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The Ian McArthur Band / Blog

Studio Notes 1

Studio Notes

Pre Production

Hi everyone.

Today we are going to look at pre production. What is it? Why do it? What’s involved? Well pre production is where we get the arrangements down smooth out any rough changes like going into and or out of the bridge, adding lifts if needed. The lift is an added section between the verse and chorus. Some song benefir greatly from a lift, others don’t. Here is where production and song arranging experience help. This step should be done BEFORE you get to the studio! Pre production is also where you decide on things like Are we going to use a click? I am of 2 minds when it comes to a click track. I generally don’t like to use one on mast of my songs, I find the click can make the song too robotic. Most of my music is very fluid and has tempo changes, and a click can be limiting. How ever, depending on the material and the amount and type of editing you are doing, the click can be necessary and useful. Most comprehensive recording software like Pro Tools and Logic to mane a couple, are much easier to use with a click. If you’re using a click now is the time to figure out the tempo and map out any tempo changes. It can get very expensive to do it in the studio, so now’s the time to do it. I use a system called Radar for recording, and only do minor cut and paste editing, however there will be at least one song we will br doing a lot of editing and sequencing in Logic Pro. The software I use. It’s fairly similar to other software so you should be able to translate it to whatever software you use.

Pre production is also when to decide on how you want to recode. Do you want the energy of a live off the floor recording or do you record everything separately to have more control in the mix. Again this decision is largely dependent on the type of material and style of the band. I’ve recorded both ways, and like both results. If you are recording separately, it’s a good idea to figure out who needs to hear what while doing their take, and what’s needed on “scratch tracks” Now is also a good time for the drummer to know which drums are needed on which songs. On our song “Lifes Songs” on our 1st Cd the drummer isn’t hitting any toms, so we removed the tome and tom mikes during that take. That way there’s less phase issues with less mikes and less ringing of unused drums, all leading to a cleaner recording. If you are self producing it’s a good time to do some mike selection. Drums are the hardest to record, as they require multiple mikes. A little trial and error in your rehearsal space with a mini recorder can save time and money in the studio. Now is the time to decide if there are going to be any additional instruments or vocals outside of regular band members. Sax, harmonica, strings etc… Are you bringing in studio musicians? If so, now’s the time to get parts charted. Good studio musicians aren’t cheap, but they bring great gear and they save time in the studio as long as the songs are charted correctly. Make plenty of notes on everything!!!!!

I hope this is useful to you. If you have questions or comments, please message.

HAVE FUN!!!!

Blessings. ian

Thoughts

Thoughts:

Wink in, flutter about, wink out. Touch all you can, but try not to break anything. Enjoy the art of learning. Read. Read. Read. If Mom told you life was fair, she lied. If Dad said you can't play fair, he lied. It's not God's fault. Do the math... there are just too many self centered people. If you spend more than half your life truly happy, you've won. Acceptance is the key. Give of yourself unconditionally. Love unconditionally. You may get hurt, oh well. You may get used, oh well. You will make mistakes, oh well. Bravery is not the absence of fear. It's doing the right thing in spite of it. Dream your dream. Live your dream. If you stumble, oh well. Dream your dream. Live your dream. There is a God. He or she doesn't follow any particular religion. Pray however you like, just pray. Sing every day, dance every day, laugh every day. Try not to grow up too much. To quote a very wise man, "All you need is love." Wanna know a secret?

Ian

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