Frequently Asked Questions
Our 5 piece band includes one drummer who will also include a loop and percussion or both if necessary. One bassist. One acoustic guitar player who will usually do two tracks. These tracks could include steel string acoustic, gut string acoustic, 12-string acoustic, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, dobro and whatever else you can think of. One electric guitarist who will usually do at least two tracks, one rhythm and one lead. One keyboardist who will play piano, organ, synth, strings you name it. And finally one vocalist. The vocalist will sing a lead vocal and two harmony vocals. The vocalist will not be present when your tracks are being recorded. The vocalist will be scheduled for a different time depending on their schedule. We always do our best to accommodate you. For example, if you are in town for the session we will do our best to schedule the vocalist for the time that you are here. Some vocalists cost a little extra.
Our 4 piece band consists of everything above except the keyboardist and the utility player. If you want something overdubbed that can be arranged.
Pedal Steel and Fiddle Cost Extra.
We use only the best musicians and vocalists in Nashville. All of them are seasoned veterans of the music scene and all of them have the ability to play and sing most all styles of music. They are extremely knowledgeable of current music and classic music of all genres. Simply said, we think they are the best. Let us know what you think.
You will be able to participate in all facets of the recording of your song either here at the studio in person or via 'Skype'. Your song will be assigned a session date when you book your recording. You will be given an approximate time that your song will be tracked with the musicians at the conclusion of your pre-production meeting.
You will also be able to participate when the vocals to your song are being recorded either in person or via "Skype".
You will NOT be able to be present for the mixing of your song. Most all of the mixing engineers we're aware of prefer to tackle this endeavor by themselves without the distraction of others breathing down their necks. Plus, all of them tend to have their own little secrets, that they have spent years perfecting and are not willing to share. Dang It!! However, you will have the opportunity to have one round of mix "tweaks" when the engineer is finished. Mix tweaks involve things like more or less vocal, more or less guitar, etc. Mix tweaks do NOT include editing the track to shorten the Intro, Turn Around or adding additional instrumentation to your song.
Yes!! You sure can sing your own song. If you are in town we will make arrangements for you to come to The 522 and record your vocal here in Nashville. If you are not in Nashville, we can send you a rough mix of your song and you can record it at your place or your local studio. Then send the file back to us. We will hire a vocalist to do harmonies if necessary and then clean it up and send it off to the Mix man. Please be sure to record your vocal track at the proper bit rate and depth. (24/48)
How Does it work? Great question! You're a songwriter or recording artist. You have songs you have written--maybe to perform yourself or to pitch to signed, successful artists or to pitch for Film & Television. That's where we come in!
We don't want to change your song--we want to help you make it the best, most commercial presentation it can be. We have many years of songwriting, arranging and record producing experience that are available to you. Let us put our expertise to work for you!
What is a Work Demo? When you decide you want to have a song recorded, send us a copy of your "work demo"--your home recording of the song. It's ok that it "doesn't sound very good" and that you recorded it on your i-phone or computer. Believe us, no matter how bad you think it is, we've heard worse!
Your work demo should be a complete rendition of the song--or as complete as you can make it. A simple guitar/vocal or keyboard/vocal will suffice. In fact, as long as we can hear the melody and the chords you are playing that's all we need. Too many times songwriters think they are "helping" by recording their work demos in Garage Band or other multi-track programs. In the end, many times, this proves to be counter productive in getting the final product you are wanting or expecting.
What is Pre-Production? Before the recording session, we will meet with you--in person if your are in Nashville or by Skype or phone if you are not here in town. This is called a "Pre-Production" meeting. It is in this meeting that we will discuss with you possible genres, arrangements and instrument choices for your song. If you have not chosen a singer at this point, we will make suggestions. All this is extremely important! Our goal is for you to be excited about the recording process and with the final outcome or your song.
Your song will be placed, along with 4 or 5 other songs, on an upcoming recording session. To be able to offer you the great prices we have, we must be able to record 5 or 6 songs in a three hour session. We will spend approximately 30 minutes with the band recording the basic tracks for your song. That may not sound like much time but it's more than enough if we have discussed the recording process in our Pre-Production meeting. You will be given the date and an approximate time your song will be recorded during the 3 hour session.
On Session day, we will contact you via Skype or phone, if you are not here in Nashville, at the time we are ready to begin recording the basic tracks of your song. You will "be there with us" to participate in the recording process!
Once the basic tracks are recorded it will be time for your singer to "do their marvelous thing"! Again, you will be given a date and time your vocalist will be singing your song. And, once again, you will be able to participate in the vocal session by either Skype or phone if you are not in Nashville.
After your vocalist has done his/her part your song is ready to go to "mix". The mixing process is where the recording engineer takes all the tracks and "makes them into a little record"! The mixing engineer will add equalization, delays, echos and do volume controls for all the instruments and vocals. Voila! Your little work demo will now sound like something you hear on the radio!
You will receive a "link" to our Drop Box which will contain your mixes--3 of them. 1) The Mix. 2.) A TV Track (No lead vocal but with Background vocals). And 3.) An Instrumental Mix (No vocals). In addition, you will also be given the opportunity to download all of your Pro Tools tracks so that, should you want to work on your song at a local studio, you will have all of your original tracks to do so.
What do you mean "pitch the song"? This is the term for playing or auditioning your song to a song plugger or song publisher for consideration of an artist. We have connections to a lot of groups and individuals who can help with this endeavor.
What about my work tape? Don't worry about it, We only need a recording of your song in it's entirety in any form. We prefer a mp3 if you can do that, but we'll also accept cd's and cassettes. It really doen't matter the quality of your work tape as long as all of the important ideas are represented. Believe me, we've had and heard them in every possible variety and condition you can imagine. So again, don't worry. We're not here to judge you or your song, only to help make it the best it can be. We're here for you!!!!
What is a chart? A chart is what the musicians, producers and engineers use to communicate quickly with one another. The better the chart, the better the outcome. Musicians in Nashville are amazing. Perhaps some of the best in the world. We use the "number system" in Nashville. This allows the musicians to play the song in any key immediately without having to transpose in their heads, which again would slow the process down.
What makes your musicians so special? We use only the best! Period. You would not believe the dedication of these musicians to their craft. Hours, days and years of practicing, rehearsing, performing and recording. Everyone we use is totally committed to the idea of making your song the absolute best it can be. We don't put up with whiners, prima donnas, hot shots or any of the other negative things that can bring a session to a grinding halt. Only the best attitudes and musicianship will do.
Vocalists? Our vocalists are at the top of their game. They have all been vetted by us. They are experienced and versatile at their profession. You've probably heard of most of them. If not you will. They are capable of bringing your song to life. The vocalist you choose will be doing your lead vocal and harmony vocals. Yes, they are that good.
What if I don't have skype? Do you have access to a computer? It is free if you do www.skype.com. If you don't have access to a computer, no worries, we can talk over the phone or in person. If you can be here in person that would be awesome. It is quite the experience to watch these professionals perform their magic.
How long will it take to get my song completed? This amount of time varies. Typically, you will receive your mix within 5 to 7 business days from the time the vocals are complete. Unfortunately, We are at the mercy of whoever you choose to sing your songʼs schedule. We always try to book the vocals for your song as close to the tracking date as possible but sometimes a singer will be out of town or unable to do your vocal until a later date. We will always let you know of any potential delay due to a singers schedule. The other factor will be the mix engineer's schedule. We use the best and sometimes that means we have to wait. If you are in a hurry to get your song finished we will do our best to accommodate your time frame.
How long does it take for the musicians to record my song? To offer you the low prices we do, we have to record many songs in a session. We allot 30 minutes per song during the tracking portion of your song recording. That may not seem like a lot of time but itʼs ample for your song to get a great track!!! The musicians that play on your song are professionals. Not only are they proficient on their instruments but they listen to all genres of music so they know how to play Country, Pop, R&B, Singer-Songwriter, Americana, etc. Please remember too that the singer is not present when the music tracks for your song are recorded.
Do I need to select a singer when I submit my song? It would be a good idea for you to review all the singers and select someone. The singers need time to figure out what key is optimum for them to have the music tracks recorded in and they also need ample time to learn the song. Waiting until the pre- production meeting to select your singer is not a wise decision!!! If you are having a problem selecting a singer, please contact us as far in advance of the session as possible and we will help you decide on the right singer for your song.
Can I sing my own song? Yes!!! If you are attending the session “in person” we will make arrangements for you to do your vocal while you are in Nashville. If you are not in Nashville we can send you a rough mix of your song (WAV file) and you can take it to your local studio or do it in your home studio then send it back to us. When we receive your vocal, we can put it back in our tracks, add background vocals if you so choose and mix it. Please though, if you are doing your vocal and sending it back to us, make sure you have recorded it at the correct bit and sample rates. (Check with us BEFORE you record your vocal to ensure that it is being done correctly.) There may be a $100 up charge for the mixing.
What if I think the vocal isnʼt loud enough when I receive the mix of my song? After you receive the initial mix of your song you will have the opportunity (one time) for mix “tweaks”. Mix tweaks involve things like more or less vocal, more or less guitar, etc. Mix Tweaks do NOT include editing the track to shorten the Intro, Turn Around or adding additional instrumentation to your song. Since you will be online at the time the music tracks are recorded for your song any arrangement issues need to be addressed at that time. (Actually, they should be addressed in the pre-production meeting with the producer and band leader.) After the mix tweak any additional “tweaks” will be billed to you for the studio and engineering time required.
How will I be billed? You will be sent an invoice through PayPal. You simply pay the invoice any way you want through there. We also accept Cash and Check. PayPal is extremely easy and safe to use. However, there will be 3.6% charge added for domestic clients and 5.2% for international clients plus a transaction fee.
What if I lose my files? You will be charged a minimum of $50 if we have to retrieve lost files. Please download all of your files when we send them to you. We do not keep files prior to 2013.