Frequently Asked Questions
What is a songwriter demo?
A songwriter demo is a recording of a song so that it can be demonstrated to others. Some songwriters want their songs to be recorded by recording artists for monetary gain. Others have their songs recorded for their own personal pleasure. We work hard to record professional quality recordings for writers that have either goal.
If you plan to pitch your songs so that they can be recorded by artists on their records, you need a professional sounding demo of your songs. Our philosophy is that the more your songs sound like records, the better chance they have to be successful. We strive to provide songwriters with high quality recordings so that their songs can be presented in a professional manner.
Who’s in charge?
Larry Beaird is in charge of making sure your music is recorded in a professional manner. You can talk to him personally about any questions you have about recording your songs. He is more than happy to discuss the recording process with songwriters. Call 615-279-8030 to talk to Larry. If he is in a session, please leave your name and number so that he can return your call.
Tytus Welker is the studio manager, and he is very happy to answer questions about our demo packages, discuss orders, set up appointments, etc. He works hard to manage the day-to-day affairs of the studio, and does a great job. Feel free to call him anytime.
What about musicians?
We take care of booking the musicians to record our songwriter demo packages.
Larry Beaird has a great working relationship with numerous session players here in Nashville. He not only works with them at our studio, but also works with them around Nashville performing on recordings for record companies and publishers. He knows who to call to put together a great group of studio players for your songs.
We use professional musicians who are members of the Nashville Association of Musicians.
What recording format do you use?
All three studios use ProTools.
How do I submit a demo?
There are 2 common ways to submit your demo. The best and fastest way is to email us the order form, lyric sheet, and MP3. You can also print out an order form and mail that with your lyric sheet and worktape.
If you have any questions regarding converting your demo to MP3 format, please contact us, we’d be happy to help you. Common converting programs are iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Roxio.
What is a tracking session?
A tracking session is a recording session with the musicians. For a Premier Demo Package, this would be with 6 musicians.
The typical tracking session lasts 3 hours. A scratch vocal (not the keeper vocal track) is usually done with the musicians, but the main vocal and harmonies, if any, are recorded after the tracking session has been completed.
We utilize Nashville union musicians from the Nashville Association of Musicians for our songwriter demo packages. These players are real professionals. Some of the finest recording musicians in the world are in Nashville. They do recording sessions for a living, and they are extremely talented and creative. Check out our Sample Page to hear for yourself.
What about vocals?
Typically, we provide the lead vocalist for songs that we record. And we have some great vocalists to sing for you! Check out our Sample Page to hear a sample of songs that we’ve recorded with our Nashville vocalists.
If you want to sing your own song, that is fine as well. Included in each demo package (Track and Transfer demos excluded) are three hours of studio time. You can use this time to sing, mix, or both.
Sometimes, you might want a copy of the music without the vocals. This way, you could perform live with the musical tracks, or you could record your vocals near your home if it’s not possible to make a trip to Nashville. If this is the case, there are two options. First, you could order one of our Songwriter Demo Packages with vocals and get an extra copy without vocals for yourself. Second, you could simply order a Songwriter Demo Package without vocals.
What are vocalist fees?
Vocalist fees are the total cost for hiring the vocalist, which vary depending on the vocalist you choose to hire. The fees are usually between $75 and $250.
What if I rewrite the lyrics to my song after it’s been recorded?
If you rewrite your song, we can re-sing* and remix the song (without re-tracking the whole band) if :
(1) the arrangement of the music hasn’t changed, (2) the key is the same, and (3) we still have the song on file.
What is arranging?
Arranging is a service that we provide to help writers with the chord structure of their songs. This generally happens in two different instances. First, if you don’t play an instrument, you can send us an acapella tape with singing only, and we can arrange the chords to go with your melody. Second, if you have chords to your song already, you still might like some help with the chord structure. We could help in this area, also.
What is the cost for studio time?
Studio time is generally included for the Songwriter Demo Packages. Three hours of studio time are included in each demo package for vocals and mixing (Track and Transfer demos excluded). If you are present and want to spend more time than we generally allot for vocals and mixing, a studio time charge will apply. The studio time charge is $90.00 per hour. This includes an engineer.
What is mixing?
Mixing is the procedure of blending all the instrument and vocal tracks together. The audio tracks are mixed down to 2 tracks like you would normally hear on a CD.
What about CD costs?
Three CD’s are included FREE with each Songwriter Demo Package upon request. Additional CD’s are available for $6 each.
What if I want to bring my own musicians?
You are welcome to bring your own musicians to our studio to record. The studio time charge of $90.00 per hour applies. The cost for studio time includes an engineer. Some limitations apply when you bring your own musicians. Call us at 615-279-8030 to get more information about this.
What if I don’t play an instrument?
Some writers can write songs, but they don’t play an instrument for accompaniment. This is okay. If you can send us a tape with someone singing the melody, we can take it from there.
We can arrange chords to go with your melody for an arranging fee of $150.00. This service is provided for orders from our Songwriter Demo Packages; it is not a stand-alone item. We do require a melody to do an arrangement. We suggest that you never pay to have a melody put to your words. If you cannot sing the melody yourself, find someone who can sing a melody to your words and make them a co-writer.
How do I pay for my order?
We accept personal checks, money orders, cashier checks, cash (in person) and all major credit cards for payment. If you pay via credit card, you can call in your card number or include it on the order form. Since we have to book musicians, vocalists and engineers in advance, we require payment for demo orders in advance.
How long does it take to get my order back?
Our general policy is to ship demos within 2-4 weeks of receiving the order, which partially depends on vocalist availability. Our goal is to provide quality recordings in a timely manner.
Will you critique my songs?
We do not like to critique or judge your songs. We suggest that you contact one of the many Songwriter Associations for this service, such as NSAI. They will probably require membership to furnish you with critiques. Contact them to find out about their particular services.
We will, however, help you narrow your choice down. Suppose you had 10 songs ready to record, but only wanted to record 5 to start with. We can help you choose which 5 to record first.
What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions that you don’t see answered here or on other pages, please contact us to let us know. Perhaps we can add your questions to this list.