Getting starting in this industry can be intimidating and there are people around every corner that know this. We are here to help you avoid those negative people and work with the best and most caring professionals. So this page aims to point out not only what you need to do next, but addresses how we help you in those areas.
This of course is the very base of all things we are able to do for your career. We are a full service Pro Tools HD based recording studio. A hybrid analog and digital environment with 32 inputs. More than anyone should ever need. For a list of our gear, click the link above. If there is anything special you don't see, we can get it easily for your session.
A great engineer is the difference between the individual tracks sounding like your favorite record, or an over-compressed/distorted/amateur mess. (Which might in fact be the right sound depending on the act, but usually is not). While we have worked with many, we mainly work with two who are among the best available. Wonderful people, brilliantly relentless in their pursuit of greatness.
We are fortunate enough to work with some of the coolest musicians out there. They are available to be YOUR backing band, or to lay down specific parts on certain songs. Beyond their awesome talent and super laid back vibe (we are ALL ABOUT THE VIBE) you can rest easy knowing your songs are recorded with the same people who've played with Jack White, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston, and so many other 'names'. While it's not all about names, we know people feel more comfortable hearing them.
'What does a producer do?' 'Do I need a producer?' 'I want the record to sound like me!' 'I produce myself...' We feel your pain. We sense your confusion. We have a bartender on staff. That said, a producer is there for YOU. To help take YOUR VISION and bring it into the world like the unique and earth moving art it is. Sometimes you might work with a producer to help DEFINE that vision and that sound. Sometimes it's the relationships that producer has, in the industry with record labels, with other musicians. Sometimes that producer is a great songwriter you mesh well with, who can help you select songs, finish others, and lead your recording sessions; steering your record from the first acoustic demo to it's major radio debut. The producer is not there to 'change you' nor to make you 'feel uncomfortable' but a great producer should challenge you and push you to bring the very best version of you out from inside. All of these things are valid and we have you covered. We look forward to meeting you and talking more about your project. Come by the studio. It's a great hang.
This is often a four letter word to most new artists. And while we understand (everyone who works with us has spent years as an artist making our own records before we got here), contracts are there to protect you. We have several entertainment attorney's available for consultation, but as a general rule: we keep the contracts very simple. Here is what they cover:
1. The people involved and the date.
2. Deposits, fees, and what you are getting in return.
3. Ownership of material.
4. Division of royalties.
5. Responsibilities of artist & producer/production company.
6. Standards for visual and audio presentation.
Many artists we work with need co-writers to finish songs, or write additional songs for an album. Our writers have been writing professionally for a long time. You can hear their work on countless hit records but most important is the diversity of their work. When you work with a writer, you are collaborating. We tend to encourage one-on-one writing as opposed to 3-4 people. We want you to recognize your own art! Once a song is done, you generally are 50% owner with your co-writer (unless other arrangements are agreed upon). This applies to royalties on writing and publishing (might be less if you have a publishing deal). There are great resources for more information on this, but we suggest speaking to ASCAP or BMI, both located right here on Music Row in Music City.
Except in some rare cases, you don't just show up to a recording studio out of the blue and walk out that same night with a fully produced record. A lot goes into this stuff. After you have a contract with a producer/production company, the real work begins. Writing new songs, revising existing ones, planning the sessions, charting the songs so the musicians know what to play, rehearsing, discussing and choosing instrumentation, pre-production which helps you AND the musicians have an idea of the vision you share with the producer. The tendency of some producers to 'over-produce' is as prevalent as the fear some artists have of production. However, this is an art, and the difference between the right production and too much is often decades of experience. We promise never to let you down or lose sight of your art. Your vision is our vision. Otherwise, we would have already referred you to someone else. ;-)
When all the recording, editing, and overdubs are done, we will deliver mixes to you for approval in a timely fashion. You will have Grammy and other award-winning producers and engineers working with you, so you can be sure we have as much riding on the sound of your album as you do. We never rush a project out the door. Every mix and project gets the time it needs for it to reach it's potential.
Mastering is to the COLLECTION of songs on your album what mixing is to the individual TRACKS of each song. We are often asked if we will master a project for a client. YES and NO... YES! - We have negotiated amazing rates for our clients to have their work mastered by some of our closest friends: Chris Athens (Willie Nelson, Usher, Ben Folds, ACDC), Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Melissa Ethridge, Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks), Howie Weinberg (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Metallica), Emily Lazar (Foo Fighters, Beck, David Bowie), Jim Demain (Dolly Parton, Jason Isbell, Robert Plant), Peter Doell (Sheryl Crow, Miles Davis, Marylin Manson). So, NO, why on earth would we master your album when we know them? ;-)
Promotion is another four letter word like contracts, because it's all about the art, right? Right! But... Promoting your art is a necessary evil and essential to your survival. There are many things we will do together as a team to promote your work. Playing your music at Grammy events, posting all over social media, getting you highly sought after performance opportunities at showcases and industry events around the US, etc. But there is a real limit of course. We additionally encourage all our clients to sit down with a publicist as that is often the difference between having a short hobby and launching a hugely successful album that spawns a long and satisfying career in the entertainment industry.
PHOTOGRAPHY & GRAPHIC DESIGN
In music, we first hear with our eyes. The visual representation of your art is often the only chance you get to catch the attention of that one person in the world who will make or break longterm success for you. We take this very seriously working with great designers and photographers. Like our other services providers, we have negotiated great rates for you while sacrificing nothing in the way of quality. The people we work with are professionals at the highest level that would never put there name on anything less than amazing work.
MANUFACTURING & DISTRIBUTION
We partnered with Discmakers over 20 years ago. They have an office in Nashville and are known throughout the world for their high quality work. We have a negotiated rate for our artists there. Even if you aren't making physical discs, you will want to get it out to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Walmart, etc. For this we recommend CDBaby. We have been working with them for over 15 years.
REFRESHMENTS & AMENITIES
Where are the snacks? What will we drink? What's the WIFI password??? Not to worry, we don't let artists die of hunger or thirst! During your sessions, we are normally stocked with some not-too-unhealthy snack options. We have bottled water (since we can't put in a bigger sink). And we have a bourbon based fresh fruit smoothie called KRAZY POP PUNCH. We can't give you the recipe, but we can assure you it is quite refreshing. Also in the neighborhood we have: India's Clay Pit, Mofongo's, Taco trucks,Starbucks, and more. If you have any special needs, be sure to let one of us know and we will do our best to accommodate. You will have all the wifi you need.
PARKING & ACCOMMODATIONS
FREE street parking is available and easy to find on our street.
If you are traveling from far away and need a place to stay, we have a residential suite here for 1-2 people and also negotiated rates with local hotels and AirBnbs in the area.