Can anyone help me? Hook Norton Band are keen to record a CD but I am not sure where to go to do it. Can anyone tell me about your experiences good or bad and possibly recommend someone/somewhere that is reasonable.
I'm sure you will get a lot of good recording companies/engineers etc to respond (and probably a lot of bands stating their experiences..mainly good if they have got some brass band track record).
We have just done our 1st CD in April and are pleased with the results
First...make sure you know a theme or programme of pieces you want to put on the CD...and make sure you have rehearsed them all to the nth degree!!
As far as setting it all up:-
1. Recording company...as we were not experienced in this we wanted a friendly/knowledgeable/accomodating company who could do a "full" package...recording...licensing...artwork from our input etc.
Look at the company we used...Absolute Recordings...Neil and Andrew guided us through the weekend with humour/help and encouragement.
Have a look at their packages at
you can get package quotes from here to get an idea.
2. We used a local school hall for the band and a separate classroom nearby for the recording electronics. Worked well...leave enough time and get a timetable together of the pieces relating to the pieces you want to put on....we had the engineers setup on Fri evening....recording all day Saturday....9:00-18:00...then Sunday 9:00-14:00 to catch any overuns or remaining items.
Ensure there are no motorways/trains/buidlers etc to cause extraneous noise while recording.
3. IMHO it's essential your MD is on the same wavelength as the guys doing the recording....each will have their ideas of what "sounds good"..as long as they have respect for each other's jobs all should go well...or a disaster if not!!!
Just a few personal thoughts.
There are some useful articles on 4BarsRest for things to consider when doing a CD....use these in your plan and best to have people responsible for the different tasks...it may sound an easy thing to do (apart from the playing)...but there is as much in the planning and project management of the weekend..plus afterwards with artwork etc and chaecking the masters sound good to the recording company as well as the MD.
We recorded a cd nearly 2 years ago. It was a great experience, and one I would thoroughly recommend.
It is important to put as much into getting artwork / programme content right as into the actual playing. We involved all the band in all the various aspects so that they really felt it was a team effort.
Also try and find a good venue, somewhere where there is not much outside noise. We were fortunate in that we used the Bandroom of the Dragoon Guards Band, the acoustics were spot on.
I'm sure that there has been an earlier thread on this topic, perhaps one of the mods can find it for us.
However, I would recommend B&H Sound in Peterborough. They produce a free booklet that I'm sure will help you.
Contact Nicki Seager at www.bhsound.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org
I've arranged a couple of recordings for brass band in the past, and has already been mentioned it is a really good experience. Its also been said that the venue and programme / theme are importntant factors too, which they certainly are.
The other really important thing is the producer. You have to decide whether it's to be someone who knows more about the band or a professional who knows more about the music (or both ideally), but either way they need to not be afraid of making you do stuff over and over and over again till you get it just right, its so easy to spot mistakes on a recording especially when it's you that made them!
When we were deciding on which company to use we took into account the quality we wanted but also how much we were prepared to pay. We took sample recordings from the companies mentioned below, (listed in no particular order) mixed them up and put them onto one CD. We then played this to various members of the band and sorted them out (in our opinion of course) quite easily into who's quality of recording we thought was the best was. Perhaps not surprisingly we found the most expensive to sound the best.