1. Where do the tracks come from?
Some were released officially by an artist or their record label, some are multitrack stems that were created for video games like Rock Band™ (where the game player can “play” any of the band instruments), some are leaked from studios, and some we frankly don’t know where they came from. You can read more about the interesting stories behind the tracks in the descriptions that accompany the tracks or in the articles on our site.
2. Who owns the rights to these tracks?
The master recording owners. We do not host any of this material on our site. The content resides on third party sites over which we have no control and as such we often do not know the content’s origin. We find it and enable you to access it from third party sites solely for entertainment and educational purposes. We should add that we follow all third party site user agreements and only post links that we are authorized to post here.
3. I’ve pushed play on a track and can’t hear anything–what’s up?
Check to see that the volume control on the video clip player is not “x’d” out, i.e. muted, or turned down all the way. Also, keep in mind that sometimes the instrument you are listening to hasn’t started yet, like for example when there is a guitar-only intro and later the rest of the band kicks in, or when the vocals simply haven’t started yet. Sometimes we’ll indicate the point at which the track starts, but not always.
4. I tried to listen to a track on my mobile device that I was able to hear on my desktop/laptop, but on my phone/tablet it’s blocked. Why?
Some third party content sites such as YouTube have started to restrict mobile device viewing of some videos. Fortunately this is no where near all, by any means. However, because of this you will find you can hear more tracks by viewing our site on a desktop or laptop. Yes, we find it weird too, since the same advertising that pays those sites and music content owners also appears on mobile devices. By the way, please note that we do not receive any of the revenue from the ads that appear on videos.
5. Why do I sometimes hear the other instruments faintly in the background?
Most of the time what you are hearing is “bleed” or audio spillover from the vocalist’s or instrumentalist’s headphones. When musicians are recording parts on instruments for which microphones capture the sound, or for vocals, they wear headphones so they can hear the track they are playing or singing along with. Some like the volume to be quite loud in their ears and the result is this bleed into the microphone(s). When you hear the track mixed together, you never hear this bleed because it is, of course, synched perfectly with the rest of the track.
6. Why do I hear some instruments at full volume before the isolated track begins on some tracks?
This is just a choice that the video clip creator made. Some like to put instruments in an intro when there is no vocal so you can hear where you are in the song. Sometimes, a blend of two components is there (like vocal with drums only) to let you hear just those two parts together. We try to indicate in the post description what track or tracks you’ll hear.
7. I heard a musician making weird vocal sounds on a clip. Is that really part of the recording?
Musicians make all kinds of noises while playing, and the cool thing (at least for some) is that if you’re hearing it, that’s because the engineer, producer and/or artist decided to leave it in. This is often because it was the best take. Sometimes, the thinking was that the sounds added creatively to the track. Sometimes they are just mistakes. Other times, while you may hear them on an isolated track, the sounds were muted by the engineer on mix down. A couple of examples: Check out late great Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham uttering some interesting tribal sounds at the 3:46 mark of “Whole Lotta Love” here. Find out how late icon David Bowie warms up before he sings his moving anthem “Space Oddity” here. Or, listen for Lindsay Buckingham’s amazing howls in the outro of Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Gold Dust Woman” here.
8. Speaking of weird vocal sounds, I think I heard some profanity. Is there profanity on some of the tracks on here?
We believe in an artist’s right to free expression so yes, there is the occasional track on this site with profane language. We try to affix the logo above when we’re aware of it but we can’t guarantee we’ve caught all the tracks with profanity. So, beware if that kind of thing offends you. If it doesn’t or if you actually enjoy that sort of thing, here is a fun example of, yes John Bonham again, in action before bashing out another immortal Zeppelin drum track.
9. Are those drum tracks all recorded onto one track? I can hear the entire drum kit.
No, typically drum track clips are actually all the individual drum mics mixed together. What you are hearing is a sub-mix of the entire drum kit. Hearing 3 mins. of a lone kick drum mic is not very interesting… There are exceptions on older recordings of course. Don’t forget that The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album was recorded on a 4 track tape machine, which means that the drums really were on only one, or occasionally two, tracks which often included some other instruments.
10. I found a video that is not working. Why is that and can I let you know?
This is because the third party site where the content resides has chosen to remove the content, which happens at times, and yes, please do let us know. Just jot a note to: email@example.com and tell us the artist, song and track (drums, vocals, etc.). We do have an automated system to let us know when something is not working, but we can’t instantly correct everything. Also see note #4.
11. I know of something cool you should have on your site–can I suggest it to you?
Sure, we love that! Just send us a note with a brief description and where the track can be found (for example “on YouTube”–please do not send us live links) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that we feature only material by well-known artists that, in our editorial opinion, we feel many people will find interesting and we must be authorized to link to the content. Also, note that this is not a new music exposure site, although we wish you the best with your music! Finally, we do not link to material on rogue websites with unlicensed, illegally-obtained content.
12. Can you help me get digital audio files of a track?
Since we do not own the material and do not host it on our site we have no way to get you these tracks. We can only encourage you to find the rights owners and negotiate usage with them. We do not support “ripping” or any illegal use of these tracks, or any artist content. We encourage everyone to support artists by buying their music and contacting master recording rights holders to arrange proper usage rights for any derivative use, such as a remix or mashup.
13. I’m seeing advertising on some of the videos I see on here. Are you making money off those ads?
No. As mentioned above, those ads on the video clips are sold to advertisers by whichever third party video site hosts the content. The ad revenues go to a combination of the music content owners (usually the artist and their record label) and the video host site. We do not receive any share of the ad revenue from the ads on the videos.
14. How can I learn when you post a new track?
Here are some ways:
a. Sign up for our free newsletter. (We never give your email to anyone). Just send us your email using the box in the upper right sidebar called “studioTRACKS Newsletter.”
c. Sign up for our RSS feed here.
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