Your Settings Your Content FAQ
Photo Courtesy of FORREST SOUND & VISION

Photo Courtesy of FORREST SOUND & VISION

Recording & Production Basics – PART 1

 

Something that people often ask me is how to get started in recording & production.  If you’re a songwriter, instrumentalist or a budding producer you’re going to need to know the basics…so here ya go…

Which DAW do I use?  A digital audio workstation (DAW) is the command center of any studio environment.  There are a bunch of options, but here are a few:  Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Cakewalk, Digital Performer, Garage Band, Reaper, etc.   Which one you should use is based on many factors.

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?  If you just want to demo your songs quickly so that someone can “get the idea”, I strongly suggest going with a very simple non-professional DAW like Garageband (if you’re on Mac).  There are other alternatives for the PC too, which I can talk about in another post.

The main pros of Garageband are that it’s easy to use and projects can natively be imported into Logic, which is a full featured DAW.  This means that your song idea can either be given to your band (to learn the arrangement) or given to a producer to flesh it out with his or her professional gear.  I wouldn’t recommend using Garageband to fully produce or release tracks though…

O.K., now let’s move on to the professional DAW’s.  I personally use Logic and Pro Tools, which are probably the most popular at the moment.  I’ve used Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton Live and many others throughout the years and to be quite honest…they’re all good!  You’ll be able to write and produce good music on pretty much any professional DAW given that you have the talent and the skills to make that happen.  In my case, it really comes down to industry standards and compatibility.  Since I compose for TV/Film and also produce artists, Logic and Pro Tools are as standard as you get.  Even when I’m hired to mix an album, it’s almost always in Pro Tools or Logic.  I can just open up the project file (given that I have the same plugins installed) and start mixing away, instead of having to transfer the files into another program which can be time consuming.  There are also other factors to consider when deciding on a DAW, like what platform you use (PC or Mac).  For instance, Logic doesn’t work on PC ‘s and Cubase/Nuendo works better on PC’s than Mac’s.

Also, in my opinion, I prefer Logic over Pro Tools.  The main reason is that Pro Tools can only bounce mixes in real time, but Logic can bounce as fast as your computer can handle (offline bounce/export).  This is a huge time saver when you’re bouncing rough passes, stems, mixes, etc.  Let’s say you record a 4 hour live performance and you want to give the client a rough draft to check out.  It’ll take 4 hours to bounce in Pro Tools…Yikes!  Also, I prefer the midi implementation in Logic over Pro Tools, but again this is just my opinion…

So in conclusion, if you want to produce studio ready tracks, you’re going to have to learn one of the professional DAW’s.  It’ll take some time to get it under your fingers, but you’ll reap the rewards later.  If you just want to demo your songs quickly and easily, don’t even bother messing around with the pro stuff.  It’ll just be frustrating and you probably won’t get much writing done until you adjust to the learning curve.  Just my 2 cents…

In future posts, I’ll discuss the other aspects of recording and production including what gear you need (depending on your budget), recording techniques and mixing/mastering.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps clear some things up for you.

 

adamsmall_headshot1

 


Videos by Adam Small:

 

Music Licensing and Publishing Masterclass - Adam Small - Business Lesson

Adam Small (How to License Your Music)

Licensing for Film/TV. Music Supervisors, Publishing, Royalties
Electric Bass Masterclass - Adam Small - Bass Lesson

Adam Small 1 (Bass)

Electric Bass, Tone, Groove, Technique
Electric Bass Masterclass - Adam Small - Bass Lesson

Adam Small 2 (Bass)

Electric Bass, Tone, Groove, Feel
Music Networking and Business Masterclass - Adam Small - Networking Lesson

Adam Small 1 (Social Networking For Musicians)

Social Media, Music Promotion, Networking, Etc.
Music Networking and Business Masterclass - Adam Small - Networking Lesson

Adam Small 2 (Social Networking For Musicians)

Social Media, Music Promotion, Networking, Etc.

No Comments

Write A Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.