Frequently Asked Questions
SECTION 1. WELCOME, AN INTRODUCTION TO MCM STUDIOS in PITTSBURGH, PA
1.1 When are you open?
We accept bookings by prepaid appointment only and are available Monday through Saturday from 12pm -12am. We are closed on Sundays, holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day) and at various times of the year for updates and maintenance. Feel free to text 412-403-1086 for availability.
1.2 How many years has MCM Studios been in business?
1.3 Where is MCM Studios located and what accommodations do you provide?
We are located 5 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in the business district of Allentown. We are by a convenience store, a gas station and a coffee shop! You can find us on google maps or iPhone maps just by typing in MCM STUDIOS. Along with being conveniently located by the above mentioned businesses and free off street parking, we also offer free WIFI and a bathroom for our paying customers
1.4 Does MCM studios have off street parking?
1.5 Do you offer tours?
No. We believe that time (ours and yours) is the most important thing we have and that it is something to be valued. Because of this, we've found that investing in an actual session is a much better measure of whether or not we are a good fit for you.
1.6 Is MCM Recording Studio smoking or non-smoking?
We are a tobacco and cigarette free zone.
SECTION 2. Pre-booking info, the little more you wanna know
2.1 What types of people does MCM Studios cater to?
MCM Studios is perfect for anyone who is respectful, professional and easy to work with! White, Black, Asian, Mexican, Nepalese Native, Straight, Gay, Trans, young, old, experienced, inexperienced, Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons, short, tall and everything in between. Meeting awesome people is the reason we got into the business!
2.2 Why should I go to a Recording Studio instead of recording at home?
We encourage you to record at home! Always stay motivated and sharp. However, if you want to truly become your best, you will need to do battle against the elite in an experienced arena and MCM Studios is as experienced as they come! Iron sharpens iron and we're here to make you sword sharp. With the experience we have, you could consider us a private physical trainer for your musical talent. Sure you could work out on your own but it would require lots of learning over a long period of time and lots of trial and error. We are the short cut to your destination. What would take you a decade to figure out we can supply you in a 3 or 6 hour session and get you on the fast track to a finalized product.
2.3 Does MCM Studios have samples of work I can hear?
Yes. Usually located on the respective page.
2.4 This other studio is cheaper – shouldn’t I just go there?
The question to ask yourself is, “will I like the sound of my recording from there better?” Ask to hear recordings from every studio you’re considering and go with the one that the sound impresses you the most – the one that makes the most sonic sense for your project. We have a few MP3 samples on our SAMPLES page so people can get a sense of what our recordings sound and feel like without going through too much trouble. We believe our sounds speak for themselves! Remember, this is a recording you will live with for the rest of your life – one that will represent you and your music to the public, family, friends and potential Fans! When you're talking a lifetime, it's pennies for memories.
2.5 How does booking work?
We book by prepaid appointment only. When you choose a package you will be prompted with a Paypal checkout request. You do not need PayPal to pay they are simply the 3rd Party mediator of funds and the standard in internet transactions. You can use a credit card, bank card or prepaid card to pay. If you do have a PayPal account, you can also pay like that. Once payment is made and has cleared PayPal, they will notify us and we will begin the process of contacting you to set up a date and time for your session or service. We typically contact you with the email you used to pay so be sure that it's an email you check and have access to. You will have 14 days to fulfill your session.
2.6 What's the longest session I can book?
In order to give you the best experience the most we book in one day is 6 hours, we consider that a whole day.
2.7 Do you offer whole project prices/discounts?
2.8 How long do I have to book after paying?
You will have 14 business days to fulfill your session or service once paid for, after that period you will forfeit your payment the same as a deposit.
2.9 Can I book and get in the same day I pay?
Sometimes we have available openings the same day but since everything is by appointment, there's a high possibility the day is already booked. Feel free to text 412-403-1086 for same day availability.
2.10 Where do I book?
Online. Simply choose a option on the service page you're on
2.11 How many people am I allowed to bring?
We recommend a 6 person limit in sessions for maximum comfort and concentration.
2.12 What do I need to bring?
Please bring a USB flash drive. If you have MP3 or WAV music that you're singing over or files to mix, put those on the flash drive and bring them with you to MCM Studios. We also recommend bringing a little extra cash in case you want to stop at the convenience store for drinks, snacks, or maybe a coffee from Black Forge Coffee House!
2.13 What if I don't want to come in but need something Mixed and/or Mastered?
MCM Studios offers online mixing and mastering services and you don't even have to come in! Simply send us the files and pay online.
2.14 Do you offer CD duplication and replication services?
No, but once we begin working with you we can guide you to the proper people.
2.15 Do you shoot music videos?
Not at this time. We have in the past, but our focus of expertise is audio and the artist.
2.16 Do you offer Mixing?
2.17 Do you offer Audio Mastering?
2.18 Do you have beats or do full song production?
Yes. Please text/call to inquire. Please have a budget.
SECTION 3. In Session, what you're session will be like
3.1 What do we do in a session at MCM Studios?
The question is, what do you need done? Most our clients come with music and words to their own original songs or cover songs to sing over, rap, or speak over. Sometimes they need voice over work done, interviews, or Acapella. Maybe they make beats or play guitar and want to work on making it sound good. Tell us what you need done and within that time period we will work towards the end goal. Sometimes it may take one or multiple sessions to complete a task, but we will never know until we get started!
3.2 How long does it take to record ONE song?
This is another varied question. How experienced are you? How prepared are you? How difficult is the material? How good do you want to make it? Think of your song like a car that needs inspected and us like the shop inspecting it. You might come in and realize your engine needs replaced or maybe all you need is an oil change and tune up. Again, we don't know until we begin. Sometimes if it's a rap/hip-hop song, we get a few done in a 3 hour block. Then sometimes if it's a soul song with lots of layers and takes, we get one song done and vice versa. There have been great songs made in 30 minutes and then others that needed 10 hours to get right and additional time until it was finalized. Remember, the first booking is the best investment you can makebecause 99% of the time these questions answer themselves.
3.3 Is mixing and mastering included?
We mix and edit your song in session as much as possible with the time we have. Mastering is a separate process and is billed differently if you choose to have it done. We also give you the option to give your song a final mix where we take up to 10 business days correcting and making the record the best it can be. Your session is for getting all the parts, putting them in place and giving the record a general overall direction and sound. By getting a final Mix and Master we are saying we are completing the record for release. All services are optional but recommended for that polished final sound. We do offer all inclusive packages, click HERE to book one
3.4 What's the atmosphere like?
A huge plus for our clients is the setting and vibe of the studio. Leave your shoes on or kick them off and create your music in an environment that some describe as "like recording at home". Our lighting is specifically designed to relax and keep you focused. The booth flooring is plush like a memory foam mattress and the sights and smells of the studio are motivating and creative. We have a small fridge to house your beverages of choice and a ventilation system that makes the air clean and clear often described like a clean window. A visit to MCM Studios is like nowhere on earth.
3.5 Who is the Producer/Engineer that will lead my session?
Your producer goes by HiTT like a hit record. He has over 20 years of hands on experience and is MCM Studios primary reason for our success. HiTT is the 3 P's as one client said: personal, professional, and punctual! HiTT will guide you through the process smoothly and efficiently. making the time seem to just fly by! HiTT has taken the steps you want to take and been in the situations you need the answers to.
3.6 Will HITT start and finish as my Producer/Engineer?
3.7 Can you build music around my vocals?
Yes! That's our exclusive production package. Call to inquire 412-403-1086. Please have a budget.
3.8 If I need help, will you help me?
Yes. Sometimes people need some help staying on track or maybe some advice to make a song better and that's what we're here to do. Maybe you know what you want, and that's even better. HiTT adjusts to the skill level you're at to give you the most accommodating experience possible.
3.9 Will I leave with the work I did?
Yes. We will render and transfer the final version of everything we've worked on to your USB flash drive.
3.10 How long will you hold on to my music?
We are not responsible for back ups or archival of your music. Although we try our best to catalog everything we've ever done, we can not promise we will always be able to keep a record due to unforeseen circumstances. We recommend keeping a back up of your music if you value it.
3.11 Can I bring my own keyboard, drum machine and instruments?
Yes! Even though we have amenities in place, it's best that you bring a power cord and necessary connectionsfor your personal equipment.
Section 4. Technical questions
4.1 What program do you use?
MCM Studios primary DAW is Pro Tools.
4.2 Do you use Software or Hardware?
We use both! A mixture of plug-ins and hardware gives us the flexibility and the hands-on analogue approach to give us more tools to create the solutions you need. Our sound has been described as polished and complete.
4.3 Do you have an isolation booth?
4.4 Do you use WAVES plug-ins?
Yes along with many others.
4.5 Do you have a keyboard?
4.6 How many playback monitors do you use?
3 as well as multiple sets of headphones.
4.7 Do you have pitch correction?
Yes. Auto-Tune EFX and Melodyne
4.8 Do you offer Audio/Song Mixing?
4.9 Do you offer Audio Mastering?
4.10 Do you have beats or do full song production?
Yes. Call to inquire. Please have a budget.
4.11 If I bring you audio stems (tracked out) from another studio, or my home studio, can you mix it down?
4.12 Can you Master a song or audio if it wasn't recorded at MCM Studios?
4.13 What's the turn around time for mixing?
For one song it's 7-10 business days for whole projects it's 20-30 days.
4.14 What's the turn around for mastering?
For one song it's 7-10 business days for whole projects it's 10-14
4.15 What's the turn around for mixing and mastering?
For a full project (12 songs), mixed and mastered, it's 30 - 45 days.
Section 5. Payment, Processing & Refunds
5.1 Why is the charge more than the cost on the site?
5.2 How much is the cancellation fee?
$40 + payment and processing fees
5.3 What happens if I cancel a session I paid for, do I get a refund?
Every session is prepaid by appointment only meaning we pre-block out any time that you agreed and paid to arrive for and stay on site for the duration of that booking. No other potential client can fill that time slot. If you schedule a session and decide to cancel there is a cancellation fee of $40 for next booking and loss of payment. We DO NOT give any refunds for ANY REASON for PACKAGE DEALS or MIXING & MASTERING services. All sales are final.
5.4 What if I come late?
You pre-scheduled a specific block of time when you booked. Your time starts and ends at the time provided in the text and email booking. If you book 3-6pm and arrive at 4pm this means you have lost 1 hour of your booking and the session is still over at 6pm. There are no exceptions to this rule.
5.5 How long do I have to book after paying?
You will have 14 business days to fulfill your session or service once paid for, after that period you will forfeit your payment and will have to repay for another session or service.
5.6 Can I pay cash?
We do not accept cash transactions on site. This keeps a professional business relationship for all involved.
Section 6. Employment, working for a recording studio
6.1 Does MCM Studios accept interns?
We're always excited to see how we can add to our team. If you believe you can add value to our team please email your credentials, history, experience, resume and anything else we would need to know about you to MCMSTUDIOTIME@GMAIL.COM
6.2 Can I work for MCM Studios?
Yes! We have a fantastic affiliate program that will allow you to make some extra money. If you are great at sales and want to be paid a large commission send us an email to MCMSTUDIOTIME@GMAIL.COM