When we create a track, we usually begin with a melody or chord structure. We'll choose an instrument, perhaps a piano, and start by developing some song structure. As we do this, a melody may come to us, or a rhythmic structure, or some other element that will become part of the song.

1. Structure

We usually have a vision of how the piece of music will be created at this point. That means we might have a good idea of instrumentation, arrangement, etc. but sometimes we will change things up as the song develops.

2. Melody/Lyrics

By now, some of the melody and words will have come together, and we'll begin with a verse and maybe the chorus of the song. The song structure will become clearer as we add more verses.

3. Instrumentation and Arrangement

Gradually, we'll remove the bed track instruments and add guitars, basses, orchestral passages, or whatever the song seems to need. This process usually takes the longest amount of time, as each part must be concieved, learned, practiced and recorded in order for the final result to be just right.

4. Recording and Mastering

After carefully recording each track, we'll balance levels, equalization, add reverb and other effects, and have the tracks ready for mix-down. We also 'pre-master' by using compression on many tracks, so that the mix starts off quite nicely before we've done any tweaking. We don't have a 'fix it in the mix' attitude, as it's better in our opinion to fix things as they happen. The result is a pristine track of the best sound quality.

The Little Studio With The BIG Sound

Fingerman Studios was never a large facility, and this helps us in our work, as everything we need is usually at arms reach. Many of our instruments are vitual ones, as are all of our effects machines. Things are able to be done with a high degree of efficiency as a result.

From a Client

"I met John by accident, looking up studio web sites one morning. I had decided to go ahead with my singing career and see where it would take me. From the moment I first met him, he has inspired me to the core; he is keeping me going and certainly believes in my singing. We have already done three songs together for my sites and are currently working on my own personal song. John is a musical genius; I can just walk in and he knows exactly what I want and how it is supposed to sound. He just has a "zen" let's say and for whatever reason we were brought together to do this song. I will forever be grateful we met and look forward to doing a whole Cd together. Thanks John."
Cathy Belyea


We use a variety of guitars here, ranging from an acoustic Ovation to a solid-body Ibanez with a few others as well. We will also use virtual electric and acoustic instruments on some tracks, depending on the sound we are looking for. Electric guitars are recorded through a four/twelve cabinet and a tube amplifier, to capture that authentic rock guitar sound.


We use a Fender Precision bass and also a Yamaha five string fretless. But our main arsenal of basses are virtual ones, with a wide range of instrumnets to choose from.


We have a Yamaha electronic drum kit which produces its own drum samples, but may also be used to trigger virtual drum kits. We also use a percussion pad to trigger virtual drum sounds or even enter each beat manually through the computer software. What we choose all depends on the song and even right down to the passage we are creating.


We use an 88 key midi controller for a large portion of the sounds you hear. We can emulate everything from grand pianos, electric pianos, a Hammond B3, synthesizers and more. The same keyboard allows us to play orchestral sounds, whether it be a lone violin or flute, or a full wall of strings and brass instruments.


When digital audio workstations began to pop up many years ago, they relied on the midi sounds that were built into most computers of the time. Although those sounds have improved over the years, we do not use them. We purchase 'virtual instruments' instead, which are of a much superior tonal quality. For example, where you used to have a few standard drum samples in a computer, today a person can purchase a virtual drum kit with specific tonal characteristics, or a stradivarius violin, or a jazz trumpet, each a virtual instrument that works as a plug-in with the users system.

As you might imagine, an organist and a pianist will have very different playing styles, although the keyboard surfaces are very similar. In order to make a keyboard emulate a flute or a heavy bass guitar, the player needs to understand the instrument, what it is capable of, etc. and play the keyboard accordingly. A cello and drum kit will be played very differently, yet often using the same keyboard. This is why our music is personal, and not just auto-created by some program. Every note has been played personally by an experienced musician who is feeling the music and expressing those emotions through his performance.