A Soldier's Music Studio
Music studio $25 per hour. Audio Engineer $0 per session. One motivated Soldier living his dream, priceless.
For Sgt. Howard C. Price, a 74D with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), growing up in the music industry with the influential likes of the Chi-Lites, Tina Turner and other artists of his time, Price knew his artistically rich background would eventually lead him back to his musical roots.
“Ever since I was little kid, I was singing, dancing and impersonating (T.V. personalities),” said Price. “My cousin used to sing with the Chi-Lites, my mother at one point danced with Tina Turner,” Price said, pointing out that as a child coming of ages in the music business, he developed a talent for the arts.
“I always had a fascination, not so much with music, but with making music sound good,” Price said.
Price’s ambition ultimately led him toward achieving his dream, owning a music studio capable of producing his first CD and secondly, providing an affordable studio for fellow Soldiers who share the same admiration for music and wish to record, said Price.
Over a year ago, his interest in the engineering aspect of music lured him into a course of audio engineering. Audio engineering is a part of audio science dealing with the recording and reproduction of sound through mechanical and electronic means (digitally altering sound).
“I took a course in audio engineering and learned different techniques and styles of music not just Rhythm & Blues and hip hop, but rock, jazz, pop, country, blues,” said Price.
Price opened his music studio to the public.
“The music studio is located in my 4 bedroom home. I converted a bedroom into a music studio; it’s where all my music is recorded,” said Price.
Price said he charges a nominal fee, and takes offense to prices of most music studios in town.
“Most studios charge $65 an hour and I thought that was a ridiculous rate for our Soldiers who don’t make enough money to pay that type of fee,” Price said. “You may have a very talented Soldier who is not able to pay the high fee most studios charge, so I cut my fee down by almost 75 percent and charge $25 per hour, which includes me engineering,” he said.
Price’s studio is outfitted with the most current technology and upgrades, he said. Price sees his studio as a medium for young aspiring artists in need of a little guidance.
“I can do anything a major studio can do. I can record, I can master, I can mix, compress, edit, it just comes down to the budget (one has) for software,” said Price. “The software I have is a state of the art; I have a computer studio work station, with a new sampler machine,” he said, also mentioning he regularly updates equipment and software.
“Equipment in the music business is just like a computer, it becomes outdated and upgrades are required,” added Price.
Price concedes he is still in the learning process but adds that “in (the music) business (one is) always learning.”
“I did extensive research on the music industry, it took me a while and I’m still learning,” he said. “I went to certain companies and independent labels to find out how these things work, and once I gathered all my research and information I began to put together my own studio.
“It took me about a year to totally understand what steps I needed to take to be successful in the music industry, as a (producer and artist),” said the 27 year old Chicago native. “I also began to see avenues and learn ways of how to make recording a CD affordable.”
Being the audio engineer of my own studio cut the price a considerable amount compared to just an individual walking into a studio, said Price, speaking of the cost of producing a CD.
Price took his aspirations beyond the state lines, traveling well into the likes of New York City and visiting with well known and established record labels such as Bad Boy Record and Rockafella.
“I approached records labels Swisha House II, I walked into the (Artist and Repertoire) office at Bad Boy Records and A&R office at Rockafella,” said Price. “I also (approached) every independent record label I could find and asked for paperwork, flyers, or just general information to guide me in the right direction,” Howard said.
With Price’s unabashed approach to learning the music industry, he offers advice he quickly learned.
“You need to approach music as a business,” said Price. “You have to be consistent, you have to be willing to take no, you have to be willing to get the door slammed in your face, willing to take ‘hey you are not this’, on stage to take a few boos,” he said.
“A lot of people get the misconception you have to be in a million dollar studio to make a good quality CD,” he said. “Most people don’t know there is this thing in the music business called Red Book Standard, which is CD quality that you can take to a record label and have the record label say ‘hey, you’re good to go’.”
Price’s recording studio meets the Red Book Standard and encourages Soldiers who want to record in his music studio, to do so.
He’s there for them.