What makes James the songwriters personal producer?
James is "the-one-cat-that-does-it all"; producer, one-man-band, songwriting coach, singing coach, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, engineer. He's the only other person you'll need unless you need a singer, and we have many great singers for you to choose from.
James will have a vision of the highs and lows and “flow” of the song, and since he'll be playing all the instruments (unless you want to feature your own performances), all the parts will work together and create the unified sound and dynamics often missing in throw together productions where the musicians don’t have this unified view...
What are a producer's two jobs?
One is creating the environment for you, the writer, to feel safe, supported and excited as your song take form. The other is creating the production itself; capturing and interpreting the feeling, tone and voice of the song.
What is the process?
Sessions are done with skype video calls and streaming audio from James' studio, so you, the writer, are there every step of the way.
In your first session, you'll look at your song, make sure it's complete and well integrated. If you both feel after discussing it that there's work for you to do, you'll pause there until you've done your revisions or additions before your next session.
Then will come the arrangement sessions where together with James, you'll find the right feeling, tone, and key. You'll create a version of the song in your best key if you want to record the vocals yourself, and another in the best key for another singer, should you want to use one. James will then layer the instruments until there's a fully produced track ready for vocals.
For vocal sessions, if you're near Vancouver BC Canada, you can record the vocals at James' studio or he can come to you and record in your home. If not, James will help you find a good recording studio near you where you can record the vocals, with James there on skype producing the session. We'll then have the engineer at your studio send James the vocal files over the net, so he can add them to the production for mixing and mastering.
Finding the feel.
Working with models - samples of other songs that have similar feelings, is a great way to achieve the feeling you want. There’s a special talent in being influenced by a song, without copying it. Emulation, not imitation.
How can I finish a song if I'm stuck?
James can coach you with simple, easy to understand techniques to restart your creativity and finish your song. Once James has shown you how to finish your song, you can use these same techniques to get un-stuck with songs you will write tomorrow. James has years of experience as a teacher and empowering you with these tools is a huge addition to the value of his service.
Having a producer step in and finish your song will leave you feeling like you lost creative control, and though he can easily do that, James advocates a better way - helping you in clear and easy steps how to finish the song yourself. For example, your song might need a contrasting “bridge” section, but maybe you don’t know how to write one, or even know what a bridge is for. In 5 minutes, he can tell you at least six ways to write one. He can also create a music section for the bridge that will give you a jump start. And you retain all the copyright.
I don't play an instrument so all I have is a melody or lyric.
No chords? No problem. Even if all you have is a rough vocal and no accompaniment, James can find the right chords and rhythms for your song. In fact, many writers limit their songs by making the melodies “hostage” to their limited knowledge on guitar, piano or what-have-you. Sometimes these alternate new chords can open up your melody.
James loves working with writers of all ages including more mature people who don’t necessarily want to become rock stars or make a million dollars, but want the gratification of hearing their creation come to life in a polished recorded performance. This is an honorable and valid goal, and your excitement with your finished production is a treat for everyone. You will feel a surge of pride when you play your finished song for friends, family, and colleagues.
New directions for your next songs.
Are you writing the same song over and over? Though some writers may not know it, they might be using the same chords and rhythms for every song they write. James can help you write new songs that take you in new directions, by creating music tracks based on tracks you like by other artists. This can be very stimulating for creative writers.
What does all this cost?
How long does it take to write a song? Sometimes ten minutes, sometimes months. The same is true for production.
You have to experience how it feels to work with James to understand why he charges more than some other producers.The songwriter/producer relationship is one of trust and creativity, and we want to make sure it's right for you. That's why we start you with a free 1-hour consultation. In this meeting, you'll discuss your goals, and show James what you have to work with. If you decide to proceed, you'll book a 2-hour session. After 2 hours, you'll have the skeleton of an arrangement and you'll know if you want to proceed. If you decide it's not right for you, you pay for 1 hour and walk away. If you love it, you continue. This way James meets you half way, so both parties have "skin in the game".
Simple productions featuring one or two instruments with a vocal can take as little as two or three hours. Fully produced tracks average 10 to 20 hours. Sometimes for the best results you need time to experiment.
Call or email for your free 1 hour consultation and prices.