Frequently Asked Questions

How fast can I get the recorded string tracks?

We can record everything same day if needed. The faster you send us the materials for the recording, the sooner we can get started. Since we are always ready to record in our own studios, the process is much simpler and faster than booking all of the string players and studio separately days in advance.

What happens if I don’t like the first draft of the recording?

No problem, tell us what to improve. We offer unlimited revisions until the recording is just as you pictured it. On virtually every single project our clients are extremely satisfied with the first draft and blown away with our sound, and therefore require no revision whatsoever. Typically the projects that require more revisions are the ones in which our client did not have a clear idea of what they wanted from the start, or on projects that require more collaboration.

I would like to be involved in the production process as much as possible, as if I were in the studio producing the recording with you. What kind of feedback can I give you after I hear the first draft?

Here is a direct example of a client giving feedback on a solo violin part he asked me to improvise on a commercial song. This will typically require more feedback than a simple recording since we are producing a part from scratch and the client needs to be involved in this production process as much as possible:

:30 -:45 is great, but do it with one note instead of 5ths.
After that in the chorus is great, just not so busy. But I like the fills.
@ 1:00 your solo through that intro reprise is great, do that again.
1:13 is where I'd like that guitar chunking thing like we were talking about, with the bow.
And then at the intro reprise again another solo like you did.
At 1:53, play the descending line like you were doing and then go back to chunking like at 1:13.
And at the very end when it does the intro again, if you could make sure to play those punches at the end with the drums and guitars that would be great. Thanks!!

When do I have to pay for my project?

In accordance with our unlimited revision policy and promising you 100% satisfaction with our services, we do not expect any payment until you approve the final draft.

Will I own the music you record and/or arrange for me and be legally entitled to do whatever I want with it?

Absolutely. Both our arranging and recording services are all buy out. Our objective is to make your life easier buy getting you the best possible string recordings remotely; we are not in the business of causing you unwanted hassles. If you need us to sign WFH (Work for hire) contracts for your peace of mind we are more than happy to do so. If you need us to provide the contracts we can do so as well.

How do I receive my files and what format are they in?

Once you approve the final draft we will send you a link to download either a stereo mix of the string tracks, the individual tracks, or both. This is entirely up to you. We have a lot of experience in producing the best possible full orchestral sound when overdubbing several players. Both the way in which we record as well as how we position each track in the mix optimizes the sound. On projects with large string sections, we recommend sending you stereo stems of each section, i.e. one stereo track for the first violin section, one stereo track for the second violins, one for the violas, and so on. This way you’re getting our mixing “secret sauce”.

48kHz/24 bit is the most requested format; you will receive the files in whatever sample rate/bit depth you specify at the start of the project.

I don’t have a written score, can you record the idea I have in mind anyways?

Absolutely. We typically receive three types of projects:

1. Projects that are fully notated

Piece of cake!

2. Projects with no score but with a string arrangement played on the keyboard

For projects with the arrangement played on a midi keyboard if you send us the midi file we can usually at no charge just import it into Sibelius (notation software) and quickly orchestrate it for you. If you already have high quality samples on the mockup of the arrangement you send us, please specify if our recording will replace the samples, or if you are going to mix our real strings with your samples. Legato samples typically sound late, so if you we will replace the samples we want to make sure to play on the click and not together with your mockup. If we know you will mix our real strings with the samples then we will try to match every detail, from timing to dynamics and articulation.

3. Projects with no string arrangement at all

For projects with no arrangement at all, you have many options for having us compose the arrangement for you. You can send us a youtube link of a song with a similar string arrangement to the one you are picturing, or alternatively you can be very descriptive of the mood you want to with strings. Our arranging services have unlimited revisions as well. Once you approve of the final arrangement we are ready to record!

Can you improvise as well? If so, in what styles?

Absolutely! The short answer: jazz, bluegrass, rock, pop, tango, flamenco, Middle Eastern.

My eclectic background both as a classical violinist/violist trained at the Menuhin Academy as well as playing in jazz combos with Kenny Burrell at UCLA have given me a unique background. Also, growing up partly in Spain and Argentina in my youth, I learned to play tango and flamenco. I have taught international tango seminars in Canada and the US, have played flamenco with guitar legend David Amaya, and have played bluegrass alongside Mark O’Connor. I am not by any means an expert Middle Eastern violinist, but I have done a fair share of “Indian” violin recordings and have a lot of players in my network that I can hire for a more authentic sounding Middle Eastern violin.

You mentioned overdubbing players. How many players are involved in the overdubbing and can I hire a large string section or orchestra instead?

The short answer is that the amount of overdubs depends on the section size you want. The more complex answer depends on your budget as well.

We have a team of players that record remotely from their own studios. For a typical string quartet recording, one player will record first violin, second violin and the viola part. The other player will record the cello. All of the string quartet examples on our website have been recorded in this way, including the whole album of the Vitamin String Quartet playing Bon Iver. This scenario doesn’t technically have any overdubs though since all of the parts are different.

For larger string sections we will have more players involved since we want to avoid one player overdubbing every single part in order to avoid phasing issues. In this case one player may overdub two or three lines, so we employ several techniques to avoid phasing. These include: mic placement, playing with/without mutes, playing with different fingerings in order to play on different strings, changing up the type of vibrato and changing instruments (we all have many instruments!). All of the examples of upper string sections and full orchestral sections on our site have been recorded with very few players.

Now for the more complex answer to the question:

(…can I hire a large string section or orchestra instead?)

Producers/composers who contact us online are typically looking for a very fast turnaround time and want us to stay within the lowest possible budget. We make things affordable by consolidating session player and studio costs to a very small and highly skilled team. If you have time however and have a budget that justifies hiring more players, we can plan the session for you remotely with an actual string quartet, string section or full orchestra.

We are constantly running sessions both in Los Angeles as well as in Buenos Aires. Some of the studios we have worked with in Los Angeles are EastWest and Igloo Music. In Buenos Aires we work with ION, the sudio that produces all of the main commercial recordings in Argentina. Astor Piazzolla, Lalo Schifrin, Ricky Martin and Paquito D’Rivera are some of the musicians that have recorded there, to name a few.

Similar to how the Bratislava or Czech Orchestras produce many of Hollywood’s remote orchestral recordings, on a smaller scale and a very competitive budget, we can produce an orchestral recording using Argentina’s world-renowned chamber group, the Camerata Bariloche.

I am still skeptical about remote recording, how can I be sure that I will get the result I am picturing?

Ask us for a free sample! If you like what you hear on our website, but still aren’t convinced, send us your track and tell us what you would like us to record on it. We will record a few bars on whatever section of the song you specify completely for free!

I’m ready to get started! What do I need to send you?

1.A reference audio file.
2.Specify the sample rate/bit depth you want us to record at (48kHz/24bit for example).
3.If the track was recorded to a click, let us know the BPM (Beats per minute) of your song.
4.Score, midi or instruction as to what we have to record/improvise or compose.
5.Instructions about any additional details important to you in the recording. The more we can nail on the first draft the more agile the revision process will be for both of us.

If your project is a film, please send us a midi track corresponding to each audio track as well. This way we can import the tempo map from the midi file to make everyone’s life easier! If you don’t have tempo changes in the tracks, forget this step, just send us the tempo and we’re all set.


Learn how to obtain your free custom string recording sample!