The Sales Pitch

Why choose Commodore?

In a nutshell, we make great recordings for a very reasonable rate, and provide a comfortable environment that is not as far away as you may think. But please read on to find out in more detail why Commodore is hands-down the best deal around!

A search of the web reveals an excess of “budget” recording studios. Rising technology and falling prices have placed good equipment within the reach of professionals and amateurs alike. But when shopping for a place to record, look carefully: does the website show pictures of the studio, or just cool close-up shots of faders, equipment racks and microphones? The latter is usually an indication that the studio is built into a tight place like a basement or a garage. This may be fine for some types of computer-based recording projects: many a great rap record has been made in an artist’s private suite. But for projects that require more space and better acoustics, a different kind of studio is needed.

A great control room should be designed first for listening

For example, rock or blues bands may need to “crank it up” beyond basement levels to achieve their signature sound. Jazz musicians need to hear each other as clearly as they hear themselves. Classical performers and choral groups will usually sound best (and perform best) in a more open, ambient environment. Mixing and mastering should be done in a room optimized for that purpose; not in an area crammed full of equipment and reflective surfaces that alter what is actually coming out of the speakers.

On the other side of the see-saw are the ultra-studios, sporting 96-channel “macho” mixing consoles, gymnasium-sized live rooms and dozens, if not hundreds of rack-mount compressors, preamps and effects units. One well-known Nashville studio even boasts over 1,400 microphones! And while it’s really cool to have access to all that redundant world-class gear, you the customer must look realistically at your needs. Sometimes a 96-channel board is appropriate, but is it really essential for your project? And how many of those 1,400 microphones will you actually use? Remember that a studio’s hourly rate is largely based on the value of their equipment, so in an ultra-studio it’s easy to end up paying for a lot of stuff you never even see. And when the end-of-the-line consumer listens to your CD, they won’t be able to hear the 90 channels you didn’t use; only the 6 that you did. Yet, you still paid for all 96.

Commodore Recording Studio fills the void between those two extremes, providing an affordable, professional environment that is comfortable and performance-friendly. We have great equipment, great microphones, two pianos, a vintage house drum kit, and a control room where you can truly hear what’s happening. But most importantly, we bring to the table over 30 years of audio recording experience that no amount of equipment can make up for.

Commodore occupies a large free-standing brick building with “next-to-the-door” parking, an easy single-level load-in and complete handicap-accessibility throughout. The beautiful Thurmont, Maryland location allows artists to make top-quality recordings without having to travel to busy urban areas. In fact, many metropolitan clients prefer Thurmont’s restful small-town atmosphere, and find the location to be quite convenient.

Approximate Drive Times to Thurmont, MD

Washington DC
65 minutes

Maryland
Frederick: 15 minutes
Hagerstown: 35 minutes
Westminster: 35 minutes
Rockville: 45 minutes
Damascus: 45 minutes
Bethesda: 50 minutes
Silver Spring: 55 minutes
Wheaton: 55 minutes
Baltimore: 65 minutes
Laurel/Bowie: 65 minutes
Hyattsville: 65 minutes
Annapolis: 70 minutes
Waldorf: 90 minutes
Cumberland: 90 minutes
Salisbury: 3 hours
Ocean City: 3.5 hours

Pennsylvania
Waynesboro: 15 minutes
Gettysburg: 20 minutes
Hanover: 45 minutes
Greencastle: 45 minutes
Chambersburg: 55 minutes
York: 60 minutes
Harrisburg: 65 minutes
Lancaster: 95 minutes
Reading: 2 hours
Altoona: 2.25 hours
Allentown: 2.5 hours
Philadelphia: 2.75 hours
Wilkes-Barre: 3 hours
Scranton: 3 hours
Pittsburg: 3.5 hours

Virginia
Leesburg: 45 minutes
Falls Church: 60 minutes
Winchester: 75 minutes
Fairfax: 75 minutes
Alexandria: 80 minutes
Manassas: 90 minutes
Fredericksburg: 2 hours
Richmond: 2.75 hours
Williamsburg: 3.5 hours

West Virginia
Harper’s Ferry: 35 minutes
Martinsburg: 45 minutes
Charles Town: 45 minutes
Shepherdstown: 55 minutes
Berkeley Springs: 60 minutes
Morgantown: 3 hours
Fairmont: 3 hours
Wheeling: 4 hours

Elsewhere
New York City: 4 hours
Dover, DE: 2.75 hours
Newark, NJ: 3.75 hours
Greenwich, CT: 4.5 hours
Charlotte, NC: 7 hours
Boston, MA: 8 hours