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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Album Preproduction

I'm currently in preproduction for a new album with the band Snew. If you've not heard them yet, they're a hard rock band reminiscent of AC/DC or Iron Maiden with some really great songs. I produced their first record last year and it met with a great deal of acclaim and success, so it's important that this one meets the high expectations of their many fans around the world, and that's why preproduction is really important.

Since it’s the little things, the nuances, that make a song sound great, I thought it would be a good time to list those things that a band has to have down before they hit the studio. They are:

  • Everyone must know their parts inside out
  • The starts and stops in the song are all played together.
  • Everyone must play the same part the same way every time (except if it’s jazz or blues)
  • Everyone has to know the dynamics of the song.
  • All rhythms are in the pocket and the songs groove
  • The turnaround between each song section must be defined.
  • Attacks and releases for each part must be executed together.
  • The sounds of each instrument must be layered so nothing clashes frequency-wise.
  • The tempo must be right for the song.
  • The band must be in tune (especially the bass, which is sometimes just tuned by ear).
  • All vocals must be in the best range for the singers
  • Background vocals must be defined and tight
These are all the things that you should be concentrating on during preproduction rehearsals in order to make sure that  your recording session not only runs smoothly and efficiently, but sounds great as well.

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