Around 2014 I looked for a decent singer for my heartscore-project. I contacted many singers on Youtube and got not one reply though I had offered a good rate for the job. Then I fed Google with keywords like “Rock singer for hire” or “Vocals hire” and stepped through the results. Some looked complicated or not professional, but after hours of searching I stopped at studiopros.com
They present a vast collection of singers, male and female, and musicians. The musicians cover almost all instruments, they even offer Solo-strings, a brass-section and also the most important wood-winds. Additionally Studiopros is also offering Mixing and Mastering for your songs.
What is missing? In the keyboard-department I miss a real piano, or better a grand. If they offer it it’s not clear, because they make no difference between “Keyboards” and “Piano”, so I guess they record the piano with a Digital Piano. They don’t offer full orchestra and you will also not find any exotic or more classical instruments like Oboe and harp. The bass-collection lacks a double-bass. I looked for a male Rock singer with an edgy voice. Actually they offer eight different male singers, each with a Demo Reel. The Demo Reels sound all as if they were taken from a major production, so I was quite impressed and stopped at the profile of their singer “Chris”. I knew immediately, that this was the right one. Meanwhile I have also worked with a female singer and was equally blown away by the performance and the recording-quality.
Their website looks pretty neat and professional. They promise to deliver recordings of professional musicians for around 150$ per track and they cover all styles and genres.
Of course you could also go to Soundbetter or Airgigs, or you could work with one of the many single online-musicians, which have set up dedicated homepages, but I have choosen Studiopros, because there is a major difference compared to all other services: The quality-level of their singers and musicians is equally high. You will not find any mediocre or unprofessional offerings on their site. On Soundbetter and Airgigs you first have to filter hundreds of musicians and you have to believe, what they describe on their profiles. On those platforms each musician is responsible for his description and therefore it feels a bit like scrolling through Ebay-auctions: You look at the ratings of the seller. You have to compare prices and the correlation of price and value. And at last you always take a risk, because you don’t know the person, which offers the musical service. At studiopros you deal with a company, which takes over the responsibility for the quality of the performance and recording and the communication. They also prefilter the artists, which you can hire. You also don’t have to communicate with the singer/instrumentalist. You talk to a producer and the producer is responsibale for the result of the job. I mostly talk to producer Robb Hutzal and I am always very satisfied with the polite and professional level of communication. Before Studiopros I had made other experiences with online-musicians. Some might be brillant players, but if they don’t know how to handle a customer it’s hard to achieve good results. Second you get no guarantees for the technical recording-quality from single musicians on Soundbetter and Airgigs. Maybe the performance is great, but later you detect noises in the background of the recording and then you have to discuss with the seller. At Studiopros the recordings are made in a professional studio. According to their Youtube-presentation all recordings are produced in a professional studio including an engineer and dedicated rooms. In my experience you can hear that difference. And I don’t wonder, that Studiopros has already worked for American Idol and many other well-known people of the music-industry. Third the prices are transparent and fixed. Sometimes they offer special-prices on Christmas or other occasions. I also appreciate, that the prices don’t vary. If you need just a plain recording without additional services like overdubs, more voices etc they charge 150$ for a song up to five minutes. Just a few services have a different price-range, for an example drum-recording and the mixing/mastering service. In my opinion this is a sensational offering, if you keep in mind, that you get a studio based in Los Angeles including an engineer, a professional musician and a dedicated producer to talk to. Sometimes I ask myself how they can offer such a competitive price. Many single offerings on Soundbetter and Airgigs are much higher (though you can also find cheaper musicians there). How do they do that?
The Order Process
You just create an account on Studiopros and skip through the musicians. If you have decided to hire somebody you drop the service in your basket. The website works the same like any other E-commerce site. Often you can add optional services like “The singer will write lyrics for your song” etc. At last you can pay via Credit Card or PayPal. You can order a service and upload your files later. The ordered service will be saved within your customer-profile until you upload your playback.
This is very useful, if you want to take advantage of their special offers. You get the special offer and can store it in your account until you need the service. Sometimes I have ordered several vocal-tracks for a special price and saved a lot of money. Back to the ordering-process: If you want to start the recording-process immediately you just have to upload files (normally a playback) and the recording-process will start afterwards. Studiopros promises to deliver a high-quality preview within 48 hours. In my experience they mean buisiness-hours, so don’t expect to get something on sunday. However if the delivery time is longer, your dedicated producer will notify you via Email and ask you, if you can wait longer, or if you have a deadline.
In my experience they are not always exactly in time, but all in all they are very reliable. When you have got the mp3-preview you can check the result and if you are satisfied with the preview you mark “Accept the file”. Immediately you are redirected to the download and can enjoy the recording and integrate it into your project.
The Storage Plans
At this point you can also still add other studio-musicians to your project and also order a “storage plan”, which means, that studiopros will care for a professional backup of your files. Though it is of course important to care for a save backup, I think, that the storage plan offered by studiopros is too expensive for the normal customer like me. A single song costs 20$ per year. Think over how much you had to pay, if you would store all of your recordings at studio pros. I guess they want to pitch it to professional producers and record companies. An independent producer like me will prefer to use Dropbox or other Cloud-services.
First all of those highly professional singers and musicians work for professional bands in their real life, so I guess they want to avoid, that their public image is damaged. What if the fans of a well-known country-singer would recognise, that he has sung on a bad Death-Metal song? Second the privacy of the musicians is protected. A customer can not find the musician and fall on his/her nerves directly. Third Studiopros also restricts the possibility to contact the musician directly and to make a deal outside Studiopros. Anyway I understand the policy of Studiopros. I just think they should be more communicative regarding this topic. All other musicians at Studiopros are not shown with individual names and pictures, so you know immediately, that you will work with an anonymous player. The anonymous Status of Studiopros’ vocalists will not matter so much for songwriters and producers, who try to place commercial songs for Radio and TV. I think on composers, who try to break through on Taxi.com and similar services. But if you like to present a kind of band it’s a bit weird, that you give credits to “Chris”, courtesy of studiopros.com. In this way the artistic achievement of the performing musician is hidden behind the company. Anyway the advantages of the highly professional product outweighs these downsides. Maybe because of these restrictions Studiopros doesn’t offer Video until today. They should rethink their approach, because video is getting more and more important and also the anonymous composer and producer of successful hits could be interested to order a Video-performance of his/her song for industry-presentation or just for a Youtube-video. If Studiopros want to expand I highly recommend to fill this gap in the market, which otherwise will be filled by others. I have already ordered recordings including video from some more flexible single musicians at airgigs and sessionexchange
- Amazing musicians
- Professional recording quality
- Talk to a dedicated producer
- Serious and reliable
- Great value for the money
- All musicians work anonymously
- Storage plans too pricey
- Some instruments are missing
- Pictures of the vocalists not clearly marked as Fake-Pictures
Listen to two songs with vocalists from Studiopros (Sarah and Chris)