Can we have a tour of the studio or can we meet to discuss producing a record?
You can! Contact us to get in touch. Sometimes we can schedule that day, sometimes a week or so away. It depends on the projects we are working on. The only thing we ask is that you are serious about recording here.
Do you track bands live or multi-track?
Both! Like a master yogini, we are incredibly flexible and built our studio to be the same. We can record an entire band’s live performance as well as multi-track each instrument separately. In our planning conversations, we’ll talk with you what makes the most sense to capture your energy as well as produce the best recordings.
Our studio is wired up with secret passageways, allowing you to, say, have your amp cabinet in the bathroom (getting that classic slap-back reverb from our vintage tile), while playing guitar through your amp head from the comfort of our control room couch. We’ve also wired up the hallways, providing us with access to that huge sound that results from placing drum mics outside of the performance room. All of these techniques can be used and blended to give your album a unique and warm sonic stamp.
I am a singer/songwriter looking to produce a record with multi-instrumentalists, can you help?
We can! We work with singer/songwriters often and assist with adding the right instrumentalists to bring their songs/records where they yearn to be. We have a stable of fiercely emotive musicians who are veterans in the studio who can add drums, bass, guitar, strings, horns, synth, piano and even theremin. The relationships we have with musicians at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and The Peabody Conservatory and everywhere in between allows us to be able to find the best and most cost-effective musicians for your project.
I recorded an album at another studio or at home, can you mix it?
We can! We’ve mixed records from all over the world and would love to talk about mixing yours. Contact us and we can talk about your timeline and budget.
Can you print mixes to analog tape?
We certainly can and recommend it! Tape can add so many wonderful sonic characteristics to a mix. It can add tape saturation, tape compression, and emphasized low frequencies. Or it can simply just glue a mix together. We have an early 1980s Otari MTR-10 ¼” half-track stereo mix down deck. It came from The Hit Factory in NYC and many amazing records (John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Whitney Houston, etc…) were printed to this deck. If you want to take your reels home with you we recommend arriving with a reel. We like ATR Magnetics. If you don’t have the budget to purchase a virgin reel you can rent one of our reels. Please let us know if you are planning to use our tape machines.
Do you have a piano?
We do! We have a 1982 Young Chang U-131 52″ Upright Piano. We regularly tune it. Contact us a few weeks prior to your session if you require a special tuning. You may be charged for a special tuning outside of our normal tuning schedule.
Do you have X, Y or Z at the studio?
We have tube amps, drum kits, snare drums, vintage synths, drum machines and other various sundries. Sometimes our equipment is out on loan, so if there is something specific you are interested in, please get with us a few weeks prior to your sessions to ensure we can have it ready. While we do recommend you play your own gear as you are most familiar with it, there is a time and a place to use Mobtown’s gear. You can see our equipment list here.
Do you produce music videos or edit video?
We do! We work in tandem with Wolf Stream Media for all music video & video production. Get in touch and let us know what you are looking to do.
When should I contact you if I’m planning a new project?
As soon as possible. We love hearing what people are working on and enjoy being a part of the pre-production planning stages when you need us. We tend to book tracking and mixing projects 1-3 months out. If you want to get started sooner, contact us anyway as we sometimes have gaps in the schedule, but know that more flexibility may be needed to get your sessions on the books. Weekends always book up first. Mastering projects (and sometimes mixing projects) can usually be turned around much more quickly and do not require as much advance notice.
Are you open on the weekends? Are you open at night?
Yes, yes, yes! We book sessions day and night, weekdays and weekends. We are limited only by the laws of physics and the space-time continuum! Weekends do tend to be more desirable. If you can only record on weekends, we recommend planning a little further in advance. If you have a flexible schedule we have a discounted day rate during the weekday.
How long is a session?
Most session blocks are scheduled for eight to 10 hours and we have a two-hour minimum. Each session starts at a time pre-determined by you and the producer or engineer and includes load-in/out, set-up time, break-down time, breaks, time spent mixing and delays. While a session may be scheduled for eight hours, our producers or engineers may use their discretion to go over the allotted time if you’re in a really awesome, productive groove and the schedule allows for it. By the same token, if it’s been a long, full day and it’s 30 minutes before the end of your session, the engineer may make gentle suggestions about constructive ways to use your remaining time. Remember, we’re here to help you make the most of your time, skills and budget.
How much time should I book for recording my album?
Every project will vary, but a good rule of thumb is to book one day per song for a full-length LP for a typical indie-rock band (guitar/bass/drums/vox). A well-rehearsed band can track basic instrumentation in a few days. Overdubs can take anywhere from a day to several weeks depending on the complexity of arrangements and expectations. For mixing, budget at least four hours per song. Keep in mind most of your favorite records were not recorded and mixed in two days.
How do I book a project at Mobtown?
Contact us to discuss your expectations and goals. We love what we do and want to work with you to find a way to make your scope, budget and timeline work. We’ll chat about what your project entails such as creative goals, instrumentation, roles, number of songs and distribution plans. And we’ll discuss scheduling and pricing. After we’ve talked and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll plan tentative session dates and send you an invoice. Sessions dates are considered confirmed once we’ve received your deposit. If we haven’t received a deposit, then your session dates are not guaranteed. We’ll typically plan a pre-production chat in the week or two before your session starts to revisit production plans, roles and goals.
Do you require a deposit and when do we pay?
Once we’ve planned tentative dates for your sessions, we’ll send you an invoice for the deposit. We’ll hold your dates for one week. A 50% deposit is required to confirm your session dates and make them yours. If we do not receive the deposit by one week from the invoice date, we’ll release the dates for others to book and we can find new dates that work for you.
After your deposit is paid, the remainder of your balance is due on or before your first session. If we do not receive the balance at that time, we reserve the right to reschedule remaining sessions.
For all projects, all balances must be paid in full before roughs, mixes, stems, masters or other files will be sent out.
What forms of payments do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, checks and cash. Credit card and check payments can be made online by clicking the “Pay Now” button on your invoice email. Please confirm with us before sending payment via PayPal. You are responsible for any fees incurred from our bank or processor.
Do you accept walk-ins? Can I come in today?
We staff the studio for reserved sessions so if we’re here, then someone has already booked that time. Please contact us in advance to book your session to make sure the studio is available and we’re ready to work with you. We keep pretty busy so while we sometimes have a session available in the next couple weeks, it’s a good idea to contact us 1-3 months ahead to book your project so we can offer you a choice of dates that work for your schedule.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel a session?
If you encounter an unexpected conflict, we will work with you to reschedule sessions as soon as possible, but please understand that the production schedule stays pretty full so flexibility may be necessary. Immediate rescheduling may not be possible.
All payments are non-refundable once paid. If sessions or projects are canceled, you will receive a studio credit in the amount of the payments received. Credits can only be applied to the services for which they were originally paid. Any credits not used within six months of the original invoice date will be forfeited.
Your payment covers not just the time of the engineer recording your session, but it supports everything and everyone that is needed to run a studio. Keeping your commitment to the studio is important to us and to your fellow artists. If you have trouble understanding why this is our policy, we have an inexhaustible supply of analogies to explain why this is so. Most involve apples.
I am a spoken word artist, can you help?
Yes! We record poets, narrators, and other artists not working with accompanying music. Please note that we do have a two-hour minimum for sessions.
Do you produce voice-overs, jingles, music for film or radio spots?
Yes, we produce voice-overs, jingles, radio spots and music for film. Our commercial portfolio is available upon request. Contact us for rates.
I am a hip-hop emcee looking for beats, can you help?
We don’t currently have someone in-house producing beats. We highly recommend The Lineup Room for this service.
How is parking?
There is non-permit parking available on the south-side of E. 26th Street and on N. Charles Street. We recommend that bands carpool as it’s better for the environment and it’s simply more fun.
Is Mobtown non-smoking?
Yes. You may smoke cigarettes outside of the building. Smoking “other stuff” is not allowed due to liability/impoundment issues and an imbalance of priorities in our government.
Do you back up your projects?
We back up to our own hard drives as long as a project is in progress, but we can not guarantee the safety of your recordings. We strongly encourage you bring your own hard drive to back up your project. We take redundancy seriously.
Are you hiring engineers or assistants?
No. 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 responsible, business minded & an organzined engineer who can bring in your own projects please contact us!
Are you currently accepting interns?
No, not at this time.