time so that we can guarantee your booking. We require a 25% deposit for new clients to secure your booking. We do not offer terms. Payment in full by cash or check is required before your hard drive will be released at the completion of your session(s). Payment by credit card is accepted with a 4% premium over and above the invoice total to cover processing costs.
Rates at BiCoastal are variable based on session complexity and duration. Because we pre-set your session before you arrive (see “Setup & Strike” below), you’ll spend more time recording and less time setting up for the same rate. Tracking sessions are generally more expensive than mixing or editing because they involve more setup and strike. We don’t do hourly work for band tracking. Time for these services can be purchased in 10 hour daily blocks or in cases not involving drums or other significant setup, in half day blocks. Hourly rates can be arranged for overdubs, editing and mixing time. Please call for a quote based on your particular needs.
BiCoastal can comfortably accommodate sessions of up to 6 people including producer & engineer. We find that the facility is best suited for smaller ensembles. We feature 2 Small Iso Booths (6′ x 6′), 1 medium sized Iso Booth (8′ x 6′), and our Live Room measures approximately 25′ x 30′. Feel free to discuss your particular needs with us prior to booking your session.
We want our customers to spend their time here recording. Prior to your arrival, your session will be configured according to your particular needs. Of course if there are last minute changes to your setup, we’ll make adjustments when you arrive. At most, depending on the complexity of your session, you can expect an hour or less of setup time before we begin recording. Customers are not responsible for strike time.
Should your project require a band or individual session musicians, BiCoastal has relationships with an extensive list of accomplished world-class professional session musicians.
At BiCoastal, we like to discuss your session in advance in order to determine a plan to best serve your session. With reasonable accuracy, we’ll be able to determine a session course that fits your budget and needs.
BiCoastal features a Steinway Model D – 9′ concert grand piano. Meticulously maintained, tuned and voiced regularly, you won’t find a better playing and sounding piano anywhere. We recommend piano tuning in advance of any session involving the piano. Our Steinway is a very stable instrument and it resides in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, however, depending on the playing style of the musician, slight tuning shifts can occur between sessions and we’d like you to have the best possible piano recording. Our tuner charges $125 per tuning and with advance notice, he’ll tune before you arrive on the day of your session. Standby tuning is also available for critical piano recordings.
We request that clients bring a suitable hard-drive for back-up and transport of session data. Please inquire about the specifications for the back-up drive. The studio will maintain all session files and insure that proper back-ups are made, however, it’s essential to have your session data duplicated on an alternate drive to be stored in another location at the completion of your sessions.
Client will receive rough mixes of all recordings. Please allow enough time at the end of the session to print these mixes for your reference.
For those unfamiliar with the recording process, there are several stages to consider. 1) Tracking is the actual basic recording of your material. 2) Overdubs are recordings of solo instruments or re-recordings of individual elements of your material. 3) Editing (if necessary) involves any cleanup, cut & paste, tuning, and timing of your material. 4) Mixing is the summing, tonal/volume balancing, and the addition of ambience and effects to your material. 5) Mastering is the final stage whereby songs are spaced, arranged in preferred order, tonal/volume balanced with other songs. We do not offer “in house” mastering services. We can refer you to excellent mastering facilities upon request.
This is a private facility and we ask clients to limit the session to essential personnel. Producers, engineers, musicians and technicians are all an essential part of your session. We’d like to concentrate on your project and avoid distractions which may interfere with your time here.
It is common for a project to move from studio to studio. We often work on sessions started in other studios and just as often send our work to other studios for additional work. It is critical that certain file standards are upheld so that this process happens smoothly and without error. If you are recording in the digital domain … ie. Pro Tools, Logic, Performer, Cubase, etc., please try to make sure your levels don’t exceed “-6″ on your meters. There is no reason to record at higher levels and upon mixing, you’ll likely loose resolution if you do. Also, please make sure your tracks are labeled clearly and that wherever possible, they are consolidated. After consolidation, remove all unused audio files as this will make the session transfer faster. Please consult with us before you bring tracks to BiCoastal. We can make recommendations that will make the transfer process easier. We’ll also provide clear instructions and information for transfer of our work to other facilities.
You have a choice as to the resolution of the recordings you make here. There are 4 professional standards for audio resolution which can be used on your project: 44.1khz, 48khz, 88.2khz and 96khz. The lowest of these (44.1khz) is the same as the resolution of a traditional audio CD. The resolution you choose will determine the amount of hard-drive space necessary to hold your project. At BiCoastal, we will happily work at the resolution of your choice. Please let us know your preference in advance of your session. If you don’t have a preference or you’d like to know more about the differences between these resolutions, please feel free to call and discuss with us. As a general rule, we find that well written songs played by talented musicians recorded by qualified engineers using good equipment make for great recordings regardless of sample rate. Recordings at high sample rates take up enormous hard drive space, require immense computer processing resources and offer sonic differences that are difficult to hear except in cases involving exposed acoustic material.
Please see our “Nearby Accomodations” page.
Numerous area restaurants deliver to BiCoastal. There are also many excellent restaurants nearby for eat-in or take-out service. Catering is available upon request.
BiCoastal offers free high speed wireless internet access.
Thanks for your interest, but Hal is the sole proprietor. We have no positions to fill and we don’t offer an internship program at BiCoastal.