The Performers' Choice
Recording • Mixing • Mastering
We're singing from the same song sheet
Practice with a click track prior to recording- a tune that is in time is much better received by the modern public. In the 60's it was purely a feel thing but now you have to play with a computer metronome and have feel. This will save you lots of time . Don't have a click track? Get an electronic metronome with earphones. Give me a call I can help you in the early stages prepare before the recording dates with practice tracks etc.
Work out your song starts and endings - be critical of your song, ask yourself - if I want this to be considered for radio and tv, is the introduction too long? Remember don't bore us get to the chorus ;)
Practice all your material thoroughly before coming into the studio. The studio is a very expensive place for rehearsals.
Have your main vocal and musical parts worked out. You don't need to have all the lyrics memorized. However, they should be written down so you can refer to them if necessary. Last minute lyric changes are acceptable--sometimes they just don't work right. But keep this to a minimum. Consider bringing a copy or two of the music or lyric sheets--that can be really helpful.
Rest and eat properly. If you stay up late and party the night before, it will show in your performance. This is especially important for vocalists. Rest your voice and drink plenty of liquids (non-dairy and non-alcoholic). All band members should keep their ears rested and fresh.
Record your practice on your phone - then we can work out how fast it is when we record it properly. Quite often we play things faster than usual when playing live or if we are nervous. On the other hand, if we are too chilled in the studio we may end up recording the song too slow. So record some perfomances so we can work out a good tempo. If you have a metronome jot down how fast it is. When playing live at a gig or open mic play the click to yourself just before you start playing.
For your first couple of recording sessions it is advisable to bring just you and/or your band members as often our performance suffers when trying to impress visitors (friends and family) whilst recording.
Have you been waiting or trying to make an album of your music? That's what I am here for - what makes us special?
We are a small bespoke recording studio that has gained our clients national radio play every year since we started!
Top Shelf recording, mixing and mastering equipment.
Experienced professional engineers/producers - this is our full time job. We are continually upgrading our skill set.
We see our studio as an instrument - SongCave Studios has on hand a custom range of musical instruments that no one else in the world has!
Our rates are not cheap but not overpriced either.
You experience a boutique installation with rooms designed by one of the worlds greatest acousticians. The sound in each room is excellent and also is isolated from the outside world. (Have you ever tried to record at home and the neighbour is complaining about the noise, or they are mowing their lawn or trying out their new Harley?)
We have recently helped clients achieve national chart success and tour overseas.
I am an excellent group fit - people really enjoy their time with me. I love working with good people! I work in a relaxed herb tea state (no ciggs/bad smell). I find it better to be kind than right. I get a lot of clients who are unhappy with the tactics of other local studios. Clients tell me they prefer me because they can relax with me.
I don't charge for meal breaks. You can save up to 50% on a great guitar, bass, mandolin, lap steel session player, arranger, songwriter using my skills for the same rate while I am working on your song.
Our equipment is a custom blend of much sought after, old analogue gear and the latest high tech gear. The latest digital gear helps speed up work-flow and save the client time and $. We also get less downtime and more real estate than studios with older mixing desks. Some clients and other studios get so hung up over antique equipment that they rarely get anything worthwhile done. Some refer to this as having "G.A.S." - gear acquisition syndrome ;).
We offer the choice of ProTools HD, Logic and Cubase for compatibility. We have networked video screens so players can be in different recording rooms simultaneously adding their parts to film and video projects. No other local studios I know have this feature. I listen to what they want - I don't try and imprint my own sound on theirs - just use my skills to get them to play and sing as much as possible on their own songs and extract their own sound and vision.
We have a choice of over 50 top shelf microphones (ribbons, dynamics, condensors of all sizes and dynamics).
Although most of our clients are professionals, even beginners feel a bigger part of the process if they are invited to play a part themselves and gauge whether it is going to work in an open , honest and constructive way. If, after a few goes they don't get it, I offer to play the part myself. Even offering for them to go away and practice it more and then come back and try again. We work hard at developing trust with our clients - that is why much of our business is repeat business. If a singer shows up with a cold we work on something else and or cancel the session and come back at a later date.
I am patient and have you goals in mind at all times. We discuss the vision and I really try and get into their head and tweak the song mix till they are over the moon. Sometimes that may mean doing a few hours for free. It is in no-one's interest to have a bad sounding song come out!
My 35 years music industry experience helps, contacts, specialist in rock, jazz, world and new age. I am a successful published composer, musician (ex Matt Finish etc) myself - not just a microphone jockey.
Most bands/artist clients come back and see us every few years for their new projects. Singer/songwriters, rock/jazz/indy/country/bluegrass bands, film companies and corporate are frequent repeat business. Most of our audio work comes from referral.
The bands are generally all working bands most weekends - often cover bands wanting to get an original album out. One sample story worth relating of how I try to think outside the box is a local singer/songwriter Chris O who developed her niche 1930's Mississippi Delta Blues style. I suggested we seek publisher permission to co-write and rework some old 1930s recordings and sing duets. This worked well and then we did some collaborative efforts with London based trance music (blues electronica) artists for remixes.
Last year her debut album knocked both the Black Sorrows and Russell Morris out of the national Blues and Roots top 5 and stayed there for an incredible 3 months ! On the back of this she then booked 2 months paid gigs in Europe. She is now on her second tour there in as many years :)
Many soloists who come to me are either technophobes and/or they sing and write but have no band or vehicle for their music. Some are professionals with their own home studios but they just can't seem to get their project across the finish line. This may be due to lack of fine equipment, their own mixes are just not professional enough, or their own project has been in limbo for too long. They probably view me as a one stop shop - end to end production right up to finding the right graphic artists, CD pressing plant and online distributors. I usually like to go for a coffee and "interview" clients first to see if we will get along.
We don't just record people we do what most others cannot do by themselves. If necessary we can play most of the parts and/or hire in top session players (like Paul Wheeler my old bandmate from Icehouse, Lindsay Tebbutt from Choir Boys, even pros from overseas such as mates who live in USA and play with Gloria Estefan , ex Michael Jackson band mates etc) So I use the internet as a tool to globalise our sound. One of the EMI execs in Sydney sometimes sends "the voice", the "X-Factor" and TV show hopefuls up to me for fine tuning.