Recording studio: $40 per hour  –  Cash, Debit or Credit card
ROTTER studios is a Chicago suburbs multi track recording studio in Elgin IL. We record sound for bands, video, voice-over work, podcasts, radio, etc. The hourly rate applies anytime I work on your project: setup, recording, editing, mixing, etc. We utilize Logic Pro in an ALL-MAC environment. Projects are backed up after each session. Our quality of work and comfort in the studio results in repeat clients. I want you to have fun while recording.Payment – Payment is due in full for hours spent in the studio at the end of each session and before any media or product leaves the studio. The band gets whatever level mix they did during that time on mp3, either emailed or sent to a dropbox created for the artist.  If the band wants the original tracks, they need to provide a hard drive and are charged for the time it takes to transfer all session files. The hourly rate applies anytime I work on your project: setup, recording, editing, mixing, etc. in 15 minute increments.

Mastering: $50 per song

Mastering is done during post production, once all tracks are completely mixed. It is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from mixed tracks containing the final mix to the master, the source from which all copies will be produced (via methods such as pressing, duplication or replication) if you are having CDs made.

Mastering is a crucial gateway between production and consumption and, as such, it involves technical knowledge as well as specific aesthetics. Mastering engineers may also need to apply corrective equalization and dynamic compression in order to optimise sound translation on all playback systems.

A mastering engineer can unify your album with skillful use of EQ, gain and compression to give it a consistent sound from track to track. This process also allows the mastering engineer to pump up the volume of your overall album so it’s as hot as can be and make it sound unbelievable.  Mastering is the final “icing on the cake” and gives your songs the power and full clarity they deserve.

Mastered files are delivered in High Resolution non – compressed wav format.

More Info:

When can I record?  M-F 7pm – 11pm and weekends from 10am – 11pm.

We can chat on the phone so I get a feel on what you are looking to do. From there, you can swing by and check out the studio. If you like what you hear and enjoy the studio, book your time.  I look forward to working with you!

How much will it cost for X – amount of songs?  How well you perform your material will play a large part in how many takes you need to do, as I charge hourly and not per song. I don’t offer full day or half day rates, just the easy hourly rate to simplify everything for everyone. The hourly rate is charged anytime I work on your project: setup, recording, mixing, editing, etc.

What about drums?  We have an area of the studio for setting up drums if you wish to use your own kit. Using our Yamaha digital drum kit is recommended, as they sound awesome, and will eliminate setup time of a drum kit, which saves you money. I recommend at least using our digital kit for the toms and kick drum, bringing in your cymbals, high hat, snare and even drum pedals (I have a double pedal but some drummers want their own pedals.) This “hybrid kit” of using my digital set for toms and kick and your cymbals and snare sounds AWESOME! Drummers have done this and I recommend it for more of a live feel and tone.

What about amps?  ROTTER studios has a 4X12 cab with celestions, Rocktron voodu valve pre amp, line 6 pod pro unit, and many very realistic plug ins for all types of guitar and bass tones: raging metal to clean blues and jazz.  Along with hundreds of guitar plugins and high – quality effects and instruments, we have a massive library of royalty free, movie quality, sound effects, which I have been collecting for years. There is a guitar center in Algonquin, about 20 mins. from the studio as well.  I know there are tube amp fans out there, and I’m definitely one, but I am sure you will love the plugins we have available.  A plug in, for those who may now know, is a virtual amp, a bit of software, that emulates a real amp by tracking the algorythms of the live amp and converting to software / digital.  They sound amazing!  Most clients choose to use these after hearing them, leaving their amps at home.

What is the studio like?  There was a studio I recorded in, back in the early 90s and have patterned my studio after that. ROTTER studios is a control room with a couch and an area for drums. There is the 4X4 acoustically-treated sound booth for vocals and amps at one end.

How should we record?  The most popular thing to do is lay drums and a guitar scratch track, or, lay a rhythm guitar to a click track. Final bass and guitar tracks are added next. The vocalist will sing along to this mix, and then solo guitars are recorded, piano, etc. Basically, each musician records their parts to the drums or click one at a time. You can certainly record together if you wish since the studio / control room fits about 5 comfortably. I can record most everyone direct, utilizing preamps and headphones.  Amps can be loaded into the sound booth for recording final guitars, or, choose from the hundreds of awesome guitar plugins available. For live bands I record everyone going direct into the DAW (Logic Pro recording software.) Everyone hears everyone via headphones. There are different ways to do it and each artist has their own needs.

What if I don’t have a drummer?  I have hundreds of drum loops professionally recorded by top drummers if you don’t have a drummer. Most people can’t tell the difference between these customizable patterns and a real drummer in the studio. Well, actually, these patterns are recorded by a real drummer in the studio, with their studio kits.

What about sound effects or loops?  There are also hundreds of high quality digital loops and samples, which can be edited, to tailor your music, of any music genre you can think of, from hip hop to rap to classical and blues or jazz, along with bass lines for rock, etc. I have a massive library of plugins, effects and tones, all of the highest quality. These can be edited to fit your songs.

A 2nd set of ears…  I can assist in producing if you would like some guidance, or I can keep quiet and press buttons as needed.

How does it work, basically?  The clock starts with any setup such as placing microphones or any gear setup and ends when I email you, or dropbox you, an mp3 mix after the session (when we are done for the day.)  I like to setup a dropbox folder for each artist so you can access your files easily – you will have access to your mixes and any photos I take, via the cloud.  I’m flexible, while maintaining the foundation of $40 an hour anytime I work on your project. If you need to cancel, or will be late, please inform me as soon as you can, since I’ve set aside time to work with you. I’m very meticulous in my work and love what I do. I’m not a clock watcher: I charge by the quarter hour. I want you to be comfortable and not rushed. It’s all easy common sense.

How can I pay you?  Payment is due at the end of each session.  We accept all major credit cards and debit cards just like major retail stores. Cash is great as well. A receipt can be emailed for your records.

Can I have a copy of all my files?  As long as you are paid up on sessions, yes, of course.  You will need to bring an external usb hard drive or thumb drive and I will make a copy of your entire project folder for you.

Food and Drinks?  Feel free to bring food and drinks into the studio but just practice caution.  With all the gear you bring in, including my gear, and members of the band walking around, it is easy for things to spill and get messy…it’s happened.  Right around the corner is a strip mall which includes a subway, Mexican take-out, Italian restaurant and even a donut / coffee shop.  The studio doesn’t provide food or drink.

What about visitors in the studio?  It’s always cool and exciting to have visitors watch you record. I’m not against that but just be warned it is a cozy space that seats about 5 comfortably and being in a studio isn’t necessarily the rock star life.  There can be many takes, level setting, etc, and people outside the band can get bored.  I also recommend anyone under 15 not sit in on sessions.  Having younger people around can result in items broken, lack of concentration and severe boredom on their part.

What happens when I’m done recording my album?  Once you’re done recording it’s time to mix. I will go through each track, set EQ as needed, set all levels between tracks and add effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, etc. to bring out tracks as needed: typical mixing stuff.  I don’t use auto tune or rely on a lot of effects. I use the less is more approach and it always works. You are more than welcome to sit in on the mixing session, which helps to give me a vision of how you would like things to sound…after all, it is your art…or, I can mix it alone and bill the hourly rate.

What about Mastering? Once everything is recorded and mixed I can master it for you. I charge $50 per song to master and usually do this off-hours without the artist present.  I recommend CD baby for iTunes / Amazon online distribution.


You’ll love recording here!

Metal, Rap, Blues, Jazz, voice over, radio work, sound editing…..

All project files will be kept for a period of one year after project completion.