I ask this question partly out of simple curiousity and partly I may have something to offer. Here's the thing, I'm a military musician in Nashville and don't have any professional recordings to offer, because I already have a music-reIated "day job" entertaining my fellow Soldiers. At every gig we play, jazz or rock, I'm always approached by individuals asking where they can buy my CD or if I have anything on iTunes. Quite frankly, I'm always a little embarrassed to tell them that we don't have anything for them other than our band's sampler CD which includes standard fare for military music: marches, some patriotic tunes, and big-band jazz. Usually this is followed with the statement, "I don't want the Army's CD....I want yours." This inevitably leads to more mumbling and excuse-making on my part and a segue to another topic.
Am I a fool for thinking I might have something of value to offer the commercial market?
If you are being asked for something you should answer your own questions. It is relatively easy to record things these days. Find a studio you like, pick some songs and do a small CD. Keep it affordable and enjoy yourself.
So far so good - if people want a CD make it. That might be the hardest part. As far as what studio, it really depends on several things. How many people are in on the act? Can all the parts be recorded individually, or is the recording going to work best with everyone playing in one big room? Some studios can't support the latter, there's probably a guy down the street from you that can make a decent recording in a situation like the former. Tell us a little more.
As far as a recommendation.... that's like asking us all what we want on our pizza... except pepperoni was never invented. :-)
I'm just a drummer... but some advice from someone who's not trying to sell you anything or get you to choose me....
First and foremost... for the most part, keep in mind you get what you pay for.
Secondly... it's quite possible that a bunch of songs recorded as "demos" at a demo studio at demo rates might be perfectly fine for what you need. I've heard some pretty good demos come out of some really cheap-rate (literal meaning) demo studios. A guy with some talent, decent gear and a pro-tools rig can do some great work, especially in this economy where a lot of guys are just looking for any work at all to keep their chops up and pay some bills. Problem is, there are as many guys with a basement/garage and a pro-tools rig in this town as there are drummers. :-) You never know what you're going to get.
You have to decide what a realistic budget is for you and look for the best product at that rate.
$100/song. They exist and there are diamonds in the rough, but in most cases, it will sound like recorded yourself at a bad Karaoke bar.
$250/song. There are guys in here who will want to lynch me for this, but one can get a decent demo for this price. It's not something you want on the radio, but it may be fine to sell at your gigs.
$500-$1000/song. You would find some guys in here who will knock it out of the park for this amount. You would end up with a really nice sounding product.
Above $1000/song and you can really do some decent stuff.
Once you decide what your realistic budget is, talk to some producers. Ask them to be honest and not hold back. Ask them if and what they can do with your budget and more importantly, ask to hear some of their work that was done in that price range.
I hope some producers will chime in on this and feel free to rip me a new one. :-)
Well... Give me a ring then:) If I can't help you I'll point you in the direction of some folks that can.