The Importance of Pre-Production in a recording session.
Everybody realizes the importance of the mixing and mastering processes in the audio recording studio. If you are somebody who does not, then immediately click the back button and go find out. Come back when you are ready. There is another often-ignored process that I learned about the hard way… pre-production. Think of it as preparation, which I always say is one of the most important things involved in the recording process. Being adequately prepared makes everything run more efficiently. Getting everything organized and in place before beginning a recording process will provide a more confident and comfortable atmosphere. And this is extremely important for music creation. A good atmosphere will make for a more satisfying process, and hopefully a better final result. I know that the more comfortable I am in the studio, the better I play. And I do not usually have a high level of comfort in professional studios, so anything that may minimize my anxiety is always welcome.
Upcoming musicians should place more emphasis on pre-production. During this stage, complete demos are worked up of all the songs that are to be recorded during the session. This way, the band and the producer can have time to live with the songs for a while and become familiar with all the parts and arrangements. Changes may need to be made. New ideas will most certainly arise. Guitar solos may need to be refined. The band may recognize areas that need more focus. Harmony parts may need to be worked out. I think you get the point. You do not want to spend valuable studio time correcting these things. That is not time efficient and will most definitely add to the final bill.
I think of pre-production much like I think of practice. It is necessary. Practice makes perfect (supposedly). I haven’t seen that happen with me, but it has helped. And just like practicing a musical instrument needs to be focused and productive, so does pre-production. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it; and hopefully in the end, a better musician and a better final recording.
For some helpful information on setting up a good space for recording demos, check out a few links below.