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On-line Sessions: Remote Working | Audio Files

On-line Session Services Compared
By Sam Inglis

If your music deserves the best musicians, the Internet provides the means to find them. We test the three leading on‑line session services.

A friend of mine has a theory that people who can't really sing write better songs in order to compensate for their vocal deficiencies. If only he was right, what you're about to hear would be a work of genius.

'Nothing For Christmas' was my attempt to write an old-fashioned Christmas song, as interpreted by the three different on-line session services I tested in the July 2009 issue of SOS. To try to create a fairly level playing field, I've deliberately used as little processing as possible in creating these mixes. This was limited to a small amount of compression on the mix itself, on all the kick drum tracks, and on the bass in the Missing Track version; I also used a modest low-cut EQ on the Missing Track keyboard part and the Studio Pros guitar part, and a small amount of plate-style reverb on the snares. Fader rides were also kept to a minimum, so you are hearing the arrangements in as pure a form as possible.

I used exactly the same vocal and guitar takes on the Missing Track and eSession versions (that's my ancient Fender Vibrochamp farting out on the first chord, alas), with the same processing and automation. Studio Pros supplied their own guitar part and incorporated a new key change, so the first half of the vocal was re-sung. They also supplied their own mix, so I've made that available for download as well.

eSession_2 Audio icon esession2.mp3

Missing_Track_2 Audio icon missingtrack2.mp3

Studio_Pros_2 Audio icon studiopros2.mp3

Studio_Pros_their_mix Audio icon studioprostheirmix.mp3

Published July 2009