Posted tagged ‘Record Production’


March 9, 2012

TCM Mastering Offers Professional, Fast & Affordable Online Mastering

TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group offers professional, fast and affordable Online Mastering and Recording services for today’s musicians.

We get asked a lot of questions at TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group. Many relate to vocals, choice of songs and how to get the best out of a performance. So this week we thought we’d discuss just that.

From the TCM Mastering Studios, Ted Carfrae owner and founder of TCM, first considers some invaluable advice from a music legend – Quincy Jones.

TCM often gets asked, how to get the best out of a vocalist. In the video below, Ted explains how many top producers get that ‘magical’ performance.

Using the techniques discussed in the video above are only part of the story. Good mic technique is essential if you’re striving for a great vocal recording.

If you have any questions on the music making process – whether it be writing, production, recording, mixing or mastering drop us an e-mail or call us. Our contact details are below.


TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group provide a full and comprehensive service to the music industry.

Originally started by multi-platinum record producer Ted Carfrae, today TCM is fronted by Ted in the UK and CJ Boggs in the USA.

Their aim is to provide a totally professional, fast and affordable service to all musicians, pro and amateur alike.

TCM Music Group have produced, mixed and mastered for some of the biggest names in the music business. They’ve worked with all the major record labels worldwide and as producers and engineers have amassed over 25 million in sales.

Most clients are repeat customers and over the years, many have become firm friends. Ted and CJ are particularly interested in helping up and coming, new artists. For more information, go to our websites TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group. Or check out our contact details below.



January 13, 2012


TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group provide a full and comprehensive service to the music industry. Check out this pre-Christmas blog showing our clients in 2011.

Originally started by multi-platinum record producer Ted Carfrae, today TCM is fronted by Ted in the UK and CJ Boggs in the USA.

Their aim is to provide a totally professional, fast and affordable service to all musicians, pro and amateur alike.

TCM Music Group have produced, mixed and mastered for some of the biggest names in the music business. They’ve worked with all the major record labels worldwide and as producers and engineers have amassed over 25 million in sales.

Most clients are repeat customers and over the years, many have become firm friends. Ted and CJ are particularly interested in helping, up and coming, new artists.

In the video below, Ted explains the essence of mastering and how TCM can help you make your music stand out from the crowd.

With facilities in both the UK as well as Nashville, USA – TCM offers production, recording, mixing, mastering and restoration services. There is a ‘recording package’ to suit every serious musician. So if you’re new to TCM drop us a line or call us. We’re happy to discuss anything musical and will help you in any way we can to bring your next music project to a successful conclusion.

L to R: Ted Carfrae, CJ Boggs & Troy Luccketta In The TCM Music Group Studio 1, Nashville.


December 30, 2011

TCM Mastering & TCM Music Group Wish All Our Clients & Viewers A Very Happy And Prosperous New Year

From all of us at TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday break.

Here at TCM we have been Producing, Recording, Mixing and Restoring music for decades. Whether you have a single track or a collection of songs – feel free to contact us and find out what TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group can do for you. For those of you who are not sure what Mastering entails, you can click on Frequently Asked Questions which should answer most of your queries.

Also, be sure to check out our blogs on Fridays – to catch up on the latest TCM news; and Mondays – for the TCM Mastering Home Music Studio series. We’ve covered setting up a home studio, gear choices, analog or digital, mic techniques, recording, overdubbing, editing and we’re currently in the middle of mixing. We’ve still got lots to come including mastering, MIDI and marketing yourself, so please come back and visit us.


October 14, 2011

TCM Mastering & TCM Music Group Owner And Founder, Ted Carfrae Discusses How To Achieve A Great Vocal Recording.

In our Monday blogs (TCM Mastering: Home Music Studio Series) we’re currently discussing the multitrack process. So we thought it might be useful to include a few videos that relate to this series – specifically recording vocals – as most great songs are best remembered for their vocal performance.

In the first video below, Ted Carfrae owner and founder of TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group, discusses vocal recording, microphone technique and finding your microphone’s ‘sweet spot’ to get that great vocal sound.

In the second video, Ted discusses how he and many other producers and engineers achieve a ‘magical’ vocal performance in the recording studio.

If you’re looking for help, putting those finishing touches to a music track or would like more information on our affordable studio packages, please contact us by clicking here.

If you would like more information about recording at home, why not subscribe to the TCM Mastering: Home Music Studio series of blogs. You can do this by filling out your e-mail address in the e-mail subscription box on the right. We respect your privacy. We hate spam and will never rent, sell or trade your information with anyone for any reason.


September 30, 2011

TCM Music Group News – Ted Carfrae Meets The Legendary Bruce Johnston, 22nd September 2011

TCM’s Ted Carfrae recounts how he recently met up with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys…..

The Beach Boys – L to R Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Brian Wilson & David Marks In 2006.

In 2010 I was given the ‘go ahead’ and the very real honour of producing the latest Doris Day album ‘My Heart’. In fact I was one of three producers on this project, which turned out to be a little out of the ordinary.

Bruce Johnston And Terry Melcher 1966.

Seven of the album tracks were originally produced by Doris Day’s son, Terry Melcher back in 1985/86 and three of those songs were written, co-written and produced by Bruce Johnston. Bruce and Terry were long time best friends. The original songs were recorded primarily to be included in Doris Day’s ‘Best Friends’ television series at the time and since then, those recordings have remained unreleased.

Because these songs are the final part of Doris Day’s recording legacy, I was asked all these years later to re-visit the songs and update them for an official 2011 release. For me personally, this was the opportunity of a life time, to work with a true Hollywood legend but more importantly, to work with one of the finest female voices in music history. And I have to say, Doris Day is an artist that I have admired all my life.

Doris Day’s ‘My Heart’ Album Was Released September 5th 2011 By Sony UK.

The ‘My Heart’ album was finally released on September 5th 2011, by Sony UK. We all (myself and the team at Sony) expected the album would do well probably over time, but nobody expected it to fly straight into the top ten at number nine and then break some records along the way. It took us by complete surprise, because all of a sudden the public embraced Doris and the album, and we had a massive hit on our hands.

Doris personally took part in a lot of radio and press promotion prior to and just after the release. But to sustain sales, Sony had to think about further promotional opportunities, so they contacted Bruce Johnston at his home in Los Angeles and flew him over to England for a few days of television and radio promotion.

I had no idea at all that Bruce was in town until I received a phone call on the way to a meeting last Wednesday saying that Bruce Johnston had just appeared on the BBC News Programme, talking about the Doris Day album and that he had mentioned my name and that he would like to meet me.

I have a lot of music heroes, but Bruce Johnston and The Beach Boys are right up there at the top. So I called a friend involved with the album project and asked him to try to find out where Bruce was staying, and I then carried on with my scheduled meeting.

During the meeting my phone rang several times but I couldn’t at that point answer it. At the end of the meeting I picked up the messages which contained Bruce’s hotel number. My missed calls register told me that the hotel had also called so I assumed that, that must have been Bruce himself.

I called the hotel immediately, they put me straight through to Bruce and after introductions were made, we had a good chat recalling mutual acquaintances and the fact that both of us have produced two albums for David Cassidy. It was like we had known each other for years. The conversation was so easy and effortless. I told him that I was free on Thursday (the next day) and that we should meet up while he was in London, he said he would see what he could arrange and call me back.

Roger Day BBC Radio Kent…No Relation To Doris.

Later that day, Faye Donaldson, the label manager at Sony, sent an e-mail to invite me to the recording of Bruce’s interview ‘Down The Line’ with Roger Day at BBC Radio Kent the following day.

I caught an early train and arrived at BBC Radio’s Western House in Gt. Portland Street at midday and met Faye from Sony and project PR Joe. When Bruce arrived we hugged like old friends, and went up to studio G3 which was a hive of activity with lots of different artists and representatives also recording their interviews racing around. Bruce and I were whisked into a small studio and all of a sudden there was complete silence, just Bruce and I, two desktop microphones and a couple of sets of headphones, the red light went on and off we went.

Doris Day And Her Son Terry Melcher.

The interview was fantastic. Bruce told lots of Doris Day anecdotes and was very generous by including me in the conversation and passing certain questions over to me to answer. I had a ball working with Bruce, who is a true gentleman and has a very warm personality.

Coincidentally, I had recently done a full hour interview with Roger Day about my career on his live radio show.

L to R: Ted Carfrae, Janis Ian & Bruce Johnston.

After the interview concluded, Bruce and I left the room. Outside was another living legend and heroine of mine, the great Janis Ian. I’ve loved Janis since hearing her first massive hit ‘At Seventeen’, without doubt an example of the perfect pop song. To finally meet her in person was such an honour. Imagine, meeting  two all time heroes in one day, it really doesn’t get better than that.

L to R: Bruce Johnston, Steve Hackett & Ted Carfrae.

Then, we ran into British rock legend, Steve Hackett. I worked on many of Steve’s albums back in my early days at CTS studios when I was an assistant engineer so it was wonderful to meet him again after all these years. The whole experience was great but I didn’t realise, there was more to come.

Bruce had a second interview scheduled for BBC Radio 4 at Broadcasting House, just around the corner and he asked me to join him. What I didn’t realise was that he also wanted me to be a part of this interview as well.

When we arrived at the studio, Bruce announced to the interviewer that he wanted me to also take part in the interview. The reaction of horror and almost panic on the interviewer’s face was really interesting to witness. I was definitely picking up some unwelcome vibes. Bruce however, insisted a second time then looked at me and winked and before I knew it I was sitting next to him again in the studio.

Bruce Johnston On The Right, In The Middle – With The Beach Boys.

After some minor adjustment of chairs the interview began and as expected, Bruce was in fine form recalling lots of amazing anecdotes about growing up and attending Doris Day recording sessions and of course talking about The Beach Boys.  Again, very graciously, Bruce made sure I was included in the conversation. The interview itself was very well researched and Bruce enjoyed it immensely and said so afterwards. It was fun for me as well but between you and me, I’ll be interested to hear the final edited interview to see if I’m still in it.

It was a great day…..meeting Janis Ian and Steve Hackett. And I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest gratitude to Faye and Joe and especially to you Bruce for making yesterday’s visit a highlight in my life and career. Thanks!


August 26, 2011

Ted Carfrae, My Life In Music: The Planning & Recording of Cilla Black’s Beginnings Revisited Album Part 2

Ted Carfrae continues…..

I was very excited to have a new Bacharach/David song on the album, it was written for a musical but at that time had not been recorded by anyone. I remember that I was at home working on arrangement ideas or something and the phone rang, I picked it up and this voice said, ‘Is that Ted?’, I said ‘Yes it is’, and he said ‘This is Burt Bacharach here’, I was stunned for a few seconds and after my initial shock, we started to chat about music and eventually the song and he said he was delighted that Cilla was going to record it as he’s always known her to be a fine vocalist.

Burt Bacharach, George Martin & Cilla.

He said he was going to fax over all the chord charts for me so that I could make sure that when we record all the chords were right. I said, ‘That’s great’, and with that the call ended. That was a ‘You won’t guess what just happened to me’, moment. It’s actually quite funny because by the time Burt called, we had already started recording and his song was done so I never got to refer to his chord charts but gladly it all turned out as it was supposed to.

I decided that we wanted to record the old fashioned way with everyone in the studio together. I wanted these new songs to sit perfectly alongside the hits so I decided to record through a Neve analogue desk onto my Radar 1 24 track recorder. The Radar 1 is an amazing recorder because even though it is a digital recorder it sounded very warm like tape and you could really push the level without distortion.

Recording commenced at Westside Studios in June of 2004 and we completed recording all the basic tracks within four days. I remember Cilla sang guide vocals on all the songs in 90 degrees of heat and she never once complained – she was really amazing to work with. I brought in my usual amazing rhythm section – Ralph Salmins on drums, Steve Pearce on bass, Pete Murray and Dave Arch on piano and keys and Fridrick ‘Frissy’ Karlsson and the legendary Mick Green on lead acoustic and rhythm guitars. We then overdubbed strings and brass and my musical arranger Dave Arch did a fantastic job on the arrangements.

Cilla, Ted Carfrae & Chris West.

We recorded all the vocals at my friend Terry Britten’s private studio ‘State Of The Ark’ in Richmond, Surrey. Terry has written and produced huge hits such as ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’ for Tina Turner and of course Cliff Richard’s monster hit, ‘Devil Woman’. I had recorded at Terry’s studio before two years earlier when I recorded some of David Cassidy’s vocals for the  ‘Then & Now’ album and I decided to return for one very special reason.

Ted At State Of The Ark Studios.

Terry’s studio has an original EMI 1,2,3,4 valve console installed – it has sliders rather than faders and the sound is amazing. In fact it was the same desk that the Stones recorded all their sixties albums on. Terry found the console in bits in a barn in France, brought it back to the UK and restored it to its former glory. Everything you push through the desk sounds rich and fat – truly amazing and usually very little EQ is needed.

Recording vocals on my albums is always a closed set with nobody around except myself, the artist and my sound engineer and in my experience, artists prefer to sing without distractions enabling them to concentrate instead on the performance, Cilla really enjoyed working this way I know.

I would collect Cilla from her house in Buckinghamshire at 3pm and bring her to the studio. There was always a bottle of Moet in the refrigerator and we would work through until the early hours.  I remember she was just amazing every day, her phrasing was precise, she was perfectly in tune and she was naturally instinctive completing her vocals on all eleven songs in just five days.

Cilla Black – Beginnings Revisited.

Another special moment was working with Sir Cliff Richard. Cliff had agreed to sing some backing vocals on ‘Imagine’ for me, so when he arrived at the studio I was eager to see what he would come up with.

We played the song through and he and I sang along to see what would and would not work. He had listened to the song earlier and came up with some great ideas and as you would expect, recording with Sir Cliff was a breeze. Chris and I were really impressed with his performance which was done in no time, it was another one of those pinch me moments.

The album was released in September of 2004 and though it did not set the world alight, for me it was a fantastic album to work on for so many reasons and a real highlight of my career. Click here for Cill’s site.


July 29, 2011

TCM Music Group Joins Forces With New York City Based Company Figjam Productions

Ted Carfrae owner and founder of TCM Music Group and TCM Mastering, has joined forces with FIGJAM Productions’ Jack Chen in New York City to develop new project ideas.

Ted says, ”I am so honoured to be working with someone of Jack’s calibre and we are already working hard on our first collaboration together. I can’t say anything about it yet, but it is potentially one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with. ‘FIGJAM’ are essentially film makers, we are throwing around lots of different ideas at the moment so I am really looking forward to a long, on-going working relationship together – so watch this space.”

At the moment TCM Music Group are offering a RED HOT SUMMER DEAL – Ted Carfrae of TCM Mastering and TCM Music Group will mix and master a track for £175.00 inclusive. For more information please contact TCM by clicking here.

Top Picture-Ted Carfrae with Jaki Graham, Cilla Black, CJ Boggs & Troy Luccketta, David Cassidy & Mike Tocci.

Bottom Picture-Recent Clients: Doris Day, Kelly Doze, Ray Prim, Cylix, Robert Gillies and Petula Clark.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our various recording packages, or simply have a question about recording, mixing, mastering or audio restoration – please click here. We love hearing from our readers and clients, so drop us a line or call us.