Song Production

WHAT I DO...

Take you through every stage of the journey to make a great record out of your song

IDEAS AND STRUCTURE

I want to work with people who write original material. Songwriters usually hone down ideas and themes until they feel right. But it usually takes a fresh listen from an experienced producer to help ensure the parts of the song are in the best shape to make the song memorable from the intro to the end. That's where we start.

(See this page if you just want a song coach right now)

VOICINGS AND ARRANGEMENT

The character of a recording has to match the material. Choosing the combination of instruments, chord voicings and arrangements, tension and release, light and shade, keeping the song moving but always serving the vocal and melody: that's what makes a record out of a song.

INSTRUMENTS AND TRACKING

Getting the right sounds for each instrument; expert programming of beautiful sounding drum kits that match the mood and scale of the song; recording live instruments and backing vocals until everything sits neatly and sweetly, with a space just the right size for a killer vocal to pop out and steal your heart.

THE PERFECT VOCAL

Once the track is ready and just the way you want to hear it, the headphones go on and you've never felt more inspired to deliver it. Take your time - this is the most important moment. This is when you need someone who knows how to get the best from you. Trust me, you will sound great!

MIXING AND MASTERING

Now it's time to take those performances and turn them into a track. Add depth, breadth, height with the right compression, eq, analogue emulation plug-ins, delays, reverbs, a final clean up of the files for export. Then polish through mastering so that it's ready to hand over, sounding how you imagined (or better I hope!)

RELEASE INTO THE WILD!

Once finished your song is a wav file ready to be uploaded or pressed. Now it conveys your creativity and personality to thousands who have never even seen you. It takes a life of its own as your inspiration touches those who recognise themselves in your sentiments, or who simply enjoy what you've got to say and the way you say it!

The best asset in any studio is the owner

If you’re looking for someone to guide you through making a great recording, that’s why I’m in business.

The way a song is crafted is ultimately more important than the way it’s recorded. Though both should (and can) be great of course.

So if you know all of that or have a band that’s rehearsed and ready to go – then shop around – you’ll find more equipment elsewhere! But you won’t necessarily sound as good… what matters for songwriters and duos is how we get everything feeling and sounding right. That is where the magic begins and your song comes to life.

Then what matters when you’re recording is a skilled and sympathetic understanding of what you’re trying to produce. And of course the ability to get great sounds out of great gear. Have a listen to my recordings and judge for yourself. Like most producers today I work ‘in the box’ with high quality digital, loads of great analogue emulation through plugins, and just a few choice mics. Why?

I’m set up to work quickly with one or two people, to work through loads of ideas and then get ready to play them on great sounding instruments. That’s why my guitar and mics cost thousands and I play (and programme drums) like someone who’s been doing it all his life. It’s also why the room is carefully acoustically treated to be neutral so that the mix can be treated to best effect. That’s how it stays creative and enjoyable, making the most of the flow.

My skill is helping you get where you want to go to.

We’d start by meeting up and checking you think that would work: play through your ideas and see what we shape up. That’s what I’d want from someone like me!

You choose.

What’s in the room?

Recording:

  • Cubase 10 Pro – through Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 & Focusrite Voicemaster Pro Preamps
  • Adam, Yamaha, Alesis monitors, Alesis Multimix 16 digital out mixer
  • AER acoustic and Fender Mustang guitar amps

Virtual Instruments:

  • Toontrack EZDrummer with 15+ kits and thousands of real drummer MIDI grooves in hundreds of styles
  • EZKeys plus many other piano libraries including the gigantic Waves Grand Rhapsody Piano
  • Kontakt 5 with pro library + hundreds of other instruments inc great percussion, B3 organs etc
  • Classic analogue and digital synth plugins inc DX7, Roland Jupiter, Korg Wavestation then all the fancy new ones in Cubase
  • Izotope and Waves plugins including Abbey Road suite, Shepps and Neve emulators, awesome reverbs… amp simulators, editing and pitch correction… all the tricks.

Real instruments:

  • Yamaha Arius weighted digital piano
  • Taylor E814ce First edition top range acoustic
  • Yairi hand made acoustic
  • Big Baby Taylor acoustic with Nashville tuning
  • 12 string, lap steel, Washburn travel, Epiphone 339 semi acoustic, mandoline, ukelele, Washburn bass guitars
  • Djembe, Cajon, bongos, shakers and hand held percussion of all kinds, Mapex kit for snares & cymbals (can’t record the whole thing)

Microphones:

  • Neumann TLM103,  AKG 451, Shure SM58, Behringer C1

 

Listen to examples

Here are some tracks recorded recorded at my place.

I’m playing / programming all the instruments on my tracks, and many on the others.