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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    The Art of Pre-Production
    By J.T.Baker

    Often times artists book time in the studio, and believe that they are about to embark on a mystical journey of wine and song, it is believed by some, that when they step into the recording studio, all of that has plagued their musical identity will be washed away, with the slide of a fader or a simple twist of a knob.

    I once recorded a vocalist that had problems with pitch, this young lady figured that with some pitch shifting we could remedy this problem, I think her exact statement was ďLets pitch shift my voice and add some reverbĒ needless to say this didnít help much. Even the best engineers in the world cant fix all the problems, we can fix some performance errors but when a guitar is out of tune, its out of tune. Same with someoneís voice

    This brings me to my point, one of the most important things you can do as an artist is pre-production. Simply put pre-production is simply what it implies. Go out to your local music store and pick yourself inexpensive four track. You can pick up used gear relatively cheap and be way ahead of the recording process by spending a couple hundred dollars. If you cant get your hands on a four track, Find yourself a two track recorder. You can find one of those at Payless for about twenty dollars. The goal is to record your tunes, the recordings donít have to be fancy, and they donít even have to sound good. The only thing they have to represent is the basic structure of the song. Listen to these songs over and over and listen to how the piece works together. Make sure all the pieces fit, donít go into the studio and try to re-write your parts there. Unless its your desire to spend a lot of money writing parts. Remember the clock does not stop just because your are not recording. This point is very important.

    The clock starts and stops at the agreed upon time. Chart your songs, this means you simply want to take notes about your music, write it down, if your song has in intro this part is called A, and how many bars does this last? Your next part as called B, how many bars does this last? Etc. what this does is gives the engineer an idea of time frames, If the engineer knows that a change is coming they will more than likely set ďcueĒ points for each change. Listen to your vocal parts, do they interfere with the other parts that are being played. And more importantly is the instrumentation interfering with the vocal parts, For guitarists I hate to be the one to tell you this but. The first thing folks want to hear are the vocals, listen to the intonation between the main and background vocals and the intonation between the vocals and the rhythm players.

    Lastly, feel free to talk to your engineer before you start, I usually ask for the client to send me CDís of the bands they are influenced by, this helps when we go after a certain guitar tone or sound. This is also important when looking for the perfect drum tones, A lot goes into the recording of your project. It as important to you as it is to the engineer and producer, and most certainly your fans. Your drummer should have their drum kit tuned. Donít wait to get in the studio to tune, this is a waste of your time and money. If you have already hired your producer good for you, If it is your intention to produce your next record, then follow this advice and go out and make it a great record. I for one canít wait to hear it.


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