We are so proud of your recent win for UK Song of the Year at the British Country Music Awards in London! For the song the Studio Pros team produced a while back: “He Don’t Show Her Anymore”. Congrats Gary! Keep on writing those beautiful country ballads!
The story behind the songwriter.
Gary Quinn is a songwriter that knows how to pull on the heartstrings of his audience. Creating beautifully crafted lyrics, he draws you in with his picturesque storytelling through his swooning country melodies. Quinn grew up in Ireland where he listened to his father’s Kris Kristofferson tapes, but he ended up falling in love with American country music after hearing the Garth Brooks album No Fences in the early ’90s. “There’s a big country and Irish scene with an undercurrent of American country, which is what I’m into,” Quinn says of Ireland. “It started picking up again with the likes of the Internet. It’s a bit more accessible.” (more…)
Dr. Philip Lindholm is a client we have come to know really well over the years. He has been collaborating with StudioPros since the beginning of our company’s development. If anyone knows how we’ve grown as a production team and what it takes to get your songs recorded online with our team of session musicians, Philip does!
Over the course of the past 6 or so years, Lindholm has collaborated with StudioPros’ on at least 20 projects, ranging from full fledged music productions, custom instrumentation, backing vocals, mixing, mastering and more. He has had success as an independent singer/songwriter having songs licensed for independent movies, as well as releasing recordings independently. Currently, he is the singer/songwriter for the Seattle-based band Whisky N’ Rye. (more…)
Rachel Savitt is a 22 year old California based singer/songwriter. She sparked my attention from her first time contacting us for a Free Project Consultation at StudioPros. When I first hit play and listened to her guitar/vocal demo, I could hear the unique tone in her vocals and catchy vocal melodies that came through in her recording.
As a producer, I was able to see through the quality of the demo and introduce some production ideas to help Rachel transform her project into a fully produced professional recording. With our team, we produced her first single “Take Me Higher” with full band pop/country instrumentation to take it to the next level for pitching and publishing opportunities.
Les Callard is a long time client of mine, whom I’ve had the pleasure of producing 5 songs with. Hailing from an eclectic background of musical tastes and abilities, Callard has continually sent me great demos which we then turn into fully realized productions with our talented team of musicians and engineers.
Taking Your Songs From Demo to Full Band Production
Les is really great about sending over really promising demos and keeping an open mind through my initial suggestions. I like to take a listen down to the song with the lyrics in front of me so I can really get a feel for melody and phrasing and then come back to him with production ideas. I often help out with his song forms by trimming sections and giving the song an overall streamlined feeling to get his point across best.
Les describes StudioPros’ production process, “I was immediately hooked on the idea of using StudioPros to turn my songs into professional high quality demo tracks, to create a level of professionalism that I could never achieve with my own equipment, and so my songwriting process developed further. I would use my own equipment, sounds, and voice to produce scratch tracks, which I would then pass to the team at StudioPros to add their magic. The team helped me with structure, with identifying weak parts of the song before I even started, with choosing instrumentation, correcting tempo, and often then creating songs which wildly exceeded my own vision for what I had written.” (more…)
How to avoid the pitfalls of your previous studio experiences—and vastly improve your chances to get your song published with major A&R representatives.
Stephen McElligott reminisces about a recording he made of one of his songs in a local studio. “I wasn’t happy with that production, really,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘Oh gosh, how am I gonna save this?’ I basically turned around and found Studio Pros and thought, ‘Brilliant, they’re my savior.’” (more…)
Thinking his music career was over, Arizona-based artist Tony Perre used Studio Pros to get back in the game.
“My experience with Studio Pros has allowed me to dream a little bit more about what I can actually accomplish as a musician,” says Tony Perre. “Studio Pros has allowed me to take all of my musical ideas and songs and get them out there. To me, having a very simple process with great musicians who basically do exactly as I ask them to do, with their quality of musicianship, it’s just such a winning formula to me that I can actually dream again from a musical standpoint.” (more…)
Studio Pros artist Eliza Kelley has been a professional musician for years, but not of the rock variety. With a master’s degree in French Horn performance from Boston University, she has been playing and teaching classical music for a living in her hometown of Atlanta, GA. “I play with the Greenville Symphony, and I play in Atlanta with the Atlanta Pops and the ballet and the opera,” she says. “Those gigs are very fun, but they’re also very serious, very focused and high-pressure.”
Looking to enjoy the lighter side of music, Kelley took up a hobby as a singer/songwriter, a decision she’s glad she made. “I’ve been totally having a ball with it,” she says. But she didn’t initially intend on playing the indie-rock that now defines her sound until she began collaborating with Studio Pros. Originally writing pop songs with cello and percussion arrangements, it was a conversation with Studio Pros’ head engineer Kati O’Toole that convinced Kelley to go the rock band route. “When I talked to Kati the first time, she told me about the full production,” she remembers. “I thought I’d try it. I’m really happy with the direction it’s taken with Studio Pros. It does make me want to find a guitarist and bassist that I can go out and gig with.”
Kelley found Studio Pros while searching for ways to get professional recordings of her songs. “I was trying to record my own stuff. I have plenty of friends that are musicians, but getting a good recording, I mean I’m not a sound engineer,” she admits. “I could use some help with it, and I loved that Studio Pros was a great package. You get musicians and pretty much everything’s done for you. I didn’t have to rely on lining people up and doing all of that. I really loved the way that Studio Pros was all-inclusive.”
I watch the Grammys every year. I almost feel obligated to, like I would be missing out if I didn’t check out the biggest award ceremony of my industry. Sometimes there are a lot of artists nominated that I love, and other times my tastes differ from what the general public has been listening to for the last year.
When I was a kid, I would root for my favorite artists to clean up at the Grammys and yell at the screen in disgust when someone won who I thought was undeserving. I suppose that’s about the same for everyone who watches, even people in the theater at the ceremony itself. But as the years went on, my admiration grew for anyone who was winning a Grammy. Even if I wasn’t personally a fan of their music, I respected the artist’s musical accomplishments. Maybe I started thinking that I couldn’t really criticize the winners until I won a Grammy myself!
Another thing happened as I got older, something really fun: I started to personally know people who were nominated for the awards. After years in the business and a degree from Berklee College of Music, suddenly my peers and friends were winning the most prestigious award in music. Best new artist Esperanza Spaulding went to Berklee while I was there, and a friend of mine won a Grammy for his involvement on Eminem’s album.
But the big news for me to report is that one of Studio Pros’ very own keyboardists was among the Grammy winners! He played on The Stanley Clarke Band’s self-titled album, which won best contemporary jazz album. We’re always touting our Grammy-nominated engineer, but let’s not forget that our session musicians are of Grammy-caliber performers as well, and this win proves it!
With an upbringing that included classical Indian poetry and Eastern mysticism, it’s no surprise that Dimple Sharma’s music is infused with the sounds of music heard on the other side of the globe. Born in India, her parents passed on their love of the local culture. “My father’s side in India descended from a long line of meditators,” she says. “Thus, the mysticism of the East was ever present in my upbringing.”
Sharma has since moved to Toronto, Canada, but the Eastern inspirations of her childhood remain in her music. Combining a love of singing and writing songs with her seven years of experience studying ancient esoteric texts, she managed to develop a unique style that’s as much spiritual as it is musical. “The music became a mix of my east Indian origins and western sounds akin to Delerium or Tangerine Dream,” she says, referring to her use of instruments such as sitar and tabala on many of her songs. “The lyrics were written for the urban monk–the individual adapting to the ever-changing, modern paradigm, yet still upholding traditional values and principles.”
When she was having trouble finding reliable musicians to record her projects, Sharma turned to Studio Pros to get Los Angeles session players to quickly record professional tracks for her songs. “I had read positive things about Studio Pros in music magazines years back, and I decided to contact them,” she remembers. “In the past, it was not easy to find musicians that had the technical expertise in addition to a high level of professionalism and ability to follow through on a timely basis.”
So, you’ve decided to start your first project with Studio Pros. Great! You’ll notice that the first step after placing your order is the upload page. This is where you get to upload a scratch version of your song for our musicians to work from, plus any other files you might want to include. Here are some important things to keep in mind to help you prepare to make your Studio Pros project go smoothly.
Record to a Click Track
One of the most helpful things to provide our studio musicians is a song recorded to a click track. The click track is like a metronome; it keeps the beat steady and even. Recording to a click allows our players to know exactly where they are in the song while recording their parts. If you’ve never recorded to a click before, you might try using an online metronome to determine your song’s tempo. Then, download a free audio recording program such as Audacity and set up a click track. Record to the click, then upload your rough recording to our website.
Take note of the tempo (measured in “beats per minute,” or BPM) so you can tell the Studio Pros musicians what they’re recording over. This will help to ensure that our session players are laying down the right parts for your song.
Upload a Text File With Instructions
Although you get a chance to write some instructions during the ordering process, you may want to get into more detail for your song (or you may have forgotten something when you first ordered). Write instructions for your song in a text file, and be as detailed as you’d like. The more direction you can give the musicians, the better. Save your directions to a convenient file format—TXT, RTF, and DOC are usually good choices—and upload them at the same time as you upload your scratch recording to make sure our players don’t start recording before you tell them everything they need to know!
Use Reference Tracks
Reference tracks help our players understand the musical context of your song. Because music can be described in vague and subjective language, having solid examples of what you’re looking for can help immensely. See our post on reference tracks for more information on this.
Include Chords and Song Structure If You Can
Whenever possible, it’s good to provide the musicians with the chord progression and the structure of your song. For example, you could write:
INTRO (4 bars)
[Em ] [Am ] [Em ] [G Am]
VERSE (8 bars)
[Em ] [Em ] [Am ] [Am ] (x2)
This, along with the click track and instructions, will help make sure our musicians know the correct structure for your song.
When you’re recording a project with Studio Pros, the more you information you can provide our musicians with before you start, the easier it will be to get the song you’ve envisioned to become a reality!