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How to get the most out of your session.
Memorize your lyrics. When lyrics are memorized you are capable of expressing the emotion of the words instead of focusing on reading the words off the paper.
Bring your beat on a thumb drive, cd, DVD or email. Cell phones are undependable.
Why are cell phones undependable? When people download a MP3 to their phone the title of the song you are seeing on your screen is different than the way it appears on your actual hard drive. This happens because there is embedded data put in to the mp3 such as artist, title, date, comments, year and that is what you see in your MP3 player all the while the file could be named UNKNOWN on your hard drive. People spend 15 minutes searching for their song on cell phones. Also some cell phones won’t connect to the computer properly rendering your session a dud.
Be aware of sessions booked around 5 pm. 4 to 5 pm traffic is always terrible and the client needs to leave about an hour early than normal to be on time.
Wave files are always better than mp3 versions. When converting a wave to an mp3 you lose 75% of the original data. MP3 was originally created to send demo versions of songs through the internet since the original wave was too big for the internet to handle. Waves should be used for absolutely everything accept for sending to iTunes, Amazon and Djs at the very end of the mastering process of the song.
The outcome and quality of your mix will never be better than the quality of the beat you provide.
Consider this, everyone likes for the vocal to sit in the beat nice. If you have a lo-fi distorted beat and you come here to record, your vocal is high fidelity and crystal clear. The vocal will stick out like a sore thumb because of the contrast. Since the beat can’t be brought back to clarity, the vocal has to be adjusted to sound like it matches the beat. The result is a low quality song.
Distortion in beats and vocals cannot be removed in mixing. Chose a new producer or place to record.
Understand ear fatigue and how it works against you. The longer you listen to music the more you become blind to what needs to be fixed. Ever notice when you walk in a room with a constant annoying noise it eventually disappears from your perception. It’s the same thing with problems in music.. The more you can allow your engineer to actually get away from your song the better it will come out. A smart client will encourage breaks with their engineer instead of squeezing him like a tube of toothpaste.
Do not drink heavy or smoke heavy. If you smoke try to stay away from Indica strains and stick with small amount of Sativa. Sativa increases creativity and energy, Indica is like taking Nyquil. Smoke smart and put the FREE App LEAFLY in your phone so you can stay away from Indicas. Recommended strains for creative work is Sour Diesel, Green Crack, Super Silver, Maui Waui, Acapulco Gold, Lemon Diesel Etc…
Drinking causes dehydration and causes a noticeable difference in the top end clarity of your voice.
My advice is be sober or have small amount to record then celebrate after with larger amounts.
Do not book a session because you think you will be ready at a certain date. An example would be booking for Saturday, Saturday comes around and your home boy didn’t get to send you the beat files so you and I both are screwed. My paychecks short and your fans are pissed.
Think twice about trying to be the next Wu Tang clan with your friends. There’s only about 3 min available per song these days. There’s no room for everyone. After 15 years of running the studio, many groups have tried and they all fail but maybe like 2. There is normally only about 2 out of the 5 group members that are dependable and play there part in a balanced way.
When booking a session and you believe it will take 15 min remember it takes, a few minutes to find your song, load into the software, find the tempo record it, mix it, bounce it, burn the cd to listen to and burn the back up the session to a thumb drive, dvd or cd. 15 min is normally 45 min.
Don’t work with producers who aren’t advanced enough to provide you with a beat track out so you can mix it like every other song you ever heard banging in the club. Beats straight out of software can sound soft, noisy and congested. The kicks won’t punch, the bass will be flabby and the snare will sound thin like a tick. Of course there are some that can sound good but every record you ever bought in the store was mixed with the track out. A beat should be mixed AROUND the vocal since it’s the forefront of the song. A good friend told me once that you can’t put ten pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag and that’s what you are doing trying to put lead vocals over a MIXED AND MASTERED beat. You NEVER master a beat before the vocals have been added. It can’t be mastered before the vocal is put inside of it. It’s like completing a painting and filling ever part of the space with objects and then trying to put the biggest image in the picture at the end. The proper way to make a picture is to have all elements before you before you start making decisions on where they are all going to be placed and how big they are going to be in the picture. If the beat was already mastered that means It will be mastered twice once the vocals are on it. Mastering something twice is never good.
When making beats, choose sounds that sound so good they don’t sound like they need to be mixed. The best sounds are so good they hardly need EQ. Also, instead of playing 8 keyboard parts on the hook try to use three and use them very creative. When layering sounds don’t play to many sounds in the mid-range or middle of the keyboard, work your way up and down the keyboard. If when you’re making a beat and you start to hear sounds disappear that were once clear you are adding to many sounds and creating what’s called a WALL OF SOUND. I know when making beats they don’t sound full at home because they are not mixed, but the solution is not to add a ton of sounds. Pay attention to how many sounds are on the beats on the radio. It’s VERY minimal. Let your engineer make the song sound full. Consider the song YEAH by lil Jon and Usher. The engineer made that song big not the producer with a ton of synths sound.
DO NOT USE WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER to import your music and burn cds. It DESTORYS the quality and volume level on the cd by about 70%. You need to use something like Nero to burn cds. If you need the wave on your computer put your session cd in and drag and drop it on to the computer hard drive.
The radio myth.
No matter how good your record is they are not going to play it on the radio. The best hope you have for radio play is if the DJ plays your song at the club when he’s live on the air. Sometimes they have special shows on the air at certain times but I believe even those are disappearing. You will get nothing but the runaround if you try to meet with the music director to get your music played on the radio. Today the record labels own the station. If you want to be played on the radio, you have to get signed to a major label. Radio stations can’t risk playing your song and people turning the station to another channel. Music directors are under strict instruction to play a certain mix and if they don’t they are fired. This isn’t a huge deal because being on the radio doesn’t mean you are going to get signed. If that was true, Krazy, Tom G, Kid Brick ect would be already be out of here. The problem is that there is no major label around here to see you MAKING NOISE. You’re screaming in the desert. The way to success in 2014 is internet promotion through social media sites and YouTube. The list is endless of people who were discovered through means of the internet.
Artists are not record labels. Giving your demo to an artist does you no good. Most artist went through hell to get where they are and normally aren’t interested in giving you a chance to take their light and money. Get your demo to an A&R at record label.
Using PRESETS in popular software like fruity loops will never lead you to being an original trendsetting producer. Explore new sounds, effects and drums. Start twisting knobs on your vst and keyboards. You would be amazed with what you come up with. Drake didn’t get signed by trying to sound like what was hot now!
Now everyone is trying to sound like Drake.