Monday, May 14, 2012
It seems that for the past ten years, at least, I've always been in one phase or another of making a record. It has truly just become another part of what I do. By doing it so much, I have matured as a writer, musician and producer. It is easier to know right away what works and what doesn't. The biggest think I've learned is when to stop. I've been a part of so many potentially great records that suffered from overproducing. What I mean by overproducing is putting too much into a song. Every great record starts with a great song and everything added to the production should serve the SONG but being in the studio and having limitless options seems to be too much for most people. I've seen people take a simply great song and add three more guitar parts and strings and on and on until you end up with a finished product that sounds NOTHING like the great song you started with. The important thing to remember when recording is that space is a beautiful thing and space is music too. The goal of any production should be finding the simplest way to the end result. Great melody, great lyric, great groove and great arrangement but it must ALL serve the song and not the ego of the musicians or the producer. We have to surrender ourselves to the song by emptying our minds and listening to what the song is asking for. It will tell you what it needs and what it doesn't need. A great producer is one that can always do ONLY what is needed. We have to resist the urge to keep adding things. Remember less is more and simplicity is bliss. I mean if you are recording a power trio record then someone wants to add extra guitar parts and keep overdubbing this or that, then you've gotten away from the purpose, IT'S A TRIO! So make a trio record. (LOL) It helps to make recording a regular part of what you do so that being in the studio is not a novelty. Most people record so infrequently that they feel like they have to play and say EVERYTHING they know on that one session, record or song. Making a great record is just like life and it's about capturing great moments. These are things that happen without a lot of explanation or overdubs, it simply happens in the moment and when it does it's magic. AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHEN NOT TO MESS WITH IT! So go write your next hit and remember, don't overproduce the energy, vibe and spirit out of your creation. Enjoy the journey.
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