Producer, Engineer, Live Sound Man
Charles England


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.

Read our exclusive interview with Vinnie Vincent roadie, Charles England. Charles tell us about his days, on the road, working with Vinnie Vincent and VV / Nitro drummer, Bobby Rock.