Producer, Engineer, Live Sound Man
Q: What is "pre-production", what's involved, and how important to the recording process is it?
A: The short answer is, everything leading up to the the recording. What's involved depends a lot
on the style of production and how elaborate of a recording you intend to do.
Typically, it start by listing to a rough recording or demo of the songs themselves. I like to put a jambox
in the middle of the rehearsal room and have them run through the songs. That way I get a feel for the band
as they really are and not as some engineer interprets them. I then sit down with them and work out any
rough spots in the arrangements,etc..
If budget permits, I like to make a Production Demo. Basically, this is a quick jump through a project
studio to work out things like tones, track lay out and the like. This gives me a road map to follow
so to speak when it comes time to do the real thing.
As to its importance, immeasurable. You MUST do preproduction in this day and age. Even with all the
tools that digital recording and editing provides, and the endless tricks you can do with them;
Studio time in a "real" studio is VERY EXPENSIVE. And it goes by at an alarming rate when you
start to record. The more it cost, the more you watch the clock instead of concentrate on the
recording. The end result is that the project suffers either sonically or financially.
Bottom line here, the more prepared you are, the better.
Thanks for the question.
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