We could write books (and people have) about the steps we’re touching on below, but hopefully this section gives you a sense of what goes on around here.  Every project is different, so please feel free to give us a call and we can talk about the specifics of your recording and the ways we can approach it.

The heart of any project is the time spent recording.  Vertical Studios is setup to give great results in a large variety of tracking situations. 

In live tracking sessions, we can capture the live feel of an entire band playing together at the same time, while running 5 completely independent artist controlled headphone mixes, maintaining sight lines, and leaving complete freedom to overdub and edit parts because of the isolation achieved with the 4 separate sound-proof recording rooms. 

If it’s focusing on a single overdub at a time, we have the tools to find the perfect tone the song calls for through experimentation with instrument, mic selection, and placement.  Other times it’s as simple as creating a comfortable environment for a singer to give their best performance, giving them a perfect headphone mix and space to perform in.

Having a dedicated isolated control room is also critical to getting good sounds, as the engineer can hear what’s actually being recorded, as opposed to what’s coming from the instrument.

Equal in importance to the time devoted to recording, it is in the mixing stage that your project will really take shape.  We use industry-standard ProTools HD™ editing and mix software, in combination with API analog summing, and high-end outboard gear, to get that analog sound without giving up flexibility. Clients also have the option of mixing down to 1/2" audio tape as a final step that adds warmth and tends to really glue a mix together.

We can also edit out mistakes, and seamlessly piece together the best parts from different takes so you are left with only the best of your performance.  And we’re good at it.  The first time a musician sees how quickly and cleanly we can edit parts together, they inevitably crack some sort of guilty smile.

Volume automation (using a motorized flying-fader mixing board), compression, reverb, equalization, and a good pair of ears, will be used to create an ideal balance and blend between all your tracks throughout the song. 

Vertical Studios is also available to mix projects that were tracked in other rooms.  Perhaps you did some work on home recording setup and want to have a fresh set of ears mix the project in a balanced control room, with an assortment of outboard gear and software tools.  Vertical is also available for rent to outside engineers who need a space to track or mix in.  More details on the rates page.

Vertical Studios owner and operator, Tom Dobrzanski, can be hired as a Producer for your project. 

I’ll help you plan your project and determine how to make best use of your recording budget.  You’ll get a fresh set of ears to give a second objective opinion about the structure and arrangements of your songs, and how to best create the recording you’re setting out to make.  I strive to get a complete overview of the situation – band members’ tastes, your live show, your favourite albums, and figure out what you’re wanting to say musically… and help you say it more clearly.

I can help you with writing and arranging parts, and either hire musicians to perform them on your project, or when possible record them myself at no extra cost.  If you’re a singer/songwriter, I can work to build a band around you, hiring musicians that are best suited to your genre of music.

My job is also to help you decide which parts of which takes to keep – making notes as you record, saving the time of re-listening to everything.  Musicians can be their own worst critics (I’m as guilty of this as the next guy), and by using the best parts of all the takes as a starting point we can really keep things moving and keep everybody focused on what’s important – making a recording that’s full of energy not just “perfection”.

The best way to move forward is to contact Tom directly at tom@verticalstudios.ca and arrange to drop off a demo (whatever you’ve got), or if that’s not possible, have him attend a local show.