To carry on our conversation – after we submit the scratch vocal to our producer (which you heard in the previous post), we give him a few days to really get acquainted with the song and develop ideas on the direction he sees us going with it. We’ll then meet via Skype or Zoom to have a “face to face” meeting between the three of us.
I’ve really loved seeing how our team has gelled. We all seem to spark each other’s creativity. Kevin is a master at production, having a Berkeley School of Music degree and tons of natural talent. Not only does he have great ideas and an awesome ear for music, he’s teaching my wife some of his engineering skills, helping her to become stronger on the recording side.
During our production meeting, we talk about the tempo of the song, what elements we hear, any revising needed for the song structure or lyrics and discuss the time frame for recording.
For example, during our production meeting for “Midnight Moon,” we changed the song structure and Kevin encouraged me to completely re-write the bridge. It made for a much better song.
These types of meetings are crucial to give the song direction and ensure that each piece added is exactly what the song calls for rather than just unnecessary fluff.
After our production meeting, Kevin sits down and creates the foundation of the song – percussion elements, bass, maybe even some electric guitar parts, all to be the framework around the acoustic guitar.
I love how he sets the pace of the song with the percussion. In my previous recording experiences, I would record my acoustic guitar track first, keeping time to a metronome. It’s actually quite annoying to do it that way for me, because the metronome is so mechanical and it takes the groove out of the song. The way Kevin adds in percussion helps set the vibe and in turn helps me perform better as I’m adding the acoustic guitar.
I also love how our percussion is never the same twice. If you’ve listened to the new single releases this year so far, you’ll notice how different the drums are in each one. To me that keeps the songs interesting. Yes, we’re releasing them individually right now, but at the end of the year they will be pulled together as an album and we want the entire album to keep the listener engaged and not be a series of repetitive sounds.
Once he’s laid the framework, he sends us the project back so we can begin work on recording the acoustic guitar, vocals and any other ideas we come up with on our end.
Here’s the first verse/chorus of what we got back from Kevin for “Blue Sunny Skies.”
In the next post, I’ll show you what we added.