Thursday, March 26, 2009

Example Digital Audio Production Workflow

There's always room for jamming with other musicians anytime during this process. It might not contribute directly to the process, but it's fun and all parties will learn a lot from the synergy. This isn't the only process (feel free to add or subtract or repeat steps, according to your own process).

1. Songwriting. An instrument and a notebook would be helpful. A mini tape recorder/digital recorder to demo ideas might be helpful. The end product is basically lots of music with or without lyrics.

2. Arranging. This is where you try to make sense of the raw materials of music and lyrics, and put it in a nice little consumable package. You also decide which instruments will fit for the upcoming production.

3. Recording. Track drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals, strings, brass, percussion, etc., according your arrangment. You can assemble an relatively large ensemble to perform live, with minimal overdubs, or you/a small band can build a song a few instruments at a time. If you are going to edit and mix later, you need to record multitrack - each instrument has its own input(s) or microphone(s).

4. Auditioning. Choose the good takes, and discard the bad takes. Punch in to quickly overdub fixes for decent takes.

5. Editing. This is where digital audio workstation recording begins to differ from traditional recording. You can easily compile the good parts of so-so takes to make a pretty spotless takes. Use this sparingly, as slight imperfections is human, and your human audience will better connect with emotional, human performances. Total perfection might lose the emotionality that makes a good recording.

6. Mixing. All the instruments that past muster must coexist. Make sure all that needs to be heard/felt is heard/felt.

7. Repeat the above steps for additional songs, if you are going to release more than a single, like an EP or a full-length album.

8. Mastering. Add that extra sheen to your track(s), make sure has the right dynamics (hopefully without playing into the loudness war), and have all your tracks (if more than one) work together as a collection - in sequence, and in equalization tonality.

9. Release to the world! You have your choice of media, from vinyl to CDs to MP3s and myriad ways to get your sonic creation to the ears (and hearts and minds) of as many people as possible! Cheers!

10. Repeat the process...

No comments:

Post a Comment

We'd love to hear from you! If you spot a typo or musical inconsistency (it sometimes happens), please let us know (please be nice, too). Thanks!

Comments on each post close after seven days.

guitar (1101) piano (566) keyboard (556) chord (537) dictionary (490) scale (358) major (301) minor (297) mode (222) jam session (142) drums (117) bb (113) eb (112) f (112) db (111) ab (110) c (106) gb (106) a (104) b (101) g (101) lesson (101) d (100) power chord (100) e (98) podcast (74) 7ths (72) bass (61) diminished (59) suspended (44) news (42) index (38) augmented (26) 0 flats (10) 0 sharps (10) 1 flat (10) 1 sharp (10) 2 flats (10) 2 sharps (10) 3 flats (10) 3 sharps (10) 4 flats (10) 4 sharps (10) 5 flats (10) 5 sharps (10) 6 flats (10) 6 sharps (10) backtrack (9) ukulele (4) harmonica (2) 9ths (1)