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How Recording Sessions Work


Online Recording Sessions
New software and Internet programs let anyone create digital music recordings from their computer.
New software and Internet programs let anyone create digital music recordings from their computer.
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Online recording sessions are a growing trend in the music industry, combining the ability to cast a wide net for musical collaborators with the convenience of the Internet.

Two major ways musicians are using the Internet to record are hiring musicians to play special parts of a song and then assembling them at home and hiring an online recording studio to provide backing tracks to raw songs.

 

National Public Radio reported that more amateur musicians are turning to the Internet to reach out and hire professional musicians or simply jam with other amateurs. The recordings they make sound like they came from a traditional studio.

Some aspiring songwriters and recording artists use online sites such as efiddler, studio-drummer, sessionplayers and e-session to hire professionals, even famous ones, for $250 to $1,000 per song, NPR reported.

Holding music recording sessions online requires special software. Some popular titles include Pro Tools, Nuendo, Garageband, Tracktion and Sonar.

Creating digital recording sessions online has several advantages, including price, convenience, selection and control. Some online digital recording studios for instance, offer complete demonstration songs, mixed and mastered using four instruments for as little as $245. Such studios offer guitar, drum, bass and keyboard tracks, among other services. Other online recording studios, such as houseoftracks.com provide production services, both online or onsite and charge as little as $40 a track, or $160 for four different musical instruments.

Customers using these services usually are asked to e-mail an MP3 file of their song to the online studio, including a simple chord chart, basic drum and rhythm tracks. Some also ask for vocal track if applicable. The customer can send specific instructions, such as asking for a guitar solo at a certain point in the song or a harmony chorus. They also can specify a type of instrument to be used and other subtle details. Or they can simply leave it up to the online studio producers and musicians to fill in the blanks as they see fit.

The studios often give a choice to the customer in delivery method of the finished product: MP3, .wav, aiff files, or as a finished CD.

With the growing popularity of simple-to-use software programs like Garageband and online recording, it's almost certain that more people will record their own music in the future.

For more information about recording sessions and related topics, check out the links on the next page.