You probably already know that if you have a song to record it's best recorded in Nashville. That's where the largest concentration of world class musicians, engineers and music producers who work daily on demos and CDs abound.
But which one is the right one for you?
You don't want to overpay. But you don't want to pay too little and get less studio than you need. You may need help to get through the recording process or you may not. You may need singers and musicians, you may prefer to record every instrument and vocal yourself.
First, some general guidelines:
Ask the rate. Does it include the engineer or is he optional and paid separately? Will there be a producer or will you be required to call the shots while the engineer pushes the buttons you tell them to? Are you experienced at that? If not, you need a producer or an engineer/producer, not just a button pusher.
In general a pretty good studio should be available for somewhere in between $75 to $150 per hour and that rate total should include a producer and engineer. There may be a charge for pre-production work (writing charts for the musicians to play). The musicians will almost surely cost extra.
Ask for a quote and narrow your list down to the Nashville Tennessee area recording studios that will give you what you need at a price within your budget. At that point ask for links to samples of work recorded in those facilities in styles similar to the songs you intend to record. If the studio has a producer ask for work he's produced. Give the samples a good listen and pick the studio that sounds the best, even if they are slightly more expensive.
You'll have to live with
your project for years to come. Do record your CD in Nashville but don't make the wrong studio
choice just to save a few pennies.