by Alex Cosper (2/15/2014)
Music production is the real key to crafting hit songs. The Beatles were great songwriters and performers but a big part of their success also had to do with how George Martin produced their recordings. He just happened to know a lot of classical musical and orchestras, which product extra musical creativity to their recordings. The Motown Sound was another milestone in recording production history that generated a string of big hits, partly using innovative production ideas. Studying recording technology history is a great way to dive into knowlege about recording. Here are more tips to help you either become a better producer or learn the recording process better.
- Learn to listen to music objectively once it's recorded.
- Try to capture the best performance after having the artist warm up.
- Decide beforehand if the recording will require a lot of electronics and effects.
- Don't turn simple arrangements into complicated productions that take several months to record.
- Record voices and instruments dry with no effects, then add effects later so that the mix can be flexible.
- Make sure the artist has rehearsed the song adequately before recording.
- Try to limit the amount of punch-ins on vocals. If it takes all day, it means the singer needs more practice.
- The goal should be to record accurate performances instead of fixing everything in the mix.
- Artists should work with producers that care about their music.
- Producers should only work with artists that are ready to be heard by the public to maintain professional credibility.
- When it comes to adjusting EQ during recording or mixing, it's better to reduce than to add.
- High pass filters can cut low end frequencies while low pass filters cut high end frequencies.
- Drums and bass should handle most of the low end while vocals usually occupy the midrange.
- Doubling a vocal is a good way to strengthen the vocal, as long as both tracks are sung in unison.
- To save time, vocal harmonies should be well rehearsed instead of improvised in the studio.
- If the production is meant to showcase lyrics and melody then the one instrument and vocal can be sufficient.
- Drums should be recorded first, then the bass, then other instruments, then lead vocals.
- Each recording session should have a specific goal so that time is used efficiently.
- Once all the elements are recorded, the producer needs to listen to every measure carefully.
- It's important to listen to a mix on various sound systems, in which it may sound different on different systems.
- Rerecord anything that sounds off-key or out of time musically and then do a remix.
- Once you are happy with a final mix, the next phase is mastering, so that levels and frequencies sound crisp and enjoyable.
- To improve production skills, listen to professional interviews and check into recording arts schools.
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