Record a string section for your project for the price of one musician!
Hi, my name is Joe. I can record a one-man string section in my home studio. My main instrument is violin (acoustic or 7-string electric), but I also play viola, cello, mandolin, guitar, electric bass, and I sing. I am the electric violinist/lead singer of my band, Stratospheerius.I have written over 200 string arrangements and compositions, and have 22 years experience as a freelancer, string contractor, and session musician in New York. I have recorded string parts for hundreds of jingles, indy projects, video game and movie soundtracks. I am classically trained with a Master's Degree in jazz and classical violin performance, and am fluent in a variety of genres including rock, country, folk, pop, & hip hop. I will work with you to realize your musical vision!
Send me a note through the contact button above.
4 ReviewsEndorse Joe Deninzon
Delivered exactly what I asked for, was easy to work with, and sounds great!
I had an opportunity to write and produce a new song outside of my main genre to be recorded by another artist. From the beginning, I knew I wanted strings to be incorporated, but knew nothing about string recording and arranging.
After listening to my demo track, Joe was able to ask the right questions about the musical direction and impact I was after, and quickly translate my guidance into the perfect string quartet arrangement that really elevated the song. He was professional from start to finish and even took the time to discuss options for the song over a pleasant phone call.
Joe is my go-to for all things violin. He is easily the best technical performer I have worked with and also has a knack for finding the right sound for the right occasion. I'm consistently impressed with his ability to remotely record strings with studio quality and precision. He also presents opportunities for multi-tracking using multiple violins for a fuller ensemble sound without the need to hire multiple performers. Highly recommended.
I am a 30 year veteran of the studio world as a composer, arranger and performer. It's rare when that one musician comes along and can handle anything that you throw at them. Joe Deninzon is that musician. A fluent reader and wildly creative improvisor, he has tackled all my assignments as a consummate professional. He can take strings out of the traditional and into the eclectic if you desire. His remote recording is totally pro. Oh, and on top of all that he is a passionate composer and has a well developed wicked sense of humor. I hold him in the highest regard as a musician and friend.
Interview with Joe Deninzon
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My band Stratospheerius just released a single called "Storm Surge," which featured guest vocals by Michael Sadler (the lead singer of Canadian prog band Saga), the blind pianist/flutist Rachel Flowers, guitarist Fernando Perdomo (you can see him in with Jacob Dylan in the "Echo in the Canyon" movie), and Ruti Celli on cello. I co-wrote, produced the track, and edited the video. This was one of the most creatively rewarding projects I've ever done and the group of people was amazing to work with!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have a client who is a film composer working on his own indy songwriter project looking for a string section sound. I also have a blues artist who is doing an intimate acoustic singer/songwriter record and wants a string quartet. I am also mixing a live record of my band, Stratospheerius and simultaneously writing and recording original material for our next studio album.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Bob Magnussen is a great woodwind player who plays all the saxes, oboe, flute, and clarinet. He can do for woodwinds what I do for strings. Many decades experience working with some of the greatest musicians on the planet. Another one is Danny Flam. Great brass multi-instrumentalist and friend/colleague. You can hear his work on Kanye West's Grammy-winning song, "All of the Lights."
Q: Analog or digital and why?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will work with you until your musical vision is realized. I got the extra mile for clients I work with. If I'm hearing something extra that I think will enhance the music, I will always lay it down to give you as many options as possible, even if you choose to leave out some things in the end.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love working at home in my "musical man cave." I always get excited about being able to provide a service for anyone in the world because of the magic of technology. I love collaborating with artists, making people happy, and making a living being creative.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you send me a demo of something you have done representative of what I'm trying to do with my project? Yes. What do you charge? It depends on whether it's a solo part or layered, whether the arrangement is pre-written or has to be composed, and if you are looking to do one song or a whole album. Once I have assessed everything, I put a proposal together and try to work within the client's budget.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People don't realize how long it takes to layer string parts and get them perfect, the level of detail I go into. I will never put out a sub-par product and work to make sure the client is happy with the finished product.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: 1) Are you looking for a solo or string ensemble? Acoustic or electric? 2) How many songs are you looking to record? 3) What is the timeline/deadline for your project? 4) Who are your influences and can you send me a demo or a rough mix of what you are working on?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: To record strings under normal circumstances, one has to hire an engineer, an arranger, rent a studio, and hire string players, depending on the scope of the project. The costs can go well into thousands of dollars. I can provide a full string section sound at a fraction of that cost. I do the engineering, the arranging, and all the playing. I have worked with artists, engineers, and producers at the top of the field and would be happy to provide references.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming there is electricity on the island (lol) I would say my 7-String Viper, my acoustic 4 an 5-string violins, my 4-string "Magic Fluke" mandolin, my Guild acoustic guitar.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have two Bachelor's degrees in Jazz and Classical violin from Indiana University and a Master's in Jazz/Commercial violin from Manhattan School of Music. I have been working professionally in New York as a freelance string player for 22 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My original music is electric violin-driven progressive rock, but in my work as a sideman, I play a lot of jazz, classical, pop, Broadway and folk music from all over the world. As a freelance musician, you have to be versatile to survive. When recording with the electric violin, I love being a sonic architect and experimenting with hundreds of effects to change the texture from section to section in a song.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: It would be hard to choose just one. I would say Paul McCartney because he is one of the greatest songwriters of all time and seems like he would be a very creative and inspiring person to work with.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When layering strings, I like to create the effect of a large string section in a room, so I vary the mic placement, change instruments, and change bows from take to take to make the sound different.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, jazz, classical, folk, country, pop, hip hop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Recording and writing string parts, especially acoustic and electric violin.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to compliment the song with the parts I contribute. Enhancing the emotional arc of the music while respecting the artist's vision. My goal is to elevate the music to another level and respect the story it is trying to tell.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: 1) I have a consultation with the client to discuss their project. 2) Client sends me rough mixes and I put together a proposal. 3) Client sends me click track, wav files of reference mixes, and an optional "speak along" track where they talk through, or sing through melodic ideas for an arrangement over their track(s) 4) I record a basic version of my arrangement and send client reference mix against the track. 5) Once approved, I layer the strings, if this is what the client wants. 6) If requests are reasonable, I am happy to make tweaks and changes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a Neuman TLM 103 as my main recording mic. My instruments include a traditional 4-string acoustic violin built bu Itzak Perlman's luthier, a 5-string acoustic, a viola, a "chin" cello for cello parts, a Mark Wood Viper 7-string electric violin, a 4-string and an 8-string mandolin, a guild acoustic guitar, a Fender Jazz bass, and an Aria Pro electric guitar. My DAW of choice is Digital Performer.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have worked with legendary producers like Ray Chew, Jack Douglas, Nik Hard. I always get inspired by the work ethic and attention to detail that veterans in the business possess.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: It varies from project to project. Most often, clients ask me to record solo violin our mandolin. Oftentimes, I write and record string sections for clients, ranging from string trios and quartets to full layered string ensembles. I can do violin, viola, and cello parts all myself without the need to hire outside musicians, engineers, or arrangers. I play a 7-string electric violin and can put it through effects and make it sound insane! I also am the lead singer in my band, Stratospheerius, and play electric bass and guitar. While I'm mainly known as a string player, I can provide tracks on all of these instruments, and I am also good with editing and working as an arranger or copyist.