The studios are based in the grounds of Knebworth Park but the only access is via Old Knebworth Lane opposite the Roebuck Inn and then passed the Odyssey Health Club but we will forward a map nearer the time of the booking.
(Although we mention this a number of times people still try to access the studio via the A1M and Novotel Hotel – it’s not possible and will make you 20 minutes late!)
If there is a ‘special’ song or maybe a particular song that is not on the list we can usually get them but there is then a cost between £3.50 – £5.00 dependent on which company we use.
Dependent on the size of the group we divide them into teams – red / blue etc with colored badges for the recording so they can all be involved throughout the full recording session.
During the session we place them into teams so we know who is singing what on the recorded tracks.
In addition to the recording booth (for the best recording quality) we use three fixed stand mics in the open studio and this is where they get to sing and ‘perform’.
Each group will get to record in the booth as well as the open studio and subject to how many songs they record some individual solo singing will really add to the finished tracks.
One question we are often asked is: ‘They obviously are not professional singers or even that experienced so how do they know when to start the song because I find it really hard to sing to a backing track!’
Most of the backing tracks we use are fantastic quality recordings many of which sound just like the original record. However we also buy the track with a singer performing on a separate track so when the youngsters start to sing they have a singer to follow. Then all we do is remove the singer afterwards or just reduce the volume and that’s it!
Some of the group will have stronger voices than others, some will be more confident and they all will want to do everything as the session draws to an end.
If you go for the video session this will take around 10-14 days to edit as it’s a lot of work and then be sent on to you.
It’s all about fun and participation on the day and one to remember for many years to come
Recording Costs: Parties
This is something of a grey area as for the younger groups and we have to assume they will need a couple of practice shots before recording each song and it wants to be fun not a high pressure thing to get things right first time.
Normally, we have found that for just a recording session of around 2 hours is long enough to hold their concentration and they should select 5/6 songs so we end up with 4 good tracks from our studio backing track library and for the recording sessions the costs are:
Gold Package, Silver and Bronze packages will hopefully cover most requirements but please talk to us if you want something different or within a different budget and will try to accommodate most requests.
This is our top package and is better value if you want the full recording session, video filming and an action photo shoot of around 5 images to choose from – we have a changing room, large mirror for adequate posing and attitude practice faces!
Again the Gold and Silver package include 2 videos dependant on the size / number of the total group Cost £350.
Recording session with CD’s, video filming with You Tube link and a single shot action photo. Cost £320.
Ideal number is 8 – Additional numbers can be added for only £15 per head.
Recording Session with CD’s which can be a present for a family member or friend.
For all the packages we suggest that the party kids choose 5/6 songs and the plan is to try and get 4 good ones! – We cost the recording packages based on mixing 4 tracks only and we all decide on the best ones before you leave even thou the tracks are not mixed at that stage.
Numbers: we can accommodate larger groups but please call to discuss both options and pricing. We recently had a group of thirty 7 year olds which was crazy but great fun. Obviously there is a cost implication and more Mums needed to be there to help but it shows it can be done!
Lastly, if you would like a photo image on the finished CD we have to make a small charge for the cost of the photograph / printing cost of £5.00 per CD and is an extra cost whichever package you choose but this you can decide on the day.
We also supply all the lyrics of the songs so there is nothing to bring on the day other than their best performing voices!
We do however need to point out that some songs like ‘All about that bass’
have inappropriate lyrics which we remove on the song sheets but are still recorded on the backing tracks.
We can discuss this at the time of booking. (Parents this has to be your decision particularly for the really young singers)
We have also booked many combined recording and video parties and once the recorded tracks are finished they then enter the next door studio to ‘mime’ on stage which we film a couple of times to get the best performance.
Using green screen technology, our video editor will transform the background into a stage, beach, space or even a cartoon!
PREPARATION IS THE KEY!
Song selection for the day is very important. If the kids don’t know the songs, with the time available it’s not always possible to change the tracks at the last minute. So to avoid disappointment, try to ensure the majority of kids know the songs they have chosen.
We always encourage singing and dancing whilst filming the video, it’s much better than the kids just standing around! if they practice some ‘dance moves’ before hand it makes for a much more exciting (and fun) video! if all else fails….. FREESTYLE!
The one thing that the Mum’s always say at the end of the session is:
‘We should have got them to practice some moves / dance etc so they are not just standing looking at the camera’ Next time we will get them moving together even if it’s just arm movements which still look good!’
Also one important thing to know is that we use a green screen to shoot the videos so wearing any green clothes is an absolute no no. Any other colours for a dress or top will work fine.
Obviously, there has to be a budget but if you let me know roughly what you want to spend we can tailor a package up to around that figure and work out the number of songs, individual recordings/ length of the session and if required a video of the day.
You can also bring your own cameras on the day and capture as many pictures as possible.
We do however work on site with Knebworth Photographic who do all the fantastic on site shots of the Knebworth Park Pop Festivals and they can take special ‘professional’ photos of the session as you may require – check out our web site for more info.
We have our own kitchen albeit small so you can bring refreshments –( birthday cake etc) let me know what you want to do. Normally we suggest having a break for drinks and snacks etc during the session to give the ‘stars’ time to chat about what’s coming next with each other. (This is where you take the strongest sedatives you can buy)
We now offer ‘Party food’ and drinks on the day, if you want one less thing to worry about.. But the birthday cake is all yours!
Subject to the group size we normally film 2 videos [ Ideally 4/5 in each group) so each group get to be filmed ! – we can talk thought the type of backdrop you would like on the day.
We can add the finished recording / video on to ‘You Tube’ which the youngster’s seem to really like especially to be able to send the link to their friends. For their protection if this is a concern you can restrict the circulation specifically to just your friends via a private link so it is totally secure. Just advise us before hand so that we know to keep it private.
We do ask for a 50% deposit on all bookings which is non refundable unless you can give 14 days notice from the date of the booking and then is fully refundable.
We ask for you to provide a listing of your song choices so we can pre- load the songs and save you the cost of studio time on the day.
It’s a lot to think about so let me know your thoughts and your budget.
Lastly, now the bossy bit…..
Entry to the studio is via a private walled garden which normally is strictly out of bounds and also we do operate a ‘Fingers on lips’ policy for both entry to and from the car park and departure from the studio for consideration of noise as there are a number of offices next to the studio.
Once inside they can make as much noise as they like – as long as it’s in key!