Frequently Asked Questions

What’s up with your name?

Paper is a slang term for “money”. V.U. stands for Volume Units and is a common type of meter used in recording studios. So, it’s a play on words. Paper V.U. Studios has absolutely nothing to do with Pay-Per-View t.v. or Vasher University.

What are your rates?

It varies. Please goto the contacts section of this site and send us a message of what exactly your project has in mind. Every project has different needs and requirements. Please mention your time frame and budget. Paper V.U. doesn’t follow a “one size fits all” approach. They are typically cheaper than any ‘studio motel’.

How should I prepare a song for mixing?

Dylan prefers Pro Tools sessions with each track labeled correctly. If any autotuning has been applied, please print that (on a new playlist if possible). If you are particularly married to an effect, especially distortion based effects, it is recommended that you print it on a separate track. It's also a very good idea to send to rough mix, mainly to check to make sure there aren't any missing parts. Any beat detective work, autotuning, or editing should be done before the mix starts. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

What are the hidden costs?

There are no hidden costs besides extra tape, CD-R, DVD-R or a FireWire drive to record to. You are encouraged to bring your own recording media and save money.

Why doesn’t the studio charge per hour?

Too many people took advantage of the situation. It’s very difficult to deal with bookings of several hours where we end up with a whole day booked by different people scheduled for two or so hours. And it’s funny how those two hour sessions then become five, making it impossible to book sessions in a row. Occasionally we will do hourly bookings for special projects at a higher fee, but frequently these will be bumped for full day projects. With a day rate, it allows us to avoid rushing a project, and our rates are considerably less than a typical ‘sound motel’.

Can we break up the day rate over two days?

No, that’s why it’s called a day rate. If it makes you feel better, we can offer you a bi-day rate, which is just double the day rate.

How many hours is a ‘day’ in the studio?

12 Hours, although we commonly finish much earlier.

Can we get a tour of the studio?

If you are truly interested in working here, please click the contact tab and send us a message us directly. If you are an audio student, hobbyist, or just generally curious, you can contact me also, and time permiting, we'll give you a Skype tour.

Do you have a work reel available?

As long as you are serious about working together, sure. Please click on ‘contact’ and request one. You might want to mention the style of music you are most interested in (rap, pop, r&b, rock, etc). The following links can also give you an idea of what Dylan’s work sounds like, if you aren’t already familiar with it:
Barnes and Noble or All Music

Do you work on weekends?

Almost always.

Can we come in real early or the night before to set up?

No. Sessions begin at the time you schedule them. Much of the engineering work begins as we set up for the downbeat, so we have to charge for this time. We charge a day rate, so this doesn't typically matter all that much.

How long does mixing take?

Typically, Dylan schedules a day and a half per mix. Sometimes this takes less time, sometimes more. Extensive editing and fixing can add considerable time.

What versions do you typically print once the mix is done?

A main pass, a t.v. pass, a full acapella, and an instrumental. Sometimes more are printed if requested, or if there seems to be a questionable creative decision during the mix process. You must supply which specific words must be muted or reversed if a clean version is requested. We do not typically print "stems", as they would not be able to properly recall the mix in many situations, such as sidechaining dynamics. Stems should only be used for live performance material.

What’s a “T.V. Pass”?

A version with no ad libs or lead vocals. This way the artist can take the CD to a TV show, radio station, mall opening, etc, and basically karaoke to their own track.

Do you do everything?
Forensic work, karaoke, video editing, music for film, radio spots, etc?

We are a niche based studio and therefore do not typically take on many projects other than just “music”. We can do commercials, restoration, and the occasional radio drop, but we are best known for tracking, mixing, and mastering music.

Does Paper V.U. offer mobile recording at a club, church or rehearsal room?

Not exactly. Dylan has done location recording and broadcast mixing for some of the biggest shows on the planet, but he is usually just hired on as a freelance engineer for these gigs.

What is mastering?

Mastering is the last creative step in record making. Generally, most people think of mastering as the process that gets your CD sounding as loud as the other commercial CD’s. If changes are needed to improve the way your music will impact people, whether it be for the sake of translation (good sound across a variety of playback systems) or overall cohesiveness, then processing is engaged. But the real benefit is the experience the mastering engineer brings to the table. Look for mastering engineer with the experience to know what pitfalls can keep your record from being what you want it to be and also knows what can be done to maximize the potential of your music.

Do you do mastering?

Yes. While Dylan prefers to use Big Bass or Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Eddy or Gene at Oasis Mastering or Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters on projects he mixed, he can master your project. Many people want quick, or cheap mastering done for promotional uses, such as sites and the like. We very often provide this.

What are ISRC codes? Do I need them?

An International Standard Recording Code is used to watermark material. We recommend you get them at least a week before you want to send the CD master to the plant. All of the information on obtaining them can be found at the RIAA site for $75 (at least at the time this was written):
RIAA ISRC Codes Info

Can you do CD text?

Yes. You'll need to supply the EXTACT spellings for the band or artist, song titles, and album title. If you misspell something, we will not be held liable. This includes slang and other creative liberties such as "Nuthin 4 U", etc. We don't typically do any text within the songs.

We supplied the ISRC codes, but the track names don't show up on my computer when I put the reference disc in. Why?

You'll need to visit Gracenote and supply them with the appropriate information. Eventually this information works it's way to the public (iTunes, Windows Media Player, Yahoo music player, satellite radio, etc) and connects to the CDDB and updates.

Can you do watermarking?

We use, in our opinion, the best watermarking technology on the planet. We have litterally retrieved watermarks from concerts on our cell phones.

Do you have beats?

We don’t really do hip-hop karaoke.

Can you get me a record deal?


Can you transfer my old vinyl/cassette/reels/etc. to CD-R?

Yes, but it will likely cost you a lot. I’d refer you to Oasis Mastering (818-567-0500) or SuperDigital (503-228-2222).

Are you currently accepting interns?

Again, we are a niche based studio, and try to cut costs wherever possible. This means that paying an intern or runner is an expense we cut. If you are seriously interested in this, and you meet the following criteria, send a resume & cover-letter including references to Paper VU’s address Attention Dylan Dresdow. You must be familiar with my work and interested in learning and working with me. You must have reliable transportation and cellular communication. You must able to keep up with complex concepts, intelligent, detail-oriented, and get along with all types of personalities. You must be familiar with the construction, building, and maintenance of computers and use of the various software programs. Comfortable with dealing with and configuring computers, modems, routers, switchers, firewalls, etc. Intimate knowledge of one DAW program is a must, and you must be a quick study so you can easily pick up on Pro Tools, and hopefully others. Knowledge of signal flow and at least general knowledge of one large format console is necessary. You must be musically and sonically adept. You must have developed some personal preference in music and sound, but also have a very wide taste and enjoy many styles of music and sound. You must be able to recognize subtle details and distinguish technical and musical errors. You must be self-reliant, detail-oriented, get along well with all types of personalities. You must have a positive, upbeat, and personable attitude. You must be trustworthy, forth coming, and supply several references. If we are interested, we’ll call you.

Seriously, if you contact us repeatedly, you’ll definitely be out of the running.

Is Paper V.U. looking to hire engineers or assistants?

Nope. Unless you are interested in working for free and doing food runs, please don’t contact us, any even then the line is pretty long.

Can I bring my own engineer for my sessions?

No. Paper V.U. is a private facility with a lot of extremely expensive and custom modified gear. Dylan prefers to keep his toys to himself.

Is smoking allowed?

Definitely not. Smoking is bad for gear, and people. If you must, you can smoke outside and we’ll provide free breathe mints.

What about my eco-concerns?

Paper V.U. actively recycles and is signed up for Green Power from LADWP. This site is even green.

Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost.

What bout legal mumbo-jumbo?

Thought you’d never ask.


  1. Acceptance of Terms. These terms and conditions constitute a part of the contract between Paper V.U. Studios, Inc. (“Paper V.U.”) and Client. Different or additional terms and conditions which may be included in Client’s purchase order or other acceptance of this quotation are hereby rejected unless approved in writing by the president of Paper V.U.
  2. Changes in Specifications and Cancellation. After acceptance of this quotation no changes by Client in the specifications will be binding on Paper V.U. unless Paper V.U. consents to such changes in writing. Additional charges for accepted changes will be billed to Client. Cancellations of bookings must be made within 24 hours or Client will be billed 6 hours of booked time.
  3. Risk of Loss. All risk of damage or loss to the work at any time after arrival F.O.B. North Hollywood, CA is assumed by Client, and such damage or loss shall not in any way release Client from any of its obligations hereunder. Client agrees that Paper V.U. shall not be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages, including without limitation lost income or profits, resulting from damage or destruction to the work prior to delivery at the F.O.B. point specified herein.
  4. Tape Storage and Materials. Tape storage is at Client’s risk and may be released upon final payment. Quoted price is based on the cost to Paper V.U. of the type and grade of parts and materials to be used to produce the work as of the date of this quotation, and quoted price shall be subject to increases based on any increases in the cost of such parts and materials to Paper V.U. prior to completion of the work.
  5. Terms of Payment. If Client defaults in payment of any invoice at due date, or in the event of any proceeding in bankruptcy or insolvency by or against Client, Paper V.U., in addition to any right it has, shall have the right: (a) to suspend or discontinue work until it has received payment in full for work performed; (b) to require cash in advance to cover further work; (c) to collect late charges of 1 1/2% per month from due date; and/or (d) to recover all costs of collection, including reasonable attorney’s fees. In the event credit or financial ability of Client becomes impaired or unsatisfactory in the sole reasonable judgment of Paper V.U., Paper V.U. shall have the right at any time thereafter to change the credit terms with respect to any further work under this quotation.
  6. FTP Site. Upon request from Client, Client materials may be made accessible to Paper V.U. or Client on Paper V.U.’s password protected FTP site. Client agrees to adhere to all Paper V.U. FTP site policies as the same may be provided to Client from time to time. Paper V.U. is not responsible for any unauthorized use or access to said site or materials. A fee may apply for access to Paper V.U.’s FTP site. All material is subject to deletion once it is posted.
  7. Miscellaneous. Late payment shall be subject to interest charges of 1.5% per month. Customer acknowledges and agrees that Paper V.U. has the right to stop work, or otherwise withhold further services upon non-payment or other breach of this Agreement. Paper V.U.’s acceptance of late payment does not waive any right to receive full payment under these Terms and Conditions.

In the event Paper V.U. takes any action to enforce the terms of this Agreement and/or collect payment, Customer hereby agrees to pay all costs incurred in connection therewith, including, without limitation, all attorneys’ fees, expenses, and court costs incurred by Paper V.U. in its sole discretion. Customer further agrees that exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any claim arising out of or under the terms of this Agreement shall be in a state court of competent jurisdiction in Los Angeles County, California, and Customer hereby submits to the jurisdiction and venue of such court.

This is all subject to change.

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