The Most Important Music Production Tips
Number 1 – Spend the bulk of your time in pre-production
You shoult be spending significally more hours preparing to your recording than the actual recording itself. Session time is expensive and others people time is valuable. Do not waste that time fixing something that could’ve been fixed beforehand. Here are some topics you wanna on and out in.
First and foremost you wanna take care of the musical aspect. The band should be well-rehearsed and the arrangement should be worked out. Everyone should know what is expected of them. One of this things that. I would recommend is recording raw demos of your rehearsal. You can analyse them as a band, pinpointing the things you need to work on and you also can share them with the producer or engineer, so they know how to prepare to your recording. If you have a producer on board discuss with them your goals and your inspiration. This will make sure everyone on the same page and will help plan out a course of action. There also a number of small decisions you need to make. Will your album been done live off the floor or will it be multi track, will you playing with a click? All this decisions will influence how you prepare. Scheduling should also be done in this.
Write up a plan budgeting time for each part of the recording process. I found we often underestimate the time that goes into tracking. So plan on delays and synthesize extra time for creative noodling. Everything will feel better when nobody is stressed out about a clock now even when it’s not quite the same the idea of.
Pre-Production still applies if you working at your home studio. I’ll try to have as clear over vision as possible when I go to press record that way. I won’t find myself recording track after track. Only had realized that, I wanna go to a deferent direction and have to redo everything. The more organized and prepared you are the more fun you gonna have and fun often leads to good music.
Number 2 – Understand the tools
Rather you’ll be a producer of your own music a session musician, a sound engineer, what ever. The more knowledge you have of a tools around you, the less of the barrier there is between your musical vision and the end product. Acknowledging music is power Understanding how your software works Understanding how deferent microphones works and how it influences their sound Understanding plug-ins Understanding the role of everything in the studio. All these things are highly valuable tools. I understand how this could seem overwhelming. Because many of as have a thought about these things in our musical journey. It’s impossible for me to go over all the little details here and quite frankly some of it is beet over my head. Which is why i so pumped to team up with. Skillshare on this video. Their web site is chock full of classes focusing on the details. That every serous producer should know. For example, the “Mixing At Home With Stock Plugins” series was a game changing for me.
Number 3 – Imagine a soundscape
When I’m recording I like to imagine a visual representation of the instruments playing to me. It helps me organize and arrange the sounds. The more producing a song will create a perceive performance enviroment. Which is a dork way of saying, the sounds are coming up from the speakers are artificial representation of what traditionally musicians what be playing for us and even if you using sounds than never can be played by physical instrument this concept will still apply. I find myself asking what kind of feeling am. I going for in this recording. If it is a sense of intimacy than. I use less reverb and maybe try to make it sound like. I in a small room with the band. The singer is right in front of my face. If I have two instruments fulfilling the same role, say it’s a guitar and a piano both playing arpeggiated chords, maybe I put guitar close seems to the let of me and piano will be way back to the distance creating a sense of space and. I make for the bass guitar upfront to the middle because its role to anchor down the song. One of my favorite examples of this is Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. Production is brilliant, bring on those snarky comments. See the first beat of a song is a very narrow stereo soundstage. There are no instruments hard left or hard right. The first chorus hit you with a ton of bricks. There are suddenly sounds across the entire spectrum and we all feel like we are at teenage dream.
Number 4 – Focus on your arrangement
We can spend all the time in the world getting guitar sounds at the lake. But if arrangement isn’t happening it is all in vain. The best recordings in my opinion are master for arrange. The parts are written beautifully, not just thrown on top of each other. For the sake of adding more instruments. Every note we play should be placed with care it should be there for a reason and above all it should support the song. This is the craft that could be practiced and hound and remember always listen to our musical instincts.
Number 5 – Train your musical instincts
For me, this is come with listening and analyses. Put on your favorite records and analyze the living hell out of them. This works best when you have solid set up speakers. Even a good pair of headphones won’t convaid depth as well. Listen to each individual instrument. Listen to how the instruments interrupt with other sound sources. Where the instrument placed in the soundscape? How loud is it? What kind of effects does it have on it? The bigger on more important questions are: Why do you think these decisions were made and how does it make you feel? The more you studying and thinking about this stuff the more you can pick up the elements you like or dislike. You can than add those things to your music or make sure you avoid them.
Number 6 – Seek feed back from the outside ear
When we are making music we are way into our own heads to be thinking objectively. I was once recording a guitar solo for a project and I really want its nail it. So I end up recording about 30 takes of me paying the same solo over and over again. Each one I felt was better than the last. I somehow messed up the file names and when I went back, I have no idea which was the final one I recorded. So, I start to listen to all of them. Now keep in mind when I was recording no takes sounded good enough until I finally did the last recording. Listening back they all sounded absolutely identical. If I have had an outside ear, I wouldn’t wasted hours on this. I could spend my time improving the recording in other way. This outside ear doesn’t necessary have to be a musician. Some of the best feedback comes from non musicians. After all the untrained ear is gonna make up the majority of people who listen to your songs. A seventh and final tip is remove creative distractions. This come in a number of different forms but basically we wanna remove the things than getting away from our creativity. The general atmosphere of a workspace is important. You should wanna spend time in there, it should feel comfortable. Organization goes a long way. I like to keep my little dojo here clean and ready to go. I’ve got my guitar amp constantly miced up that way if. I get this creative spark nothing can’t stand in my way. Another example of this is your software. The quicker and better you are in it the more time you can spend making music. Learning the shortcuts and inner working of Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Audacity. What ever you’re working with will lead to a smooth and seamless workflow.
Curtis is a passionate and in-demand musician and songwriter, working along with popular artists, actors and movie directors. His creations, unique sounds and soundtracks are found in movies, TV shows and documentaries.