|1. What are your rates?
Tiny Telephone A room is $350 a day, B room is $250 a day. Most first engineers are an additional $200-$250 (although a few are more, please ask) a day.
We don't have a card rate (i.e., a higher rate for labels and wealthy clients), and we don't discount time. Floating fees and improvised pricing have alienated musicians from recording studios.
A day is 10 hours, this includes a one-hour dinner break. After 10 hours, you will incur overtime charges, please ask your engineer in advance if you plan on going over. Keep in mind, engineers often work 50-70-hour weeks, we must be respectful of how hard they work!
Outside engineers are very welcome in the A room, but you'll need a first engineer ($200 a day) for the first and last day of your booking. If you need them, second engineers ($100 a day) are also available for the remainder of your booking. Tiny Telephone's glorious B room is staffed only by our house engineers.
Our prices have been constant for 10 years running and we have no plans of raising the rates in either room. I'm very proud of this.
2. How do I get there?
We are located in San Francisco's Mission district. Here's a google map and detailed directions to get you on your way. Please remember we're on the Mission side of HWY 101, not the Potrero Hill side. The street address is 1458 San Bruno Ave, SF, 94110. We are 100 yards SE of the skate park.
3. Where do I send the $ for deposits?
To confirm days on our overworked calendar, we need to get a $100 deposit (payable to John Vanderslice) for each day booked. Days can't be confirmed until receipt of cash unless prior arrangements are made. We're happy to give you a 24-hour hold on dates while you sort out availability. Please send to:
284 Los Palmos Dr
San Francisco, CA 94127
Paypal is also fine as well, please remember to send the money as a gift so they don't skim 4%. If you use a credit card with Paypal, you'll have to add 4% as they will not allow you to gift. My account is email@example.com
4. What's the cancellation policy?
After you confirm days with a deposit, we need three calendar months notice to release days without penalty. If you cancel days within three calendar months you will lose your entire deposit. You can move dates before one month of your booking without penalty. If you cancel within one week of the start of your booking, you are responsible for the entire amount, including engineering fees, of your booking. Please don't cancel your booking. We are doing the impossible: running two affordable recording studios in a prohibitively expensive city, please help us!
5. Where do I get tape? And what kind should I get?
We now provide free 2" tape to artists and bands who want to discover the magic of analog recording.
We recommend you mix down to ATR 1/2" tape, we'll help you with your order. If you want to buy new 2" tape so you can keep your masters, email us and we'll send you a link to the best place to buy it.
6. We now rent drum sets.
We now have two excellent drum sets for rent: a vintage Slingerland kit from the 60s and a wonderful Ayotte Custom Maple. They are $50 a day. Please reserve the kit you want in advance. We have good hardware and new Ambassador heads available for these kits as well..
6. Who is responsible for piano tuning?
The client is solely responsible for piano tuning. It's frequently moved and treated, both of which knock the C3 out of tune. We'll gladly have you in a few days before your session to check the tuning. If the piano is central to your project, we strongly encourage you to book the tuner for the day of your session. He has keys, so he can start well before you load in. Try to book him in advance.
Piano tuners: Steve Benjamins, 925 284 3077
Or: Mark Skowronek 415 864 4688
They are both great and reliable.
7. Where should I stay if I'm from out of town?
There is only one place that makes sense for people on a budget: Hotel Mirabelle. Private rooms are around $60 a night. The rooms are simple and clean. Plus, the location is perfect; it's a 15 minute walk from Tiny Telephone.
If you have the time/desire, I highly recommend you learn how to game Priceline. Start here (pay very close attention to #9. What is a free re-bid?) and consult with Priceline maps like betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com. I highly recommend bidding weeks before, hotels get more expensive on Priceline as you get closer to your stay. It'll take an hour or so to get up to speed, but I've stayed in hundreds of super nice hotels doing this.
Also, if you're recording for an extended period of time, check craigslist.com for sublets in the Mission.
8. What else should I know?
Questions about the session, start time, preproduction, etc., will be handled by your engineer.
Here's a floor plan of Tiny Telephone.
We have Four Barrel coffee and a wonderful assortment of 12 organic loose leaf teas.
There are unlimited options for excellent food in the area, including many who will deliver. 24th Street is one of the greatest food corridors in the world.
Making records is not easy; I've been there and I want to make your experience here productive and meaningful. If you have any problems/concerns please contact me directly. Thanks.