In the music industry, Pre-Production is a process whereby a Virginia Beach recording studio artist spends time creating and refining their musical ideas. The artist thus produces a song’s demo recording, or rough draft, in order to pre-establish the song’s creative premise. A demo should have the basic style of the song displayed. For example, by listening to the demo, a casual listener should be able to tell if the song is country or pop. Also, the ‘tone’ of the song should be at least somewhat developed, i.e. whether the song is an upbeat club song, or a heartbreak ballad. If this isn’t clear, it can be ironed out in pre-production, but as an artist, you should have a basic concept of what vibe you are trying to create in your music. This planning, when taken seriously, reduces the time and money spent in expensive studios.
The goal is to enter into the major recording phase of production with the basic and most promising ideas having been already established. Brickhouse Records specializes in pre-production for all types of music. We are a Virginia Beach studio that helped thousands of artists with pre-production for their projects. When you schedule a pre-production meeting, we will help you plan out all the finer details of your session. We can plan out what instrumentation or recorded music you will use, help you organize lyrics sheets, figure out song arrangements and much, much more.
- Confirm the lyric is as strong as it can be, and the song concept is fully realized and has enough ‘weight’ to engage listeners
- Confirm you are not ruining the singer’s brand or image by putting those words in the singer’s mouth! Especially when it’s you!
- Confirm it is as effective as it can be made in terms of structure (verse, pre-chorus, bridge, double chorus, and so on)
- Confirm the key is the best key for the singer
- Confirm the tempo (BPM) and any swing factor (time feel) compliments the song nicely. You can even try different versions at different tempos, but pick the most likely first and proceed with that. You may find you won’t need other options after all. A good rule of thumb is to use a fixed whole-number BPM at all times. You need a really good musical reason not to do this – it is limiting your options and making work unnecessarily not to bother with a click track and a known BPM, whether it changes during the piece or not, unless there will be no overdubs.
- Think about the sounds you want in each section. Start with sounds for the most powerful song section, usually a chorus in the last third of a song.
- Think about an “intro” section – what will grab the listener’s attention and hold it?
- Think about an “outro” – are you fading out or do you have a definite ending? Fading quickly or slowly?
- Running time of the final record can matter to some folks. Obviously, radio DJs aren’t gonna play twelve-minute songs.
- Plan for a bridge or a breakdown (if you have either) that will take listeners to a different place than the other sections. Contrasts are are a big part of keeping people’s attention. Whatever is happening in your recording, contrasts of all kinds will be a key goal.
- Plan for the dynamics of the music and the performances. Have a vision for where things will get loud and for how long, and where they will feel noticeably quieter. Take us on a better ride by knowing where the ride goes ahead of time.
- Locate any musicians you need for instruments you want to use but cannot play, and ask them if they want to participate. We know a number of local musicians who can be sought out for your songs!
- Settle on how any other musicians you use will be recompensed, and take notes of contact details and any work planned for them or done by them
- Plan for crediting musicians (ask them if and how they want to be credited for work performed)
- Keep ALL your pre-production notes, communications (email, IM, FB messages, old-fashioned letters, etc) and other records for legal and accounting reasons. Especially keep notes and receipts for monies spent or received.
- Make sure you have new strings on stringed instruments and that the strings have had an hour or two of playing in. Change drumheads if your tone is too dull on real drums.
- Take a deep breath now that pre-production is done, and look forward to a successful recording session! Good luck. It gets easier every time.
Brickhouse Records Is A Recording And Mastering Virginia Beach Studio VA Service in Hampton Roads and Surrounding Areas – Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth VA , Our Services Include Recording, Mastering, Audio Classes, Pre-Production, Sound Design, Video Editing And Mastering, Artist Development, Music Publishing, Music Legal Services, Recording Studio Build-Outs, And In House Studio Repair.
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