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Do you have a studio to record in?

Yes, I have a choice of rooms to work out of, depending on budget, gear requirements and location. I have done the majority of my work out of the Central Massachusetts-based Tremolo Lounge studio, but I am not limited to one studio.

What's the difference between engineering and producing?

The line is often blurry here, but the simple answer is that an engineer is responsible for getting the sounds recorded, whereas the role of a producer will cover more of the actual shaping of the songs. Their job is to pull the best out of the project, possibly suggesting changes where necessary, and highlighting a project's strong points as well.

Do I need a producer?

It doesn't hurt. A good producer knows when to leave something as it is. You're trusting their ears to make decisions that show your music in the best light possible. It's often good to have an objective outside opinion, and this is where a producer is invaluable.

A producer can be a great resource for projects that are in the beginning stages and need a little definition.

We will be recording ourselves in our home studio. How could you help us?

I realize that many projects are being recorded outside of commercial studios nowadays. I would be able to help out by attending rehearsals and working with you on your material before you record. Even if I attend one or two rehearsals or catch a live show, I can help you focus your material so that you can move on with a better idea of how to achieve the best sounding record you can. I can also suggest gear that you may want to use to make the most of your recording setup.

Can you help us with song arranging?

Yes. I can help you edit your material to have the strongest impact, as well as help with vocal harmonies, and lyrical ideas.

I can also help with tonal decisions which will shape your sound, including guitar parts and tones. I have a wide selection of guitar gear (guitars, amps, pedals) to get you the exact tone that you are looking for.

I often work with solo songwriters who will come in with a sketch, maybe with just a guitar and a vocal, and together, we will create a full band track around the sketch. By the same token, sometimes someone will come in and record a track with the full band, and you realize it's not happening. You strip it to the basic of a voice and a guitar or piano and you hear the song highlighted in a much better way.

What are your rates?

While I do have set rates which I'd be happy to discuss in person, I find it more appropriate to ask you what your budget is. Often a client may be intimidated by the cost of a project. I would rather work from your budget down. There is a way to get a great sounding recording for $100, $10,000 and anywhere in between.

Do you have a "sound"?

I don't go into any project with a sonic agenda other than to get it to sound as good as possible, and to help you realize the sound that you're after. I have worked with so many different kinds of projects that I know when to leave a single vocal and acoustic guitar alone, and when to layer up stacks of Beach Boy harmonies. It all depends on what is appropriate for the music. The bottom line is that I'm here to be an extension of you and my goal is to help you achieve your musical vision.

Recording can be stressful. How do you deal with that in a session?

I feel that in order to make creative music, the atmosphere in the studio needs to be comfortable. I like to make sure that the client is always comfortable and isn't thinking about anything but doing the best take that they can...and if thinking about that is even stressing them out, I'll make them think about kittens.

I realize that music is a very personal experience. I feel that it's important to meet with prospective clients before any time is booked to discuss their needs and desires and to establish a relationship before the microphones are plugged in.


Roger Lavallee