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The intricacies of modern music production

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Most people have no idea how much is involved in producing music, and that includes the artists and musicians themselves. That’s right, most professional artists don’t really realize what goes on behind the scenes in producing their music. They leave it up to a professional like myself, a producer (if they want it done right).
The idea of sculpting a bass sound on repeat for 4 hours is just beyond their comprehension, but that is the kind of thing that goes on amongst mixing together many competing elements so it all blends perfectly.

Today was an example of that in recording the last of the Cello parts for Elika Mahony’s album which will be completed this month. I’ll tell you more about that 3 year project soon.
It was very cool to hear someone play something I composed on keyboard on the cello, but professional players aren’t fond of working with non professional composers (ie: composers that don’t write out scores for performers to play). Even though I had the parts professionally scored, the timing didn’t match up with the parts I composed because the piano wasn’t played strictly with a metronome. This means that when the parts are scored, it is very difficult to figure out the beats and bars. There are ways around this but they require a lot of work like creating tempo maps which I won’t get into now.

Basically what it comes down to is that since artists don’t know what’s involved with these kinds of production details, it is hard for them to know how to prepare for them. Generally, if you want to add any instrumentation, music needs to be played perfectly to a click when it is first started, if it isn’t, it will require a lot more time and money.

It’s all part of the many intricacies of professional music production. It’s hard to believe how much goes into a song sometimes, even for myself. But when it’s done right, it sure sounds amazing. It can capture the heart and stir your very soul.