Sorry for being so long.
OK, here's the deal. Starting monday (not sure what day) I won't have access to a good internet connection for some time as I have to move for a week or two. (The flex hose in my downstairs bathroom broke and the crib was flooded) so if I can get some opinions and insight before I leave that will be appreciated.I need to lay vocals, but I don't want to record them at my spot because I want to use a different recording chain. I've worked out of two big studios in my area before so I have the experience with large consoles.
Here is where the problem comes in:
Studio 1: I vibe with the lead engineer, he understands my project, he knows his shit, he knows that I know my shit (his words), he understands my needs, he isn't trying to force shit on me, the studio has an SSL 9000, tuned room, great mic selection, the patch bay isn't hard to use (the patchbay came with the console, but I've recorded at a spot where they made their own patchbay for the console and well....lets just say it wasn't the best experience) a pair of monitors like mine (amongst others that I'm familiar with), a shitload of outboard gear, great mic selection, a large booth that is used for tracking vocals, guitars, etc and I can get a day rate of 8 hours without an enginner for a reduced rate or I can get it for his day rate (with him engineering) which is 5 hours.
Studio 2: I vibe with the lead engineer, he understands my project, he knows his shit, he knows that I know my shit (his words), he understands my needs, he isn't trying to force shit on me, the studio has an SSL 4056 (I've worked on an 4000 E/G), the patchbay isn't hard to use (it came with the console) has some very rare outboard gear (but not as much outboard gear as the other studio), tuned room, monitors I'm familiar with, great mic selection, a REALLY LARGE ROOM that is used to track vocals, guitars, etc (baffles for isolation and sound control once in the room, but it sounds good without it.) I can get a day rate of 12 hours without an enginner for a reduced rate (but comes with assistant that will work the patch) or I can get it for 10 hours at his daily rate (with him engineering.)
Studio 2 has studio 1 beat when it comes to pricing but they have less gear. Both of the guys are good. Most importantly however, I vibe with both of them so that's a good thing. Both are in the same area, so distance is not a factor. Both understand my needs and wants. All I'm doing is tracking vocals (songs have already beeen chosen as I've done scratch tracks) so I'll come in with sessions that contain appropriate markers, appropriate number of tracks to be recorded on (and labeled), BPM/TEMPO info, key/root note info (just in case it is needed) and a two track rough mix of the music (it won't be loud and I'm comfortable with this.) All I need to do is track vocals, no mixing, I'll mix at my spot, then take it back out to another spot and adjusts ome things before I get it mastered. The project is a metal/rap project, I already know the material so I just want this to be the time to capture the performance.
Both spots are using PT 8 HD but if I record without an engineer, my bro can record me, but he doesn't have the experience with using large consoles so it would kind of be like throwing him to the wolves. Maybe I should have him assist first and then go the other way? Another option is to record at a smaller project studio like mine and go from there. I have two on my list, one of the guys actually contributed to the playing on my album, and the rate is lower. He has some good mics, a good interface, some nice pre amps but we would have to export/render the files so I can get them in PT or he will have to give me the Reaper sessions and let me do it myself. So yeah, that is what I'm faced with. I'm more concerned about this album than the flooded floor, but this album means a lot to me and there is nothing I can do about the floors now but let the insurance and repair guys do their thing. I need to finish this album, thats all that is on my mind.
So help me out people. I appreciate any questions, feedback, comments, opinions, etc that can be tossed my way.
PS: At both spots when I played the music, both engineers said that if they were to remix the material, they would only make slight eq and volume adjustments. They said the material was in the ball park and that I might just want to bypass hitting another studio after I do my final mix. However, both said bringing the final mix in and printing from there is an option.