What is a Remote Orchestral Recording Session?
Updated: Jul 17
The Dream of Any Composer
Being a part of a remote orchestral recording means you can sit in the comfort of your own home while your music is being professionally recorded in another country. Since you will be “sharing” the cost of the full session with other composers on a pro rata basis, it comes at an affordable price. Furthermore, you will be able to join the session virtually and thus be an active participant communicating directly with the control room and conductor Having music recorded by an orchestra is a “bucket list” item for composers and this business-model allows everyone (ranging from those basic - to those with advanced - composition skills) to fulfil that dream.
What If I Can't Write Music Notation?
We encounter this frequently nowadays since most composers use DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to create music, and using a DAW requires no formal knowledge of music notation best practice. The good news is that remote orchestral recording production companies like Cinemagic Scoring usually have a professional orchestrator and arranger on staff to assist composers get the music orchestrated in formal notation so that an orchestra can perform and record it. Even seasoned composers that can write notation often need final guidance and input to ensure that on the day their music is playable on first reading and, most importantly, sounds good.
How Much Does A Shared Orchestral Recording Session Cost?
This is where things get really exciting since using a remote orchestral shared recording session makes the process eminently affordable and brings it well within the financial reach of the average “composer-on-the-street”.
This is how it usually works: the recording time is sold off to various composers who share the cost of the session, and as soon as the session is fully booked the production company contracts the orchestra to be brought into the recording studio for the day. You pay extra for any additional services you require such as orchestration assistance, video of the day (which I highly recommend), mix and mastering etc.
So How Does It Work?
Once you have a piece you want to record, get in touch with a remote orchestral recording company such as Cinemagic Scoring, and have them review your music. If you have submitted notation, the music director will let you know what, if anything, needs to be done to ensure best playability on the day. If you need orchestration assistance, this will be provided prior to the day of recording to ensure you are happy with the final sound. Any additional or non-traditional instruments that you want to book can be discussed at this point as well.
Then, all you need to do is login on the day and be a part of the session. You will be given the opportunity to give your approval as they move through your piece.
Once that is all concluded, your freshly recorded music will either be delivered to you in raw files, or if you have booked mixing and mastering, you will be given a high-quality master ready to share with family and friends. Included with the final delivery will be all stems (a stem is just one section playing together, so for example, the brass stem will just have all the brass players, and similarly the strings, percussion, and woodwinds plus any others the music might require). Having this level of separation is extremely important if you plan to import the project back into your DAW and add synth or additional percussion or other instruments, so you still have the flexibility to remix as you see fit.
We highly recommend that you book having a video filmed and edited as we have often had clients saying they wished they had booked this service after the fact. There’s something about seeing the players perform your piece and is a great showcase for the world to see and hear.