Online recording sessions are emerging as a way to earn extra money for the musicians tuned to the business. Here are 5 tips on how to succeed in doing recording sessions, mixing and mastering online.
Since the first experiments of Les Paul with Mary Ford, through iconic albums as Exile on Main Street or modern classics like O delay, Beck, major recording projects often go through different spaces, places and hands. And as recording technologies and connectivity have become more accessible, this trend is growing. Online recording sessions are emerging as a way to earn extra money for the musicians tuned to the business.
In the online sessions, customers have access to the musician, the engineer, the study, all in one, and the possibility of raising talents are not restricted geographically. So, although never the magic that occurs when live musicians interact, new production possibilities for artists and a new revenue stream for session musicians and sound engineers is replaced open. Managing a web as AirGigs gives us a privileged overview of what it is that makes a good online collaboration. So we've put together our top 5 tips on what it takes to succeed in doing recording sessions, mixing and mastering online.
Communication is perhaps the critical factor when working with new customers online. Since the potential customer base is global, sometimes you have to be prepared to overcome the language barrier. Communicate musical ideas and guidelines it can be complicated even when you speak the same language, so before starting a project have to spend time understanding what the artist seeks. Submit a quick draft (MP3 or protected) of your voices, your instrumental, mix, master, etc., for prior approval before the client hires the session can save you a lot of time and review work when of truth.
2) Set the conditions
Considering that you work remotely, and people who may have never met in person, set working conditions is essential. This establishes a clear framework in which to work, and avoid possible conflicts and misunderstandings. You need to say things like, how many revisions and shots you want to do; if you deliver them a mono file, a stereo mix or a multitrack session; maximum of what topics you want to work; if you offer a money back guarantee money or not; and if your tracks are delivered with or without effects.
If you are a good mixing engineer specify how many tracks you are willing to mix for a fee, how you wish to prepare and send you the files, and how files DAW prefer to work. Mastering engineers want to specify things like file formats, maximum number of songs, and if they work from one bus or stereo mixes. Finally you have to set a deadline for finishing work.
3) Interpret ideas
Good session musicians are real experts in what sense the artist's vision for a particular passage or song. They are accustomed to requests on "artistic language" and "want that low sound more brown ..." or "has to sound rounder ...". When working with people you do not know it is always useful to ask a small list of songs known who approach the roll they are seeking. You provide specific notes about what it is they like about the production, interpretation and sound. Taking time to tune in to the artist's vision will pave the way for a relationship as smooth as possible. Being a good sideman and session musician is an art, and requires a commitment to the song and the artist's idea, beyond the desire to shine on your own or do some specific things to your liking.
4) Sell your strengths
If the bulk of your experience lies in a specific genre, you must go looking for talented artists in that genre. It is much easier when there are language and references in common. If your forte is something specific, such as analog recording, this will draw the attention of some artists in particular. You have to present yourself so that customers can listen to your previous transposes, plus a compelling description of what makes you different, and how you can help level up your recordings. Finally, fear not reject a project if there is anything you do not feel at ease. Tell a friend or colleague is a great way to build relationships and your reputation as an artist service provider can only emerge stronger.
5) Document communication
In any creative project there is the possibility of disputes and disagreements. That is why it is good practice to document the communication with the client. Even when dealing aspects of the project by phone, then send an email to the main points and tell the customer to confirm to you that it is understood, and avoid meet later confused and overwhelmed. If you follow these steps, hardly you have problems, but there are times when a customer can get in the spotlight. And if the whole process is documented on paper, you can avoid confusion.
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