The Tubes
The Speaker
The Mic
The Mixer
The Telecaster
The Drum
The Martin
The Odyssey
The Electronic Drums
Pat At "The Knobs"


Contact: Site Map
    Patrick Leigh (Smolinski), Owner/Operator

Phone:  (920) 538-4538

Now accepting credit and debit cards, Paypal


The Alternative Recording Studio offers many benefits to bands, whether you are recording a one-day demo, or a full-blown original CD.  Take a look at these features:

  • Tube main microphone, many other application specific mics
  • High-end tube preamp & compressor into digital
  • Up to 128 track recording capability
  • Killer editing capability
  • A relaxed rustic atmosphere with lots of windows and a great view of the countryside and Bear Creek
  • 3 iso-booths so your drummer and 2 guitars can be isolated from each other so there's no bleed over between the instruments
  • A larger open room if you want to record a more "live" stage sound allowing for bleed over
  • 2 electric, and 2 acoustic guitars, guitar amp, bass, drums, and many different keyboards, so if your instruments are limited, or you just want a different sound, we can help
  • A full kitchen with fridge, cooktop, microwave, pizza oven, toaster, and coffee pot
  • Large 24 X 14 deck in back for breaks when weather permits
  • Living room setting with 2 couches and chairs
  • Care, and attention to detail
  • Our hospitality can't be beat!

Our rates can't be beat either.  Please check out our Recording Studio Pricing & Policies page from the Pricing & Policy tab above.  I HIGHLY recommend a free initial consultation to discuss your project ahead of time and develop a plan that fits your instrumentation, purpose, vision, and your budget.  I found this excerpt from an article on the Disc Makers blog:

"Whether you’re entering the studio for the first or fiftieth time, embarking on a full-length album or a soundtrack one-off, successful recordings start with some form of pre-production. It could be as simple as a one-time conversation with the studio manager to go over the studio’s etiquette, layout, fees, and the specifics of how your time in the facility will play out. But for most projects, pre-production is a much more involved process that allows the artists and production team to define things like which songs will be recorded, the key of each song, and their tempos.

Like any working relationship, the producer, engineer, and artist work best when parameters, expectations, and roles are clearly defined. “The first part of courting a band is the personal relationships,” says Drew Raison Raison of Big Sky Audio in Springfield, PA, “and it’s about setting boundaries. Some artists want a producer to help them structure, shape, and create a final product. Some just want a stunning recording of their material. My role as a producer is about understanding somebody’s vision.”

Pre-production is also the time when producer and artist will sort out arrangements, solos, lyrics, harmonies, instrumentation – everything that plays into the song’s sound and structure. Finally, pre-production answers questions regarding the physical placement of people and instruments in the room. Is the band recording live all at once? Is every instrument going to be tracked separately? Headphones or a PA system? Is this a three piece rock band or a 10-member string band with a horn section? Every project has it’s unique needs, and pre-production examines the process of the recording."

Be prepared for your session(s)!

There are a number of things that can adversely affect any recording session, or even bring it to a grinding halt.  Some of these are just common sense, but you'd be surprised at what still happens on recording day!  I've arranged these by instrument:


Are your heads new, tuned, and broken in a little?  Are they properly dampened to prevent excessive over-ring?  Are they the right heads for each drum, and for your playing style?  Do your snares vibrate a lot when you hit your toms?  Are your pedals oiled so they don't squeak?

Guitars, including bass and other stringed instruments:

Are your strings brand new, stretched and broken in a little?  Is your instrument set up for action and intonation?  If not, your action may be too high to play easily, and/or in tune.  If it's too low, you will get excessive fret buzzing.  Is your output jack clean and tight?  Are your cords (including short patch cords) high quality and in good shape?  Does your processor or pedals make a lot of noise?


Not much can go wrong here, but make sure you have all the sounds you need ready to go, and don't forget your power cord, pedals, and any memory cards you may use.


Make sure your singer(s) are fresh, don't have a cold or worse, and don't try to play a gig the night before your recording session!  Bring anything that helps your throat, like lemon, honey, tea, or other throat friendly items.

In General:

Even if you take care of all these things, unforeseen things can still happen.  Having your instruments looked at by a tech. can go a long way for heading off potential problems.  By all means, have your songs selected and well-rehearsed to make sure everyone has their parts down cold before booking a session!  Following all of this advice will prevent you from having to make repairs or rehearsing on studio time, which is a waste of money and avoidable.  The initial consultation or pre-production goes a long way to expose any other recording day "surprises".

Why do bands still need professional recording studios?

The reasons are simple really, and you might have already realized some of them.  Although you can affordably buy the greatest technology on the planet these days for recording, there are several things you can't buy.  Those are:  1)  You can't always buy the best microphones for the right purpose, or know how to position them properly.  2)  Even if you do get the right microphone in the right position, is the way your amp or instrument set up optimized for recording?  Maybe not.  Your killer "live" setting or built-in pickup may present some significant problems to the recording process.  3)  Are all your members isolated?  Do they need to be?  4)  Do you know how to operate your recording software/hardware?  How about compression, limiting, appropriate effects and levels?  5)  Do you REALLY understand what EQ is, does, and why and when you need to use it?  6)  Do you understand, and have mastering capability?  7)  Lastly, you can't buy an experienced trained "ear".

Please email or give me a call if you have any specific questions and to set up an appointment today!


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