How a remote session works



To get the process started, the first step is to send me a note using the form below. Tell me a little bit about the project and yourself as a composer to start the conversation. We will cover the creative vision, instrumentation, scheduling, and budget. Email, Video chat, and phone calls are great options to get things started. 



Upload stems to a file-sharing service of your choice. If you have notated charts or lead sheets, feel free to send, but that is not a requirement. I’m more than happy to come up with parts and in fact, that’s my strength.



After the session is complete, I will send you a stereo mix of your track with the new parts added. I use Filepass (a streamlined, timestamped revision software), if you have any notes or changes



Once everything sounds good, you send the remaining balance (e-transfer or credit card), download your tracks, and mix them into your session. Start a project now!



  • [Ac. GTR, Mandolins, Resonator, Slide Gtr] Anne with an E, "Tree Perspective", (Ari Posner/Amin Bhatia) 00:00
  • [Ac. GTR, Mandolins, Resonator] Anne with an E, "My Friend Cole", (Ari Posner/Amin Bhatia) 00:00
  • [Mandolins, Ac. GTR, Resonator] Anne with an E, "Picking up a Girl", (Ari Posner/Amin Bhatia) 00:00
  • [E. GTRs] Northern Rescue, "Lucky Penny" (Ari Posner) 00:00
  • [E. Gtrs + FX] Northern Rescue, "Mom's Journal" (Ari Posner) 00:00
  • [Ac. Gtr, Mandolins, Resonator] Anne with an E, "Matthew and Anne", (Ari Posner/Amin Bhatia) 00:00
  • [Ac. Gtr, Elec Gtr] Northern Rescue, "Pillow FIght", (Joel Schwartz/Ari Posner) 00:00
  • [Resonator] Anne with an E, "Mission of Magnitude", (Ari Posner/Amin Bhatia) 00:00


  • [Electric slide guitar solo, mandolin, tenor banjo] (Adrian Nation) 00:00
  • [Electric Guitar] (Birds of Chicago) 00:00
  • [Electric Slide Guitar Solo] (Birds of Chicago) 00:00
  • [Electric Guitar, Resonator Guitar] (Shawna Caspi) 00:00
  • [Dobro, electric guitar, electric slide guitar] (Desiree Dorion) 00:00
  • [Electric Guitar] (Lydia Persaud) 00:00



Here are some live music videos. I’m highlighting these because they have an atmospheric sound, a sparse approach, and a variety of textures that might be of interest to composers.

Play Video

1. Slide guitar (Andrea Koziol, Bill Brennan)

Play Video

3. Acoustic (guitars, mandolin, resonator)

Play Video

2. Electric guitar (Birds of Chicago)

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4. National Resonator (Aviva Chernick)


This live streamed seminar for the Screen Composers Guild of Canada provides an in-depth look at my remote recording workflow covering 

  • How I got into remote recording (2:40)
  • The importance of clear communication (6:50)
  • Live recording session (13:20)
  • File delivery (28:00)
  • Q&A (33:33)
Play Video

Some of the benefits of remote recording...


This is a professional-grade studio for recording commercial-level tracks. Joel’s boutique studio is filled with awesome hand-picked gear ready to enhance your work. The space features high-end equipment from some of the top brands: microphones include Neumann, DPA, and Royer, preamps by BAE, GRACE, and RME, and converters by Burl and Dangerous Audio. The studio has a live room as well as a recording booth to capture different acoustic environments.


Working remotely leaves a lot of room to get creative. Most studio sessions move really fast: there are tight budgets and everyone is on the clock. Joel loves recording live, but it leaves little room for experimentation or extensive multi-instrumental overdubs. When working remotely, Joel selects the perfect guitar parts, mic placement, EQ settings, and FX chain without worrying about the clock. If a track needs some extra overdubs on acoustic guitar, mandolin, or electric baritone, Joel will do that.


Recording in the traditional way can be quite expensive. A big studio, an engineer, a producer, and musicians all cost a lot and a good chunk of time has to be relegated for setup. By working with Joel directly, you get: a trusted professional guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, an experienced audio engineer, and a professional recording studio.


When Joel goes to a traditional session, he has to make some decisions about what gear he’s going to bring. If he’s playing on only one tune, chances are he’s not going to bring twenty + instruments, several amps, his favorite mics, and rackmount preamps. By working with Joel remotely, your project has access to all the gear in his professional studio, whether it’s one tune, or a full album.


Perhaps the most obvious advantage to tracking remotely is still being able to collaborate even if everyone is in different cities. Let’s bridge the gap and book a session now!

Studio and Gear

Boutique studio ready to enhance your work.

Microphones by Neumann, DPA, and Royer

Preamps by BAE, GRACE, and RME

Converters by Burl and Dangerous Audio. 

The studio has been acoustically designed and equipped to deliver high fidelity recordings of fretted instruments. 

"…aching steel guitar creating an overwhelming moment of cosmic beauty and transcendence.”
Henry Carrigan
No Depression journal of roots music


Most frequent questions and answers

Tracks are 100% royalty free. 

You don’t have to, but you can.

If you have specific parts or melodies in mind, feel free to send a notated chart. Lead sheets are great too and can save a bit of time.

However, it’s not necessary and my specialty is coming with complementary parts around your cues.

  1. Send isolated stems  as .wav files
  2. Send an isolated click track and specify BPM, sample rate, and cue name.
  3. Transfer everything as a zip file via dropbox, google drive etc.

Every project has a different scope, schedule, and budget. I help composers achieve great results on pitches, independent films, TV series, and feature length films. Get in touch with your project.

*Some film/TV shows are conducted through the AFM union in which case the fee structure is pre-defined.

Three ways to get in touch with me:

1) Click the chat bar in the bottom right

2) Send me an email

3) Book a call

Trusting someone with your music is a big deal, and collaborating online can feel a little daunting if you haven’t done it much before. 

Some of my clients felt unsure, maybe even a little skeptical at first, BUT what they found in the end is that hiring me really worked for them.

Have a read through the testimonials below to see how they found the experience in the end:

Joel Schwartz became a collaborator on the film I was scoring at the moment when I felt too enclosed in my compositional bubble. He gave me feedback, called me with ideas, and talked me through what he thought could be fun. He turned the work back into play. The opportunity to work with musicians is why I got into this career and Joel is the best of them!
Iva Delic
Screen Composer
"Finding the right musicians to record your work is very much like finding good friends. These are the players who bring out the best in us. They are the people with whom we have a good shorthand because the communication is natural. We trust them because they often share our views on the world, or at least have a very nuanced understanding of the way we think.

In Joel Schwartz I have found a true musical friend...someone I feel like I've known for years. He just gets it. He hears what I'm hearing and finds the best possible parts to help bring my ideas to life. We have worked together on three different TV series including the highly binge watched Netflix hit Anne with an E.

Everything I get back from Joel is super well recorded, extremely tasteful, and always serving the larger picture of my cues which, in turn, are only aiming to serve the story. Super easy to work with, always on time and on budget....I can't recommend Joel enough."
Ari Posner
Screen Composer
"Joel's sensitivity, musicality, and killer chops make him a brilliant collaborator. (He's also a superb human.) With far more than 10,000 hours of experience as a touring artist, composer and producer, Joel's wheelhouse of skills is immense, but his wisdom and ability to communicate are possibly his greatest assets. He's clear and smart and talented, and that's a very, very solid recipe. Joel brings bullseye instincts, huge ears and exacting standards to every project he's involved in...every note is there for a reason, every sound makes perfect sense, and everyone is happy at the end of the session. Work with him and you'll see what I mean."
Andrea Koziol
If you’re ready to get started, book a call


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About Joel

Joel Schwartz is a seasoned session guitarist and multi-instrumentalist specializing in working with composers. With 20 years of experience as a professional musician, he sends instrumental parts from his studio in Toronto, Canada to composers worldwide.

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