What I Do
Tracking is the most important stage of the recording process because this is when things get recorded! It is a very critical moment because your record will sound as good as it was tracked.
My philosophy is that "nothing gets fixed during mixing". For that, make sure you do the following:
Practice: Before hitting the recording studio... know your songs! Find the tempo of your songs, and with a metronome, play/sing them back to back without stopping. This will assure smooth tracking sessions and save lots of precious time in the studio.
Singers: DO NOT show up sick (I will send you home). Do not over eat before the session. Come prepared. Go over the lyrics with the rest of band before recording vocals. Bring the lyrics to the studio!
Musicians: Aside from the previously mentioned, listen to your fellow band members. Many times during tracking, musicians notice how the bassist was playing a note half a step down or that harmonies are dissonant. "But I've always played it this way".
Set-up your instruments! I offer services to get your instrument re-strong, neck and intonation adjusted, drum skins changed and tuned. Drummers: get the best cymbals you can! Borrow them if you have to.
In preproduction, the producer will brings concepts to the table that are often overlooked by the artist(s). I will help you re-shape the songs in a way that the music has a better flow. This could be done by shortening a 2-minute long solo, skipping an unnecessary post chorus or adding a guitar to the chorus.
During tracking, the producer's experience will give you the extra hand needed to get you to sound the way you want. The producer has the ears. You will have to trust me when I say that the guitar tone you want will make ears ring after listening for 20 seconds or that your drum fills were out of time.
The producer will book the studio time, (if needed) find and pay session musicians and all other logistics.
With the help of EQ's, compressors and effects, the mixer will sculpt each instrument, balance their levels, pan them to place them in the right position of the stereo field to achieve the overall sound the artist desires.
Mastering is the final stage of the record. Here, a stereo mix of the song will be put under a series of tools that will slightly enhance certain frequencies to add power and color to the entire mix, widen the stereo field and yes, make it louder.
Mastering s̶h̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ is not used to fix any problems. A poorly recorded and/or mixed song will not benefit from mastering. It should merely be a polishing touch that will make your product sound professional and commercially ready.
Congratulations, your product is ready for iTunes, but not before you protect and copyright your work! (See copyrighting services).
"Online Mixing": Send me tracks that you have recorded to get professionally mixed and mastered.
Setting up Instruments: Before tracking, you should get new strings, get that noisy input jack fixed and the neck and intonation adjusted to stay in tune! Drummers should also get new skins and retune their kits. Again, many don't do it because they are scared or don't know how to.
Photography and Video: I can connect you with photographers and video editors who work in the music industry for photoshoots, music videos, and live events.
Copyrighting: Many people do not protect themselves because it seems complicated. I can get your music registered with the U.S Copyright Office the right and easy way.
Duplication and Packaging: Leave it all to me!
Rules and Guidelines
Being in the studio can be all fun and games, but remember that it is also a workplace for some of us. Here are some rules and guidelines for a better experience for the both of us:
- Two hours is the minimum amount of time that can be booked.
- Half the hourly rate will be charged for every hour late or if the client is a no show, no call. No excuses. I run on a schedule and if you are late it backs up my entire schedule for the day.
- The session starts once the session file is created or opened on the computer.
- Rates will be rounded off to the next quarter of the hour.
- Repeated last minute cancellations (less than 24hrs) will result in not getting priority to reschedule time.
- Invoice and applicable fees need to be paid full before the material is handed.
- Hour blocks are paid full up front.
- "By songs/project" at least 50% up front.
- Do not come to the studio sick. Your voice changes drastically even if you blow your nose in between takes. You cannot focus if you are in pain.
- Food and drinks are allowed but you are responsible for cleaning after yourself and for any damage or spills.
- There is absolutely no smoking in the studio. You can go outside but just know that the clock keeps ticking unless I say otherwise.
*Hourly and hour blocks do not include editing, mixing and mastering. The reason being the following: (example) Editing, mixing, and mastering takes 2-4 hours per song x 7 songs recorded = I basically worked for free.
Up to 3 revisions per song. Any more after that it becomes a "guessing game" or you might want to tweak in person/in the studio for half the hourly rate (Studio time is not free!).
"If you want a ten-minute mix, that’s what your album will sound like (and that’s not a good thing). If you are investing in your music, that means that you most likely want good results, so let your engineer work without you standing over their shoulder tapping your watch. No one works well that way. If you think things are taking far too long, politely ask the engineer what they’re working on, and ask for an estimate of completion. If you’re not willing to invest in your art, why should I be?" abovegroundmagazine.com
You may be held liable for any loss or damage to the equipment or facilities due to misuse. Accidents do happen and can be worked out but if you break something, act like an adult.
Recording can be frustrating if things are not sounding right or you are having an off day. Before you lose it, remember why you are there, remember all the sacrifices you've done to get to this point and what will all of this bring you.