beautiful bespoke compositions
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Your string section can come in whichever configuration you desire, and I'm always happy to offer my advice based on my experience to assist you in fixing the session.
The classic quartet comprises two violins, viola and cello. Sometimes I like to change that to violin, viola, cello and double bass for a richer low end.
The decision about the number of players is one based on the sound you want to achieve, and often also your budget.
A quartet has a distictive and 'boney' sound which is delightful on certain tracks, as George Martin found.
If a fuller sound is required 21 players can produce a lush sound, but 13, or even 8 can still sound sweet.
- Booking players
String sections work on a fixed contract allowing 20 minutes of recorded music in a 3 hour session, 30 mins in a 4 hour session (10 mins in a 2 hour session).
A session can't be allowed to run over. In practice, 4 relatively simple arrangements or 3 more complex ones can be achieved in 3 hour session.
You always need to leave a little slack for minor arrangement modifications and unforeseen technical issuses.
A mandatory scheduled break of 20 mins in a 3 hour session has to be allowed for.
Information on standard rates and T&Cs can be found at www.musiciansunion.org.uk
I'm happy to recommend a section to you, tailored to your requirements. I have a good and long-standing relationship with The London Session Orchestra (Isobel Griffiths Ltd)
Generally my clients fix their own studio but I am happy to offer my advice.
Some of my clients choose to record abroad, in Prague for example, where we get great resuls.
When budget is an issue I use a very fine little studio here in London called Eastcote who specialise in the recording of chamber ensembles. Their live room has a clear rich sound, they have some fantastic analog equipment and have the mics and technical knowledge that have given them a great reputation amongst producers and players. Being a relatively small establishment their rates are very reasonable.
As mentioned on my home page, I'm also an accomplished keyboard player and programmer, and whilst I would always encourage my clients to use the real thing I'm happy to provide amazingly realistic recordings using high quality samples for those on smaller budgets. This is always improving as sampling technology becomes more sophisticated.
You can hear examples of my programming (those marked 'samples') on my Demos page.
You'll need to Contact Me regarding my fee as there is no fixed 'Price List' that works when it comes to creativity.
I'll ask you a few questions to find out more about your requirements (i.e. the duration and complexity of the track and whether you're recording live or using samples). Then I can give you a realistic quote.
I've kept my fee affordable in order to build my reputation and enable unsigned and emerging artists to afford my services. I always aim towards a friendly and flexible working relationship with my clients. It's good to talk!
When I receive the mp3 of your song I will discuss the arrangement with you and give you an approximate delivery date. Subsequently I will send you a short demo mp3 by email of the progressing arrangement.
We can then discuss any modifications you may wish me to make.
I will happily modify the arrangement within reason until you are happy.
However, If you decide to change your original version of the song (as first sent to me) and require me to modify the arrangement to suit, an additional fee must be negotiated.
I will then finish the arrangement and send another mp3.
There will be two demo mixes; one with the strings balanced with your mp3, and one with the strings high in the mix for you to hear the detail. I don't send out the string arrangement on it's own until full payment has been received.
The fee covers the composition of an arrangement, and supply of demo mp3 plus one of the following:
- pdf files of the full score plus parts for each instrument, for the purposes of a live recording.
- aiff or wav files of each instrument, recorded by me using samples.
If you require both pdf and audio files, an additional fee of 50% of the song fee will be charged as this requires considerable extra work.
If you require the parts to be printed out I make a small charge to cover the costs involved.
I ask that you credit me on the sleeve notes: 'String arrangements - Steve Turner (www.stringarranger.co.uk)', and if I have recorded the arrangement myself using samples, or I have conducted the session that my name is included in the list of musicians who performed on the recording (submitted when it is registered prior to pressing/ digital release.)
All files will be uploaded to my cloud for you to access, and I will send you a link by email to facilitate this.
If you prefer, large audio files can be burned to a data DVD and posted to you.
I will include on the invoice the cost of the DVD plus postage and packing.
I will invoice you in Sterling (£) for the agreed fee and request that you pay by electronic bank transfer (paypal works well for many of my clients). When making the transfer you will need to ensure that I receive the full amount in £/Sterling as shown on the invoice (after bank transfer fees if applicable)
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