Preparing your materials ahead of a session

Here's a guide on how to prepare your materials for your upcoming sessions. Doing so will help you make the most out of each session and achieve the most professional results.

Learn about what can be achieved in Musiversal Studio sessions here.

Remember that you can always book a Pre-Production Session to get your materials up to shape before a session. Learn more here, and book a session here.


Note:

  • Your session material needs to be submitted at least 24 hours before sessions. For Mix Advice, Mixing and Mastering, you need to submit the material at least 48 hours before sessions.
  • These deadlines are in place so that musicians, engineers and producers can use their specifically allotted time to consult your material and prepare for your sessions.
  • Missing the files submission deadline may result in your session being cancelled. If the session ends up going ahead, there is no guarantee our specialists will have time to review your materials to adequately prepare for the session, and some/ all the session time may be used to study your material. Because of this, we can't guarantee that you will be able to achieve your goal for the session completely.

 


Know your music

In order for our specialists to help you achieve your artistic vision, you should know a few things about your music before every session takes place:

  • Know the correct BPM, form and key of your song/ piece.
  • Record a backing track in the correct BPM, form and key. It's preferable to have vocals and instruments in separate backing tracks.
  • Book/ record instruments in this order:
      1. Rhythm section (drums, beats and bass)
      2. Harmonic instruments (guitars, keys, accordion)
      3. Melodic instruments (trumpet, saxophones, violin, cello, etc)
      4. Vocals (lead and backing)
  • Before booking vocals: ensure that Musiversal singers' vocal ranges fit the key of your song. Vocal ranges are on each of the singers' profiles, or you can read them at the end of section 2 below.
  • If you need help producing the necessary materials to run a successful recording session, you should book a pre-production session before booking any of the musicians. This will help get your materials up to shape before a recording session. Learn more here, and book a session here.

 


Prepare your music

  • How to prepare materials for uploading:
      1. Chords chart - for musicians to improvise
      2. Sheet music/ score - for musicians to replicate a specific melody
      3. Lead sheet - for musicians to do both points a) and b) above
    • If you need help with transcription and in the preparation of your score, complete this form so our specialists can advise on the next steps.
    • Check this article about scoring.
    • Here is an example of what our specialists would advise if you're creating a score for a Cello Session: 
      • Use bass clef until note A3, and treble or tenor clefs for notes above A3.
      • Put all notes on 1 staff.
      • Example:
        Cello score
    • For drummers, consider the complexity of your song. And whether you wish to communicate form and specific musical events through the means of written material. This will help a drummer on any recording session to record your song more efficiently. On the other hand, if you have a straightforward song (E.g.: a regular pop/rock song), a backing track without drums in the desired BPM, and an audio mock-up of your idea for the drums (preferable, yet optional), can be enough.
  • Audio files to upload:
    • We accept WAV or AIFF files.
    • Do not send a DAW file.
    • All files must be of the same duration, sample rate and bit depth.
    • Upload no more than 3 stems of your previously recorded material, making sure that they are in the correct BPM and form. E.g.: Vocals only; Harmony only; Percussion only.
    • Upload backing tracks without the element you're going to record with a given musician. E.g.: backing track without the bass line, to record with bassist.
    • All files, backing track and score/ parts should start at the 1st beat of bar 0, leaving one empty bar before the beginning of any music.
    • Ensure that the click track will match the desired BPM.
    • Click or midi tempo map if there are multiple tempi.
    • If you have a midi arrangement, be sure to send it in .mid format as well as its extracted audio (in WAV or AIFF).
  • Ensure each bar in the written material matches each bar in the audio files.
  • Low B or C double bass extensions are available, except for our bassist Chris Bonner.
  • For vocal recordings, consider the following:
    • Provide a WAV track for the singer to learn the melody. This can be your scratch vocals or an audio mock-up made with a virtual instrument.
    • Optionally, provide sheet music.
    • Recording sessions with singers are not songwriting sessions. Our singers will not create a melody for your lyrics, or lyrics for your melody. If you would like them to do so, fill in this form to provide a briefing and key information about your project.
    • Some of our singers are multilingual, but they don't offer translation services. They will not create versions of your verses in different languages.
    • Consider singers' vocal range:
      • Marta Garrett: Chest: E3 - B4 / Head: C5 - A5
      • Clare Dove: Chest/ Belt: F3 - G5 / Head: Up to C6
      • Lynsey Tibbs: D3 - D6
      • Ben Botfield: B2-C5
      • Harry Osborne: G2 - D5
    • 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.

 


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 achieve your goals. Upon receiving your materials, and if more than one session is likely to be required, the session musician will advise you of 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 your piece, as this will help our specialist musicians assess your work and prepare for your session.

Be kind and understanding towards our musicians. In spite of being world-class artists and advisors, they’re also human beings just like us: they need time to prepare and understand your music properly and, because of their level of excellence and perfectionism, they’ll not be satisfied with trying to work with you unless they feel prepared. 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 artistic outcomes and ideas 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 🧡🎵