For the last two months I’ve been working as a producer on a number of projects, and I’m learning a lot about what to do (and not do) in a session. In no particular order, here are the 10 biggest insights I’ve had in the last month:
1. Always have food at sessions. This makes session 10x better.
2. Don’t be afraid to take your time miking instruments. This saves hours of work later.
3. Don’t be afraid to tell an artist they can do better. Most artists raise to the challenge, and the final performance is much better.
4. Don’t be afraid to take your time. If something needs to be redone, do it.
5. Simple is almost always right. If something’s overly complicated, it probably won’t fit in a track.
6. Make sure the artist is relaxed. They sound drastically better.
7. Don’t lay down a bunch of tracks. Focus on getting the right sound with a few tracks, not overdubbing sub-par takes.
8. Listen for emotion. If your song flows well emotionally, it’s hard to screw up the production.
9. Have guitar picks and other extras on hand. Even pro musicians forget batteries once in awhile.
10. Get the best musicians you can possibly afford. This will drastically improve everything you do.
That’s it for now- now back to work!