The Note Factory was established by Warren Ells as a recording studio and songbook production facility in 1983. The mission of the studio has always been to provide an alternative to over-priced album projects and inefficient studio practices in order to make top quality, low cost productions available to artists at all levels of their careers. We were the first to offer the independent artist many studio techniques used by major labels, such as extensive pre-production and chart arranging; recording tracks over time instead of all at once in one or two sessions; artist practice with the actual bandtracks over several weeks; much more time devoted to vocals in one-on-one sessions without the band.

Backroad Studio is our eastern branch, located in the Roanoke,VA area, owned by Ken McNeal. Ken has over 25 years experience in writing and performing music, live sound, and recording. Backroad works closely with The Note Factory using the same production techniques and bringing Nashville musicianship, renowned all over the world, to artists in the Mid-Atlantic and eastern seaboard. Artists can have their tracks produced in Nashville and record their vocals close to home, avoiding the expense and loss of time spent traveling, while working in a relaxed atmosphere.

Level 1

Included in this level:
Rhythm section of Drums, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Electirc Guitar and Keyboard.  Limited basic sweetening (such as string parts)
All studio time necessary to record, mix and master.  Artists may add their own harmony parts on up to six songs.
Digital upload to itunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and several others.  Reverbnation and Soundcloud sites optional.

Included in this level:
Everything in Level 1, plus
Background vocals
by The Note Factory or Backroad
Studio on up to six songs.
Additional instruments such as organ, fiddle or mandolin on up to six songs.
Additional sweetening with strings and horn section.
100 CDs with custom inserts

Level 2




Included in this level:
Everything in Levels 1 & 2, plus
Background vocals
on up to all album songs
Extensive use of additional instruments as needed.
Complex, beautiful orchestral arrangements, using Brass, Woodwinds, and String sections, on up to six songs.
A total of 200 CDs with custom inserts, Reverbnation and Soundcloud sites, and EPK for you or your band.

Level 3


Whichever level you choose, we will work with you every step of the way to insure you get the finest production possible. Our attention to you and the details of your project are the greatest strength we have.  You can read what some of our clients think of us on the Samples page.  It's extremely important to us that we present you and your music to the world in a way that matches your own vision and exceeds your expectations. Please contact us for more information. or

Bands & Groups

If you have a self-contained band providing all or most of the instrumental parts, we will work with you to get the best takes for your songs.  We can accommodate groups having several members. Orchestrations, Digital distribution, CD design and CDs, and any other service you need to record and promote your music are available as options. 

$45 per hour