Frequently Asked Questions
What is the advantage of recording at the Owl Shed?
The Owl Shed is the perfect place for musicians to get their songs fleshed out and recorded affordably and professionally. Our competitive rate ensures that the service is affordable so that musicians and songwriters can have their music realised to their fullest potential. Another massive advantage is the consolidation of roles that the Owl Shed offers. Without having to rent a studio, an engineer, a mixing engineer and a drummer/bassist/guitarist/pianist/arranger, you can have the whole thing in one! Not only does this cut down on the time needed to record (only one musician has to learn your song to record it) but it helps cut costs - only one person needs to be hired!
What instruments can be added?
We can add just about anything! Live, we can add anything you can stick a mic in front of. In addition to any instruments the client is able to play, I am able to add drums, electric and acoustic guitars, bass and piano. When you start looking at MIDI, we can arrange in anything your heart desires, from synths, basses, strings, drum machines and so much more!
How much time will the process take?
A straight recording of a single song comprising an acoustic guitar and a voice can very well be done in just an hour, if it is all performance ready! The time taken to arrange and record additional parts will vary, depending on what's to be done. With a good chord chart, a song of reasonable difficulty could have a full band arrangement, from scratch within just a few hours.
Other factors to consider in speed are your own accuracy in recording and general musical ability and the results that you are aiming for. The better rehearsed and practised you are, the quicker we can get exceptional results!
Because every project is different, do get in touch so we can determine a suitable time frame for your project and what route would be best for you and your music!
What does the process look like?
This will vary greatly depending on the project in question but there is a good amount of flexibility! The way we generally prefer to work is to track everything separately, one at a time. This has many advantages: firstly, the entire band does not need to be present at one time for recording as we would be focusing on one instrument at a time. Secondly, there is much more control in the recording process by tracking everything separately in that there is no bleed between microphones to worry about and everybody need not nail a perfect take at the same time!
When doing this, it is ideal to record to a click as it makes editing and recording the other instruments monumentally easier. Not to fear if you aren't comfortable with this - we have our ways! One popular course of action is to record along to a basic programmed drum beat. This tends to feel much more musical and much easier to record to for those unfamiliar with recording to a click track. Naturally, certain things will be recorded best without a click, such as solo acoustic guitar and voice.
Once everything has been recorded, this is when we mix everything. This involves basic levels of instruments, adding effects like EQ and compression and generally trying to bring out the absolute best of the instruments and parts recorded. This can be done in house or I can prepare the tracks for sending to an outside mixing engineer.
We are not yet offering full mastering services but have a number of great suggestions and are happy to connect you to the right people for this final stage.
What should I bring?
Bring yourself, your instrument(s) and your music, as prepared and practised as possible! The closer to perfect it is, the fewer takes required to get 'the one' and so the more we can do with your time!
You can help expedite the process by bringing a chord chart or have a lead sheet scribbled down for harmonies and melodies, as this saves us figuring it out by ear on the day! Also, knowing any tempos beforehand can help save precious minutes.
Can we get session musicians involved?
Absolutely - we can either draw on a local pool of musicians here in Edinburgh to interface and record with live in the studio or we can access a network of world class, Berklee educated recording musicians online. Their own rates and availability will apply, of course.
What equipment is there available?
- To record and mix, we use Apple products, along with Logic Pro X. There is a desktop and a laptop rig available so we can record wherever you want - a hall, a church, even your own home!
- Positive Grid Bias Amp & FX for guitar & bass 'in the box' tracking.
- 16 Focusrite Saffire inputs
- Mics include - Shure SM57s, Rode NT5s, Sontronics STC3x, AKG D112.
- Freshman Acoustic Guitar
- Strandberg Boden Electric Guitar
- Mapex Saturn 5 piece drum set with Sabian Cymbals
- Superior Drummer 2 for programmed drums
From this, we can do a lot of things a lot of different ways! We can track live amps or we can record them in the box. We can record live drums or have drums programmed using Superior Drummer 2. We can track a live piano or record piano parts using MIDI. We can track a live string section, or we can program string parts. It all depends on the results you want and the budget that you're working with.
Something I didn't get to here?
Get in touch! Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.