Vibey Q&A

The 'Vibey Development Deal', costs, etc...

Question: If my music is a sure-fire hit would you work on it for a percentage-only basis, with no money upfront?

Answer: Even if your music is a certain hit, it can take 2 to 3 years while royalties trickle down through record companies, the Performing Right Society and the rights collection agencies to collect on it. So we have to cover our basic studio costs upfront and are subsequently unable to work it this way.


Question: If we can't afford to work in the studio with you is it just over?

Answer: If you don't have the funds to be in the studio in development yet.. it doesn't mean that we can't work together. We offer some clients a 'Deep Development' service. 'Deep Development' is where James looks after an act until we can get in the studio and start working. What James does is listen to demos and via an A&R approach, generally and gently evolve the act into the right direction. All acts have a period of 'Deep Development' during which we are getting ready for the recording session and sorting out contracts and funding.


Question: James, what happens if we have literally no money at all ever...we are so poor that we have to busk for cash to buy our guitar strings?

Answer: There are some options if you're willing to do some promotion instead of direct payment for the services. For example, during deep development we can try and sort out a 'Crowd funding' campaign. James has a good relation with various boutique crowd-funding companies who help set up artist crowd-funding campaigns so even if signing up on PledgeMusic or Kickstarter is too daunting for you these people help set up a crowd-funding strategy with you. For example, James is currently working on two projects that were funded 100 percent through crowd-funding.


Question: You mention contract... what contracts?

Answer: If James selects you for a 'Vibey Development Deal' there is a contract that protects both sides from various potential eventualities and sets out our legal responsibilities. We can't start the recording period without it, but we can start 'Deep Development' usually we sort this out during the 'Deep Development' stage.


Question: What happens if I don't like the direction or the music we make? I stuck signed to you for ever?

Answer: No, the 'Vibey Development Deal' only deals with our work and does not have any far reaching commitments on anything else.


Question: Do I have to sign a 'Vibey Development Deal' to work with James?

Answer: No, not at all... on our 'Services' page you can see that James offers Production, Programming and Song Critiquing services outside of any contracts....The 'Vibey Development Deal' only applies to artist development-type projects

Question: How much does artist development cost and how long does it take?

Answer: Artist development is intensive and takes time. James developed Keane for at least six months, Siobhan Donaghy took 18 months from first meeting till the record was finished.  Both these artists had no record deal when James started working with them and it was the record we made together that was signed to the labels (Island records and Parlophone, respectively) Rubylux took 6 months (signed to BMG); Felix Pallas took 3 months. Kidd Feather was 9 months, etc, etc.

Basically a new sound and an album written and recorded  will take 3 to 9 months... 3 months is quite a rush job, but possible.  Nowadays record companies are looking for finished albums or singles rather that taking on any artist development themselves. If you have a finished album that they like and want to sign you can get a much better deal from them in terms of advances and royalties, because they don't have to spend any money in the recording and development of the record. Record companies used to budget 125,000 pounds to 250,000 pounds for the development and recording of a new record. But to give you that they would have to have at least 80 percent of your profit for ever !! .... (imagine a bank offering you a loan and then saying they wanted 80 percent of your income from then on !?)

Anyhow... James can develop and record a record with you for much less than half this budget and you get to keep all your rights and royalties,  we 'own the master' rather than a record company 'owning it'... it is a much better deal...and you have the artistic control of it's creation. It's Win-Win.


Recording, Accommodation, Work Schedule.

Question: Ok.. James so we've signed a 'Vibey Development Deal' now what?

Answer: Ok so after our 'Deep Development' period James invites you out to his studio compound where he can accommodate you at the manor house. We will then make the record using his secret techniques REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED  and the fishy will then REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED the bishop then REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED and the rest is history!!

...Joking apart, the techniques and processes that James employs to help an artist and, himself, make a new sounding record is truly secret. But we can guarantee that it is an exciting, new and different way of recording. He really helps people find an original sound that is special and unique to each artist he works with. James has lots and lots of very cool gear, some space age new stuff and some very retro classic and priceless things... He works in a very different way, employing some writing and recording techniques he learnt from Brian Eno and some from the thousands of sessions he has witnessed as a programmer.


Question: What's the accommodation like?

Answer: We can accommodate up to 12 people at the studio in a residential capacity, and there are reasonably priced hotels and Bed and Breakfasts nearby, as well. However, James mostly works with people who are staying on site. The studio is in an old manoir from the 12th century; it is spacious and rustic and provides the perfect atmosphere for writing and recording great songs. The artist will cater for themselves while here in their own kitchen. We don't provide the cooking ourselves, but the cooking materials are there for you to dazzle with. We definitely found that it is good to get a little pause in at lunch time to collect our thoughts, etc.


Question: What is your daily work schedule?

Answer: James gets up early and answers emails, does song critiques, etc., as early as 5 am. He starts work with the artist in the studio from 9 am, sometimes earlier if needed, and finishes at 6pm. Over the years James has found that there is no advantage in working late into the night because it makes you duller the next even though the artist is of course free to write songs, play the guitar and make music late into the night.. James keeps regular hours and likes to maintain a focused, enthusiastic energy on the development and production side of things.

Got a question you'd like answered? Contact us now!

  Gear List
A partial list of the equipment at your disposal at Vibey Studios

  Photo Gallery
Check out photos of the studio, equipment, artists and the studio grounds.

We can host 12 people at Vibey in comfort. Find out more...