#1
Hello!

So our group is trying to plan a recording of an album. But we really have no idea how many studio days we should expect to use, for recording itself, as well as for the mixing of the tracks.

A little more detail on us: we are a reggae group with:
- Rhythm section: Drums, bass, guitar and keyboard
- 2 voices (female and male)
- 3 horns (2 saxophones and a trumpet)

On a couple of songs we have a flute too :-)

We have already recorded a single, so we know the sound we want, as well how we will record it.
We record in sections: rhythm section live together, then horns and voices in the end.

Any idea how much time (studio days) it might/should take?

Thanks a lot! 
#2
How well rehearsed are you?  Can you get most of it in one take?  How many overdubs will you need?  Vocals and solos only?

A tight band can do all of the rhythm tracks in one day, solos and vocal dubs in another day. 1-2 hrs/song to mix (if there are not a bunch of flubs and sour notes to repair), and let you hear the mix.  A few hours for your final mix adjustments and it is off to the mastering lab.  4-5 days if you are really tight.  Few bands can do this and many need at least 1 full day/song.

Figure about $ 5-10k ballpark to get pro results from an experienced studio.  Recording it yourself, figure twice as long.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 13, 2017,
#3
Along with the things that Cajundaddy mentioned you also have to figure in the time it will take for Mic placement and to get tones you are happy with. Also depends on how professional you want the end result to be. Better usually means more time taken.
#4
I agree with the above. It's all up to how prepared your band is before you start recording. When I worked in a studio I saw bands that were well rehearsed come in and knock out their 10 basic tracks in two days no problem. More often, I saw poorly rehearsed bands come in and spend four hours making one mistake after another, changing arrangements in the middle of the session and walking out at the end with nothing solid having been accomplished. I think the answer is that there is no answer other than don't use your studio time to rehearse. It's up to you and your band-mates.
One thing I would suggest is that since you are planning on doing the basic rhythm tracks first (a very good idea), you should do some rehearsing like that. Let everyone get use to playing without the vocals and other instruments. I have seen many bands who decide to record basic tracks but come in having never played that way before and they start to do little fills and things that  they normally don't do. Good luck. 
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at May 14, 2017,
#6
It honestly depends on how well rehearsed and tight-performing the group is. Biggest secret audio engineers aren't afraid to share: the best mixes start at the source.

I tracked a small funk band in 2hrs. Which included setup/teardown times, initial tracking (drums, bass, guitar) and keyboard overdubs. They sounded mixed without me even touching the session other than levels and panning.
#8
Also factor in that for every hour of tracking you do, I'd say there's 2 hours of editing and mixing as well. A lot of engineers edit while they're tracking, but old schoolers like me don't. It's more prevalent in hip-hop/rap/R&B than metal or rock.
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