Pre-ProductionTuesday February 12th, 2008
I’ve noticed a trend in 75% of the musicians and bands I’ve talked to regarding their ideas behind the recording process. I guess there’s no “proper” technique or overarching superlative that will apply across the spectrum of different bands, sounds, and styles of music, but there certainly are similarities in how we make a good... View Article
I’ve noticed a trend in 75% of the musicians and bands I’ve talked to regarding their ideas behind the recording process. I guess there’s no “proper” technique or overarching superlative that will apply across the spectrum of different bands, sounds, and styles of music, but there certainly are similarities in how we make a good record. Preproduction is probably the most important, as well as the most often overlooked step of the recording process. It is the time for a band to sit down, before being placed in front of an expensive microphone, and work out every last detail of their performance and material that they are laying down. Too many bands step into an expensive studio at the cost of hundreds or thousands of dollars a day, with no clear idea of exactly what they are there to accomplish. The studio process has no magic. Every sound that is committed to tape comes from somewhere, a product of hours of practice, hard work, or just plain fiddling. If your band doesn’t have every detail worked out when practicing in the garage, how is it all going to come together in the high-pressure situations of the recording studio? Before forking over the astronomical hourly rate to sit in the studio and learn your parts, make sure your band is as tight in a live situation as possible. The arrangements of your songs are equally as important. Make sure your drummer and bass player hit the same accents and that your guitar parts are working together instead of fighting for space. This kind of detail is what makes the difference between a mediocre song and a great one. While you may have an experienced producer by your side to help with this in the studio, the more thought out your orchestration and arrangement is, the better he can help you achieve your goal. Does your instrumentation back off to leave room for the lead vocals in the verse? Do the harmonies in the chorus work to accentuate the hook or simply make the vocals more crowded? Is your bass player locked in to the kick drums rhythm? Think about how your songs will come across on a recording before you get anywhere close to a high priced studio. You’ll save money and have a stronger final product.