How many songs will I be able to record?
As an engineer I work very fast so the time taken to record will be dictated by how many takes you would like to record/ how many instruments there are. It’s often a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question as there are different timescales required for different acts, so as a rough guide (based on 3/4 recording ‘takes’ per instrument) i have broken it down into different sections. Please note; due to the many variables involved i don’t work ‘by the song’ i.e.; a set price per song, so the following should be treated as a rough guide only.
In a day’s session (7 hours) 3 tracks (including digital editing – making good takes into a ‘perfect take’) is a good estimate. As digital editing is one of my specialist areas i like to get a good amount of time to edit and produce tracks to the highest standards possible for HQ customers.
Based on a line up of drums, bass, 2 guitars and 2 vocals it normally takes 2 days to record and mix 2/3 tracks properly. In one day, recording a track (including some overdubs and mixing) is a good estimate. A ‘necessary evil’ is the time taken to set up the session – (if using your own drums it’ll take roughly 2 hours to tune/ dampen and mic successfully – mine are mic’d and ready). When recording one song in a day I normally set up bands to play ‘live’ first and then overdub vocals and other instruments later. To mix a track I require at 2 hours at the end of the session, however the more time spent producing will inevitably make the track better. If you are recording a few tracks (EP/Album etc.) the quickest option is to lay down all the drum takes first (to save set up times) then ‘build’ the tracks from there.
'Virtual band' service;
To fully produce a track around a solo vocal or vocal and guitar/ piano resulting in a full final arrangement of drums, bass, guitars, synths/ strings etc for a normal (up to) 5 minute track, one session (7 hours) will make a good start. A session and a half is more accurate for a full 'release quality' track, for lesser arrangements (vocal, guitar and strings for instance) a lesser time frame applies.
To record a few tracks ‘live’ (digital editing is less possible due to to ‘mic bleed’ and therefore acoustic is better suited to fully live recordings) 6 songs recorded and mixed in one day is a good estimate based on 2 guitars and 2 vocals. Additional overdubs may take more time.
Rap doesn’t often require much editing, just good takes! So 3 plus tracks in a day is a good estimate.
4 hour Voucher;
Dependent on the skill of the performer, a 4 hour session should be enough for a band to record one ‘live’ track with a quick mix or a singer/ acoustic duo/ rapper etc. to record 2 songs to a high standard.
Please note; all these figures are rough estimates and i am more than happy to spend time making things ‘perfect’ either through editing our countless takes (if you have the time). I’m equally as happy to work to time frames if there is an urgent need. I will, however, require a reasonable length of time at the end of a session to properly mix and produce the tracks, effectively doing ‘my job’. It is always advisable (where possible) to mix then record on separate days, as two different mindsets (from both the musician and engineer) are required for either task.
Will I get a CD at the end of the session?
Absolutely! – I will give you complimentary CD of the days recording/s – I also advise that you bring a USB memory stick or hard drive (mac formatted) if you require the data files too. I can burn additional CD’s for £2 each plus the time taken to copy them.
If you are looking for a large run of CD’s (50 or more) with standard ‘jewel’ cases and booklets etc. this can be arranged, i will require a full week to manufacture though, please enquire.
What should I bring with me?
Bring all the instruments/ amps you would like to use to record, I have a drum kit but prefer that you use your own ‘breakables’ (cymbals/ snare/ kick pedal), bring all your own instrument cables too. I also advise that if you have a quality, well tuned drum kit that you are particularly fond of, then bring it with you, best that we get the exact sound you are looking for - on that note, if you have any examples of what you would like your recording to sound like, bring them along too. As mentioned before, I advise that you bring a USB memory stick or hard drive (mac formatted) if you require data files of your session as well as the CD i’ll burn for you at the end (provided that time taken to transfer files falls within the session otherwise an additional fee will apply).
You’ll find many places to eat etc. on the doorstep of the HQ building, however, i have a microwave you are welcome to use and an endless supply of tea and coffee for all HQ clients, and you can try my caramel latte’s that i’ll make if you arrive on time
Can I bring a friend/ family member with me?
No Problem ! However coming in with lot’s of people (other than those recording) can often be a distraction from me doing my job – making you sound the best you possibly can ! Please ask first, but as general rule it’s fine, the same goes for photographer’s etc, just check
How do i claim my HQ Gift Voucher?
You’ve received an HQ gift voucher? Excellent, let’s get you recorded then ! Either call me on 07828 093 850 or e-mail me at and we’ll get a session booked.
Please note; Gift vouchers must be claimed within 3 months of receipt, voucher will be null and void if a cancellation occurs within 72 hours of the agreed booking date. Vouchers are only valid for a year from the date of purchase.
How do I book a days recording at the HQ?
Please call 07828 093 850 or e-mail and once a non refundable £50 deposit per day booked (has been paid via bank transfer the session will be fully confirmed with the remainder payable on the day. Please note; deposit is non refundable in the event of a cancellation or no show. In order to book a session after a no show (without any prior notice) the missed session will also have to be paid in full. I don’t accept delayed payment from invoice, payments must be paid in full on the day or prior to session.
Can you forward tracks to me via e-mail/ dropbox?
Should you require that i ‘dropbox’ or otherwise fileshare tracks to you via the web that is no problem, however, there will be an additional charge (charged at my hourly rate of £35) for all file sharing work required outside of the booked session. The cheapest way is always to bring a USB pen drive for data files (or Mac formatted hard drive) on the day of your session should you require. Please note, the time taken to transfer files must be included in the specified session time otherwise additional charges will apply at my usual rate.
Are you looking for staff/ apprentices ?
Thank you for your interest in working at the HQ but as a one man operation i am not looking for staff now or in future. Due to the high number of enquiries i receive on the matter i will not be able to answer e-mails regarding employment.
I’m recording in a studio for the first time, do you have any advice?
Be realistic with your recording schedule, recording in a studio is a lot different from jamming/ gigging, if your new to it, it’s a learned skill that can often take time to perfect, we can all fall victim to ‘red light fever’ – a nervousness when recording. For bands there can be significant set-up and mixing times to take into account too. The more time spent practicing tracks prior to the session will always keep things moving fast too though, now let’s get you recorded ! G
GET IN TOUCH
279 Abercromby Street
Our studio is open 7 days a week
Peak time session; Weeknights 5pm - 12am, weekends
Off -Peak session; Mon - Fridays; 1pm - 8pm
07828 093 850