Here you will find descriptions of four Recording Stories – each one details the process of taking a song from start to finish. As you’ll see, each one is different like many of our recordings. Maybe yours will be featured next!
Genre: Rock Opera
Existing Material: Lyrics, general stylistic direction
Instrumentation: Piano, B-3 Organ, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Horn Section (Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone), Background Vocals
Recording: Rhythm Section recorded live at EastWest studios, Hollywood. Lead and background vocals recorded in-house. Horns recorded at Metric Ton.
Mixing: Metric Ton and Little Street studios
Production Notes: In our initial meeting we focused on determining the musical style of the song. The lyric brought to us by the songwriter was complete. Lyricist, David, needed someone to write the music and produce the song. This presented certain unique challenges, as there were many different sections of the song, and each required a different style.
In our second meeting we presented our treatment and with our clients’ feedback finalized the song structure and style. Since this client was local he was able to attend the various recording sessions as we built up the backing track. The lead vocal was performed by a friend of his, and recorded in house (the ultimate low-pressure environment).
Once we had all the elements recorded we started mixing at a small mixing facility, and finished the Master in house. This client is also producing a video to accompany his song.
“MY SPECIAL ONE”
Genre: Epic Rock Ballad
Existing Material: Complete song, but no written music
Instrumentation: Piano, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Full Orchestra (72 piece), Choir (65 voices)
Recording: Rhythm Section recorded live at EastWest studios, Hollywood. Other production details unavailable until the song is released.
Mixing: Schnee Recording and Little Street studios
Production Notes: This client came to us with a nearly complete song in his head. He was a decent pianist and could play and sing his composition for us. We began by transcribing the song, and making a rough demo of the song with a temporary “first draft” vocal.
He returned home and spent a bit more time fine tuning some of the lyrics and making a few other tweaks.
He had in mind a huge, “We Are The World” type production. We recorded a full orchestra and chorus to give the song the size and scope that our client was looking for. Lastly, we recorded the final lead vocal and did our final mix.
“LOVE OF MY LIFE”
Genre: Jazz Trio w/ Vocal
Existing Material: Complete lyric, no written music
Instrumentation: Piano, Drums, Acoustic Bass
Recording: All in-house
Mixing: Little Street Studio (in-house)
Production Notes: This client came to us with a nearly complete lyric and some melodic fragments. She wanted to give this song to her husband as an anniversary gift. Working together we completed the song and found a suitable key for her to sing it in.
Next, we created an electronic “mockup” of the song which she took home and rehearsed with in preparation for the vocal recording session.
Due to time and budgetary constraints we elected to use the electronic mockup as our final backing track. We recorded the lead vocal, and proceeded to make our final mix.
We coordinated the design and manufacture of CDs, which were given out as gifts at their anniversary celebration.
“BEEN HERE BEFORE”
Genre: Big Band Jazz w/ Vocal
Existing Material: Complete lyric, basic arrangement, and chord structure
Instrumentation: Piano, Drums, Acoustic Bass, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, 5 Saxophones
Recording: Commercial Studio
Mixing: Little Street Studio (in-house)
Production Notes: This client was a fairly experienced musician who as a young man had been an active, gigging musician. He had always dreamed of singing in front of a big band.
Since his song was nearly complete all we had to do was create the arrangement (score and parts for the musicians) and set up the recording session. The recording was done at a classic Hollywood recording studio.
In preparation for the final mix we did some additional vocal recording in-house, and performed a bit of “studio magic” to make it really shine.
This client’s spouse arranged for a small video crew to video the session, documenting this once-in-a-lifetime event.
* Certain details and names have been altered to protect our clients’ privacy.