FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ANSWERS ABOUT THE STUDIO AND THE LABEL

1. WHAT IS THE STUDIO?

A 24’x34’ room capable of making high quality analog/digital hybrid recordings with up to 16 tracks recorded simultaneously. Cartographer Studio also has video recording capabilities complete with studio lighting and 4k cameras.

2. WHERE IS THE STUDIO

The third floor of Alabama Contemporary Art Center at 301 Conti Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602  USA  Sol-3.

3. CAN I SEE PICS OR VIDEO OF THE STUDIO

Yes, view the STUDIO GALLERY

4. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DOES THE STUDIO RECORD?

Cartographer studios is completely non-genre specific, but we tend to gravitate towards music that doesn’t fit industry norms.

5. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECORD?

That depends on how confident you are in your ability to perform your material in a way you’ll be satisfied hearing once your performance is documented. We’re ecstatic to help you achieve what you want to achieve in the recording process, but we can’t make your Telecaster sound like a Les Paul, your synthesizer sound like a grand piano, or your throaty baritone voice sound like an airy tenor, but then neither can anyone else. :)

6. HOW DO I BOOK TIME AT THE STUDIO?

Through the end of 2022, Cartographer studios is limited to recording artists participating in the Patchwork Symphony project. Patchwork Symphony submission form

7. WHAT ARE THE STUDIO RATES?

For artists and ensembles participating in Patchwork Symphony OR included in Cartographer Records’ roster, studio time is complimentary.

8. WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR GETTING INTO THE STUDIO?

Be selected by and panel review after going through an open call process in which artists submit demo recordings.

9. WHAT GEAR DOES THE STUDIO HAVE? 

A wide variety of condenser, ribbon, and dynamic microphones, high quality analog preamps, outboard analog compressors etc. View the STUDIO GEAR LIST

10. WHAT SOFTWARE OR DAW IS USED AT THE STUDIO?

We can use Avid Pro Tools, Apple Logic Pro X, or Reaper. 

11. WHAT MICROPHONES DOES THE STUDIO HAVE?

(1) Neumann M149, (2) Neumann KM184, (2) Coles 4038, (2) Cascade Vin-Jet, (3) Audio-Technica ATM25, (2) Audio-Technica 4050, (2) Electro-Voice RE-20, (1) Shure SM7, (3) Sennheiser MD421, (1) Sennheiser e609, (1) Audix i5, (1) Beyerdynamic M160, (1) Cascade FatHead, (1) Telefunken m80, (1) Shure Beta 52, (1) Audix D6, (1) Sennheiser e902, (3) Shure sm57, (2) Shure sm58  View the STUDIO GEAR LIST

12. WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR MY SESSIONS?

Well-maintained and fully functional, reasonably noise-free instruments you’re comfortable with and can realistically see yourself using, finished songs with complete arrangements that you and any participating musicians have practiced, a love of music, a grounded understanding of what your music sounds like.

13. I HAVE A HOME STUDIO, WHAT CAN THIS STUDIO POSSIBLY DO OR ME?

Hey, home studios are great– if you can make recordings of a drum kit, electric bass, tuba or whatever in your bedroom, that’s awesome! We live in a time where the ability to make quality recordings is more and more accessible to more and more people, and in fact that’s the whole reason we’re able to do what we do. We do have some pooled resources that a lot of home recordists may not have access to: space to move microphones around, an acoustically treated room, the ability to record up to 16 tracks simultaneously, and plenty of pro-level analog outboard preamps, compressors, and the like. Our mic cabinet isn’t too shabby either, see above.

14. HOW MANY TRACKS CAN I RECORD AT ONCE?

16

15. CAN THE STUDIO RECORD ME SOMEWHERE ELSE?

The short answer is no. If you have a remarkably special case, feel free to email us and we’ll see if we can work something out.

16. CAN I INCLUDE RECORDINGS FROM A HOME STUDIO?

Depends on digital formatting. If you can get us .wav files, we can absolutely make something happen.

17. ARE ENGINEERS INCLUDED IN STUDIO RATE PRICE?

You betcha!

18. CAN I BRING MY OWN ENGINEER/PRODUCER?

Not unless that person is the same as the artist.

19. WILL THE STUDIO RECORD MY PODCAST/COMMERCIAL/JINGLE/INTERVIEW?

It’s not really a priority of ours, but for very special cases we will make exceptions.

20. DO YOU DO MASTERING?

Short answer is yes. We do not do mastering that competes with traditional mastering studios, we just aren’t a mastering studio first and foremost. However, since I’m sure you’re aware of the democratization the standard issue recording process has undergone the world over, we can accommodate mastering services at a fairly low level. That’s all a lot of artists need, though, tbh. Punk band? We can do it. Lo-Fi Hip-Hop? We can totally do it. Jazz quartet? C’mon, you already know you’re taking it to a mastering studio. 

21. WHAT IS THE PARKING SITUATION AT STUDIO?

We’ve got two spaces reserved for you.

22. WHAT IS CONSIDERED PROPER STUDIO ETIQUETTE?

-Bigotry of any kind is neither condoned nor permitted. 

-Don’t bring people that aren’t going to be recorded. That includes your best friend, your significant other, and your kids. Distractions kill good records. 

-You cannot smoke anything inside. Please don’t even ask. Vapes are okay though.

-Please understand that we’ll do anything we possibly can to make sure you are happy when you leave Cartographer Studio. We are not, however, magicians. We can’t make your out-of -une guitar sound good, your 5-year old drum heads sound good, your drunk bass player’s background vocals sound good– that’s your job. What we can do– and what we do really well, I think– is take musicians that are happy with the way their music sounds performed live in a room and provide a really good sounding room to record it in, plenty of industry-standard equipment to record it with, and the knowledge and work ethic to squeeze every last bit of delicious groove out of the fruits of your labor.

23. CAN I BRING FRIENDS WHEN I’M RECORDING?

See answers to previous question

24. WHO RUNS THE STUDIO?

Cartographer Records (Bryan, Trey, and Jimmy) in partnership with Alabama Contemporary Art Center.

25. WHO HAS (STUDIO/BRYAN) ALREADY RECORDED?

List Coming Soon

26. CAN I WORK/INTERN AT STUDIO?

This answer will probably change a lot, but if you’re interested, contact us at cartographer.records@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do for each other. 

27. CAN YOU FIND A _MUSICIAN/MUSICIANS/BEATS_ FOR ME TO USE IN MY SESSION?

We’d love to, and we know lots of musicians, but musicians are busy people and we can’t guarantee anything.

28. CAN YOU PROVIDE A PRODUCER FOR ME?

Words change meanings over time, and if you ask 15 of the best musicians you know what a producer is you’ll get 15 different answers. If you’d like us to work alongside you and guide your mostly finished songs down the path that leads to totally finished songs, we can do that, but we do need to know up front that that’s what you’d like us to do. Otherwise we’re going to assume that you think your music sounds good already.

29. CAN YOU PROVIDE VOICE TALENT FOR VOICEOVERS OR COMMERCIALS?

Same answer as the question about jingles and podcasts: It’s not really what we do, but for special cases we might make an exception, just email us at cartographer.records@gmail.com

30. WHAT ARE THE STUDIO’S HOURS?

We don’t have the ability to keep regular hours by nature of being inside the Contemporary Art Center, but we realize that clever scheduling is the thing that makes all this possible, so we can work with you on how to get you recording ASAP.

31. HOW CAN I CONTACT STUDIO MANAGEMENT?

cartographer.records@gmail.com

32. WHAT IS THE LABEL?

Cartographer Records is Step Two of the Cartographer process. We’re able to record you at no cost to you in exchange for hosting video of your performances in partnership with ACAC on places like YouTube. Internet videos are easily sharable on social media and we think that they serve as the best possible advertisement for your album– it is, after all, a document of you performing the material in the place you recorded it– so you get to keep your record sales, while we get paid through ad revenue. As more artists record with Cartographer, the branding brings greater visibility for all involved artists, discoverable in one centralized location.

33. WHERE IS THE LABEL?

Cartographer Studios - The third floor of Alabama Contemporary Art Center at 301 Conti Street, Mobile, Alabama 36602  USA  Sol-3.

34. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DOES THE LABEL RELEASE?

Same answer as what kind of music does the studio record: Cartographer is completely non-genre specific, but we tend to gravitate towards music that doesn’t fit industry norms.

35. HOW DO I SUBMIT MUSIC TO BE RELEASED ON THE LABEL?

The most sure-fire way to ensure you get released on the label is to record here. Otherwise, we do accept unsolicited demos at cartographer.records@gmail.com

36. HOW DOES OWNERSHIP WORK WITH THE LABEL?

You and no one else owns your song. Cartographer owns a part of the recordings of your songs that we made. We can’t tell you you can’t re-record it, change all the words, we can’t tell you what songs to play at your shows. We just own a small portion of the recordings you make with us.

37. WHO RUNS THE LABEL?

Cartographer  (Bryan, Trey, and Jimmy)

38. WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN RELEASED ON THE LABEL?

Check out current and upcoming releases on the main page of cartographerrecords.com

39. CAN I WORK/INTERN AT LABEL?

Email us, we’ll see if we can help each other.

40. HOW DOES ALL THIS WORK?

Cartographer records and videos you, for free, performing your music live in a studio setting. It’s not exactly like NPR’s Tiny Desk, BBC’s From The Basement, or Seattle-based KEXP radio’s YouTube series, but not entirely dissimilar from any of these either. Cartographer sells and streams the recordings from this process as EP’s and you get the money. Cartographer hosts the videos from this on our channels as promotion for both the recordings we made together and any other recordings you have or might make. 

41. HOW DOES CARTOGRAPHER GET PAID THEN?

Donations, grant funding, and ad sales.

42. WHY DOES CARTOGRAPHER DO THIS? 

Cartographer feels that Southern artists (particularly those making work deemed “experimental” or “avant-garde”), don’t get equal representation in the music market at a national or worldwide level, particularly if those artists are LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, etc. Cartographer seeks to provide a platform for artists from all backgrounds, walks of life, musical genres and career trajectories. For a little more about the thinking behind Cartographer Records, read this.

Meet The Team