SIDE 3 Recording Studio’s FAQ


How much does it cost to record?

The most asked question.

Recording studio costs in Denver are very inconsistent. But always remember a saying that applies very much to recording a record. “You get what you pay for”

Nirvana’s Bleach album cost around $1600 and was recorded and mixed in a day. BUT IT WAS IN A PROFESSIONAL STUDIO!!! (It was originally done as a demo but came out really well…) Other albums in history have cost millions! However, the reality of recording with us is more affordable than that.

It is common for a session to come through in a day for recording and a day for overdubs and mixing – three to five songs can be typical. Albums have been known to take anywhere from three days to over a month, for a more refined and defined sound.

A lot of what determines this are the goals of the artist, how well rehearsed they are, how complicated the material is, etc, etc.

It’s reasonable to expect a punk album to be recorded in a weekend, but it can take longer too. It’s not really realistic to record a highly detailed, orchestrated record in the same amount of time, but it’s not impossible.

Some folks go by the adage “estimate how much time you think you’ll need, and double it.” Don’t forget the mixdown! To mix, a full-length album can run anywhere from less than a day to a full week.

It’s best to contact us when trying to figure out your budget; to discuss your needs and goals specifically. As a lot of this info will let us know how much set up and mic technique will come in to play.

Is Side 3 / Denver Recording Studio recording studio an analog or digital recording facility? We are primarily a digital recording facility. In analog recordings, a sound wave is recorded or used in its original form: a signal is taken straight from the source and is laid on tape. In digital recordings, the analog wave is sampled at some interval and then turned into numbers stored in the digital device. At side 3 studios / Denver Recording Studio we have world-class apogee digital converters!
Can Side 3 / Denver Recording Studio record live bands?
We love recording live bands! We have several rooms in which to set up even a large-scale band to capture performances live. We can get a very degree of isolation in most circumstances. In some cases, it’s good to consider tracking the basics live and save some elements, like lead vocals and solos, for the overdubbing stage so they may be concentrated on separately. This gives the advantage of looking at the foundation of the song first, making sure the performance is solid, and then giving full attention to the “lead” elements of the arrangement.

Is there a “load in” dock at side 3 / Denver Recording Studio?

Side 3 is one of the few Denver recording studios with a drive up bay to unload your gear directly into the recording room so you will not only save time but you will save your back!!!

What do I need to start a session? Bring any practice tapes or practice recordings, or any previous versions of the material you will be recording. Make sure you have your material down.

We recommend that you purchase two hard drives: one as a work drive and one as a backup drive. The bigger the size of the drive, the better. It is essential to always keep important material backed up in case of a blackout or drive failure.

What’s the difference between a ‘demo’ and a ‘record’?A ‘demo’ is what the abbreviation implies: something for demonstrating the artist’s intentions or abilities. A ‘record’ is a finished work, ready for distribution and public consumption.

Many people contact us saying they want to make a ‘demo’. After talking for a while, we come to the conclusion that what they really are after is not a ‘demo’ but a finished, but short, recording. Three or four songs, typically. This is also known as an “E.P.” (‘extended play’ – as opposed to a full-length recording, or “L.P.” – ‘long play’ – both terms from the 33 1/3 RPM heyday.)

These artists want something they can use not only to help get new gigs, but to sell at those gigs, in local record stores, and online. Something that they want to be fully proud of as realized, finished, recordings.

We encourage artists to decide concretely what the goals of the recording are before settling on a budget. If a ‘demo’ is really what they’re after, that’s fine. We can provide inexpensive options to document the artist’s sound and help them get gigs.

But if it’s a ‘record’ they really want, they should consider the time and effort that usually entails, and plan and budget accordingly. After all, it’s something that will have their name on it forever – they should be proud of it!

“Studio X” is cheaper – shouldn’t I just go there? The question to ask is “will I like the sound of my recording from there better?” Ask to hear recordings from every studio you’re considering, and go with the one that the sound impresses you the most – the one that sonically makes the most sense for your project. We have a few MP3 samples on the webpage so people can get a sense of what our recordings sound like without going through too much trouble (and because we believe our sounds speak for themselves) Remember, this is a recording you will live with for the rest of your life – one that will represent your music to the public. If your budget’s tight, talk to us – there are loads of options when it comes to recordings that can make a great sounding record affordable.
I have a home studio, what can a bigger studio possibly do for me? Our friend is recording us in his practice space studio, what can a bigger studio possibly do for us?
Home recording rocks. We agree, but…..most of the time, a “bigger pro studio” can offer some advantages in certain stages of recording, while everything else can be done in a home environment, making the most of the budget that’s available. We’ve seen the most benefit come in three forms from the collaboration of home recording with “pro recording”.The first is the recording of live drums or even basic tracks. Drum kits, in particular, are a big instrument, with a lot of tricky factors that sometimes hang people up when they try to record them at home. Factors like mic phase, room sound issues, and drum tuning all can add up to a frustrating home recording experience. Sometimes, the neighbors get testy, too.Secondly, vocals and acoustic instruments can suffer a similar fate. This time, it is less-than-desireable acoustics or microphone options that can take away from otherwise great vocal takes. Not to mention the people outside running the lawnmower!Third of all is mixing. Some consider it an art unto itself. Many times we’ve had people simply wowed by the results of us giving their home recordings a good, solid mix. (With all humility in mind, sometimes experience still counts for something…)Be sure to call us to discuss how “home” and “big studio” recording can be a cooperative, inexpensive, and fruitful effort
How do I prepare my acoustic guitar for recording? Have fairly new strings on your guitar. Check for rattles inside the body. Make sure all wires from internal electronics are away from resonant places and fastened down. Tighten all machine head screws. Check intonation.
How do I prepare my electric guitar for recording? Again, have fairly new strings on your guitar. Make sure your amp does not have any mechanical rattles, tighten all screws, and replace bad tubes and speakers. Check intonation.
How do I prepare my bass for recording? Have fairly new strings. If there are active electronics, make sure the battery is fresh. Check intonation.
Do we all play in the same room? In most cases, drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards will all be in the same room. We do this so all the musicians can make eye contact and groove together. This does not mean the guitar amps, bass amps, and keyboard amps are all together in the same room. Bass and keyboards are most often recorded direct. Guitar amps, bass amps, and keyboard amps can be put in isolation booths leaving only the drum microphones in the main studio room.  We do this to provide maximum isolation between instruments to aid in the mixing process.
How long does it take to set up and what does it cost? The typical setup is 2 hours but we are one of the few recording studios in Denver that offers that for free!!! For sessions 5 hours or more!
Do we do vocals at the same time? Yes and No.  In most cases, we record a scratch “rough” vocal during tracking to help the band have the feel of the music.  It is best to record lead and backing vocals by themselves so we can concentrate on the best possible performance.
Can you take the vocal off of a production CD so I can sing to it? No. side 3 recording studios / Denver Recording Studio can’t remove the vocal, and that process leaves you with poor quality music to sing to.  It is also illegal.
Can I use music from a cassette tape? Yes. The only problem is the tape hiss and poorer quality than CD.  If the music is only available on tape we can remove the noise, but this will add as much as $100 to the cost of your project.
What if I make a small mistake? Do I have to sing the whole song again? No. We can punch in small parts to fix those little things. We can also record more than one take and edit them together to achieve the best final result.
What if my pitch is a little off? Can you fix it? Yes. We use Auto-Tune to correct small pitch problems.
Can I do my own backup vocals? Yes, we can record as many tracks as you like.
Can I get more than one CDR or CD Duplication and how much will it cost? Side 3 Studios / Denver Recording Studio also does CD Duplication and can produce up to 1000 CD’S please ask for a quote.
Do you supply cover art or Graphic Design? We can recommend artists.
Can you make beats for my songs? Yes, we can. We have a world class selection of in-house producers.
How much will it cost for you to do my beats? Prices vary from every producer. Call in and we can hook you up with the right one.
Can you sample things from old recordings to put in my songs? Yes, but you are responsible for handling copyright registration (and other legalities)
Can you produce the copy for my commercials? Yes, we work with some great writers.
Can you provide the talent for my voice-overs? Yes, but you can also provide your own.
Do you have music for my production? Yes, we can produce original music using Acid Pro loop-based music production software.  We also have a library of ready to go music beds for your commercial.
Does Side 3 Recording Studios / Denver Recording Studio have musicians on staff? Yes.
Does Side 3 Recording Studios / Denver Recording Studio supply an engineer? Yes. Hourly rates include a recording/mixing engineer. We will try and pair you up with the best match of engineer and producer.
Can I bring in my own engineer? Yes. But we recommend using someone from our staff as they know the room, gear, everything involved in the facility. We are confident that you will be more than happy with your end product!
Why are some commercials not as loud as others are? The last step in producing a commercial is mastering which adjusts the level to be up to today’s standards. This step is frequently skipped in low budget productions.
Can you take the noise out of old recordings? Yes, to a certain extent.
How many LPs can you put on a CD? Maximum CD time is 80 minutes.
How do you create a “sound” for me? We will have an initial consultation with you where we will listen to your material, find out what music you like, and work on artist development to create a sound that fits you.
Does Side 3 Recording Studios / Denver Recording Studio offer video production? Yes.
Do you do Radio Commercials and Sound For TV Commercials? Yes
Why should I have my finished product mastered? Mastering is the final step in the recording process. It involves cleaning up beginnings and endings of songs, establishing the spacing between tracks, balancing the relative levels between songs, and generating the code information denoting track start and end locations. It can also involve compression, limiting, eq, expansion, normalization, and other processes. The removal of extraneous noises, clicks, and pops is also done during mastering. Good mastering will help an album feel more cohesive.
Do you do mastering? As one of Colorado’s Premier recording studios, we do offer mastering. Although if we feel the project may need that extra surgery that it sometimes needs we also have a great relationship with Sony Mastering Studios in NY that we can send it to!
Is mastering included? Mastering is not included and is separate from the mixing process.
Who do I contact about booking and billing? For booking and billing, contact Side 3 recording studios at the studio at 720-515-2649, or email:
How do I get to Side 3 studios / Denver Recording Studio? We are one of the few Denver recording studios conveniently located just outside of downtown Denver. We recommend you use Google Maps for the most accurate and up-to-date directions to the studio.

Is the same as Denver Recording Studio .com?


Is the same as Colorado Recording Studio .com?Yes.

Who do I contact about the intern program?

The Studio manager is in charge of the program and can be contacted at the studio or email: