Check out the Oneder Studios Playlist on Spotify for a taste of what comes out of here!
Nick Diener has been recording bands since 2002 when he first acquired an 8-track recorder and some mics. Through years of basement demos, touring the world in his band The Swellers, and eventually recording in some of the country's top studios, he learned skills that can't be taught at any school. With a natural knack for song arrangements, melody, harmony, and keeping things in time and in tune, music production became second nature and an obvious life path. Growing into his new home studio space and having recorded dozens and dozens of bands from around the world, the goal remains clear: offering incredible, commercial-quality recordings to artists at an affordable price. A good recording is the best foot in the door and was probably a huge part in Nick's band signing to a major label.
Nick's lower level of his home in Saginaw, Michigan has been converted into a professional recording studio with both a comfy hang-out space/control room and a newly constructed, acoustically-treated live room that brings drums, loud amps, and vocals to life.
In addition to just recording bands, Nick offers pre-production, which is a great resource for anyone who wants that extra ear to help "trim the fat" on their songs and get the greatest possible arrangement. It's amazing how sometimes the smallest tweaks can turn a throw-away song into the best track on the record. Lyrics, melodies, drum parts, and transitions are just a few of the things that are analyzed. This can be done in person at the studio, or even long distance via e-mail and phone.
Oneder Studios is in close proximity to several nice, secure, priceline-able hotels as well as a mall, restaurants, cinemas, etc.
Q: We want to come in and have you master 5 songs for us. Then probably mix it after..
A: ...do you know what any of those words mean?
Q: No : /
A: Okay. Use this as a guide. Recording/tracking: you're actually recording your instruments and vocals in the studio. Mixing: where I take all of the stuff you recorded and MIX it together to make the song sound great. Levels, compression, EQ, panning, automation. I usually do this alone after you leave or after you send it to me. Mastering: the final step! Think of this as "mixing the mix." This makes your songs much louder and commercial quality. Shining it up real nice. I usually send this off to someone else to do.
Q: We recorded somewhere else but we'd love to have you mix! What do we need to do?
A: If you recorded in Pro Tools, remove all automation, plug-ins and effects that aren't necessary (like reverb, compression, and EQ but print those that ARE crucial to the session), delete unused clips and any media that doesn't need to be there, and "save copy in" to dropbox, google drive, or whatever you'd like. I prefer dropbox. If you don't have Pro Tools, repeat the above steps but make sure you consolidate all of the tracks to zero. If you don't know how to do this in your DAW, google it, it's pretty important so that all the files line up when you send me them.
Q: Can we swing by and check out the studio? Get a vibe? Take some instagram pics, never actually come make a record?
A: No. I don't do studio tours. It's my house. Everything you need to see is in the video above or elsewhere on this site. Maybe ask around? It's a good time. Hopefully the music speaks for itself.
Q: We are coming to record! Is it cool if my significant other/our manager/my weird smelly friends come along to hang out and take up space? Is it cool if they drop by unannounced and just walk through your front door?
A: The studio is small, and we are here to get work done. It's your time and money. Anyone in the room who isn't contributing to the project is just going to be a distraction. If they must be there, just ask me beforehand. My answer is usually "I'd rather they not." Also, showing up unannounced with an entourage is a shitty move. Respect my space and I'll respect your face (I've never said this, just thought of it, pretty good).
Q: How long does a "day" in the studio usually last?
A: I like to treat my days almost like a 9 to 5, but more of an 11 to 7 or 8 sort of thing. It's not a "let's cram in as much as we can" deal. We both will know when the day is nearing its end. After awhile, there are diminishing returns. The musician and the producer are cranky and tired. The engineer has heard the click track for way too many hours straight. Everything starts to sound foggy. Everyone's hungry. Things go a lot better in the long run when we pace ourselves. The good news is, I've never managed an artist's time incorrectly, and we ALWAYS get the job done!
Q: Awesome, so which weekends can we come record?
A: Okay, hold up. I REALLY try not to record on weekends. Like I said, this is my job. I treat it as a business. My weekends are reserved for my hobbies and my family time. I do understand that sometimes band members have that same sort of job schedule, and it's hard to take time off of work, so there are some cases where weekends have to happen. If your project is longer, like a week or more, we can ABSOLUTELY spill into a weekend day or two, especially if you're traveling from somewhere far away. If you are planning on coming in for one or two days, I'd really like you to consider grabbing a couple weekdays.
Q: What do we need to bring, gear-wise?
A: Bring whatever you'd like, but if you'd like to keep in minimal, I'd just bring cymbals, drum hardware (maybe just an extra tom or cymbal stand), a snare drum (always good to experiment even though I have a few here), and guitars. I have plenty of speaker cabs, amps, drum kits, guitars and basses here, but if you have anything specific to your sound or dear to your heart, then bring it on over. I will say, we end up using all of my guitars, basses, drums, and amps most of the time. I got a thing going. Sounds good as hell.
Q: We enter the studio soon. How should we prepare as a band?
A: Practice. Know your songs inside and out. LISTEN to what each member is playing. I've heard "oh I never knew you played that" so many times. In the practice space, it's loud, so really dissect what's going on. Make sure rhythms and strumming patterns are consistent and together. Also, get your instruments set up if you plan on using them. Bring some fresh drum heads and sticks. Drummers: practice playing to a click track. They even have a metronome apps these days so there is no excuse. Get tight!
Q: Can we crash at your studio?
A: I know that finding a floor to crash on or paying for hotels can be rough, especially when you're spending so much money making a record. I usually offer up a place to crash for a night, to help with some of that burden. We can get hotels around here pretty cheap, though, using Priceline and such. Maybe factor in $50-60 bucks for every night you need to stay out here!