Tempermill, Detroit, Detroit recording studios, recording studio, Ferndale, Michigan, music, audio, audio production, mastering, mixing, producing, studio, engineer, ProTools, Pro Tools, analog, digital
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Tempermill, Detroit, Detroit recording studios, recording studio, Ferndale, Michigan, music, audio, audio production, mastering, mixing, producing, studio, engineer, ProTools, Pro Tools, analog, digital Frequently Asked Questions/ Rates

What's the studio rate for recording?
effective as of 1.1.22
$550/ short day 8 hours (not a lock-out)
$800/ long day (12 hour lock-out)

Do those rates include an engineer?

What's a day?
A long day is a 12-hour lock-out. The advantage to the long day is, if you book consecutive days, you can leave everything set-up and walk in the next morning and pick up right where you left off. But please be cognizant that engineers are people too--they need to eat and and go to the bathroom just like you! We leave time for a couple meal breaks in the day for everbody's sanity. With the short day be aware that there may be other sessions before or after yours.

What are the hidden costs?
The only additional costs are your recording media (CD-R(s), DVD-R(s), external hard drive(s), analog tape(s), etc.). You will never be charged extra to use any of our instruments or gear.

Can we break up the day rate over two days?
Nope, that's why it's called a day rate. (We get asked this a lot.)

Can we get a tour of the studio?
Of course! Start out with a tour for the basic overview, and contact us for the live-action version. Email is easiest, or call and leave us a voicemail at 248-399-0550. Sometimes we can do the tour that day, sometimes in a week or so. (It depends on the sessions that are active.) The only thing we ask is that you are serious about recording here. Please know that we NEVER show the studio during someone else's session. You wouldn't want strangers traipsing through your session, would you?

Do you have a drum kit?
Yes. When you book time, please let us know if you will be tracking with our drum kit, so we can make sure the heads are in good shape for your session. Check the equipment page for specifics.

Do you have a piano?
Two! A beautiful Yamaha C7 concert grand and a very cool-sounding 1913 Hobart & Cable upright grand. When you book time, please let us know if you will be tracking with either of our pianos, so we can make sure they are in tune for your session.

What's the deal with all of the instruments?
All instruments are available with the studio rental, but not everything is always in the studio. Please give us advance notice if you want to use a specific guitar, amp or keyboard and we'll do our best to make sure it's ready for you. (Check out the list of instruments on our equipment page.)

My buddy has ProTools at home. What's the difference?
Most simply, experience. Lots of folks have "professional" software, but the difference is that the person running it usually isn't. Put another way, you may have a Les Paul, but that doesn't mean you're Les Paul (or Jimmy Page, Django Reinhart, Thurston Moore...you get the point).

I've seen cheaper studios, why should I/we come to The Tempermill?
World-class gear, experienced, professional engineers, a microphone closet to die for, analog tape, ProTools, and a welcoming, convenient, laid-back atmosphere for making records. You may think by paying a lower rate somewhere else that it's cheaper, but we can very often get you much better results more quickly (aka--more cheaply). If you decide you want a grand piano, Nashville guitar or some weird synth, amp or effect, it's all here--in a room specifically designed for recording music.

Do you have a demo CD of tracks from The Tempermill?
We don't, but if you schedule a tour to see the studio and are serious about doing a session, we're happy to assemble some specific sample tracks for you.

Do you work weekends?
Of course. In fact, weekends are usually booked well in advance, sometimes a couple months.

Can we come in early or the night before to set up?
No. Sessions begin at the time you schedule them. Much of the engineering work begins as you start setting up, so we have to charge for this time.

What's a producer?
In general terms, a producer is someone who is heavily involved in your project, possibly attending shows and rehearsals, working on arrangements, checking out your equipment, recommending outside musicians, deciding what songs to record, and more. They will see your project through completion, and help you get the best takes. A producer doesn't have to be an engineer, and you may see sessions where a producer and engineer work together. One would hire a producer based on the quality of the previous work this producer has done, familiarity with their style and an understanding that they will be calling the shots and raising the quality of the album project. A producer is generally paid a fee on top of studio costs.

What's a co-producer?
In general terms, a co-producer is someone who will engineer your album and make suggestions and subjective comments in order for you to make the best recording possible. They will be active in assessing takes and suggesting sounds, arrangements, etc. Usually they will jump into the session cold on the first day. Generally they will be the sole engineer as well. One would hire a co-producer based on work they've done before and their familiarity with the studio being used.

What's an engineer?
In general terms, an engineer is someone who knows how to operate the recording equipment in the studio, achieve quality sounds, and accommodate the requests of the artist or producer. One would hire an engineer based on a recommendation from the studio, work they've done before and their familiarity with the studio being used.

What's a recording studio?
A recording studio like The Tempermill is a space where music is played and the sound is recorded. The Tempermill is NOT a record label looking for talent, or a rehearsal room.

Do you do voiceovers, video editing, music for film or radio spots?
Sure we can, The Tempermill is best known and geared toward recording music sessions but we have certainly done many commericals, audiobooks & audio cleanup.

Analog or Digital?
Tape is rarely available new and is getting pretty expensive. We've had very good results renting tape that we've used from previous sessions. We can run the machines at 30 ips, which gives you 16 minutes per reel or we can run at 15 ips for 32 minutes per reel. We typically transfer tracks from tape to ProTools for the overdub and mixing process. The advantage is that you're always moving forward with the project and can quickly jump from song to song. If we're using ProTools we recommend you bring your own FireWire/USB or thumbdrive to take files home.

What's Mastering?
Mastering involves taking your final mixes and creating a seamless whole out of a collection of individual tracks. During this process, pops, clicks and other strange noises can be fixed, volume can be amplified, and clarity, smoothness, impact and punch can be enhanced. We can then assemble a Red Book master CD complete with CD-text and ISRC codes that you'll need for replication and digital distribution.

Do you do mastering?
Yes, a lot! The rate for mastering is $75/hour. Most full length album projects take between 3-5 hours.

Do you have beats?
We have a large selections of drum tracks and samples, etc. But remember that building up tracks is gonna take a lot of time and creativity. There are no "walk in and sing and walk out with a CD" services available.

I don't have a band, can you provide one?
Yes, we've done many projects for singer/songwriters that needed accompaniment. The rates for individual musicians vary. Sometimes we can work out a day or project rate for musicians. In the long run, paying some top-notch players can be the most efficient way to make a great recording. (It goes much quicker than getting a buddy that hasn't played drums since high school!)

Do you do vocal demos?
Yes we can, but it's up to you to find instrumental backing tracks.

Can you transfer my old vinyl/cassette/reels/etc. to CD-R?
We can, but be aware that it can be a time-consuming process. We have experience baking old reel-to-reel tapes as well.

Are you currently accepting interns?
There are no plans to be taking on interns in the future. We've had very mixed results with interns in the past. If you're incredibly motivated, feel free to send an email.

Does The Tempermill hire engineers or assistants?
The engineers all work freelance, many times bringing in their own work. There are no assistant, runner or tape op jobs available. But if you are a competent engineer who can bring in your own sessions please call or email--we can always accommodate freelancers. (This is also the best way to break into engineering!)

Does The Tempermill have blank tape for sale?
Sometimes. Call or email us to find out.

Can I bring my own engineer for my sessions?
Sure, but we'll need to talk to them and see if they are qualified to run the studio here.

Is Tempermill non-smoking?
Yes. Smoke cigarettes outside only. Smoking "other stuff" is not allowed due to liability/impoundment issues and a misguided government.

Can we all play live in the studio?
We like to do basic tracks live with bands. We can isolate the drums, guitars and bass, or run them live in the same room. Doing live tracks with acoustic guitars is possible, but remember that if you are singing a foot away from your guitar that the mic on the guitar will pick up your voice as well and that recording acoustic guitar in the same room as a loud drum set can be troublesome.

How long will it take to record my album?
We don't know. A well-rehearsed band can lay down most of the basic tracks for an album in a day or two. Overdubs can take anywhere from one to seven days depending on the amount of work and pickiness. For mixing, budget three hours per song or so--at the very least. A guitarist/singer who has their tunes down can track hours of live stuff in one day, mix it all the same day and have a decent live demo. It really depends on what you are looking for. Many of our better songwriter/band projects have taken ten to fourteen days. Some projects go faster. Always add time to your estimates! (We've made albums in one day and one month...just don't expect to make Sgt. Pepper in an afternoon!)

We're coming from out of town, what can we expect?
We've had bands come from as far away as Australia, England, Germany, The Netherlands and Nova Scotia. There are a number of modestly-priced hotels nearby, and lots of great restaurants in Ferndale and neighboring Royal Oak. There's also plenty of room in the parking lot for a tour bus or van & trailer.

What if I have another question?
Email is best: info (at) tempermill (dot) com or call 248-399-0550. (We're very nice but can't always pick-up the phone--it's noisy here!)

Terms & Conditions

A session begins billing at the time the client booked it for, regardless of whether the client is present or not, and continues until the final load out. Consecutive studio day rate rentals (not hourly) are mandatory if gear or mixes are to be left set up overnight. The Tempermill accepts payment by check, cash or credit card via Paypal. You may be billed separately by your engineer. Payment is due at the end of the session. All mixes, CD-Rs, hard drives, master tapes, etc. shall remain the property of the Tempermill until all invoices are paid in full.

We require a $100 per day deposit in advance at time of booking. If you have a multiple day session, your deposit will not be refunded if the session is cancelled with less than one week’s notice. Single day sessions require 72 hours notice. If you don't cancel or don't show for your session you are still responsible for the time booked. Exceptions will be made for serious illness or death, not for lack of rehearsal time or lack of money. (We're not like a dentist's office with a waiting room of clients, so if you cancel or don't show, it's nearly impossible to schedule someone else in at the last minute.)

We are not legally or financially responsible for items brought into or left on the premises. It is recommended that clients obtain insurance to protect against possible damage expense or loss of article(s) of value left on the premises. This includes master tapes, hard drives, or any media left at The Tempermill during sessions or before payment.

This information is intended to educate Tempermill clients about the nature of digital media and also to establish legal boundaries regarding their digital data: Make multiple backups of your data. Unless there are at least two copies of the data somewhere it is not safe. Three copies is preferred. This is YOUR responsibility! Backup copies of sessions in the digital realm should be made daily during the course of a session and taken home with the artist or producer at night. Post-session backups can be made onto external Firewire or USB hard drives, stored in an online data storage bank or burned to DVD-R or CD-R. There is no certainty that a CD-R or DVD-R will hold data for the long term or that a stored hard drive will play back after sitting for any amount of time so back up your data to newer media as time goes on. We highly recommend purchasing quality, name brand hard drives.

Legal Responsibilities
1. Tempermill Studios, Inc. is not responsible for storing your data or audio tapes during the course of a recording project.
2. Tempermill Studios, Inc. is not responsible for storing your data or audio tapes once the project is completed.
3. Tempermill Studios, Inc. is not responsible for data left on premises, either the dissemination of said data or loss thereof.
4. Tempermill Studios, Inc. is not responsible for educating or instructing any client on the care and safety of digital data.
5. Tempermill Studios, Inc. is not responsible for unrecoverable data, whether it be on analog tape, hard drive, CD-R or DVD-R media.


248-399-0550 | info@tempermill.com