How Does Scheduling Work?
Scheduling can be tough, especially when lots of people are involved. When you book with us you can be guaranteed the studio is at your disposal. We start and end as punctually as practicable so it's best to plan to arrive early and set your productivity expectations accordingly. If you need to reschedule let us know as early as possible. We try to be accommodating to unforeseen delays and there is no rescheduling fee, although we reserve the right to cancel your project and forfeit your deposit (where applicable) if your project is delayed by more than 6 months. Make up lessons are offered however if you cancel a lesson within 24 hours of that lesson no make up is possible.
How Should I Prepare For My Session?
There's so much great advice out there for session prep and there's so much to say about it. It will probably be the subject of a blog post or YouTube video from us in the future. Your session's efficiency is entirely dictated by your preparedness so here are some general pointers: Practice your material to the point where you can get through the whole song 3 times as close to perfectly as you can come. We may or may not record in that fashion but it's a good personal benchmark. If you're bringing your own instruments, put new strings on your guitars/basses and new heads on your drums. Intonate those guitars/basses so they play in tune with themselves. Finally, buy a tuner pedal, don't rely on a clip-on tuner, we recommend a Peterson model.
How do Revisions Work?
Every package includes 3 rounds of revisions for free. We send you a test mix of your whole project in one long audio file and you send us a list of changes you want made including timestamps (eg snare up at xx:xx, bass down yy:yy....). This list can be as long or as short as you want and this process can be repeated 3 times for free. By this point most artists are satisfied with at least one version of the mix but if something still isn't quite right you can pay an hourly rate until you're satisfied. Once you've signed off on the final Mix/Master the tracks will be separated and sent to you. We also maintain an open door policy so if you would like to be around while your track is mixed or adjusted we can schedule a free session to do that.
We will always do revisions for free if they are to correct an error of our own making. Additionally it's not uncommon for mastering engineers to reach out to us to ask for some small tweaks, we'll also do these for free as well.
What's Your Payment Policy?
There's a few hard and fast rules here. We do not release finished work until your bill has been payed in full. That means your session time, any hourly rates incurred, and any mishaps that fall under the Equipment Policy. There are no exceptions to this rule. Payment for recording, mixes and other services can be made at any time but on the day is much preferred. If you're rehearsing or renting equipment, or taking lessons, payment is due on the date. If you've booked a session of 6 or more hours or a lockout session you will need to pay a 25% nonrefundable, non-transferrable deposit in order for your spot on the calendar to be held. We reserve the right to withhold delivery of the final mixes/masters if the bill is not payed for a period of 90 days. If the 90 days elapses your project will be deleted and your money (excluding your Deposit and Equipment Charges where applicable) will be returned in order avoid any future copyright issues. In terms of how we get payed we take cash, cheques, and Venmo.
May I Smoke?
Not inside, no but outside is fine. Excessive smoking indoors will damage the gear and excessive inebriation is rarely conducive to a productive session. It should also go without saying that illegal substances are prohibited. If you are too high, drunk, or otherwise impaired to perform or make decisions regarding your music we reserve the right to stop the session and call you a ride home.
What's Your Equipment Policy?
Simply put, you break it you bought it! The dollar amount of the broken item will be added to your final bill.
Do You Do Remote Sessions or Lockouts?
Absolutely! For lockout sessions please book an 8 hour block and specify that you're looking to book a lockout in the notes and we'll go from there. For remote sessions book whatever time slot you think you'll need and you'll get a call from us where we hash out what you need. After that you can sit back, relax, and let us take care of it.
What Do I Need to Do to Have My Tracks Mixed?
Most of this concerns file format and organization. The tracks you send should be consolidated (meaning they all start at 00:00) 24 bit .wav files at 44.1kHz or 48kHz unless otherwise specified. All of these parameters should be the same across all tracks in a project. The tracks should be named for the source that is recorded on them, not the person who played them and every song featuring electric stringed instruments MUST include a DI track. Each song's tracks should be in their own folder including a tempo map. It's also a good idea to include a .txt file for the whole project outlining song names, BPM, Key, complete track list for 1 song, any specifics about fading out of or into another song, and any reference songs or other information you'd like us to know. (Example .txt file Here).
How Will My Work Be Sent To Me?
We usually use Google Drive as it's easiest. If you would like a stem bounce or if you're sending the tracks to another engineer to be mixed we can either use Google Drive or you can bring a hard drive or a flash drive to the session and we'll organize and transfer at the end.
What is Your Recording Approach?
We pride ourselves on our ability to capture inspired performances and getting as close to the fully mixed sound as we can right from the get go. Our shorter sessions usually run Nashville style where as much as possible is captured as quickly as practical. The mics are pretty much set up when you arrive (if you're using your own drums please arrive 1 hour before your session start time), we do a brief line check, and we lay down as much as we can in your allotted session time. We usually make one pass of the song from top to bottom then punch in any problem spots. Then we sweeten the track with overdubs in the live room like adding shaker or tambourine, a different keyboard, or any acoustic instruments. Then we repeat the process for the other songs to be cut that day. Finally, we move on to overdubs from the control room like extra guitar tracks and keeper vocals and that's the EP!
As you can see, the shorter the session is, the more prepared you need to be if you want to tackle the most songs possible. A standard "Demo Session" cuts 5 songs in 3 hours so a 4 hour session will give you plenty of extra time to be creative beyond the call of duty with those songs if you practice to that standard. Additionally, chances are you've heard the songs before, that's not always the case in a Nashville style session so you're already working at an advantage. Our studio's record for most songs tracked in the least amount of time is held by the band Why Try? with 9 song's worth of basics tracked in 4 hours. You recon you can beat them?
Longer sessions can run much differently with much more time spent on overdubs or on doing abnormal stuff that may or may not survive but for the majority of Singles and EPs that's not particularly necessary. Doing things this way allows us to remain budget friendly while still giving you the best product possible.