What are you options?
Most of my work is done in the custom arena. These are arrangements that are created for one person, exactly the way that person wants the arrangement to sound. This is achieved by finding the best key, the best notes, and the best possible way to present the song to show off the performer's voice and ability.
We only have 1:30 to make something happen, so the arrangement must help you get that done. A good arrangement and track designed specially for one individual performer can make all the different in a talent presentation.
**When listening to the samples the DEMO will play first, then the NEW CUSTOM TRACK build will play**
Custom Track Options
#1. Sam Lewis $450
These are our basic level, all synth tracks. This option offers a low cost, and still gives the contestant the opportunity to build her own custom track in any format and key that she desires. For the money, these are a great option.
#2. Milton Smith $850-$950
These are tracks built by Milton Smith from Fayetteville, NC. Milton is an incredibly talented musician that totally understands the pageant world and the drama that the track and arrangement must provide. The Bass, Drum, and Piano are always live on the Milton tracks, and his other synth sounds used when building are some of the most realistic I have ever heard. Milton toured with Tammy Wynette as her piano player for years, and was also hired to play for Elvis in his shows in Las Vegas. Not only an incredible live performer, Milton is also a studio musician that is the best in the business when it comes to building pageant tracks. Price includes the arrangement (which Bill does) and the track. To hear samples of Milton's work click on the titles listed below. (Track with demo will play first, then you will hear just the track)
3. Buzz Smith $1500-$2000
These tracks are done by Buzz Smith from Houston, TX. Buzz is a versatile performer that can be heard throughout the Houston area performing in shows and various night spots. His tracks are built with all live players, many of whom perform with various symphonies in the city. Buzz is a master at those tracks requiring a lot of live brass or woodwind sounds. (And he has the players to produce them!) Though pricey, the sound of these tracks is amazing. To hear a sample of the Buzz tracks click play on the sound bars below.
As a piano player should I use a track?
The controversy over whether a piano player should or should not use a background track continues. My opinion is to always look at how the original piece was performed. Was it performed with or without an orchestra? Obviously if the original piece was performed with an orchestra, it's perfectly acceptable to perform the piece with a track. On a side note: Keep in mind that there are various states that are much better at mixing live piano with track as compared to others. When deciding whether to use a background track or not, take this into consideration and know if your state is able to give you a good mix. The mic level on the piano NEEDS to be kept above the track. If the track is too loud, either turn the mic up on the piano, or turn the track level down. It's a pretty easy concept, and yet every year we hear the same complaint, "We couldn't hear the piano". 99% of the time this has to do with the SOUND MIX, and not the player. Between 2007 and 2017 of the piano players that have made the top ten, seven used background tracks, two did not.
Custom Track Process
1. Select the piece of music that you are going to have a track built on.
2. Either have it in the 1:30 format ready for build, or email the piece to Bill for edit and arranging.
3. Before any edit or arrangement work is started, there is a $100 deposit required. (Deducted off of the total track price.)
4. Once the 1:30 format is decided and agreed upon, select who will build the track. (Bill will guide you through this.)
5. Send full payment to the track person decided upon. Tracks are not scheduled for studio work until they have been paid for.
6. Final tracks are usually back within two to three weeks of full payment being received.
Bill and his team of musicians that produce custom tracks take great pride in providing creative, quality sounding arrangements at an affordable price. The records of these custom tracks speak for themselves. From 1990 through 2022 at the Miss America Pageant we have worked on music for:
10 Miss Americas
7 First Runner Ups
12 Second Runner Ups
7 Third Runner Ups
8 Fourth Runner Ups
138 Semi Finalists
27 Talent Winners
Custom Track Re-Use Rules
*Track will not be reused anywhere for ONE pageant season.
*Track will not be used in purchase state as long as track is in use by original purchaser.
*Track will not be used at Miss America or Miss America Outstanding Teen as long as in use by original purchaser.
*To have a custom track remain totally exclusive, an exclusive track fee must be paid when the track is made. In my many years of building custom tracks, I have never had anyone choose this option.
*Feel free to email or call me with further questions concerning Re-Use Rules.