I'm very excited to announce the very first ORCHESTRA DISCOVERY SESSION for this Patreon Page. I don't think that anything like this already exists in this form so I'm even more excited to be launching this format. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, below are all the questions you might have and their respective answers:
What is an ORCHESTRA DISCOVERY SESSION?
From now on, my goal is to hold regular professional recording sessions with live musicians specifically for this Patreon Page. I will write one or several pieces for these occasions and document the process on here. Also, we can use these sessions to experiment and try out things. For instance we can investigate how different instrumental combinations or how different voicings will sound. But the most exciting thing is: on every session I will invite a handful of you guys to record your pieces with the ensemble.
How do you finance this?
As you might have noticed, all your pledges currently generate about 750$ per month. I use some of that money to pay for this session. We're starting with a quite small line-up on this session to be financially affordable and reduce the financial risk that I'm taking with this. In the future, hopefully with some considerable growth of patrons and income, I hope I will be able to fund larger ensembles. The idea is to increase the line-up every time a bit more until we hopefully reach full orchestra size.
How often will these sessions take place?
Currently, about two small ensemble sessions per year are within reach. Ideally, I would like to be able to fund four full orchestral sessions each year but this goal is still in the rather far future.
When will the first session take place and what line-up will it be?
Most likely, we'll have the first session towards the end of the first quarter or early second quarter of 2021 (if Corona allows). I started a separate poll about the line-up for the first session. You can vote for either String Quartet, Brass Quartet, Woodwind Quintet or Piano Quartet.
Where and how will it be recorded?
We will either record in Prague or Budapest in a professional recording studio with a proper mic setup. All musicians will be professional session musicians so the result will be a professional performance and recording.
Ok, I'm excited! How do I apply to have my music recorded there?
Towards the end of the year, there will be an official application launch date. After this date you can send me some of your music (ideally in notated form + audio demo). It can be any music (for acoustic instruments). So you don't need to write anything for the line-up that we're recording just yet, but of course you can also send something in that incorporates it already.
[The following section has been changed due to Patreon's regulations]
Patreon doesn't allow chance based benefits as in some states and countries this would be considered as gambling which of course could create legal consequences. So this means that the winners can not be picked in a draw (which I would prefer).
So based on what you send in, I will pick the patrons who will get the chance to record in this first ORCHESTRA DISCOVERY SESSION. In my decision I will favor the following:
1. People who I think will have the greatest learning experience from recording their music with real musicians.
2. People who write the most attractive compositions but don't have a large track record of constantly working with live ensembles.
I will also pick one or two "runner-up" spots who will also be recorded in case we have session time left or one of the picked candidates can't make it or gets cold feet.
In the future I plan to install a jury for these kind of decisions or have a community vote as I don't want to carry it alone but in order to not make things too complicated for this first attempt at this project, this time I will chose the winners.
After the candidates are picked, they will get enough time to write their pieces for the line-up that is set for the recording.
I will guide your process if needed and the process of your writing should be documented. Ideally it would be great if you could do one or a few write-ups of your thought process when writing these cues, problems that you came across etc and generally talk us through your composition. Alternatively you could record a screencast, a podcast or whatever you feel comfortable with but it would be mandatory to document your process for the community so that everybody has a learning experience. I will do my best to give you advices and help to bring the piece into the best shape for the recording and of course document that here as well.
Anything else that I need to do to qualify?
Yes. At the date of the application launch, you should have gone through at least three consecutive payment cycles in the $12 or higher tier or at least six consecutive payment cycles in the $5 tier. People in the $1 tier will not be able to participate. You should also stay in your tier (or upgrade) until after the session. By the way, if you join the $12 tier until September 30th, you will be able to apply for this session as you will have fullfilled the three payment cycles before the application starts.
What kind of music can I record?
You can record anything that works with the line-up at a maximum length of two minutes. Ideally this should be one piece, but two shorter pieces that add up to two minutes will also be acceptable. Of course we need to keep an eye on the difficulty level as it will be a sight reading session but as mentioned above, I will give you advice on this. I will try to give you as much freedom as possible but in case I need to step in to make sure that we can get it recorded in time you need to follow my remarks. Also, the music should not be touched by any third party rights as this might interfere with your ability to document the process of inception as mentioned above.
How will the recordings work?
I will let you know the recording date and location well in advance. You can either come to the session personally (at your own expense) or listen via high quality source connect internet stream and give feedback during recording.
What will I need to prepare for the session?
You should provide the score and parts as PDF as well as a Protools Session or MIDI file with the tempo track. For efficiency reasons we will record the pieces to click. Again, if needed I will guide you on this process.
What will I get after the session?
You will get the entire Protools Session of your piece that includes all microphones and all takes. If you don't have a copy of Protools, I or maybe someone else from the community could export multitrack audio files from the session so you have the separate takes and all microphones as single audio files.
You can then go ahead and edit and mix the track yourself or hand it over to a mix engineer of your choice.
The final recordings will also be shared here along with their score sheets.
What can I do with the recording?
There is no limitation. The recording is a buyout, so you can sell it, release it, license it, use it in a commercial project or bury it on your hard disc forever. Whatever you like. However, if you release it, I would appreciate if you would mention that it was made possible through this Patreon site, for instance as track description on Soundcloud or on your website.
Will I only be able to apply once for a session?
No. You can apply every time we hold an ORCHESTRA DISCOVERY SESSION. I of course will favor people who have not been recorded yet in the pre selection to give a fair chance to as many people as possible but in case there are not enough applicants or you really knock my socks off I would consider putting you back on the shortlist.
I love the idea but don't feel secure enough yet to apply or don't have time for this. Is there anything else I can do to support this cool idea?
Absolutely! Let your composer friends know of this possibility. As I mentioned above, the more people we gather here, the bigger line-ups we can book and the more often we can do such recordings.
I love the idea and would love to take part but don't want to go through all these steps described above to record there, is there any other way?
Yes, we can modularly extend the session so if you want to record something that fits that line-up we can just book more session time and charge you with the extra costs (which will be less than booking a session on your own). Please contact me privately to discuss the possibilities.
Will anything else on this site change?
No, all other things on here will remain just as they are. You will get your regular dose of tutorials, articles, composition walkthroughs etc. so these sessions are just an awesome new bonus feature you get with your membership.
So where's the catch?
There is none apart from the rules that I mentioned above. I'm taking on a bit of a financial risk and apart from this need to invest quite a bit of time into this but I hope that it pays off in an increased community spirit, a bigger reach and a joint excitement about recording real musicians and not just pushing samples around in a DAW.
This whole thing is a premiere so I really don't know if it will go as smoothly as anticipated, whether we will run into complications or whether we need to adjust the regulations at one point in the future if the current regulations stated above prove to be impractical. This is a pilot project that I undertake to give you guys a chance to record with real musicians as well as creating a unique selling point for the membership on this Patreon page. I trust that nobody uses any juristical dodges to torpedo this idea.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share your thoughts either publically in the comments below or via private message.
Again, I'm really excited to be launching this and really hope you guys appreciate the new opportunities that it creates.