Top Canadian Recording Studios

old-recorderCanada has never been short of musical talent. Some of the best known artists in the world, spanning several musical genres, are Canadian. There is of course Celine Dion, the rapper Drake, and faux punk rocker Avril Lavigne. Who can forget Justin Bieber, who started his snafu-laden career as a local Canadian YouTuber?

Hundreds of aspiring musicians wanting to be the next great Canadian musical import flock to cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. These historic cities, among many cultural attractions, are home to the best recording studios in Canada. No matter what your musical genre is, there is definitely a recording studio specialising in that genre in one of these cities. Also, studios range from hi-tech Nashville-style ones to basements decorated with old guitars.

Canadian recording studios are hubs for local talent. Musicians young and old come to play songs, record, learn and also to hang out with likeminded peers. Music execs and talent recruiters also like to hang out at studios on the lookout for the next Celine or Avril.

Recording studios in Canada’s biggest cities are numerous, therefore it can be difficult to find out the best ones. To help budding musicians out in this regard, here’s a helpful list of the top recording studios in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto:

Metalworks Studio, Toronto

Not only is Metalworks the best studio in Toronto, it is recognised as the best in Canada. The studio has an astonishing 16 “Best Studio of the Year” accolades presented by the renowned CMW Canadian Music Industry Awards. Metalworks is over 30 years old and is a music powerhouse in the country. Drake recorded his “Nothing Was the Same” track here. The studio proudly boasts having Nelly Furtado, Katy Perry, and Feist as recording artists here. Considering its reputation, the prices will not be cheap here. However, serious Canadian artists who can afford Metalworks should definitely pay a visit or two.

Candle Recording, Toronto

Candle Recording is a new and relatively small recording studio located on Sterling Road. It’s the exact opposite of large and famous studios like Metalworks. This studio is mostly visited by local indie artists. Several of the best locally known indie artists like Dusted, Owen Pallett, Maylee, Todd and Austra come here to record. Candle Recording has gained a reputation as a warm and welcoming space, as opposed to the office-type atmosphere in big-name studios.

Planet Studios, Montreal :

Planet Studios is a stylish recording studio located at the business center of Montreal. It’s hip and offers premium-grade facilities for musicians of all genres. Artists can also mix and master tracks at the studio. Planet Studios is in fact one of the best Neve/SSL studios in the country. The facility claims that it has the largest microphone selection in Canada as well. The atmosphere inside is very cosy, with facilities such as a lounging area and a kitchen.

Great Things Studio, Montreal

Great Things is a very modern and hip recording studio in Montreal offering world-class services. It offers contemporary facilities for vocal recording and mixing music. The studio offers graphic design, video editing, and media production services as well that new artists would benefit from.

Armoury Studios, Vancouver

Armoury is one of the best known recording studios in Vancouver. Bands like Kiss, The Cranberries, Atomic Fireballs, and Chicago have recorded here. Artists can enjoy a very homey atmosphere while recording. The studio has a stone fireplace, a patio for barbequing, and a great view of the North Shore mountain range.

Prices for the above studios will vary. However, members are likely to get discounts. Any one of the above recording studios would be great to record and arrange your next album.

Financing a Recording Studio

recording-studioStarting a recording studio can be a great business. The music industry globally is a business that handles billions of dollars annually. Canada has always had a very ambitious and growing musical community inspired by big-name Canadian artists like Celine Dion, Drake, and Justin Bieber. If you can launch a new recording studio and attract a brand-name artist like this, you could turn a great profit.

Of course, music is not all about business. It’s also about making great art and finding new friends in fellow musicians. The only problem is that the life of an artist is not easy. Art like music does not make money right away. If you have been a musician for a while, you bank account may reflect this sad reality.

Opening a new recording studio requires a large amount of capital.  Not only would you have to spend a lot of money on buying or renting a property, you will also have to spend a lot of money acquiring expensive equipment like vintage microphones, consoles, and A/D converters. Considering all such expenses, you will need to invest between $10,000 and $100,000 to open a recording studio.

As a musician, you most likely will not have ready access to that amount of cash. If your credit is bad, the local banks would most likely turn down your request for a business loan. If this conventional approach is not working out for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to finance your recording studio. Here are several suggestions:

Borrow Money from Family and Friends

The easiest way to finance your recording studio without going into debt is to ask family and friends for the capital. You can pay them back when your studio attracts musicians and turns a huge profit. Importantly, when you repay your family or friends, you will not have to pay an interest. Therefore, it’s best to obtain at least a portion of your funding in this manner, if not all.

Crowd-source the Necessary Funding

Crowd-sourcing is not limited to the tech industry. If you have a great idea for a recording studio, you can use a website like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to launch an online campaign for donations. The funding system works differently depending on the site you use. You don’t have to refund the money you get. But, you may have to offer a product or shares in your recording studio once it’s up and running. Some will simply give your campaign money without asking anything in return.

Obtain a Special Recording Studio Loan

Some lenders in Canada specialize in offering loans specially for aspiring recording studio artists. Lenders claim to offer loans even with bad credit. This is a worthwhile option to consider. However, be aware of high interest loans and the reputation of the lender. You must be cautious when obtaining any type of bad credit loans. Find more on Life on credit

Borrow Money against the House

If you own a house or a similar property, you can obtain a line-of-credit loan. This type of loan is also commonly referred to as a second mortgage. Basically, you will be borrowing money against your house, offering the value (equity) of your house as collateral. Second mortgages are secured loans and you will not have to pay sky-high interests. However, you could face the very real risk of losing your house if your studio fails and you don’t repay the loan. Therefore, think very carefully before borrowing against your house. You must be sure that your recording studio can become a success before doing so. Find more on Life on credit

You can also consider having artists finance your studio. If you have a number of musician friends, everyone can pool their financial resources and start a recording studio as business partners.