When you go into any studio for the first time you'll know you've found a good engineer or producer based on a few different factors. Everything from how they treat you, how efficient at getting the project done, all the way to the quality of the final product. All of these factors and more are very important to how good a studio is and if it matches your requirements.
Let's start with how the host of the studio treats you. First impressions are everything! Literally EVERYTHING! From the first words out of your mouth to how you present your appearance, if you're the engineer you better be ship shape and ready to go! If you're the client then your expectations should be reasonable, but don't settle for someone who doesn't give a shit. The very first thing anyone uses to judge someone's presentation is their eyes. If you're dirty and unkempt you're likely never to see the other person again. And that sucks and can cost you big money if they're a high end client. The next thing is smell, does your studio smell bad? Do YOU smell bad? All of this can turn off the client for any session. So make sure the studio is fresh and clean. If you're the client and you're put off by any of this, then the next words out of the host's mouth will likely not matter to you because you will be so put off by everything else that you'll want to leave ASAP. Now the cleanliness factor applies not only to the studio and the engineer, but also the client as well. If the client looks or smells like shit, then there's a good probability that his/her work is shit.
Now let's talk about treatment. If you're the studio owner or engineer, how you treat your client is paramount of determining whether you'll have that client come back or another client at all. So Treat your clients with the utmost respect and fairness. They are in fact paying you to make them sound the best and you should make their experience pleasant and worth while so they'll decide to come back to you on potential future projects. Also, this can be a big factor in the reputation you put out and the reputation that goes around to other potential clients. Word travels faster than you might think. So do good by your clients. Now let's talk about how the client treats the host running the studio or person working directly with the client. The client should have reasonable expectations on their project, but by the same token, don't be a dick and demanding about your project about every little thing, your engineer/producer is trying to look out for you and your project to be the best it can be. Their name and reputation is coming with it as well as yours. If you're a dick to the person running the session, then they're likely not to welcome you back because you're such a headache that they don't want to deal with. So treat your engineer and producer with the same respect you expect from them.
Now let's talk about the product itself. You both are in fact making a product to sell to the consumer and you both want it to be top notch quality. Now if you're the client, you may end up working with someone with limited experience and equipment, that's perfectly okay, just be fair and work with them and go a bit easy on them, especially if they've given you a good deal on the project. The results may not be the absolute best of what you expected, but in the recording world, you typically get what you pay for, so yeah, if the price is a too good to be true kind of price, then expect lower than expected quality for the service. Now that's not to say you won't get a banging project out of someone who gave you a damn good deal, just watch out for those, but also don't be a cheap ass and expect to get top notch work. Now let's talk to the engineers for a minute, if you're an engineer with some top notch gear or pretty decent gear, and you have the skills to back it up, then charge a fair rate based on what you can put out. Don't rip people off, but don't undercut yourself so far that you're not making anything...
Turning out a quality product that the consumer will want to buy is the end goal of any project, is it not? If that is your goal, then make it happen by any means necessary. Work hard and rock harder on all of your projects. Also work fast, work efficient, maximize everyone's time for the money that's being exchanged.
Anyway that's all I have to say for now!
This has been Alex Dickson of Studio 7-22, Deuces!