Welcome! To The Play It Again Demos and Nashville Trax Blog

performing band silhouette

Welcome to the Nashville Songwriter’s Blog sponsored by the song demo service, Play It Again Demos, the recording studio, Nashville Trax and the song marketing service, Song Rocket.

Nashville Trax have been in business producing demos, master recordings and instrument tracks for songwriters and producers since 1991.

This blog contains numerous posts about songwriting technique,. music theory, artists seeking songs, song publishers seeking songs and more!

E-mail us at nashtrax@bellsouth.net or at piademos@bellsouth.net to inquire about:

  • Having a demo, master quality single or album produced
  • Adding instrument tracks played by Nashville session musicians to your self-produced project.
  • Live stage performance tracks made of a cover song or original

Samples of our work are posted below .

Studio News:

Fisher’s of Men CD makes 2016 Grammy ballot

Dan Thompson’s single, “A Good Day for Progress” distributed by Sony drops to radio

Camille Rae’s single, But I Want You, on CMT

Here are some MP3 samples of our song demo work. We produce Country, Christian, Blues, Americana, Bluegrass, Pop, Rock.. you name it.

Here are indie and major label song pitch opportunities

Not computer savvy? No time? No connections? You’d rather focus on song writing than on song promo? Here’s how we can promote your song for you. What a great time to be a songwriter!

Play It Again Demos is a service for songwriters who need high quality demos and CDs made of their work using Nashville session quality musicians and singers.

Nashville Trax is a project recording studio for singers and songwriters who either live in the area or wish to come to the Nashville area from other locations to record. Nashville may be known for country and bluegrass but these guys can play anything.

If you haven’t had much success with your music in the past using other studios and producers, hop on board and hold on. Things are about to change!

This blog is about songwriting, producing, recording and life. If we think it will help you out in some way, we post it. It’s free of charge and access is unrestricted, stop by anytime. Subscribe if you like, that’s free too.

Enjoy!


Now Tracking: 5 More Songs for Client Gary Nowak

Your Songs Can Be On The Next  Session! Ask For A Quote!

Your Songs Can Be On The Next Session! Ask For A Quote!

5 songs just in and confirmed (paid for in full) for Play It Again Demos client Gary Nowak.

We’ve produced several projects for Gary in the past. Recently, he began a business creating professional videos based on our work (so far he’s gone to video with a song we produced for him called “Gasoline” and another titled “Miracle At Work”) and posting them on You Tube. They are filmed by professional photographers and employ actors to lip sync to the recording.

Obviously his enterprise is becoming successful. See this link for details about what Gary is doing:

More About Gary Nowak Projects


Artists Looking For Songs: Jason Aldean

acoustic guitar photo

Producer Michael Knox is looking for songs for Jason Aldean.

Knox is the Creative Director of Peer Music and is known mostly for his work on previous Jason Aldean recordings. Only established music publishing companies with a well established relationship with Michael Knox or Peer may submit.

Unpublished songwriters should submit their work only through a Nashville music publisher as described above.

One such publisher is:

LAMusicPublishing.1@gmail.com. Contact for permission before submitting.

 

There is currently no deadline for this project.


Michael Jackson’s Rhianna Demo Finished!

Tim Zimmermann

Tim Zimmermann

The Michael Jackson (not THAT Michael Jackson!) penned, Rhianna, we were hired to produce a demo on is finished!

Here’s a brief clip of the “before” version we were furnished with:

Here’s the Play It Again “after” sung by our pop vocal and background vocal specialist, Tim Zimmermann (pictured above):

Click here for more information about this project.

Rhianna is © Michael Jackson 2013, posted by permission. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use is a violation of U.S. and International copyright law.

If you’re interested in recording Rhianna or using it in any commercial application please let us know and we’ll forward your “request for a mechanical license.”

Pro demos make everyone- friends, family, artists, record company A & R and music publishers- take notice. Have 3 or 4 pro demos to peddle and they’ll brand you as a pro-level songwriter every time you pitch them.

We would be thrilled to do that for you!

If you would like a quote on making a professional version of your song simply drop an e-mail with your rough mp3 or mp4 attached to: nashtrax@bellsouth.net detailing what you want.

Write in another style? There are more samples of work to your right in Categories > Samples of Our Work.


Meet The Producer : Nashville Trax and Play It Again Demos

The music producer, and sometimes engineer at the Nashville recording studio Nashville Trax and the over-the-Internet song demo service Play It Again Demos is Bill Watson. Mr. Watson brings years of experience with song structure, lyrics, arrangement, recording and production to your project. He will choose the perfect session quality Nashville musicians and pro session singers for your song.

He’s known for taking a songwriter’s rough work, no matter how sketchy it is, and transforming it into something amazing. Check out our samples, hopefully you’ll agree.

“I certainly hope you choose our services because I know we can do far more with less for you than any other service out there, but even if you don’t I wish you much luck in your musical endeavors. And far more important, may you find peace and happiness in this life and beyond.”-Bill Watson

Bill Watson, music producer Nashville Trax, Play It Again Demos

Bill Watson, music producer @ Nashville Trax Recording Studio, and Play It Again Demos


Now Tracking : The Darker Side Of Love

Nashville Trax Music Studio
We’re finally getting around to the tracking of Tom Hogan’s (a.k.a. Steve Zodiak, his fictitious online name) “The Darker Side of Love” which was the subject of a previous post. It took a while to make some pre-production decisions and get the financials in order.

Love the tune! Uptempo contemporary country with a female vocal and lots of bgv’s. It’s “The Works” level demo ($1,200) so it’s also getting drums, bass guitar, two guitar tracks, fiddle, mandolin and harmonica with the harmonica and fiddle trading licks on the solo section. Steve said, “Make it Rockin’ Country!”

No one has to ask me that twice, LOL. Charts are complete and we’re ready to cut rhythm tracks on this bad boy.- b.e.

10-12-13 Update: Here’s the finished mix.

1 lead vocal track
2 harmony vocal tracks
10 Drum kit tracks (10 separate tracks with each drum microphone getting a separate track, kick, snare, top head, snare bottom head, etc.)
1 bass guitar track
2 split acoustic guitar tracks, panned wide
2 chorused clean electric guitar tracks panned wide
1 distorted rhythm electric guitar track
1 harmonica track
1 fiddle track
1 steel guitar track
1 mandolin track

The Darker Side of Love is © 2013, Tom Hogan, used by permission of the songwriter. If you’re interested in recording this song please let us know and we’ll forward your request to the songwriter and music publisher.

Tom’s comment on 11-17-13: “Thanks for all you’ve done. I’ve nothing to say but good things about the “Darker Side of Love” project.”

How do you like that harmonica work? It adds a lot, eh? And that awesome fiddle trading licks with the harmonica on the solo?

How would you like to be pitching work of this quality?

I can happen! Send us a copy of your working rough mp3 at nashtrax@bellsouth.net and request a quote today!


Play It Again Demos Receives 2013 Nashville Award

Play It Again Demos Nashville Recording Studio Business Award

Play It Again Demos Nashville Recording Studio Business Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NASHVILLE September 6th, 2013 — Play It Again Demos has been selected for the 2013 Nashville Award in the Recording Studios category by the Nashville Award Program.

Each year, the Nashville Award Program identifies companies that enhance the positive image of small business through exceptional service to their customers and our community. These companies help make the Nashville area a great place to live, work and play.

The Nashville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Nashville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to outperform their competitors and provide long-term value for their customers.

CONTACT:
Jason Taylor
888-731-3985
Email: PublicRelations@awardprogram.org


Play It Again Demos : We Save Files!

Avalon VT 737SP pic

I just mailed out CD copies this morning to Play It Again Demos client James Lefik. Nine years ago, Jim had me produce a very basic demo of his song “Bits of Forever” and later, a much more elaborate full band demo. Back then CDs ruled and he had some copies made. But over time they were given away, lost or misplaced.

I mentioned how meticulously we backup session files on the post regarding the Kerry McFate session

Well 9 years have gone by, yet, when Jim asked if files were available they were! We were able to upload the original session into Pro Tools, execute a mix, and give Jim not only CDs but also a .wav stereo mix copy via Dropbox and an MP3 via e-mail! All for only $150!

Without the backup Jim’s only option would have been to pay for the entire demo all over again.

These days almost all mix files are stored on hard drives. Even if you have external backup, you’re only a lightning strike or multiple hard drive failure away from losing your work- b.e.


Microphone Locker: The AT 4040

 A pair of At 4050's used as overheads on our studio drums.

A pair of At 4040’s used as overheads on our studio drum kit

The fact we have a pair of matched AT 4040 microphones is yet another reason to choose Play It Again Demos (our over-the-internet demo recording service) or Nashville Trax to do your recording work. They let us give you predictably fantastic drum sounds, and they add one more color to the producer’s palette.

For large diaphragm condensors they’re “cheapies” listing at around $500 each and retailing about $300. But price is irrelevant to application. In other words, a $150 dynamic microphone will sometimes outperform a $3,000 condenser microphone, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

The AT is listed as having relatively flat response across the audible spectrum from 20 HZ to about 20K. In actual use I’ve discovered it is a little heavy on the bass end, not muddy, just loud, and crystal clear in the mids. The high end is clear too but if that’s what the application requires, you have to roll off the bass to reveal it.

We use a pair of AT’s for drum overheads so normally I keep the 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave switch set to minimize the bass response. Once EQ’d properly, they shine as overheads.

I feel blessed here at the studio in two ways. We have a good selection of mics to choose from that cover every recording situation, plus we have a drum kit set up permanently.

So many studios let the drummer furnish the drums and that means setting up and tearing down the whole kit for most sessions. Then the mics have to be set up and re-calibrated each time. It can be done but I have zero time for redundant, skull numbing mindlessness and there’s no way you’ll achieve the consistently great sound inherent in a permanent drum setup unless you have one. So we do.

Comments from seasoned studio musicians on the drum sounds are typically, “I wish my kick drum sounded like THAT!” and, “The drums sound PERFECT, don’t change a thing!”

The drums alone have 9 microphones: bass drum, snare, hi-hat, 3 tom mics, the two AT 4040’s, and a room mic. I can fire up the gear, the drummer can simply sit down and start pounding away and with minimal tweaking, we’re ready to record.

All that being said I must admit that I sometimes pull an AT off the drum kit, usually out of desperation because a far more expensive mic isn’t getting it done. And usually the AT excels. I’ve used them on background vocals, fiddle, even horns.

On one session I used an AT for lead vocal instead of a $1,000 mic that pre-session I figured would almost certainly work because it had for that same singer many times prior. Both the singer and I agreed: The AT simply sounded better for his voice that day- B. E. Watson


Traditional Country Song Pitch Opportunity

Play It Again Engineer Mixing A Song Demo

Play It Again Engineer Mixing A Song Demo. Why not yours?

If you have an uptempo traditional country song you’ve been holding back here’s a great excuse to have a demo made at Play It Again Demos and pitch it.

Garrett Miles is seeking uptempo traditional country. He is playing bars and concerts, has built a large fan base and has opened for several well known country acts. This may offer an excellent chance to get a cut before he signs a major label deal.

Some new songwriters can’t understand why they’d want to give first rights on a song to a rising star instead of holding out for an established artist. Agreed, it’s a gamble. But imagine, if you had a cut on an early Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift….you name the artist… CD, it would have forever given you a credit that meant something as well as exposure for possible future covers of your song. And it’s generally easier to get a thumbs up on a song pitch at this point in a career.

Send your uptempo country tune in and if we agree it fits the pitch request, we’ll cut it at a discount rate (15% off our most recent order form rate*) and submit it for the project. Of course you’ll retain all rights.

*Discount offer does not apply to projects already agreed to or already in production.


Former PIAD singer Krista Marie Taking The Farm to Australia

Krista Marie

Former Play It Again Demo’s singer Krista Marie who joined The Farm (on Warner Brothers) a few months ago will be performing with them at a gig in Australia Sunday, March 17th.

Krista sang on many Play It Again Demos over a period of several years as well as singing lead vocals on the swing tune “Borrowed Time” for the John Smith Nashville Trax project.

Her first break came when she landed a job on Nashville Star as a personal assistant to Alabama‘s Randy Owen, who was on Broken Bow at the time, the same label Krista later signed with.

Unfortunately almost all artist signings include clauses preventing singers from using their voice to make money for anything except furthering their aspirations with the label. So after becoming a Broken Bow artist Krista could no longer work for us. But we love to hear about our former singer’s career building efforts and wish her all the luck possible.

The Farm’s current single is called, “Be Grateful.”


New pics at Play It Again Demos

Music Row, Nashville

There are some new website pics taken by David Watson and Bill’s wife, Cindy Watson posted at Play It Again Demos

Take a look and see if you don’t think it improves the site!