So I'd mentioned earlier that there was this dude I'd talked to about recording my band's EP/demo/whatever, presumably some time this year. He has a full Pro Tools setup and he is pretty proud of his 2" tape system as well, and his studio was very impressive looking. Blinky lights, space and room treatments galore.
Come to find out, he's quite humble about it, but not only does he have several hundred records under his belt, he's also been nominated for Grammys multiple times; this includes 2011, for recording Joey Defrancesco's "Never Can Say Goodbye," which is up for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. He's done many styles, including jazz, blues, punk, rock, orchestral, acoustic/folk, and even specializes in field recordings of events and performances. Seems like a hell of a guy to boot.
All that being said, I've got a reasonably close connection to the guy and though we haven't talked prices, he made it sounds like he'd be very flexible and would offer us project pricing (vs. hourly). But... he's never done metal to the best of my knowledge.
Is that important? We're not Killswitch Engage or Necrophagist here, more of a radio-friendly style. Is it better to work with a man who simply knows SOUND, or should he be well-versed in the sound we THINK we're looking for? I suspect he'll be moderately annoyed if we start telling him how to record us, outside of offering him some demos of our target sound.
How much of the final sound is mastering, anyway? He offers full mastering services as well, but perhaps it would be wise to go with a guy like this for recording but put the raw tracks in the hands of someone experienced with mastering metal?