Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I ever get sales calls or emails from Heathcote Studio?

No. We don’t hold your personal data and never make sales calls.

Q: If I download the eBook will I have to give my email address?

No. Clicking here just opens a new tab – the eBook is a pdf. You don’t need to leave your email address or anything.

Q: How much will a recording cost?

Open the eBook – all prices are included here.

Q: Will I still own the copyright to my songs?

Yes, always. We don’t venture into a contract – we just facilitate your live recording.

Q: How long does it take to record a live album?

I will set up the equipment before people arrive – 1 hour before is ideal so we can have a run through and get the recording levels right in our sound check.  Assuming you are going to have between 10 and 15 songs on your album – you will be playing for about 1 – 1.5 hours. All in all – it will take about 4 hours from start to finish. Afterward – say a week after the initial recording – we will need to mix the album which may take another 4 hours.

Q: What happens on the day?

All you need to do is enjoy yourself. Treat your gig as a fun occasion. If you enjoy it so will your audience.  Talk to the audience like you would in any gig – the more chat the better – we can always edit the bits we don’t need later.  I will set up the microphones to capture your voice, instrument, and audience. We will do some sound checks before the audience arrives. Then we are ready to go.

Q: Should I tell people I am making a LIVE album?

YES!!! Use social media to tell people long before (and after) you record your album. Start marketing it before you have recorded and after you have recorded. Make short videos, tell Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, do a blog, an email newsletter, tell your friends and family, tell your local radio, and if you are gigging or playing at an open mic night tell them too. You can’t tell people often enough. Ask people what songs you should put on.  Get people interested.  Build a brand.  Spread the word! Turn your fans into superfans!

Q: Will I be able to track what is selling on iTunes, Amazon Music, Apple Music etc as well as what has been streamed on Spotify?

Yes, no problem, you just log onto your personal on-line portal and check out your sales and revenue of each track. Only you have access to this.

Q: Do I have to pay extra to sell my recording online?

No, prices include your initial recording, mixing, mastering and making your recordings available on 150+ streaming and download services around the world. There are no hidden extras to pay. Your recording will be available on iTunes, (80% of the download marketplace revenue), Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, YouTube Music, Deezer, (20 million users), Shazam and many, many more.

Q: Should I charge people to come to the gig?

You can if you want to – maybe charge people for tickets to the gig and offer the audience a free CD?
Rather than charge people to come to your gig – take a look at Crowdfunding … it is a great way of covering your recording cost before making your album.

Q: What venue should I use?

An ideal venue is a large living room, a school or village hall or maybe a folk club. Try and avoid a venue where they have a bar inside the room you are recording – we don’t want to record someone ordering a pint of larger and a packet of crisps.

Q: How many people should I invite?

Ideally between 25 and 40 people. Enough people to get a decent atmosphere.

Q: Why record in front of friends, family, and fans?

If you go wrong (and everyone does) it is easy to fix – and your audience will soon adapt to the situation, willing you on, enjoying the moment, and loving every song. Their real and infectious enthusiasm will come across on your recording. Friends, family and fans will do as you ask, they will clap on demand and they will sing along if the song warrants it. You will be 100% confident of getting an encore too! Once you have your CD maybe you could list those in the audience on your artwork sleeve notes – they will definitely want to buy a copy then!

Q: Should I plan for an encore?

This is the one gig where you will 100% categorically get an encore. Plan for it – build it into your set – but chose the right song. Audiences tend to like to finish on a high and preferably something up-beat.

Q: Why do you record unplugged?

Playing and singing through a PA at a run of the mill gig is fine, but I don’t want to record what is coming out of an amp, I want to record the sound of your voice and the sound of your instrument. After recording, you might want to add reverb and we will probably want to EQ the track and/or add compression etc.

Q: Do I get hard copy CDs?

When you record your LIVE album you not only get your music released on all the major online music sites – you also get 100 hard copy CD’s – you can purchase more if you want to. You also have the option of having basic artwork done by us – or you can always get someone to do this yourself.

Q: What is I don’t want hard copy CDs?

No problem – we will amend the price accordingly.

Q: Can I use a crib sheet?

Yes, even if you know the words, on this occasion I suggest you have a music stand to hand. It is very difficult to fix things if you have sung the wrong words – especially if they are to the wrong song!

Q: Do I need a press kit?

If you haven’t got one – now is the time to make one. All you need is a 2 large high-resolution colour photos and 2 large black & white photos, a short and a long biography and a press release telling people where and when you are making a LIVE album and provide a few quotes. Get it all on-line and let people access it. Start thinking what you want on your CD cover too. Maybe have the same images on your press kit as on your website and CD cover – you are looking to sell your brand – not just your CD.

Q: What do I need to know technically to make a live recording?

You don’t need to know anything about recording. We do all this for you.

Q: What can I do to get the best sound?

A day or so before the recording put new strings on your instrument. Old, dull strings sound …. well, old and dull. New strings sound nice and bright. Give them a stretch before recording so they don’t keep going out of tune.

Make sure you are in standard tuning – don’t tune your instrument it itself – use a tuner – and continue to tune up throughout the gig.

Q: What else can I do?

Check the arrangement of each song, the key, the starts and ends, the chat between songs, the tempo (a lot of people play too fast when they know they are being recorded). Record yourself on your phone and listen to yourself objectively. Think about how you can add light and shade to the songs. Listen to yourself objectively

Q: What do I need to know about mixing and mastering?

Once we have recorded the gig we need to make sure the sound is amazing when it is downloaded or purchased as a CD. The levels need to be right – not loud parts in the middle of the song. This is best done in the studio. (You will sound amazing anyway – but I will make you sound even more amazing in the studio). We might add a little reverb to your voice, add a little compression, roll off the very bottom end, maybe EQ your voice to blend with your instrument, maybe add some effects, edit any mistakes or tuning issues.
The mixing takes your great recording into a brilliant recording! This is all done with your instructions – it is your CD – you are in control throughout the process.

Q: What equipment do I need?

All you need to bring is your instrument and your voice. Everything else is supplied.

Q: Will you record a Duo?

Maybe – get in touch to discuss.

Q: I want to bring out a Vinyl album – can you do this?

Yes – get in touch to discuss your project.

Q: How can I use my recording to get more gigs?

You can use your new CD to get more gigs and you don’t have to give any of them away. After your recording is finished add half a dozen 15 second clips of your best songs and put them onto a disk. Add your press kit and include a photo of your new CD. Send them – or better still drop them off – to potential venue managers. Include a photo of your LIVE CD. Just the fact you have made a LIVE CD gives you tremendous kudos.

Also, add the clips to your website. They will be sold on Amazon etc – remember to add a link from your website to Amazon.

Q: How much does it cost?

Download the free eBook here – it includes all prices.

Q: How do I contact you?

Call Bill Bates on 01926 741255 or email bill@heathcotestudio.co.uk