During this lockdown, many musical activities have stopped.  Gigging, touring, theatre, busking, any form of public performance is no-go.  

But what I have noticed is that people are creating more than usual and I am working with people remotely more than I ever was.  As well as the UK, I work with people from all over the world.  At the time of writing I am in the process of working with artists from Australia, USA and Eire.

If you’ve never had a song produced remotely before, here is a short guide from me.

GEAR (If you have the gear already, skip this section!)

Assuming that you already have a computer to record on, you will need four essential things: a microphone, an audio interface, a DAW and some headphones – I’ll explain each.

You can buy excellent microphones at increasingly reasonable prices these days.  For a microphone, I would recommend either the British made Aston Origin (about £190) or the Rode NT1a (about £160).  Both are highly rated in the music community and higher quality that their prices would indicate.

An audio interface is the connection between your microphone and the computer that you record on.  It turns the analog signal of your microphone into a digital one that your computer can understand.  It will also be where you connect your headphones.  Many people use the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, which is about £100.

A DAW is the program or app that you use to record the audio.  If you have an Apple computer, laptop or iPad, then I would highly recommend Garageband, which you can get for free on Apple products.  As well as being a great program or recording, Garageband is also a lot of fun and create for fleshing out demos. If your computer is PC then there is a DAW called Audacity, which is free and perfectly good for recording.

Finally, you’ll need headphones to track your vocals and play the sound back.  Audio Technica’s ATH series start at about £40 for the ATH-M20x and go up in price and quality from there.

In short, you could get set up for recording for about £300.


I can’t express enough how much good communication matters when recording remotely.   Ensure that you have regular access to a video calling app, such as Skype or Zoom.

If we can’t be in the same room together while working on the song, then video calling is the next best thing.  Things can be sorted in a couple of minutes over a call, that may take much longer over email.

Having said that, please ensure that you have regular access to email, as that will be how I give you regular updates and you can send any short notes.


The way I work with people remotely usually goes something like this.

The artist gets in touch with me with a rough demo of the song they want to record.  From there, we will usually have a chat so I can find out more about what they want from the song and get a full idea of where to go with it.  (I ask for a 50% payment at this point.)

If it’s the first time I’ve worked with you, I may well create a very rough “mock up” of the song, using drum loops and guitars plugged directly in.  Don’t be alarmed by the lofi quality of this, it will just be to ensure that the tempo, feel and chords are all in the correct place.  If so, I will get started on the proper track.

I’ll send a first version to you when it’s ready – usually within a week.  Please listen closely and make a note of any changes.  It would be really useful for me if you could list all, the changes in one email so I can refer back.  We could also video call if there’s anything that you can’t put across in writing.  I may also ask for a guide vocal at the point.

This bit is important:  If you don’t like what I’ve done, just say.  I don’t mind; I’m a professional!  We’ll have a chat about what went wrong and I’ll start afresh.  Communication is always the key.

When you are completely happy with the track, it’s over to you to do the vocal.  We will probably chat about the best way for you to deliver the vocal and I may come up with some backing vocal ideas.  (At this point, feel free to laugh at my awful singing voice, but I will charge you an extra 20%…)

Feed the WAV into your DAW and record your lead vocal, preferably a number of times so that I have a few takes to work with.

If possible, try and record in a room free of reverberations (I know one artist that records her vocals with her bedroom duvet over her head – hey, it works).  There are other things that can ruin a vocal, such as popping, foot noise and getting too close to the mic.  I’ll let this article ably explain that.

If you’ve done a perfect vocal take with audio issues, there is a change that I may be able to rescue it with some of my magic boxes, but a clean recording is always preferred!

Export all the vocals, each as a separate file, all identical in length and clean (so no reverb, compression).  Send them to me by Dropbox or WeTransfer.

From there, I will mix the track and chat to you about mastering options.  When you’re completely happy – and only when you’re completely happy – we’re good to go!


I’ve covered a lot of ground in this blogs excuse the length.  The truth is that working remotely can be a really lovely and easy process as long as the communication is good.  

A lot of the more introverted singers like being able to record on their own, trying out new ideas or approaches on their own time with no one around.

And you can have a single or an EP or even an album done without even having to leave your house!  

God bless the internet.