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And what, exactly, do you do?

‘What, exactly, is it that you do?’ Someone asked me the other day. I’m retired, though I'm still a writer, but what they meant was the live room and control room tucked away in the barn. It’s a retirement thing. For some, it’s photography, for others a boat, for some a motor home, for others a big touring bike, for some, it’s guitars. For me, it was turning my barn into a useful leisure space - the leisure in question being recording music. It came about in a couple of ways. For one, I write songs and I had a good DAW for which I’d worked my way through the training course. For two, I had this party room, cum summerhouse which I’d created in one end of the barn*. This room was - and is - great for playing music in. The moment arrived when I looked at the barn beyond the room and thought - ‘I could create a control room through there…’. So a couple of months and a lot of money later, there it was: a proper home studio - live room, control room and iso spaces, gear stores - the barn already had a kitchen and loo, not to mention a party and bbq deck.

And it works. And people now say, “What do you charge?” I’ve given this question a lot of thought, not least because it wasn’t - and isn’t - my intention to go into business as a recording studio. I’m a writer with a hobby and I know a bit about publishing. This doesn’t mean I’m about to record all and sundry for nothing. Aside from the fact that that would be rather upsetting for studios in the area who are in business, my hobby is not without costs. I don’t do a price list but anyone interested in rehearsal/pre-production space, tracking and mixing would find my home studio more than useful. ‘Dry hire’, and ‘part dry hire’ (space only or space and some equipment) can be arranged, as can engineered sessions and full production, with expertise and experience available. Recent projects have included video, voice - overs, photo shoots and elements of barter… anything is possible. Internet radio and pod-casting also on the horizon.

I don’t do ‘opening hours’ either, so don’t ask. If I’m free and the room is free we can work out convenient times. Do ask if you have a project that would benefit from some time in a dedicated live room - whether you are looking to build up material over a few weeks or months, or if you have a set that’s ready now to be worked up as an album for cd and/or streaming/download, or need to put together a demo. Do people still do demos? Apparently yes.

And if you’d be interested in an informal, free ‘songwriter session’ with other songwriters trying out ideas and swapping notes, that’s something else I’m thinking of doing with my hobby room.

* It’s a very big barn.

This week's songwriting blog will follow shortly...

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