Welcome to Creative Tools Recordings. Here you will find everything you need to know about our range of creative services.

We pride ourselves on delivering the required services, on time and within budget. From personal experience we understand what people want and listen carefully to their requests.

What started out as mates writing and producing dance music tracks back in 1999 has ended up as a fully fledged, VAT registered limited company, offering high quality music recording, web design and hosting, photography and a sales operation.

We hope you enjoy this site and allow us the opportunity to demonstrate our skills.

Regards,

Creative Tools

01376 58 49 12
enquiries@creativetools.co.uk

Visit our online shop.

Here you can here some of our favourite tracks from some of the bands we have recorded. Just click on the link to hear the song:

Lights, Camera, Action by Girls That Scratch-
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Heston by I Shouted Gun
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Heavenly Bastard by Six Foot Children
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Again by Workshy Again by Workshy
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Again by Workshy Ready Teddy by Frank Ryan and the Hayriders
Recorded totally live at the 147 Club by Creative Tools
Turn It Off by Wider Eye
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Take It by Saevio
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Boy Racer by Boot 50
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Fake My by I am I
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools
Murderers of England by Carver
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools

 

Below are some tracks where we have completed production, mix, remix or mastering work:

Life's Ordinary by Dirty Barry
Written, Performed, produced, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by us here at Creative Tools
Next Of Kin by Dirty Barry
Written, Performed, produced, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by us here at Creative Tools
Number One by Dirty Barry
Written, Performed, produced, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by us here at Creative Tools
Wash by Mimosa
Remix and Master by Creative Tools from original stereo, live acoustic recording.
Iron Weasel by I am I
Mixed and Mastered by Creative Tools, from original recording made on two VS-880 digital multitrack recorders

 

All audio content here is copyright the artist, and should not be used without the consent of the author.

Our kit list includes the following:

Additional equipment available for use:

 

We offer a full web design package. Whether it is a basic web presence you require or a full ecommerce solution, we can provide you with what you need.

Below are some examples of our work.

Ecommerce website
Ecommerce website and design
Artwork and web design
Webdesign and artwork

 

dirtybarry.com
Flash Web Site


We also offer Myspace profile customization. With millions of users now signing up to Myspace, we can design a layout that will set you apart.

Click here for an example of our work on Myspace.com

Prices on application.

About us

Creative Tools Limited are Chris Quee and Mike Fordham. They have worked together since 1999 on the band Dirtybarry and since 2003 have recorded other musicians. Our growing list of satisfied customers means we must be doing something right. Our fee includes offsite mixing and mastering using some very handy creative tools.

Our customers to date have been:


I Am I - 6 track demo (Fake My.../Isolator/Tripwreck/Down/Kicking Bricks/Dedamoco)

This was our first ever recording, a two day session at Temple Farm resulting in 5 storming tracks. We were rather nervous as this was our first job but the band were great to work with as well as being great at what they did. Sadly, I-Am-I have since parted company but members of the band have since gone on to form the brutal but brilliant Murder 1 and drum for 6 Foot Children (see below).



6 Foot Children - 5 track demo (Sweets/Toast/People/Holes/Cellophane)

We can't have done a bad job of I-Am-I as 6FC were happy to be next. The 5 tracks on this demo are still doing the rounds as 6FC increase their fan base throughout the UK. Again, a two day session, resulting in one of our favourite demo CDs to listen to. It takes pride of place on our portfolio CD and we rather hoped they'd come back for more....
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Orange Pill - 3 track demo (Sinking In/Going Nowhere/A Change)

Despite being very different to I-Am-I and 6FC, Orange Pill liked what we had recorded so far and so became the next lucky contestants. This 3 track demo was partly recorded at Temple Farm in Galleywood with vocals and guitar overdubs completed at CTHQ. Due to commitments elsewhere, Orange Pill are no longer in existence but the band remain good friends.
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Last Breath - 4 track demo

Musical brutality all the way with this unusual group from Chelmsford. A 4 track demo recorded in one day at Temple Farm. Play it to your granny if you wish her to die.
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Girls That Scratch - 5 track demo (Dirty Disco/Jacqueline The Ripper/Way Out Of Line/Crutchless/Bravest Soldier)

We got our Ya-Yas out for this fantastic 3 piece and, as with Orange Pill, recorded over 2 sessions. Another great band to add to our growing portfolio. Girls That Scratch have had good results from the demo they recorded with us. The track Bravest Soldier was recently included on XFM's Unsigned programme, providing great exposure for the band and for Creative Tools.
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Wider Eye - The May To November EP (May To November/Creature Of Loathe/Turn It Off)

3 great tracks resulted from 1 day at Temple Farm and both the band and Creative Tools were very pleased with the results. Without doubt a band to watch out for, and living proof that Essex is still home to some great music.
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Carver - 5 track EP (Come To This/Murderers of England/Sleazy/You/Atmosfear)

A 12 hour session at Temple Farm left Carver and Creative Tools a bit frazzled. Nevertheless, 5 tracks were recorded and subsequently mixed by Chris and Mike. Carver may use all 5 tracks or just a few, but either way they worked very hard on the day and we hope this shows in their performance. We recorded Carver's live appearance at Camden's Colors Bar in July 2005 and some of this may also appear on the release.
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6 Foot Children - album "Occident"
(Help/Occident/Today/Feed Time/Grand Motherfucker/Heavenly Bastard/Plague/Cake/Sweets/Toast/People/Holes/Dig/England/Paedophile Smile/This Killing Thing/Bad Dream)

The recording of 17 tracks took place between 2 and 4 September 2005 at Temple Farm Studios. This has been the largest recording project for us to date and completion of the work took until 28 October. The 13-tracks chosen for the album include material from 6FC's previous incarnation Doreen, material recorded in February 2004 plus all-new tracks. This makes for a great album by one of our favourite bands.

Updated!
6FC have since been back and added a few more vocal parts to tracks on their album, as well as the earlier track "Cellophane".
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Hedrush - 3 track EP (Retribution/Loaded/Cold and Alone)

Just 3 tracks this time, from a 5-piece band that are spread far and wide across Essex and Kent. The final cut of the demo was submitted to the band and Hedrush are very pleased with our work. We're pleased too!

Updated!

Hedrush have returned and recorded 5 new tracks for their forthcoming Black December EP. The 5 new tracks are Black December/Too Much Too Soon/Lost/Insanity/Regrets/Loaded - With new guitarist)
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The Starts - 2 track demo CD (Lukewarm/Growing Pains)

Our first ever recording away from our home territory of Temple Farm Studios, we recorded this demo at Millfield Business Centre in Tottenham (much to Chris's delight as Mike is a West Ham fan). Two tracks, Lukewarm and Growing Pains were recorded, with the mix and master sessions completed at CTHQ the following week. The Starts have a growing fan-base and continue to play up and down the country, and we enjoyed working with them. Check The Starts' myspace.com area for these and two other first class tunes.

Updated!
4 Tracks (Saturday Morning Feeling/Sign Of The Times/Parched/One of Two)

Back over to Tottenham again, to record four more awesome tracks from this four piece. As always a pleasure working with these guys, and the results sound great too!
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Boot50 - 5 track EP (So What/Thankyou/Goodbye/The End/Strangers In Tokyo)

Already no strangers to recording studios, we took up the challenge of 5 tracks in 2 days, using a local primary school classroom to record this 4-piece band. This was the second non-Temple Farm recording and another that went down well. Boot50 have been in the business for some time and knew what they wanted, so we kindly obliged. Additional vocal, mix and master sessions worked on at CTHQ, this demo was completed at the end of February 2006.

Updated!
3 Tracks (Don't/A Thousand Times/Boy Racer)

Three more tracks from this talented four piece have been recorded, again using the 'Classroom' studio. Three tracks in two days meant we could concentrate our efforts on a lavish production.
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Girls That Scratch - 5 track demo (Lights Camera Action/Welcome On Board/Strip/Enjoyment/Call To Arms)

More proof, if ever we needed it, that repeat business means you're doing something right. Like 6 Foot Children, Girls That Scratch came back for another 5 tracks, and this demo shows that both the band and Creative Tools have improved their technique in the studio and elsewhere. This demo was recorded on two separate sessions and mixed at CTHQ when all material was on the PC. All parties are happy with the outcome and we look forward to working with Girls That Scratch again soon.

Updated!
Demo 3 - Out/Buy, Use, Discard/Torn Apart/Daggers

After the international critical acclaim of their "Demo 2", including the track Lights, Camera, Action hitting the number one spot in Qatar, Girls That Scratch once again chose Creative Tools to commit their latest masterpieces to disc.
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I Shouted Gun - 3 track demo (Heston/This Britain/Good Mournin')

Energy, vibrancy, up-to-the-minute attitudes and a great image...but enough about Chris and I - I Shouted Gun are a very polished 4-piece from Corringham and Grays, and describe themselves as "At The Drive-In doing naughty things to The Jam while Joy Division watch..". While this conjures up a rather sickening image in one's head, ISG are totally cool. Heston and This Britain have been floating round the Internet as live demos, but we recorded them again in the studio along with the tremendous Good Mournin'. Without doubt a band to watch out for.
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The Sunsetters - 8 Tracks (Rock'n'Roll Ruby/Baby Lets Play House/Got Love If You Want It/You're Right I'm Left/Break-up/Paralysed/I Forgot To Remember/Rollin' Stone)

Hey Daddio, don't be no square, The Sunsetters is where it's at. Our first foray into 50s music saw us sharpen our quiffs and record 4 tracks for this talented 4-piece at Temple Farm. We had to rethink our recording process to obtain that authentic 50s slap-back sound, and that's just what we did. We were thoroughly pleased with the results, especially as this is a style of music that we have never recorded before. A good band to add to our portfolio.

Updated!
9 Tracks (Lovers Rock/I'm So Blue/Misirlou/Rockin' With My Baby/Tear It Up/Whole Lotta Trouble/Aint' That Lovin You Baby/Little Sister)

9 More great rockin' tracks from The Sunsetters, this time recorded at the 147 Club in Witham.
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Stuck for something to put on the cover of your latest CD, or have some artwork - and need to get it onto the cover of your demo? We can help, we have qualified designers on hand to help you visualize your product. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Please see below for some examples of our work. Click image for a larger version.

Creative Tools are happy snappers and have worked with bands to produce some interesting photographs. We can supply the images in a variety of formats, please contact us for further information.

You can see below some examples of our work. Click image for a larger version.

A good quality recording of a band performing to a crowd can often get them noticed. We attend your gig and record your performance using either just one stereo condenser microphone (so we pick up crowd noise, clinking of glasses etc.), or a full mic-up of all performers if required, then master your recording at our studios near Braintree.

Combine a good live recording with some clear pictures of the same gig and the package starts to take shape.

See below for a summary of the services we can offer:

Studio Recording
Recording at the location of your choice or at our rooms in Braintree (availability varies, please ask if you wish to record at our place)
£25.00 per hour

Daily rate includes 2 engineers, one hour is required for lunch (for which we do not charge!), recording is mixed and mastered at our rooms in Braintree and you are welcome to attend if you wish. Mix and master is charged at the same rate, £25.00 per hour and normally a couple of hours work is all that is required

We can also supply the masters for your session on DAT tape for £7.50



After Hours Recording
If 10 to 6 just isn't enough for you
£25.00 per hour
If you need additional time after your 10 to 6 session with us we do not increase the hourly rate, it's £25.00 per hour however long your session needs to be


Master Recordings on DVD
...in Steinberg Cubase format, should you wish to work on them yourself
£5.00 per DVD set
It's your session, why not buy the masters for a fiver?
Need your Master a few months - or years - down the line? We can retrieve it from our archive and burn it to DVD For you. All masters are kept, we destroy nothing
£25.00 for retrieval and test


Mastering a recording made elsewhere
Recorded elsewhere but didn't get your track mastered? Ask us
£Call
Gives a professional finish to a recording and can make it more radio-friendly!

All prices include VAT at 15% but exclude hire of the room in which you record, unless you record at our studio in Braintree, Essex in which case there is no additional charge

Transfer your old DAT tapes to CD
If you have any old recordings on DAT tape, we can transfer them on to CD for you
£Call

 

Creative Tools offers high quality recordings of bands at an affordable rate. We use industry standard microphones and techniques to achieve the sound you want.

Mixing and mastering takes place after the recording at our rooms in Braintree and bands receive approval copies before signing off the work.

Egos are left outside the studio, as are girlfriends, boyfriends and pets.

From experience, recording 2 tracks is realistically achievable in a full day's session which is normally 10am-1pm and then 2pm-6pm. If you are interested in recording more than 2 tracks then please contact us. Additional time spent outside the 10am to 6pm session will be charged at £25.00 per hour and is subject to the room in which we record being available for after-hours work.

A written explanation of the work involved is supplied to the artist(s) before any work is carried out, ensuring the agreement is clear, and is signed by both Creative Tools and the artist.


This page explains the order of events during a day's recording with Creative Tools.

The drummer sets up their kit and we arrange microphones around the kit to suit. Often, drummers need to play to a cue, and we suggest the bass and rhythm/lead guitarist(s) provide this. Bass and guitars are fed to a cue mixer instead of to the amplifiers, the output of the cue mixer is fed to a headphone mixer (so all musicians can hear what's going on). This helps to keep the drummer in time, but the only sounds recorded at this time are the drums. When the group are satisfied that all drum tracks have been recorded to suit, the drummer packs down the kit.We then come to stringed instruments.

Now we have a set of drum tracks to work to, the next parts to record are bass and the first guitar track. As our mics are unidirectional (capturing just what's in front of them) we can safely record bass and electric guitar simultaneously. Bass and guitar cabinets are kept well apart from each other to avoid noise leakage between tracks. Both players hear just the drum playback in their headphones but not each other as the cabinets are loud enough to hear. Amplifiers can be cranked as high as is necessary to get the desired sound.


When these takes are recorded and checked, the bass player can pack down his rig and the guitarist(s) can record further overdubs.

By now we could all do with a break, so if we haven't already broken for lunch, now is the time.


After lunch we continue overdubbing any further guitars or other instruments in preparation for the final chapter - vocals.

Vocals are recorded exactly as you would imagine. A pair of headphones carrying the mix of all previous takes is given to the vocalist and they sing along. We use a large diaphragm condenser mic to capture vocals.

We then go our separate ways. The demo is mixed and a test copy is supplied to each member of the band.

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Site contents ©2009 Creative Tools Limited
Site updated January 2009
All prices include VAT at 15%