Studio Pros

Featured Artist: Luciana Zogbi

December 18th, 2014

Luciana 1Luciana is a very talented artist.  From the get go, she had a clear vision for all the songs that she produced with StudioPros.  She acted very much as one of the producers on the project, which is the great part of working with StudioPros, you can be as involved as you would like or give complete control to us producers on the team here.

For “Stardust”, you can clearly hear the European artist influences of Adele and Coldplay with the soaring strings and electric guitar riffs, but she still keeps it unique to her style.  She knew where she wanted to take this song from the start.  We used our Basic Production Package, along with a String Quartet, and Tara singing background vocals.

Check out “Stardust”

How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I stumbled into the music industry quite by accident. It all started out last year when I uploaded a cover song to YouTube for my sister’s birthday. I thought only my friends and family would watch my singing video, but for my surprise, it went viral. This video has now over 19 million views on YouTube and before long, I started uploading more and more singing videos.

Recently I decided to move away from covers and record my original songs. But I’m an undergraduate business and economics student studying/working full time and it would be impossible for me to spend hours and hours on studio sessions. That’s where StudioPros came in and they exceeded all my expectations. Within a few weeks they were able to craft my demo song into a commercially viable record. I couldn’t believe it!

How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?

In my case, working online wasn’t a choice; it was a necessity. If it weren’t for StudioPros online services, I probably wouldn’t have recorded my songs. The website’s platform is very easy to work with and the musicians are all remarkably professional and talented.  Robb completely understood my style and concept and was very competent in communicating my vision to the musicians.Luciana 2

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

The production of a demo song into a “radio ready “record takes ability, talent and experience. The team at StudioPros has all of those qualities and more. The musicians delivered creative, original tracks and Robb was able to turn my idea into a tangible product.

How many songs have you produced with StudioPros?

Two songs, and I hope to get more songs produced soon.

What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

Despite my parents thinking this is madness and wanting me to work in a bank, all is good and I feel optimistic. I already have a large fan base that will buy my records so I will continue to perform, produce and release my music.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

My taste in music is very eclectic. I grew up listening to classic rock like U2, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Scorpions etc… When I started my musical education, I migrated towards Jazz, Alternative and even Classical. For this song specifically, my inspirations were Adele and Coldplay.

When did you begin songwriting? What instruments do you write with?

I began songwriting as a hobby when I was 12. I play the guitar and the piano, but I prefer composing on the guitar.

Luciana 3

“Stardust” packs a lot of emotion; what was the inspiration and writing process like for that song?

I was so inspired to write this song that I finished it in 48 hours. This inspiration came from something quite philosophical my grandfather jokingly said to me: “When all of your problems seem too big, remember we are only stardust lost in space and we mean nothing (laughter)”. This sentence stuck in my head and I kept asking myself: Are we here for a reason? Or are we simply a collection of random chemicals made in the cataclysmic explosion of stars: Stardust (or nuclear waste if you are less romantic).

This song invites the listeners to revisit the most primitive question of all: “What are we?” We humans declare ourselves to be alive even though we don’t know what that means. We build rockets and smartphones, but we are incapable of explaining our most primitive urges and desires. I could go on and on…

Besides music, what else do you enjoy?

Food.

Do you draw inspiration from our everyday life?

Of course! I love writing about everyday events and feelings that people identify with. I think music is a fantastic tool that allows us to find deeper meaning in everyday concepts.

What do you do for a living?

I am currently an undergraduate business and economics student.

What is your plan for your final recordings?

I will record a music video to go along with this song and then release it on YouTube, Itunes, Spotify…etc

 

Get Your Songs Produced by StudioPros

If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!

Featured Artist: G Merrill

December 10th, 2014

We are almost halfway through December and the holiday spirit is in the air. To go with that, comes a recent production with a songwriter I have had the pleasure of collaborating with on 5 productions. G Merrill has a talent for country lyrics and melodies. The featured song “White Country Christmas” is a play on a classic, “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas” with references to many country music legends that have passed. The idea for the song was to pay homage to these artists as if they were watching down on us from the heavens during the holiday season.

Our production team layered a classic combination of country instrumentation including live drums, bass, country inspired guitars, pedal steel, country fiddle and the perfect match of vocals by our country vocalist Donnie. After the production was complete, our video team worked on this after effects video featured below.  This gave G. Merrill an outlet to promote the song on Youtube and matched some great holiday inspired images along with the pictures of the mentioned legends in the recording.

Check out White Country Christmas

 How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

I would write and record music here locally in Richmond, VA and I had some success, but after some rejection, I realized something wasn’t quite right. After a serious critique it was pointed out to me that I was too traditional for the “A” list of country music.  So I took a chance and called StudioPros, contacted Kati O’Toole to help me get a good cross-over contemporary sound. StudioPros reputation proceeded them. I have tried others but decided on StudioPros for their professionalism and talent.

How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?

The process was very easy. You have to have material that is applicable.  I can’t imagine turning raw material with a narrow vision into a commercially viable product as a single indie songwriter doing everything on my own.  The team that Kati and StudioPros brought to my project made the online work invaluable and very rewarding.  I had no difficulty working the process online.

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

That was easy, I hate to quote Hillary, but it does “take a village”-collaboration of all talents working together.

How many songs have you produced with StudioPros?

A total of five songs from my catalog have been produced with StudioPros.

What are you doing with your music? What’s next for you?

As an indie songwriter, my most important goal is to get my music out into the public arena.  Having a major country recording artist pick up one of my songs and record it would be awesome.  However, I am targeting many avenues including promotion on YouTube and CDBaby.  The most important accomplishment for a songwriter is to know that folks are loving your music, buying it and waiting for the next release.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

This is a very easy question. There are so many that have not only influenced me but impacted my life. Obviously, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Meryl Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, “Hey! Sunday Morning Coming Down,” Wow! And Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Jim Reeves, are just a few more!  But I have to say if you weren’t influenced by Johnny Cash, the man in black, then I think any writer would never make the cut.  Anyway, Johnny was great and with June unstoppable, even now in death. I learned from him that you have to live it to write it well. 

When did you begin songwriting? What instruments do you write with?

I guess my teenage years and memorably in my twenties. I would write songs, turn them into short stories and quite literally put them under my bed. I play piano and guitar.

Your songs pack a lot of emotion; what was the inspiration and writing process like for that song?

I had an idea that I could write a Christmas song and pay tribute to my country musical heroes. I played around with the idea in my head for a while before I grabbed my guitar, and pen and paper to put it all down. It was a process that came from my heart.  I have lived the emotions that come out in my songs.  I can’t write any other way.

Besides music, what else do you enjoy? 

Oh yes, my Harley! A Heritage softail, my other love. I enjoy writing short stories and children’s stories and poetry and listening to classical music! Family is at the heart of my everyday life and my kids and grandkids keep me inspired and on my toes!

Do you draw inspiration from your everyday life?

Oh yeah, sure do, can’t help not!  I wish sometimes I didn’t have to listen to the news or interact.  My song “Up To Heaven,” about missing and exploited children suggests there’s always something in this life to wrench your heartstrings. You try and temper good with horrible and as a writer you have to fall more on the good no matter how terrible.  And so when you write about beautiful things like my song “Forever”, which is timeless, passionate and relatable, it flows more easily from the heart, because music is only an extension of yourself.

My attitude is always positive and I see the good in things around me. I try not to dwell on the negative and live my daily life striving to be and do better. It is through this filter that my songs are created.  Each song has a different feel and represents who I am as a writer.

What do you do for a living?

I have been a piano rebuilder forever, having rebuilt my first Steinway Grand piano at the age of 19. I am a master craftsman and lately have been spending most of my time writing music.  I have a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Psychology with a minor in music and have my masters half completed.

Get Your Songs Produced by StudioPros

If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!

Give The Gift of Music: StudioPros Gift Cards

December 9th, 2014

Having a hard time thinking of a unique gift for the music lover in your life? Give the gift of music this holiday season! Choose the amount you’d like to spend towards a project.

To order Studio Pros gift card:
http://studiopros.com/studio-pros-gift-card

You will receive an invoice with the gift card order and you can print off and give to your loved one this holiday season. Have them contact us after the holidays and a producer will help them set up their own custom project.

If you’d like help setting up this order, please contact us at 1-310-928-7776.

Featured Artist: Steve Jiske

November 25th, 2014

Steve1This month’s Featured Artist, Steve Jiske, has a knack for writing catchy modern country melodies and lyrics. His latest production, Carolina Girls is an upbeat country track with an ode to his local ladies. I find myself singing along to the chorus everytime I play the final version of this song. I’ve had the pleasure of producing 2 songs with Steve over the course of the last 4 months and am really proud of the way his songs have turned out!

Since we were going for a modern country sound, selecting the right vocalist to deliver the vocals was important. We used our new vocalist Donnie on these vocals and he really made this song sound radio ready. Using a combination of country guitars (both electric and acoustic), live drums, percussion and bass, we came up with a final product that is professional and ready to be pitched to artists.

Check out Carolina Girls

How did you first get involved with StudioPros.com?

At some point in 2012 I searched online for demo production and StudioPros was among the results. I contacted Kati via email and we had a few conversations about the process and what I wanted to accomplish. I left it at that for over a year. Then Robin Williams died and within two weeks there was no more talk about depression. It had gone to the back page when the problem of depression needed to be a front page discussion because it was so prevalant and damaging within our society.

From there, I started a foundation and wanted to have a song available about depression and hope for folks to download free as a thank you for any donation to help bring awareness to the disease. So right thenI came to StudioPros to make my first song “Pain” happen. I was pleased with the process and quality so I am a proud returning customer with this song “Carolina Girls”.

How was the StudioPros process for you? Was it difficult to work online?

At no point was it uncomfortable because each step was explained in a ‘what to expect’ kinda way taking out a huge chunk of the learning curve. At each step you could tweak and change before moving on. As long as you express yourself well to be true to your vision StudioPros has the talent and experience to add dimension to your work of art.

How did we help to get your songs sounding professional?

In the end StudioPros has great musicians that understand what you mean and it translates well and the vocals…wow! What a great job. I’m giddy like a child.

Who are some of your favorite songwriters and musical influences?

I grew up in the mid eighties so a catchy melody is what I get off on. I love all music from Marvin Gaye to AC/DC, Simon and Garfunkel to DangerousToys. Production wise Pink Floyd pretty much rules. I found Kip Wingers solo album Songs fromt he Ocean Floor very inspirational and would love to pick his brain some day. I was a DJ at a country station in Michigan so I have a place in me for that art of storytelling as well.

What was the inspiration and writing process like for “Carolina Girls”?

The song is about a girl I met in the Carolina’s in a town hundreds of miles from either of our respective towns. At the time it was written it took about a half hour to complete the music and about a week to tweek the lyrics to tell the story a bit incognito.

Get Your Songs Produced by StudioPros

If you are interested in getting your songs produced professionally, don’t hesitate to contact producers Kati O’Toole or Robb Hutzal.

Read more about StudioPros Music Production here: http://studiopros.com/music-production.php

If you’d like to discuss getting a project started, call: 1-310-928-7776. We look forward to working with you soon!

 

Featured Artist: Kati O’Toole

November 12th, 2014

gravelroad2For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Kati O’Toole. I’ve been the Head of Production at StudioPros for 7 years and counting. Like you, I love the process of writing lyrics, melodies, songs, recording music and releasing it. I’m an independent artist, singer/songwriter as well as a producer for StudioPros.

When I first started working at StudioPros, I wasn’t aware of online recording and how easy it was to collaborate online. Like you, I was skeptical of the process. Being someone that is always wanting to be 100% involved in the production of my own projects, I wasn’t even sure if I would like the process of recording online. After years of writing/recording/releasing material- I can say, I thoroughly enjoy the process!

7 years ago, Elad Fish, the owner of StudioPros made a bet with me. He said that I would one day stop recording albums at physical studios, and would one day convert to online recording. I didn’t believe him at the time, but now I hate to admit- he was right. Don’t you hate when your boss is right?

Life is busy. I’m a wife, a mother of a soon-to-be 11 month old and have a full time job (here of course, which I love). Getting into a studio to devote time to recording my projects is hard. I can say through personal experience, that collaborating online with StudioPros is a great outlet for recording your material.

I wanted to share with you my latest single, Gravel Road, produced by myself in collaboration with the StudioPros production team.

Check out Gravel Road:

The step by step recording process.

Going through the step by step production process was exciting for me. I started by recording myself playing piano and singing scratch vocals at a local studio. I had an engineer help me professionally track grand piano so I could get a good sound.  It was important to me to be playing the piano, since that’s my instrument. I was sure to record my piano using a click track so that the future musicians would be able to layer their instruments to my recording. We were able to build off of my “sketch” foundation of grand piano and scratch vocals. If you aren’t used to recording to a click track, I highly recommend you let us take care of the sketch step for you as part of the production process.

Once my piano was tracked, the production team built off that foundation with: drum programming, live electric bass and a beautiful string arrangement with live layers of custom cello. After the production of the instruments, I was able to re-track my final vocals and add experimental layers of backing vocals and lead vocal doubles to fill up the recording and especially build up the chorus. After that was complete, we moved it to the final mixing/mastering where we put the finishing touches on the recording.

Read the rest of this entry »


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