We’ve got songs. Now it’s time to record them. New to music production and the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)? Whether recording music at home or in multiple places (i.e. working with a producer remotely) you may get stuck with the small stuff: like exporting ideas, soloing instruments, picking your best takes, etc.
As a songwriter and artist that developed into a producer, I learned from experience. Here are some tips for songwriters just getting started in recording and producing their music:
5 Considerations When Working With Producers
1. Clean Up Your Recordings.
Very often, our home recordings can include unwanted noise, even in a quiet environment. If you have a home set up as a songwriter, hire a professional to help you build and test even a simple set up, i,e. basic acoustic treatment and speaker placement.
If you hear hiss, hum, or obvious room tone, sometimes it takes hours and even days for a producer to clean it. It’s always better to work with good quality material and well setup equipment from the beginning. Avoid the mentality that things can be fixed in post. This will help you focus on improving your performance.
It is fine if you don’t know how to do vocal editing yourself as a songwriter. But you need to know how to export audio files properly from your DAW, especially when working with others.
Ask your producer for the sample rate they need your recording to be provided in. Is it 44.1kHz or 48kHz? Learn how to bounce tracks, so they all have the same length and will be positioned at the right spots in your producer’s session.
Learn how to bounce processed and unprocessed tracks (with effects and dry, with no effects). It will go a long way.
Free mindset and productivity tools for creators
Subscribe to our VQS advice blog
3. No Clipping
Distortion (or clipping) in a recording is something that can rarely be fixed. When the audio signal is recorded too “hot”, it clips and the audio is damaged. Although one time I was able to mask it with combining a couple of effects together. Any time you have clipping on any recording, re-record that part before sending to a producer. Check your volume levels.
4. Performance Is Always First
If you sing or play an instrument, give the best performance you can. Performance cannot be improved by a producer with plug-ins. If you don’t sing well yourself, find a good singer. Lots of songs with amazing production never get released because of a weak performance. Spend 80% on capturing great performances and 20% editing.
5. Find a Great Producer
Choose a producer wisely. Never go to a producer just because he/she can produce. Choose a producer based on their sound. Listen to the tracks they have produced. Find a producer who is great in the genre you need for your song.
How will you use these tools and ideas in your music? I’d love to hear from you.