Hello and welcome to Sidrat Studios!


Providing recording and mixing services for musicians and artists of any genre or style, my small and cosy studio is perfectly suited to the recording of all types of vocals, from singing and rapping to spoken word and beatbox. It's a great space for recording acoustic instruments, too, including acoustic guitar and other stringed instruments, as well as solo brass, woodwind and percussion, capturing their unique tones and subtleties with clarity and depth.

My name’s Dan, I’m the owner and director of Sidrat, a music production studio close to Chelmsford town centre, Essex. In fact, the studio is at the bottom of my little garden and I do all the work myself; a one-man-band, as it were. I am purely self-taught, with a passion for music of all kinds - and I have 25 years’ experience of making it, too. I like to think my work speaks for itself, because I always approach every track with the same objective - to make it shine!

In addition to recording and mixing, my sequencing skills are available for the creation of original backing music, from simple accompaniments to full backing tracks. My experience and guidance is also available at your request, adopting the role of music producer, in order to help creatively steer your music, perfecting your own individual and unique sound.

The final stage of any audio production, whether it's music or spoken word, is mastering; adding the finishing touches prior to commercial release. Over the years I have worked with a number of excellent mastering engineers, in whose abilities I am very confident. All this, coupled with my graphic design experience in creative cover art, means that I can provide a comprehensive package for a wide range of musicians; recording, sequencing, mixing and producing your music, before designing all the packaging ready for release in whatever format you choose.



Recording - Studio live room

Vocal Recording

I can capture the live vocal performance of singers, rappers and other voice artists along to any backing track supplied (or original backing music I myself have composed to suit your style or specifications - please see the Sequencing page for details). I also have experience of recording and editing spoken word for published audio books, as well as various other purposes.

Instrument Recording

If you’re a solo artist or duo, I can mic up and record you playing your instrument(s) live - whether they are acoustic or electric - such as guitar, bass, violin, flute, trumpet, harmonica, cello, keyboards, piano, etc., etc... I can then add your vocals afterwards, or in some circumstances, I can record them as you play, if you feel more comfortable that way.


Sequencing - Studio control room

Backing Tracks

Creating original backing tracks for a wide variety of musical styles is one of my specialities; I build beats and loops for many modern genres, as well as composing more traditional music. I use a combination of software applications and hardware equipment to produce my music, with a wide range of plug-ins and gear to choose from, depending on what is required for the job.

Accompaniment

I'm highly experienced in sequencing many realistic instruments, from acoustic drums to full orchestral arrangements, as well as more modern sounds, like pounding bass lines and electronic synth mayhem. These musical elements can be composed to work with your own live instruments, whether solo or a full band, to complement and enrich them.


Mixing - Studio control room

Multi-channel Mixing and Editing

Mixing incorporates a wide range of skills, using various techniques, not least of which is editing the raw audio waveform, which requires considerable experience and accuracy to achieve a good result. I’ve been honing my mixing and editing skills for over 12 years and I’ve learned some hard lessons - as well as a few tricks. Balancing a mix between several instrument layers and vocals can be an art form in itself, but a final mix often comes down to personal preference, as much as technical execution.

So, if you’ve already made your recording, but you’re just not satisfied with the mix, I’ll be happy to have a listen to it. Often all you need is a fresh pair of ears and some minor tweaks here and there, but occasionally you simply have to start from scratch, stripping the track back and taking a new approach; it's time-consuming, but usually worth the effort, as it can improve a track no end.







The creation and production of music are very similar processes, and in some circumstances the two are inseparable; in fact in most cases, when I am recording and mixing (and especially sequencing) a track for a client, I feel that I can't help but contribute a certain amount towards the production of that track. However, as much as I tend to offer my advice throughout the process, this is intended as guidance only, and unless specifically asked to take on the role of the producer, I am happy to allow the artist to dictate the direction their music takes.

However, I have worked with a variety of vocalists, solo artists, duos and bands in order to help them achieve their own unique sound and produce original tracks. Depending on the artist and the type of music, it’s likely that I will use an assortment of microphones and professional audio software, as well as hardware equipment such as sequencers, drum machines, synths and samplers. Also, my network of contacts includes some very talented musicians capable of adding a range of live instrumentation to your tracks.


Production - Studio control room






Another service I provide is graphic design, creating original cover artwork and layouts, ready to be sent to print, assuming you are producing a CD or vinyl. Alternatively, designs can be provided in digital format for online use, such as Facebook and other social media. As well as cover art, booklets, inserts and inlays, I also specialise in logo design and the creation and application of a visual identity for musicians, artists and bands, something which can be achieved in a number of way. Among other things, I also design eye-catching flyers, posters, ads, merchandise and promotional items, all of which can be produced to your specifications. Utilising my skills as an illustrator, I can so if any of that sounds interesting, please get in touch and we’ll discuss the details.



Who is Leonard Bopper? illustration CD artwork


Ease Springs-Drew Barrymore CD artwork


Richard Capener-River CD artwork




I have a selection of package deals, which should cover most needs and budgets. They range from simple vocal recordings with a basic mix... ...to recording and mixing of multiple instruments and vocals... ...all the way to full music composition, arrangement and production.

In addition to my music production packages, I’ve also included several design deals covering a variety of music-related packaging options, from CDs and vinyl to digital media, including USB sticks and images intended for online use. I don't provide the printing myself, but I have considerable experience of liaising with printers, so I'm happy to do so on my clients' behalf.

I’ve created my package deals to cover a range of price brackets, so there should be something for everyone, whether you're a spoken word artist, singer or rapper, a solo artist, duo or a full band.

But, if you still can’t find what you're after, just tell me what you need and I’ll be happy to discuss your project with you before offering you a quote.







This is where I like to go on about stuff that most people will probably find rather dull unless they have the same proclivity for music technology and geeky stuff like that. I write about equipment and software as well as techniques and suggestions for improving the sound of various aspects of a track. 

I do try to keep my posts limited to one subject, but I do occasionally veer off-topic and start lapsing into some of my more esoteric ponderings, but I hope that at least a few of the random snippets I jot down will provide a useful source of information to someone out there. Either way, I’d like to say thank you in advance for taking the time to read even this much of my ramblings and I hope you find what you need on my site - if not, just give me a call!