Back in the day, you needed to have a label sign you or your band before you could get access to a recording studio. Today, that is no longer the case. You do not need to be signed with a label in order to use a recording studio to produce music, all you need is a band.
Make Sure You Are Prepared
Paying for time at a professional recording studio can be expensive. Before you go looking for a recording studio where you can lay down a few tracks, it is important to be prepared.
Make sure that your band has had plenty of time to practice all of your songs together. When you get to the recording studio, you should not need to spend lots of time practicing your songs. You should spend time warming up, and then getting down to business laying out your tracks.
Make sure everyone knows their parts, and that everyone agrees on the lyrics for the song. When you walk into the recording studio, you should be ready to record.
Mid Level Studio
If you just want to lay down a few tracks and create a sample CD, all you need is a mid-level recording studio. A mid-level recording studio is capable of producing music product that is radio ready.
Generally, mid-level recording studios charge by the hour. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour to use the recording studio. Depending on the experience of the studio engineer, you may get a good mix down, but don't expect too much.
Industry Standard Studio
If you want to create a high quality CD, you should save up for an industry standard studio session. Most of these sessions come with extra perks that a mid-level studio cannot offer you. Generally, the studio engineer is more experienced and can produce a high quality mix down.
Most industry standard studios require minimum bookings. You will need to book the studio for either a few hours or a few days, depending on their minimum booking requirements. You pay for the time regardless of whether you use it all. Expect to pay out between $100 -$300 an hour for a space like this.
Before you and your band book a studio, make sure you are prepared. Being prepared will help you get the most for your money. A mid-level studio can produce a radio quality recording for you. If you want to go big, an industry standard studio can produce an even higher quality recording for you and offer you more experience. It really depends on how much money you have to spend and what you are looking to get out of your session. For more information, check out a studio like Poll Sound.