Folk Song Production [Case Study]
Austen, an experienced singer-songwriter, had been working on a 4-track EP. He got in touch with Supreme Tracks looking for folk and country song production. He’d also listened our country session musicians on the website and thought they were phenomenal – particularly the country, blues and Americana guitars. As he said, “I’d love to have that energy and spirit on my songs!”
One of Austen’s tracks was Sunlight. He wanted a simple singer-songwriter vibe – “an acoustic core but with some beauty and sonic space behind it”. Austen sent us the demo – his own vocals with acoustic guitar – and asked for our input on which instrumentation would best suit the mood of the track.
How we worked – The collaboration process
First, Austen’s demo was sent to one of the world’s most celebrated Nashville session musicians for his creative input. We can’t tell you who this is – it’s the anonymity that keeps our prices so low – but you’d know the name…
Our session guy was really impressed… “Great songs, I really enjoyed listening. They’ll sound amazing with the cats I have in mind”. For Sunlight, he suggested acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, piano, mandolin and banjo. To keep costs low, the guitar player would overdub banjo and the fiddle player would overdub mandolin. To make the song radio-friendly, he also advised cutting the intro section in half to make the song’s length radio-friendly.
Austen loved these ideas, so we sent him a rough preview as a track guide for his vocals. Sunlight sounded amazing, even at this early stage. Have a listen…
[Preview 3 with client’s vocals]
Given the strength of the melodic line, we thought it would be great to end the track with acapella singers. We suggested the idea to Austen and gave him a quote for our professional vocalists – a fraction of the `real world’ studio price. He came back to us… “That’s within my budget. Let’s do it!”
By this time, our session leader had “aligned the stars” to get everyone together in the studio – members of a multiple Grammy-award winning band, players on a multitude of #1 hits. The preview of studio recording was sent to Austen.
Just a couple of hours later we received his verdict:
“So… This is the best thing I’ve ever heard. I’m currently in shock”.
We worked on a couple of balance changes – mainly bringing the instrumentalists forward in the mix and allowing them to shine – before the mixing and mastering the whole EP.
So here’s finished recording of Sunlight. We can’t name the musicians – as we said, it’s one of the factors that make our prices so uniquely low. But have a listen. You may recognize some of them…
[mixed and mastered audio]
Shortly after this, Austen got his first FM radio play. Several publishing companies are interested in his songs, and he’s already been asked if one of his tracks can be used on an indie movie soundtrack. He told us that after hearing the recorded instrumentalists for the first time “it gave me the confidence to record some of the best vocals of my career”.
Through Supreme Tracks, Austen was given access to the best Nashville session musicians that money can buy. But he paid about half the amount of money. Their creative and musical input took an already great songwriter to a whole new professional level. What could we do for you? Get in touch to find out.