Here's a guide on how to prepare your materials to the highest standard. Doing so will help you make the most out of each session and achieve the most professional results.
Note: Please submit your session material at least 24 hours before an upcoming session, in order to give the session musician enough time to prepare. Read more about this here. For Mastering, the submission should happen at least 48 hours before an upcoming session.
1. Know your music.
- Know the correct BPM / form / key of the song;
- Record a backing track in the correct BPM / form / key (preferable to have vocals/instruments separate for this backing track);
- Book instruments in this order:
3. Harmonic instruments (guitar/keys)
4. Melodic instruments (sax/violin/cello)
2. Prepare your music.
Consider the following aspects in preparation for your session:
- Do not send a DAW file;
- We accept WAV or AIFF files;
- All files must be of the same duration, sample rate and bit depth;
- Upload separate stems of your previously recorded material, making sure that they are in the correct BPM and form. Do not send more than 3 stems (E.g.: Vocals only; Harmony only; Percussion only)
- All files, backing track and score/parts should start at the 1st beat of the bar 0 (one empty bar). Please ensure each bar in the score corresponds to each bar in the backing track;
- If you have a midi arrangement, be sure to send it in .mid format as well as its extracted audio;
- Provide Click and Midi Tempo Map if there are multiple tempi;
- IMPORTANT - If you want the musician to improvise, it’s mandatory to provide the music’s written harmony (with chord names). That could be through sheet music (e.g, a score or lead sheet) or just a chords chart;
- For our cellist Joe Zeitlin, upload a single stereo bounce of your previously recorded material;
- For our bassist Chris Bonner, low B or C extensions are not available.
For cello recordings, the following is mandatory:
- Cello part (use Bass Clef until note A3, and Treble or Tenor Clefs for notes above A3. Please put all notes on 1 staff). Example:
If you need a transcriber to prepare your score, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Check this article about scoring.
- Backing track without cello. A single stereo bounce of your previously recorded material;
- Click or midi tempo map if there are multiple tempi;
- Export your audio starting at the correct beat, to ensure that the click track will match the desired BPM;
For all vocal recordings, consider the following:
- These are not songwriting sessions. Please provide sheet music or scratch vocals or midi line so that the singer can learn the melody;
- We may decline/ cancel bookings for pieces of music that are outside the singer’s range and/or that are in a language the musician doesn't speak;
For Marta Garret's vocal recording sessions, consider the following:
- Vocal range - Chest voice E3 to B4 / Head voice C5 to A5;
- Languages - Marta can sing vocals in any of these 5 languages: Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish and English;
For Ruth Royall's vocal recording sessions, consider the following:
- Vocal range - C3 to A5;
- Languages - Ruth can sing vocals in English;
- Ruth may not be named in any publicly released song title, i.e. "Song name feat. Ruth Royall", unless you have the explicit permission from her record label. Ruth may be credited as a musiversal session musician as usual;
- Vocal range - B2 - E5;
- Languages - Tee can sing vocals in English;
- Tee may not be named in any publicly released song title, i.e. "Song name feat. Tee Webb", unless you have the explicit permission from her record label. Tee may be credited as a musiversal session musician as usual;
If you'd like to record multiple film scoring cues, and they're short enough to achieve in one session, we recommend sending only one set of materials for all the cues together (i.e.: one sheet music file and one audio guide with all the cues separated only by a few bars of silence). Failure to do this may result in the recommendation of booking multiple sessions (one per cue).
Last but not least...
If your song or piece is not typical in style, has complicated tempo/meter changes, has a lot of detailed or intricate written parts and/or is longer than 5 minutes in duration, we’d ask you to understand that you’ll most likely not be able to record it in one single half-hour session. Upon receiving your materials, and if more than one session is likely to be required, the session musician will contact you with an estimate for the number of sessions required. For these cases, please try to send the materials with much more notice ahead of your session than usual (more than 2 days is recommended). We’d also recommend adding tempo maps and audio mock-ups of what you’re looking to be recorded, as this will be of very useful assistance to the musicians' preparation work.
Please be kind and understanding towards our musicians. In spite of being world-class performers, they’re also human beings just like us: they need time to prepare properly and, because of their level of excellence and perfectionism, they’ll not be satisfied with trying to record something for you that doesn’t match their own high standards. This is their art and their craft, to which they have dedicated thousands of hours of their lives, and they don’t want to put out anything less than something that is a true expression of their mastery. So just remember that they’re not robots and certainly not miracle workers. But if you put in the time to provide them with the materials they need, they’ll provide you with some of the best recordings you’ve ever heard. Symbiosis at its best. Or, as someone once said: “If you take care of the music, the music will take care of you”.
We hope you enjoy and get a lot of value from your musiversal sessions 🧡🎵