Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to play an instrument, or hire a lot of musicians, to record my songs? Not if you record here. I (Steve) play guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, piano, mandolin, dobro, pedal steel guitar, banjo, ukulele, and a little accordion.

What if I have an idea for a song, but I don't know how to play it or write it down as sheet music? No problem. I can listen to you sing the melody, and create the chords and rhythm that you hear in your head.

Does that cost extra? No, it's all part of the $90/hour rate.

$90 per hour isn't all that cheap, is it? There are lower hourly rates to be found, yes. But what really matters isn't the price per hour -- it's the price per song. And if you examine it that way, you'll realize what a bargain Pitch-Perfect Recording is. You can work in a $40 per hour studio that takes five hours and five musicians (at $100 each) to get a song demo made, and you've spent $700 -- where's the savings? With Pitch-Perfect Recording's efficiency and quality, delivering top-notch demos for less than $400 (often MUCH less), this is the best value in town.

What if I want to play the instruments myself? No problem. The studio is yours to do what you like.

What about a singer? Many Pitch-Perfect Recording clients sing their own demos. Others hire singers of their choosing. In Nashville we have high-quality demo singers who charge between $50 and $150 per song... and most will give you a "bulk" discount if you hire them to sing more than one song per session. Efficient Pitch-Perfect Recording clients who don't sing pay an average of $50 to $75 per vocal track. I have a list of singers that I've worked with, some of whom you can hear on the samples page... and of course you are welcome to bring any singer you like.

How is Pitch-Perfect Recording different than recording in my bedroom or garage? In lots of ways. The most obvious difference is in the physical space -- the carefully designed, sound-isolated rooms allow a much higher degree of fidelity than a bedroom or garage can. Then there's the pristine mic selection, the high-quality mic preamps and A/D converters, and of course, the amazing recording quality of the Radar hard-disc recorder. There's the real drums, and the real Yamaha grand piano with MIDI capability. And there's the automated mixer, whose power is beyond description -- you have to hear it. And of course, there's me (Steve), your multi-instrumentalist / engineer / producer / professional pair of ears. I can make your recordings come to life so quickly and satisfyingly, you will never consider your bedroom and garage again for anything but sleeping and parking.

Speaking of your piano... tell me about your piano! This piano is possibly the best part of the studio. First of all, it's a Yamaha grand. That makes it one of the best recording pianos in the world. But that's just the beginning... though it is a REAL piano with strings and hammers, it is also MIDI-capable. That means it can record and play back MIDI files. If you've recorded a piano track on your at-home keyboard, and saved it as a MIDI file, this piano can play it back, just like a player piano. It's awesome to see... and to hear, of course. And it records MIDI as well... play your part here if you like, and you can edit it just like a synthesizer's MIDI file. Change the key, change the tempo, fix mistakes, cut and paste, and the piano will play it back beautifully. You must see this to believe it!

I've never heard of Radar... is it a popular format? When Radar came out in 1994 it was the world's first 24-track hard disk digital audio recorder. It's very popular with high-profile artists and producers. Click here to see a partial list of artists who have worked with Radar.

Is Radar like Pro-Tools? Yes, but better. The Radar recorder is widely acknowledged to be the finest digital recorder built. Its A/D converters make it much more musical than Pro-Tools, or any other Mac- or PC-based recorder. Using its own operating system, the Radar is an audio recorder, a whole audio recorder, and nothing but an audio recorder. It is not a Mac, and it is not a PC. It has no internet access, no word processor, no games, no viruses, and absolutely no data loss due to crashes... just the highest quality sound and reliability in the world. And, in combination with the Mackie D8B automated mixing console, you get all the flexibility and editing power of Pro-Tools, with superior sound.

Is Radar like 2-inch analog tape? Yes, but better. The Radar recorder has no tape noise, no tape degradation, and no tape inflexibility. Radar does have very high fidelity, warmth, detail, power, and punch. When connected with an automated digital console, Radar is the best of all recording worlds.

Do you have pitch-correction? Yes. I use Antares and Melodyne pitch-correction, which can work wonders on vocals and instruments. Melodyne can even tune polyphonic tracks -- it's really quite amazing.

Does pitch-correction really work? And isn't that cheating? It really works, and it really saves time. It may seem like cheating at first, but when you hear your vocals (and big harmonized backup vocals) come back in perfect tune, that wall of sound will make a believer out of you. Use it a little, or use it a lot... whatever you like.

And FYI, everyone uses it -- seasoned pros and novice shower-singers. That's because singing in the studio is like being under a microscope... and when every nuance is scrutinized, we can all use a little help from the magic box.

What's an "automated" console? Does it mix automatically? "Automated" means that we can "teach" the mixer to mix your song, using good old-fashioned knobs and faders, and rarely touching a mouse. The mixer memorizes the thousands of choices we make, and recalls them all each time the song is played -- it's worth the price of admission just to watch the faders move by themselves! We make little adjustments as needed, without menus and mice, because I prefer to do it like a musician and an engineer, not a mouse-jockey. The automation covers reverb settings, compressor settings, mastering settings, everything. And it's all saved to disc, so we can recall your mix tomorrow or next year, and it will come back up just as we left it. You can continue to improve a dozen songs over the course of several weeks or months, knowing that your work is being faithfully preserved for your future tinkering, until you're 100% satisfied that it is PERFECT.

Does automation save time? Yes and no.
Yes: because each time we return to an existing mix, we can push a button and POW, there's the mix, ready to be updated.
Yes: for instance, if we get the drums sounding really killer on song #1, we can copy the drum settings to all the other songs on the CD, in about a minute.
Yes: because when we mix, we don't have to manually get it right from beginning to end, hoping not to make a mistake at the last bar, forcing us to start over.

No: because having the additional flexibility and power of automation often makes us want to explore options that weren't available before. That takes time... but it's creative time, not mouse-pushing time... and we often find something really cool and unique.

Can I work on recordings at Pitch-Perfect Recording that I began somewhere else? Yes. Pro-Tools projects, Digital Performer projects, Cubase projects, Cakewalk projects, most other DAW projects (when exported in Broadcast Wave format) and ADAT projects can be loaded right in with ease -- no extra gear is needed for the transfer. Other formats can be accomodated, with one-time rental of appropriate playback gear.

Can I make a final CD master at Pitch-Perfect Recording? Yes. I can master your final product and make it ready for duplication.

Does mastering cost more? No, it's still $90/hour. Compare that with mastering houses that charge $250/hour and more.

I have more questions - how do I ask them?
Click Contact to send an e-mail, or give me a call here: . I have answers!