How Long Does It Take to Record An Album: A Complete Guide To Recording Music

Have you ever wondered "how long does it take to record an album?". Right here we will help you understand it.

by Derrick Reeves | Updated: June 24, 2021

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The time it takes to record an album can be a lot of different things. It can be long, short, or anywhere in between depending on the artist and their goals for the project.  

You cannot rush through the process of recording an album. It takes time to make sure you are getting the best performance and there is enough studio production value for it to sound good when released as a finished product.

The most important thing is to retain that raw energy from live studio recordings with minimal overproduction or heavy editing after being recorded on tape. 

Whether you're just starting your career and want to get as much experience as possible under your belt or you're simply running low on inspiration. This article will help answer that question about how long does it take to record an album?

What is the time it takes to record an album? 

  1. Beat Making: 48 hours on average.
  2. Vocal recording: 2 - 36 hours.
  3. Mixing: anywhere from 45 to 60 hours.
  4. Mastering: at least 3 hours.

Plan & Write An Album

Plan & Write an Album 

When it comes to breaking into the music industry, and especially recording that first album, a solid plan is imperative.  

This is the one and only chance to make your first impression on an audience that will be important for years if not decades so it's worth taking some extra care with planning how long does recording take? 

The goal here should always remain as clear-cut as possible: getting this album finished quickly while maintaining quality control from start until finish!  

Know what will include in your album when you start, what equipment and resources will be needed to get the job done right. Who are your target audience? And most importantly, when you will be finished? 

The time it takes to record an album varies depending on many factors. What is your budget? How much are you willing or able to spend? 

Unfortunately, we were unable to determine how long it took for the planning process. It depends on your inspiration and your work ethic. 

Getting Into The Studio 

Making sure you've quality equipment that will give your album professional sound quality and clarity. 

Another thing is to make sure you're recording to a laptop or a computer with enough space and memory so that it won't lag or malfunction. 

If you don't have enough tools at home, go ahead and book a professional studio. you will reduce worries such as soundproofing and lack of infrastructure. In addition, you can also save time by having access to the studio's technicians and engineers, you know what you pay for. 

How Long Does It Take To Record An Album?

How Long Does It Take to Record an Album

Whether you're recording one song single or 10 songs album, the process will be similar. 

The first thing you should do is make a demo, this way your producer knows what kind of sound they want for their song or album before it's recorded professionally in studio with expensive equipment. You can either hand out demos via email which doesn't take much time. 

1. Beat Making  

This is the first part of the track, you will need to focus and this process will take 1 hour or days. 

Producers and musicians, and even singers may have to work together on this stage of the process. 

In case something goes wrong, needs to be corrected, for example: correcting the lyrics, perfecting some chords, beats,… they can all affect the duration. 

Beat Making

The first step is to find a really good recording of your background music, then you'll need some editing software like Adobe Audition or Pro Tools and at least one full-time person who can work on this part alone for the whole time it takes.  

You will also want that same piece in different tempos. In this step, you will be laying down necessary instruments in the track like piano, guitar, and drums. 

Depending on the genre of music, such as classical or jazz, the number of instruments and the duration will also be extended. For example, jazz is more than background music and it typically takes at least three hours to create. 

Recording an album can be time-consuming regardless of whether you're using live instruments or not. However, depending on how much it costs, a dedicated musician might take the project and reduce the overall timeline of recording considerably. 

2. Vocal Recording 

Vocal Recording

You spent hours on beat, hours and days to get everything perfect. Do not think you can record vocals for a few minutes. 

Problem is that vocal recording process usually takes a very long time - up until an hour or two per song! Sometime you need up to six-hour session for one track with four verses of lyrics. 

First, you need to decide what type of vocal sound will be used for this song. For example: rap voice or singing vocals?  

Next is the lyrics editing and recording process which I just mentioned before about time-consuming part from beginning paragraph on "Recording an album can take a long amount". 

Vocal recording takes a long time. Especially, if the singer has to do it alone on this process and they have no producer or other people involved in order for them not mess up their vocals during recordings.  

At some point, you have to admit making an album -or single - is not one-man work. 

After that, if necessary, you will have to add some more instrumental, backing vocals that you wanted. 

For perfection all of this will take you somewhere around 2 days. 

3. Into The Mixing 

The average time to complete a mix is two hours. 

Mixing an entire album with songs can take anywhere from 45 to 60 hours. 

However, the length of time it takes to mix an entire album will depend on how accurate when you record them and your skills.

Into The Mixing

It's a little more complicated than just adding equalizers and compressors. You have to be careful not to overdo it with the automation of gain levels or latency compensation when mixing in order for your song to sound better. Because if there is too much processing done on one part then that will cause unbalance and ruin a track. 

And it will take time to revisit the mixes if you require high quality in the song. 

To create a masterpiece, mixers can take weeks or even months to review and decide the quality of their final product. 

Mixing is a skill that takes time to perfect and requires patience. 

So, when you are learning how the process of recording music or looking for your next job in this field be sure that studio will give enough space and tools needed like soundproofing materials so they don't have trouble with their neighbors while working on mixes all day!  

4. Mastering Process 

Mastering is the final process of creating a song. Total time to master one song should be quick, about three hours. 

Mastering is the final step in your music production process and can be done by an engineer or a producer. 

Mastering is a delicate process because there are many options to do the final touches and perfect your song sound.

A mastering engineer will use equalization, compression to make sure that all sounds are aligned in terms of volume levels or frequencies. This ensures your music has uniformity across different playback devices like speakers at home versus earbuds on the go.

Owning and owning a best mastering plugins is an advantage to shortening time.

5. Total Cost To Record An Album 

Unless you do it all on your own, you could save a lot of fee. But if you need to hire a studio or someone to help, it will depend on your budget. 

Keep in mind that every studio has different rates for recording. The more expensive studios can cost upwards of $1000 a day. For cheaper ones, it might cost as low or lower than fifty dollars an hour. 

Depending on the length of each track, mastering costs can range up to thousands per tune if outsourced. 

Album art design is also an additional expense. Prices may vary, averages around 500-1000 dollars with different packages that include unlimited revisions until a satisfying final product has been created!  


The process of recording an album can take a few weeks or months depending on how much time you want to spend and money. It's all up for grabs, so it is now your responsibility as the artist!  

So, get started with steps like choosing instruments but also be prepared that this will not come easy without any cost at some point in order succeed financially from music activities. 

We hope this article has helped you visualize it and find out how long does an album take to record. We're eager for your feedback so feel free to submit any comments or questions below our comment form!