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Rockgarden Recording Studio: F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions: - February 10, 2017

1. What do you mean by "You Don't Need A Band?"

It's not always easy to assemble a team of dedicated, talented musicians who share your vision when it comes to putting a quality performance (be it live or recording) together of your original material. There are obstacles that could get in the way of your precious compositions seeing the light of day. With varying egos, lack of professionalism, scheduling conflicts and a host of other unexpected obstacles, putting a band together can often be quite frustrating.

At Rockgarden Studio, you'll be working with a seasoned, professional engineer who's also a rare, gifted musician who can play all the missing parts to your songs. I'll provide drums, percussion, create smokin' grooves and beats, bass lines (acoustic/electric/synth), strings, brass arrangements, or minimal instrumentation... whatever your style calls for. This is all at a very high level of musicianship. Creative mixing capabilities bring it all home.

2. I'm not too proficient on any musical instrument, but my songs are in my head and I need help getting them out onto a CD. Can you help me with that?

Many of my clients just sing their song, maybe play drums using their hands slapping their knees... you'd be surprised at how some artists communicate their vision. Dean will begin by playing some synth or piano chords that properly support the melody and quickly start the process of "building" up the other instrumentation, one track at a time.

The artist always has the final say and together we'll make musical decisions as to where the song is going. Before you know it, there's a working "musical blueprint" taking shape and it's time to begin laying down some vocal tracks. The whole process can be very exciting as you hear your dream leap out of the speakers!

3. I've already gotten some tracks recorded at another studio but their rates are astronomical and exceeds my current budget. Is it possible to bring the unfinished files to Rockgarden for completion?

Yes indeed! You're welcome to bring in any previously recorded material originated at another facility. The recording gear at Rockgarden is right on par with some of the most notorious studios worldwide, so any additional recording we do will still retain the overall sonic integrity of your initial tracks and possibly improve on them in the process. Dean will blend it all together and mix and master a professional finished product ready for broadcast or placement on multi-media and other websites.

4. I'm also a programmer/producer and know just what I want in every facet of my project, so I basically need you to just engineer the sessions while I do the rest. Is this OK?

Yes. You're free to be as creative and hands on as you need to be. If you're a keyboardist yourself, you're free to sit in front of the keyboard and play away. I'm always there for support, and have no problem letting you be you, free to do your thing. If you just need me to simply engineer, I'm happy to do so.

5. I'm a vocalist with a closet full of just lyrics, no music. Can you compose in the style of my choice to fit the lyrics and my voice?

I am well versed, creative and stylistically in a wide-ranging way when it comes to composition. Not only can I provide original Bass lines, String and Brass arrangements, saxophone solos and piano beds on the spot, but he can assist with melodies, harmonies, musical hooks and arrangements. There's no additional charge for this type of's all part of the process!

6. I notice some studios offer full packaging to market and distribute my finished CD. Is this available at Rockgarden?

While I'd be happy to assist you in your search for CD duplication, graphic art and overall packaging services, I have chosen to not offer these services. I say "let the experts do what they do best!" I'll point you toward a few reputable companies that excel at this type of work, where many Rockgarden clients have had great success. With me you'll concentrate on the music and nothing but the music! When you're project reaches it's final completion, you'll be armed with a broadcast quality CD that's ready for all of the above!

7. How far in advance do I need to book a session?

While it's always safe to book your session weeks ahead of time, you're always welcome to call anytime and see what openings are available on a day to day basis. With occasional openings in the schedule, It's always possible to book a session at short notice.

8. I have a few CDs from my favorite artist/producer and I'm kind of looking to take my project in a similar direction: Are you opposed to giving them a listen so you can better understand what I'd like to achieve?

This is a good question! While I always strive for originality and unique perspective on your original creations, it never hurts to get a feel for what you the artist consider to be worthy of his attention, whether it's for the instrumentation, arrangements, production values or just overall "vibe". In this business we're Never "done" learning and growing, sometimes even taking a step "backward" to achieve a "vintage feel/sound. So yes, feel free to bring in any music you feel will expedite the process of getting your vision clearly across.

10. Will the NY METS ever put it all together?

 It's hard to think so, given the failures of the past few years. There's good young pitching in our future, and with a few breaks along the way, anything is possible. Either Jason Bay gets himself BACK on the "juice", or cut him and eat his salary.

11. What methods of payment are accepted?

Payment can be in the form of cash, ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS and Paypal

12. Do you think Barbara Streisand should have considered a nose job?

NO! Babs is beautiful inside and out! Why mess with a classic?!

13. I'm really in need of just a simple songwriters demo, not a broadcast quality fully produced CD. Is this do-able?

Yes. If you need to cut a basic demo, we can quickly put together some bare bones tracks to simply get the point across (if it still happens to sound great, blame me)!

14. I just completed some sessions at this dude's apartment who claimed to be a professional audio engineer. His hourly rate was ridiculously low, so this seemed like a no-brainer considering my budget constraints. His mother kept screaming at him to clean his room. He even charged me for what is basically poor- sounding tracks. Can you possibly help salvage the tracks if I bring them in to him?

Sometimes yes, sometimes not so easily. For the most part, "Crap in, Crap out". While I am as skilled as anyone in restoring and maximizing the sound quality of previously recorded material, it's awfully hard to polish a turd. Beware of "Dudes".

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