Professional online session guitar tracks – for you
From being a teaboy in a local recording studio when I was 16, to working in an all-analogue studio and recording and mixing commercially released albums, I’m nuts about the sound of recorded guitar. I use a wide range of modern and vintage instruments, amps, pedals and recording gear to create beautiful, professional recordings that will enhance your music.
Guitars can add a wonderful realness to recordings and done right can make a massive difference to any production – particularly when you’re working with samples, sequencing and quantisation. As an online session guitarist I’m able to offer premium recordings of the best quality instruments, fantastic amps and pedals, and a great combination of microphones and preamps, providing tracks and tones that are tailored especially for your music. Communicating over email, Skype or phone, we can discuss and create your unique tracks, and working from my studio at home means it isn’t going to cost a fortune! Prices for short samples start at just £80.
Why use me?
I work with some very nice people and have a collection of kind Testimonials that might help you feel confident in using me. Please check them out! You should also have a listen to some of my previous work here on the Recordings page.
Session recording is usually nothing like live playing. Creating a full guitar arrangement is more than chords, riffs and solos so I try to to take the whole sonic landscape into consideration. Using the right range of sounds as well as the right sort of playing is essential to getting a professional, musical result in the final mix. I believe that getting tones that sit well before mixing is crucial – it’s like a little orchestra that needs careful management and placement.
There are a number of people offering an online session guitarist service. Some of these fine musicians are doing a good job, but cheap home recording means that there are some who provide recordings that are either a bit below par from a technical perspective, or are just a bit lacking in polish. Recording guitar in a bedroom can be fine, but it usually needs to be acoustically treated so that there isn’t an unhelpful ‘character’ to the recordings, and that they’re free from buzzing computers, distant sirens and so on.
Next – I’ve no desire to be a guitar hero on your record. I can do that in my own, very private time! If you want a screaming solo that’s cool, but the rest of the time I’m playing for the song, working around the vocal and hooks. For me it’s all about the song, and my aim on a lot of the pop music I record is to do what Trevor Horn said: record the best version of the simplest part.
Do I really want to get online guitar tracks?
Well there are some benefits in addition to the obvious cost savings and convenience. Firstly, working in my own space means I can take my time, rather than having half an hour at the end of a band studio day for guitar overdubs. The reduced time pressure means I can take more risks and really go to town on your track – whether that’s multiple layered parts or just paying extremely close attention to getting a single, golden performance. In practical terms this also means I do less editing, and more single-take recordings. More on how it works (process and payment) below.
How good will it sound?
It’s a professional, studio standard recording. If you’re interested in what I use you can find out more on the Gear page. There are so many variables when it comes to guitar playing and tracking, and it’s a really exciting job to do. Combinations of guitars, pedals, and amps is one thing. Add in the recording environment, microphones, and preamps. Add in player technique, which drastically affects tone as well as stuff like string noise and tuning (there’s ‘in tune’ and there’s ‘sweetly in tune’, as I learned singing in a top chamber choir). I really work on this. I’m also pretty obsessive over timing – not just ‘hitting the grid’ but achieving a nice feel and a vibrant recording.
From a technical perspective, good monitoring is crucial, because without it you can’t tell what you’re recording. A bit like cooking a meal without tasting it – you have to just hope it’s right… I use Neumann KH120a monitors, and Beyerdynamic DT770 and Sennheiser HD600 headphones. These monitors are pretty accurate which means I have a good idea that what I’m recording for you should sound good on any system. The Neumanns and Sennheisers particularly give a great account of what I’m capturing, helping ensure that you get tracks that translate into your mix superbly.
When I send you your recordings you should be able to drop them straight into your existing project and have them sounding fantastic in no time at all. In fact in addition to the high quality raw guitar recordings I will usually provide a processed version too, with EQ, compression, ambience and effects that I think are suitable for the track. Guitar is kind of special in that way, as the effects and different sounds really inform the playing. You can use these ‘mix-ready’ tracks as a reference and you may choose to use the processed track immediately. Working this way gives you the choice of making use of my experience, great plugins and and guitar-related tricks of the trade, or having complete control over the tracks to fit your creative vision. Whatever works for you!
How it works
Working with me is quick and easy. On average it takes just a few days from clients’ initial email to exchange of final tracks. Here’s how it often works:
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss what you’re after. Could be an acoustic guitar backing track, a short jingle/ident, a whole track that needs guitars to complete the arrangement, or maybe you have an existing guitar part that you need recorded really nicely and at high quality – we can discuss what you want, and agree on a brief and a price.
- You send me the track, I record the guitars and send an mp3 for you to review.
- Provided you’re happy with it, you pay me the agreed amount and I send you the full quality individual guitar tracks.
Revisions and edits
If you want any revisions or edits at the review stage, I’ll do those before taking a penny. I can’t promise unlimited revisions but so long as we’re clear on the brief, I’ll do my best to make sure you’re happy. If the track is very specific, I’d expect to be hitting that first time, most of the time. If it’s a more vague or creative brief I may send you a rough ‘sketch’ for you to review, to check I’m on the right lines. By working this way, using an online session guitarist is a bit more like working with someone in the studio – without the sitting around OR the big bill.
The guitar tracks you’ll receive from me will be studio-quality 24-bit recordings. I’ve been recording guitars for years and my experience producing and mixing have helped me understand some of the best ways of approaching guitar recording, including how different guitars can be treated and positioned in a mix. I have a good feel for the types of parts that are likely to work in a song. In addition to great guitars, great amps and effects pedals and processors, a range of good microphones and high quality DAV and Focusrite preamps, I have a selection of superb mixing tools such as EQs, compressors and an array of modulation and other time-based effects, so if you’re looking for a fully produced track I can deliver that too.
There are more details about my guitars, amps and effects on the Gear page, but I have a fairly comprehensive selection, all maintained to a high standard and well used by me! A lot of the stuff I’ve been using for many years so I know its idiosyncrasies and how to get the best out of it. Unless it’s particularly required you will not be getting GuitarRig recordings. If you want Amplitube-style modelling plugin recordings, I can do that, but if we’re talking electric guitar I think the sound of great valve amps, speakers and microphones is something special, and that’s what you’ll normally get. It takes a little longer and means I’m not the cheapest but I think it gives the best results and that’s what this whole music thing is all about…
Price and payment
Prices start at £80 for a short sample. For full electric and acoustic arrangements with multiple tracks I usually charge around £150. Payment is usually via PayPal or preferably bank transfer. If you want to discuss a price for a bigger session (ie several songs), or if it’s quite simple and you have a tight budget just email me and we can talk about something that works for you.
Using an online session guitarist can be an affordable and efficient way of working. Please have a listen to some more of the examples on the Recordings page – and if there’s anything I can help with, or you have a question, just give me a shout at email@example.com now and let’s make a great record!