London Rehearsal Studios and what to look out for

We thought we’d put together an article on London Rehearsal Studios and what to look out for when you are booking a studio. Like most people, I often start by looking at the price of something when I buy it, but this doesn’t always tell you the full story. Often studios put the “DRY HIRE” cost of the room. This means no amps, no drum kits, no Microphones, sometimes no PA. All of these items are chargeable extras. Now you may have mics, drum kits etc and want to use your own gear. In this case, a Dry Hire is a most economical solution, but if you need all that gear, then what seems the best price can escalate.

We looked at the cost of a 4 hour session in one of Londons better known studios. This studio only do 4 hour blocks and the room with a PA is £50 (£12 p/h).  When you add in the cost of Kit, cymbals, a bass amp and 2 guitar amps, this goes up to £75.

Studio Cost – 4hrs £50.00 £12.50 P/H
Drum Kit £5.00
Cymbals £5.00
Bass amp + Cab £5.00
2 X Guitar amp + Cab £10.00
Total £75.00 £18.75 P/H

Often with studios which hire the gear in, you also have to collect and set up the gear. To unpack and set up a drumkit can take up to twenty minutes and some studios require the gear all broken down again, so you can lose the best part of an hour simply getting set up and getting out of the room. It is always worth checking exactly what comes as part of the deal.

It is also worth finding out what the studio policy is if you overrun. Some studios charge an extra hour if you are one minute late leaving the room or double time in 15 minute units. It is always worth asking about the policy if you overrun.

Another thing which some studios are over zealous on is a “room cleaning charge”. We have heard of one studio which charged a band £50 for leaving three coke cans on top of a table at the end of their session. Whilst it is good manners to expect a band to clear up their mess, this struck us as rather extreme.

Another thing to consider is whether the studio has a stock of breakables, so that if you break a string or a drum stick you can replace it there and then. There is nothing more frustrating than paying £50 for a rehearsal only for the guitarist to break a string on the first song and not be able to replace it.

We all are driven by budget, but make sure that you factor in all of the costs when you use a studio. If a studio is local and convenient, this is a big consideration. If one member of the band can’t get to a location for the start time, that is effectively money wasted. Is it convenient for public transport and does it have good parking. These are questions to ask.

Mill Hill Music Complex have published rates for everything. The price and Gear you see advertised is what you pay for. We have ample parking and we are well connected for buses and in Zone 4 of the the London Oyster card region, 16 minutes by fast train from St Pancras on the Thameslink line to Mill Hill Broadway (5 mins walk). We have all bus timetables and train info here on our webpage Find Us  and we are also 1 mile from Burnt Oak Station on the Northern Line with regular 251 and 114 buses from the Station to Bunns Lane (a 5 minute journey).

Let us know via our FACEBOOK page what you want from a London Rehearsal Studio