1. Guide Track
First of all, we need a guide track, which is a basic ‘sketch’ of your song. This is our starting point. This is usually a vocal but can be a vocal plus simple accompaniment.
This ideally needs to be recorded to a basic beat – say a click or metronome – to keep it in time.
Here is an example of a guide track.
• You can visit us in person to record the guide track.
• You can visit a local studio to record the guide track. This should be to a click (a metronome type beat to keep it in time) and have the vocal and any accompanying instruments on separate tracks.
• If you have a recording of yourself you can send this to us. It doesn’t have to be brilliant quality at this stage. You can send this via email.
• If you don’t have or can’t manage a guide track, don’t worry! Just some lyrics, written down or sung into a phone will do. Perhaps mention some commercial songs in a similar style to how you see your song. We’ll take it from there.
2. Getting Started on Your Production
Let us have your ideas for your song, including style, genre, any thoughts you might have. If you have a chord sheet, we would like to see that, please!
3. We will then tell you:
• How long the song will take to produce and arrange.
This can vary, depending on complexity but, for the Backing Track Package, is usually under a week once we have the guide track prepared. If you have a deadline, we will do our best to work to that.
• How much it will cost. If once we’ve started, further work is required (for example, you want extra instruments added), we will agree this with you first.
Working to your brief, we will decide on a song arrangement and then arrange and record musical and vocal parts. We will report progress to you, usually via email, to ensure we are on the right track.
Once the musical arrangement is complete – and approved by you, it will be time to add the finished vocals. You will probably want to record your own vocals, together with any instruments you wish to play yourself – and there are a few ways we can do that. The easiest is for you to visit our studio near Milton Keynes to record your performance in person. However, it may be simpler for you, if you live some distance away, to visit a studio local to you. In this case, we will send you a mp3 or CD of your backing track.
When the vocals and finishing touches are complete, we will mix and master your song. Finally, we will provide the song as a wav, mp3, on CD or in whatever format is required.
We can also sing the vocal for you. We have a number of vocalists, both male and female. The cost of a vocal track starts at £80.
Backing Track Package (Drums, Bass, Guitars, Keys)
The basic package consists of
• A producer who will oversee your project and provide musical direction
• Use of our ProTools HDX equipped recording studios and engineer
• Use of Song Shed’s musical instruments and professional music software
• Guitars – acoustic and electric, bass
• Keyboards, including piano, synthesisers and a huge variety of authentic instrument samples, including strings, horns and just about anything you can think of.
• Drum tracks
• Your song mixed by the producer
• Broadcast quality mp3
Up to 2 modifications are included in the basic price. Instruments listed above may or may not be used as appropriate to the song.
Developing a guide track
Recording Finished Vocal
Session singers – male and female ( up to £80 per vocalist)
Up to £80
Final mixing and mastering
For example, changes to structure or content of the song. Changes to the mix. (2 modifications are included in the basic price)
Up to £25
Assistance with songwriting
Useful if your song is not completely finished or you need help with melodies, chords or lyrics (price dependent on work needed – to a maximum of £100 per song). Or we can write the song for you from your ideas or lyrics.
Up to £100
Writing a complete song to your brief
This may be for a special occasion – a wedding for instance or a milestone birthday. You send us your brief – including any particular things you want incorporated in the song and we’ll write it for you! You will be credited as joint songwriter.
We run a number of these for either individuals or a group of people (say in a workplace) to write a song and have it professionally produced. Contact us for details.