Meet The Client
Just like every successful business relationship, the start of the story begins with meeting the client to understanding goals and objectives. Questions might be asked to ascertain the following;
- What is your musical experience
- What is your performance level
- Can you play or sing in time (metronome) / in key (pitch)
- What does your material look like
- How is your material structured, will any edits need to be made
- What do you need for arrangement
- Where do you want this recording to take you
- How invested in this project are you
The most important thing for you to do prior to this meeting is to come prepared with a recording (demo) of your music - and questions. Be prepared to have a candid discussion about your abilities and desires. Note that if you are part of a group, setting up to play on-site at this meeting is not an option.
After learning about the artist and the direction the recording is going to go, parameters can be set to ensure the goal is reached. If this project is for artist development there is a little more leniency in the format, whereas a song being released for radio will require following a more specific set of guidelines. It is here that a budget is set in terms of both money and time. Based on this, decisions can be made that will define who is to contribute their talents to the project (whether studio musicians must be hired), and what the timeframe to completion will be. It is important to note that the benefit of working with an experienced professional is paramount to the success of any project and should not be taken lightly. Depending on the intention for production, it is at the discretion of the producer to ensure that sound quality is not compromised at any stage in the process.
Record and Edit Bed Tracks, Record and Edit Lead Vocals, Overdubs / Background Vocals / Sequencing
Once everything is arranged and everyone is on the same page, recording begins! The first step is to record the music which is done "Live off the Floor" almost ninety percent of the time. This gives the musicians, artist, and producer a better "feel" for the music, which helps them play better and makes it easier to hear what the song will sound like later on. The option will exist to use either vintage tube guitar amps or guitar amp simulators (plugins). These multiple takes are reviewed minor inconsistencies such as timing and tuning are fixed. Lead Vocals are recorded next. This is usually fairly intense (drink plenty of water) and you should be prepared to sing it over and over . . . These are also edited and the best parts are picked out and stitched together. Editing is generally done while you are not in the studio. This process is time-consuming and requires the ear of an experienced engineer. The end result is definitely worth the wait. In the final phase of this process, extra instruments (if required), loops, percussion, harmonies and layering is added to give the song depth. This can range from one simple layer to an extensive arrangement of layers.
Mixing and Mastering
Mixing is essentially combining the multi-track session into a two-track stereo mix. This is where all the instrument and vocal levels are adjusted for their final sound. EQ, Compression, Panning and Effects are balanced. Mastering is the finalization of Compression, Limiting, and EQ for the proper sonic sound for the album or single to compete on the World Stage. It adds punch and sparkle to the final mix. It is an overall level balancing process that ensures the final product is up to industry standard for volume and sound.
The final mastered files are provided digitally in .WAV and .MP3 format for use at your leisure.
Important to Note:
Based on need - any ONE or ALL of the above steps can be performed
Every project is custom work. The time it takes to complete each step varies based on a variety of factors including ability, creativity, experience, consistency and budget
Collaboration can occur at any stage. Artists should be prepared for "on the fly" adjustments to their selection or style as needed along with the creative process
Edits required after the final file is released may be subject to additional fees at the discretion of the producer