Q: Why should I record at Waveform Music instead of my basement?

A: Experience, Environment & Equipment

A recording engineer has to combine using technical audio software with the critical listening experience of a producer. I’ve been doing both for over 25 years.

A clean recording needs a reliably quiet environment, free from background noise like the furnace, traffic, neighbors and excess echo.

We’ve got more than one nice mic – we can try a variety of studio-grade equipment to find out what sounds best for you!


Q: How does pricing work?

A: The fee is an hourly rate. So it helps to describe your project by style (like rap, country, classical, etc) and complexity (like solo vocal/instrument, trio, band, etc). For example, rapping vocals and ad-libs to a finished beat typically takes 2-3 hours, including mixing/mastering with basic production. Larger projects like albums benefit from some economies of scale. The more prepared you are, the quicker we’ll get to that sound you’re after!


Q: How do I get started? When can I come?

A: Please send me an email to schedule a tour or a session. Same-day appointments and walk-ins are discouraged because studio time is often booked at least a week out. Tours and sessions are generally available on weekdays between 9am and 6pm. Sessions on certain evenings and weekends can be arranged if necessary.


Q: How do I get there?

A: We’re located inside the colorful Mainframe Studios building at 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. You can park in what feels like you’re “under” the building – all spots are first come first served. Additional parking can be located on this map. Take the elevator to 4th floor. Head down the ramp and keep walking all the way down the hallways to suite 417.


Q: Do you make beats from scratch?

A: No, but if you find one you like we can often modify the loops to make sections shorter, longer, etc.


Q: I’m interested in audio production. May I watch?

A: That’s tricky, because most clients are paying for a solitary space to create and experiment – not perform for strangers. Ask about scheduling a tour and at least grow your network of friends making a living at this! The unvarnished truth and KitKats are always free.


Q: I’m a student. Do you have an internship?

A: You’re smart to ask, but internships have kind of gone the way of the tape machine. If you’re serious, ask your professor or counselor/dean to contact me about a job shadow day. I’m a proponent of both trade school and college education, and enjoy helping where I can.


Q: I’m a nonprofit. May I have a discount?

A: It’s best to describe your recording project, including your charitable purpose, and ask for a quote first. You’ll find our rates quite affordable, especially for this level of quality and professionalism.

Your nonprofit status enables you to apply for grants, which can be used to “do it right” at Waveform Music! Annual grant cycles vary, but applications are often due sometime during the winter, and then grants are awarded in late spring. Funding organization examples include Iowa Arts Council, Bravo Greater Des Moines, Americans for the Arts, corporate sponsorships, and others at the county, state and national level. I’m happy to help you outline the costs and even review your proposal. Some applications are lengthy, so get started early!


Q: Who have you worked with that I’ve heard of?

A: Well that’s awkward – I don’t know who you’ve heard of! I’ve helped a huge variety of people with their dreams, from the closet musician around the corner, to podcasters from New York, including artists who have been on national TV. But if you must know, I sang backup once for Barry Manilow. For real! 

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