Live vs. Sampled Instruments On Your Recording

Hi, I’m Ethan Rose. As some of you may already know, I am one of the producers here at the studio. When I’m not collaborating with clients through StudioPros, I spend a lot of my time focusing on my own personal music projects. I am currently a member of a duo called We The Dreamers, signed to Spectra Records, but I also like to write and record songs independently, using StudioPros to rid the limitations I face as a self-sufficient artist.

To give you a little context, I have a home studio with a very simple setup that allows me to record a good portion of my productions. I am fortunate in that I can play many instruments and essentially function as a one-man-band, but I still hit roadblocks that prevent me from getting the most out of my recordings.

Working with StudioPros has opened up a whole new world of opportunity, allowing me to hand pick the elements I need for a production that I can’t necessarily execute in my studio. I utilized StudioPros for live drums and live cello.

Here is a before and after comparison of a song I worked on called “Nothing Left To Give.”

Before (my programmed drum idea):

After (using StudioPros live drums and live cello):


 Using Live Musicians On Your Recording

I began building this song after the main piano riff came into my head. I knew if I could allow that to be the core of the song, I could build around that and focus on a unique arrangement.

After laying down the piano track, I decided to program drums using a software called Addictive Drums to get a basic idea down for the drum groove. Here’s the issue — fake drums sound, well, fake. So I knew I needed StudioPros to help me out here, since I’m not a professional drummer, nor do I have the means to record a drum kit. I had a basic template, I just needed that real, human feel on the track.

I also knew I wanted some sort of string instrument, but after trying to manipulate synthetic strings to sound realistic, I opted to hire a cellist from StudioPros to just do the real thing!

After mixing and mastering the song with those two new elements, I finally felt confident in the production.

Live vs. Sampled Instruments

The programmed drums I originally had lacked the natural feel and dynamic I was hoping to achieve, but the StudioPros drummer was able to take my rough drum sketch and turn it into a very organic drum beat that really humanized the production. Something about sampled drums sounds so sterile and mechanical — not something you want in professional recording.

The live cello added a nice depth and emotional feel to the recording, giving it a beautiful flow and energy throughout. You can’t always capture the humanity and richness of a bow striking a string using a sampled cello, and a real cellist made all the difference to me.

If you want to elevate your recording, think about replacing software instruments with real musicians.

Recording Your Own Music Can Be Challenging

Throughout this process, I’ve realized that you simply can’t do everything yourself. I like to use StudioPros as a tool to develop my songs, enhancing my arrangements when I feel limited by what I can accomplish in my home studio. You can set your own pace and have access to some of the best professional musicians at your disposal to constantly improve your songs. In fact, I will probably be adding vocals to this tune in the near future, utilizing one of our session vocalists!

You don’t have to worry about finding and scheduling musicians, paying them astronomical prices to get something you may not like in the end. Instead, you can assess what you need for a recording and have a brand new instrument track in two days for a reasonable investment.

Get YOUR songs produced.

If you’re interested in getting a song professionally produced by our production team, don’t hesitate to contact us! We have producers at: 1-310-928-7776 or by email at:

You can read more in depth about our music production services and order online today here

We look forward to working with you soon!


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