Step 7 - Producing
We spent a great deal of time analyzing the performance, practicing
and preparing for tracking, because you do not want to repeat it.
Tracking is expensive, but since your acoustic sound resembles so
closely your target recorded sound, the tracking process should have
gone quickly and smoothly. You should take care of over-dubs
immediately so the producer can analyze the tracks and end the
tracking process. If you have rented microphones you will be able to
return them at this point. You will no longer need a tracking room so
you should no longer pay for one, whether utilizing your own
equipment or a commercial studio, stop paying for recording space.
Also, you can eliminate all personnel besides the producer, editor, mix
engineer and mastering engineer. All other positions are finished.
You have been pretty regimented in your decision making when it
comes to meeting deadlines and sticking to your budget, but if you are
going to allow yourself any flexibility, now is the time for it. Editing
will be the last phase that the producer (the one with the "vision") will
actively take part in. Digital distribution may take up to 5 weeks, so
you must reserve some extra time. Plus, you must mix and master.
But overall, this is the step in which the producer must achieve the
sound he/she is looking for.
Most independent artists think of adding creative effects as part of
mixing. For our purposes, you should think of creative effects as part
of editing. This will help to simplify mixing, the step that so many of
you struggle with. The producer needs to listen to each individual
track, to determine whether editing can give them the proper sound.
Let us pretend that you have tracked vocals in a closet and in the
middle of your best take, the furnace cuts off and you realize it was
on all through the beginning of the track. So you scroll backwards and
listen to the beginning.
Does the furnace sit far enough beneath the vocals to go unnoticed, or does it need to be re-recorded?
The producer needs to make that call. Producing in studios, you will not have the furnace problem, but you will have other
problems like bleed from singers headphones. When you decide to transition from the tracking step to the editing step, decisions
have to be made by the producer.