Production Tips and Techniques
- Where to start?
- How to keep the session progressing
- How to wrap-it up and come away with a win
- Follow-up steps
Where to start?
Sessions usually start out with a basic idea, maybe it's a chord progression with some scratchy lyrics or a beat that you find interesting. The biggest thing to know is that music is created by any means necessary, just so long as you are making noise, the session is underway. Too many times I get asked "which one should I do first". The answer is always, do something.. This does seem vague, but the hardest part is making that decision, if it took you 10 minutes to decide on that one simple thing, then the session isn't off to a great start. That brings me to the second point:
How to keep the session progressing
It is literally one thing - Making clear decisions. Once I got over the whole "oh I dunno, like, if we do this and that is it making it better?". My advice it, try it... If it doesn't work, then great! If it does work, then great too! It's all about being decisive and rolling along with new ideas. No idea is a bad idea, it's just a different approach. The ability comes at the point where you ask yourself "Does this benefit the song?" If that answer is yes then add it, if it's no, park it, or better yet.... Delete it! Once you get used to this process, your music will benefit and the production process will become easier (as you practice it more and more).
How to wrap-it up and come away with a win
Once your session is up, the best thing to do is bounce an MP3, chuck it on a cloud-based storage drive and play it in the car on the way home (or just walk outside to the car if you are producing at home). This does two things:
• It gives you a sense of achievement (walking away with a tangible thing)
• It takes you out of the studio and into a real-world listening environment.
This allows you to listen to the song as a member of the public and be honest with yourself in asking "does this sound alright?". You don't have to beat yourself up if it doesn't. The key take-away is that you are able to identify where things need improving and do it in the next session.
After a few car listens and some note taking, you can schedule another session and get cracking on building the song!