Lately, I’ve been very involved in the making of my new album, particularly now in the “post-recording” part of it, so I figured since it’s so on my mind, I can pass on some valuable tips to you…..
This is an era that has totally changed everything in terms of digital recording and mixing, and in many ways it has made the whole process less tedious and tiresome, and far easier, with many more infinite possibilities available to you! With the advent of programs such as Pro Tools, Logic and others, the ability to manipulate, modify and generally “fix” things in the mix has become an entirely new world of recording, that is even changing music itself.
I don’t subscribe to much of the electronic-type music, and the over-use of certain blights such as the renowned “auto tuning,” but there are many benefits of the digital process for sure. I can remember recording down in Nashville a few years ago, and noticing that the studio we were working in was still “tracking” to tape, and then finishing with digital. I liked this sort of “halfway” approach to the digital revolution, because it enabled us to without question, get a warmer, fatter sound on the basic tracks themselves. This really didn’t hold us back at all, as once we were ready to do overdubs and mix down, we had the flexibility of digital programs to make the final steps that much easier.
The greatest moment, and perhaps the hardest when it comes to creating a work of art is knowing when it is done. This is critical for all art forms, such as painting, writing and photography, and having all these new “toys” at our disposal these days, combined with the relative “ease” digital gives us, it can really be a bit hazardous in post-production. I mean, if an engineer is really quick, it almost makes him tempted to try all that he can try, regardless of whether it is truly “done” or not. This is definitely dangerous, and can also run up budgets to the moon if you’re not careful.
It’s true that it always takes a while to “train” your ear for things such as post-production mixing and mastering, but it should really be worth your while to spend the time with your engineer making sure you see and hear just what is going down I have now been through 2 full “pre-mixes” of my stuff, and feel confident in my incredibly talented engineer to not “overdo” it now we’ve reached the place where I love the parts, the sounds and the levels!
So beware of the “over-doing” it part, and always be sure to trust your ears as to when “enough is enough.” There will always be time to go back to it later, and hey, no problem with tape!