Commissioning an arrangement

(...the blurb)

    Quick links:   Real strings   ::   Booking players  ::   Studios   ::   Programmed strings   ::   My Fee   ::   The Process   ::   Options   ::   Credits   ::   Delivery

Real strings

I'm happy to offer my advice, based on experience, to help you chose the ideal section size for your music

That decision is primarily based on the sound you want to achieve, but also your budget.

Intimate tracks need only a violin, cello or a duo. The classic quartet comprising two violins, viola and cello has a distictive 'boney' sound, perfect for certain tracks.

Sometimes I like to swap out 2nd violin and have a double bass instead below the cello for a richer low end.

For a fuller sound a 35 piece section works really well, but 21, 17 or 12 (classic Motown) can still sound sweet.

For those with deeper pockets, a symphony section has 60 players!

You can hear examples of different section sizes on the videos and audio on my Home page.

The orchestration is listed in the track information. Check my YouTube channel for recent sessions and my SoundCloud playlist for more audio demos

- Booking players

String sections work on a fixed contract allowing 10 mins of actual recorded music in a 2 hour recording session, 20 minutes in a 3 hour session and 30 mins with 4 hours.

A session can't be allowed to overun. In practice, 4 or 5 relatively simple arrangements or 3 to 4 more complex ones can be achieved in a 3 hour session.

'Slot' sessions are popular for clients with only a few tracks (or even just one). This is where you buy a slice of a whole-day session (as little as 30 minutes), paying for ony what you use and sharing the 'daily' costs with the other clients.

Many sessions are conducted remotely; orchestra, conductor, engineers and orchestral producer on site, with myself and the client monitoring via a vistual-ISDN link - effectively listening to the same monitor mix. Dialogue is via a virtual 'talkback' button or message thread

You'll need to leave a little slack for working on detail & nuance, and for technical issuses (albeit these are rare).

Mandatory short scheduled breaks need to be allowed for. It's 15 minutes on a 3 hour session, for example.

More information on standard rates and T&Cs can be found at

I'm happy to recommend a section to you, tailored to your requirements. I have long-standing associations with The London Session Orchestra (Isobel Griffiths Ltd), Clockwork (Glasgow) and MUSA (Prague)

- Studios

I can facilitate the booking for you. 

If the budget allows, or you want somewhere prestigious for filming, I like to use Air Studios, Air Edel and Abbey Road and also The New Auditorium at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Some of my clients choose to record abroad, in Prague and Budapest for example.

I can supervise the session remotely, or for bigger projects I can attend 

When budget is an issue I use a very fine little studio here in London called Eastcote who specialise in recording

Chamber ensembles. Their live room has a clear rich sound, they have some fantastic analog equipment and have the mics and technical knowledge that has given them a great reputation amongst producers and players. Being a relatively small establishment their rates are very reasonable 

For solos or duos I can record in my studio, or use the services of some fine players in London

who have their own remote recording facilites

Programmed strings

I'm 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 develping as sampling technology becomes more sophisticated.

You can hear examples on the audio player on my Home page. Look for 'Sample programming' in the track information

My Fee

Unfortunately it's difficult to offer a fixed 'Price List' when it comes to something so creativite with many variables,

so please contact me for a quote.

I'll ask you a few questions about your requirements (i.e. duration/ complexity of the track and whether you're recording live or using samples) and come back to you promptly with a price

I've kept my fee affordable in order to build my reputation & portfolio and enable unsigned or emerging artists to afford my services. I aim towards a friendly, flexible working relationship with my clients

For added confidence, you can also now book me through the SoundBetter platform (an 8% fee applies)

The process

I'll ask you to send me an mp3 of the best representation of your track, with vocals if appropriate but with any guide strings muted.

Next, we'll discuss the arrangement and I'll give an approximate delivery date. Within a day or two I'll send you a first draft demo mp3.

After further discussion I'll make any modifications you may require until you're completely happy.

Once payment has been recieved I'll send you the finished scores or Broadcast WAV audio stems via secure cloud server

If you decide to modify your original version of the song (as first sent to me), and require me to alter the arrangement to suit, we may need to negotiated a small additional fee.


The fee covers the composition of an arrangement, and supply of mock-up mp3 plus one of the following:

- pdf files of the full score plus parts for each instrument, for the purposes of a live recording 


- 'Broadcast' WAV files of each instrument, recorded by me in real time to production standard using high-end VST samples 

If you require both pdf and audio files, I need to charge an additional 50% of the song fee as this will require considerable extra work in either score preperation or the re-playing and programming of the demo sampled strings

to finished product standard


I ask that you credit me on the sleeve notes: 'String arrangements - Steve Turner (', 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 secure cloud server for you to access once payment has been received.

I'll invoice you 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'll need to ensure that I receive the full amount in GBP (£) as shown on the invoice, after any bank transfer fees if applicable

I endorse the following wonderful companies who generously give me great artist support

PLEASE NOTE: I am very grateful to the copyright holders who's permission I sought to upload the demos on this site for the purposes of showcasing my string arranging and promoting their beautiful songs. 

This material must not be copied or distributed without express permission from the copyright holders