This Podcast (and whole website) is about making records.
And this is the master episode. The episode of all episodes, if you will.
Because we're walking you through the entire process of how records are made, explain every step along the way and talk about how to best approach each step, depending on what you're going for and what situation you're in.
There's so much that goes into making a record that the actual process of recording it is just a small piece of the puzzle. Join us as we're breaking it down step by step, so you can create your own master plan for your next release!
TSRB Podcast 024 - How To Make A Record - Breaking Down The Process From Idea To Finished Release-1
[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] Like no one can stop you a ton of like lot of engineers these days are self-educated ourselves included and you can totally do that. And recording your own bank can be great. Starting . This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own, wherever you are, DIY stuff.
Hello and welcome to the. Self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedict time and I'm here with my cohost and friend Malcolm Owen flood. How are you?
Malcom: [00:00:37] Hello? I'm great. Thank you. How are you?
Benedikt: [00:00:39] I'm great. Thank you. First time. I'm on vacation this year. Sammy vacation. Let's see what it feels. Great.
Malcom: [00:00:47] That's awesome.
I'm like me, I'm just always on vacation every other weekend. I'm like I'm going away. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:00:54] Yup. We had in the last episode, as everybody knows now that you're always on vacation, basically
[00:01:00] Malcom: [00:01:01] work location, location.
Benedikt: [00:01:03] Yeah. But that's actually the best thing. I think that you can be on like, I, I'm not, I don't know about you, but I'm not the type of person who can enjoy really long periods of not working on something, because I just like what I do so much.
So if it's a good mix of relaxing and working and like family stuff and that's, that's where I feel the best. I think.
Malcom: [00:01:26] Yeah, I managed to, I went on a trip to Spain with my now fiance, uh, in December. And I made it, I think, six days before I was just like, okay, I can't do it anymore at the teller. I was like, I'm going to start.
Yeah. Working again, usually, you know, picking away at projects and stuff like that. Not, not mixing and talking to clients or anything, but I need to be productive. She's like, okay, I get it. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:01:50] Yeah, it's this thing where, what we do is such a big part of our lives and our identity, basically. It's just, you have to do that.
And, but it's also the part where it can get [00:02:00] kind of dangerous sometimes, because I feel like you not necessarily don't necessarily notice the point where it's too much for you because the brain and the body and everything just needs to relax every now and then, and you, and at least I sometimes. I only noticed that when it's already too late, so I should take more breaks, I guess.
And that's the danger of, of liking your job. So, yeah,
Malcom: [00:02:22] yeah, yeah. It totally is. It's a blessing and a curse, but
Benedikt: [00:02:26] yeah, exactly. You don't want to complain too much. It's so great. All right. So yeah, it's just that always workation, we've already talked about it. You're traveling started back up and, uh, like a week ago or two and.
Um, so are you producing much and already, like, after I was go with thing, how about that? Only,
Malcom: [00:02:45] only a couple clients. Um, I'll be doing some production with, uh, and they're kind of small bands, so it's kind of like one or two people have to get into a room. We're, we're lucky over here on my Cougar Island, the, the covert thing is very under control at this [00:03:00] moment.
Um, so we kind of have more ability to than other places. Uh, to do that, but mostly it's just online mixing and mastering were coming in for me.
Benedikt: [00:03:08] Okay. Yeah. Did you also feel like there is an increase with that sort of work at the moment? I had a really like two very slow months during the quarantine, but now as like, like I think the last five or four or five weeks, something like that, I get a disproportionate quote requests.
Um, and it's really starting to pick up again, I guess all the Corona. Output has to be released now or two, I dunno.
Malcom: [00:03:35] Yeah, definitely. I'm totally with you. And it's, it's something about mixing in particular because like, I do a lot of mastering work, but for the last, I guess probably a month for me is a, it's been like, people want me to mix their songs and they're just coming in with more mixes and more mixes and people with lots of songs, you know, not just one, like, okay, here's one, but I've got two more that are almost finished and they've just been picking away at it, you know, in quarantine.
So that's great.
[00:04:00] Benedikt: [00:04:00] Yeah, that's, that's great. That's and that's what I was hoping for because, uh, as much as everybody was suffering from this, I also feel that a lot of people use, I really feel now that a lot of people use that time to be somewhat productive or to do something cool. And who knows, maybe they're actually, I'm pretty sure that a lot of great art will actually come from this because every time I feel when there's a weird situation like that, that also.
Inspires cool music and cool lyrics. And like there's also, there's also going to be the cheesy ones. Of course, every time, something like that happens, but I think there was going to, they will go, there will be a lot of great music that, um, just got inspired by this weird time. So
Malcom: [00:04:39] yes. Yeah, I'm with you.
Benedikt: [00:04:42] Awesome. Today is actually the, an episode like it's the episode. All episodes. No, it's like, I can't believe that we've waited to do this episode until like, what is it now? 40, 24, because. Only now after like [00:05:00] 23 episodes, we start to explain what the process of making a record actually looks like. And we kind of give you a walkthrough through this, this whole process.
And we are breaking down the whole process from idea to finish record. So for anybody. Let's just getting into this and thinking about recording themselves and maybe making their first record. This is a very, very great episode because yeah, we do our best to explain how records are actually made, what the steps are, why you do certain things, what order you do the things in.
And it's kind of an overview of the whole process and everything that goes into it. And I really think this is a, an important episode that we probably should have done before, but now it's the time we'll do it.
Malcom: [00:05:41] We walk you through
Benedikt: [00:05:42] and, uh, yeah. Can't wait.
Malcom: [00:05:44] Yeah, there is some, some benefit to us doing it now because there's certain steps that we've discussed in previous episodes, certain processes that people probably weren't familiar with.
So now when we mentioned them going through this list, it'll hopefully make more sense. So there'll be able to [00:06:00] kind of keep up with what we're
Benedikt: [00:06:01] talking about. Absolutely. I agree. I agree if you just want it to say that right in the beginning. Um, if you want to know more about any of those steps. So, because we can't basically explain everything totally like in depth in one podcast episode, but if you want to know more about the whole process, if you want to read it up, if you can remember certain things, maybe.
I have a 10 step guide to successful DIY recording, which is basically what we're talking about in this episode. Just in more detail, more in depth, almost like a mini ebook kind of thing. And you can download that for free. If you go to the self recording band.com/ten step guide, it doesn't matter how you spell it.
Like you can spell the number 10 or if the word 10 just slash 10 step guide and, um, You get that free PDF there and, uh, yeah, it's a great place to start and it's it's yeah, totally inline with what we're talking about today. Just want to mention that before we go into this.
Malcom: [00:06:56] Definitely. Cause if you didn't know Ben, he is making an [00:07:00] amazing course on how to make your own record as a band self producing it.
And, uh, this, this list we're going to go through is essentially like. A quick overview of what that looks like. Uh, so, and that's coming really soon.
Benedikt: [00:07:14] Yeah. We've been talking about it for a while, but now it's really coming soon. So yeah, we're close to the finish line. It's almost done and thank you for the, for the plug here, but it's true.
There's going to be a course. And this is basically the outline for it may more or less like this is. Every, every single thing we touch on today will be in great detail in this course step-by-step video course with audio examples, with a lot of PDFs and everything. And, um, it's really, really big course, but it's structured where we went, where we well, so it's not like intimidating, at least I hope so.
And um, yeah, so it's kind of three steps. Start with this episode, download this PDF and then if you want more. Uh, sign up for the course and you'll like, you know, everything you need to know, basically, if you want to record yourself, it's like really the goal [00:08:00] complete yes. Complete system. Step-by-step.
From idea to finished record. Yeah. So yeah, let's dive into this. Um, we kind of structured this into, with like three into three main, um, steps. There's a lot more of course, but like, just to make it more, um, yeah, easier to understand we have the foundation. The thing that that's first, before you start recording.
Then we have the actual recording process and then we have everything that happens after a song is, or a record is recorded. And we'll break those three down for you now. So let's start with the first one, which is, um, yeah, first things first, the foundation, I want to ask you Malcolm, how, how do you go about this?
Because I'm asking because you could basically just work with whatever the clients bring you. Or you could start asking questions and like really work with them to get, like, get an idea of what they actually trying to do. What, like what, what is your approach [00:09:00] there? What do you tell bands and how did bands approach you?
How far are they in the process when they approach
Malcom: [00:09:06] you. Right. So it does vary because some people reach out and they send me like a fully ready to go demo. They've got scratch tracks and there's a blurb about what the song's about and what their vision is for it, like in the first email. And it's like, okay, well, we could probably jump in the studio tomorrow and be fine.
Um, but the average band is probably like a month to two month process of communication, at least. Um, before we actually. Pull the trigger on getting dates lined up and that's because they haven't demoed their songs and they haven't thought about what they want that recording process to look like and, and, and product to sound like.
Um, and how they even want to release it. You know, the often bands reach out and they say they want to record an album. And by the end of the conversation, they realize they want to record a single and release that, you know, um, or an ADP or a collection of singles, you know, [00:10:00] whatever it is. So there's all of these decisions that have to be made before you click record.
Um, and that's kind of where this goal analysis step one is really. Figuring out, what do you want to accomplish? What is the vision for the music? Um, as far as how it sounds and what it represents and, uh, and how do you want to do it?
Benedikt: [00:10:23] Yeah, yeah, exactly. And also part of this vision is like you said, how it's going to sound and, and what the, what the Sonic vision is, but it's also with, it's also like, do you do it.
Or it's more than that. Now, now what I want, what I wanted to say, it's not about the vision as much as it is about the goals. So what I want to say is, do you do it just for yourself, which is totally fine for a self actualization or. Do you have certain specific goals? Do you want to reach a certain specific audience or do you want to, are you shopping for a label and if so, is it a specific one or a specific type of label or [00:11:00] are you looking to play like bigger festivals or do support tours or whatever?
Because the thing is, if you ask people, if you just ask them, what are you going to do? What are you about to do? Or who is this for most will probably say, well, I just want to do what I like. And it's for, for us basically. But the truth is often a little different in some bands just don't know that it's different because if you have a certain audience or a certain goal in mind, it might make sense to think about that when you writing arranging, when you making tones and stuff.
So it all depends on. Um, what you want to achieve because a certain audience might prefer certain aesthetics over others, or certain labels might look for certain things more than for others. And if you really want to do this, if that's your goal, it, it's smart to think about that. If definitely, if there's no such goal, if it's really just self actualization, you are free to do whatever you want.
Of course. But it's worth thinking about that. I think. Definitely. Yeah, definitely.
Malcom: [00:11:59] And [00:12:00] as a self recording band, you have to. Make all of you have all these conversations with yourself and your band mates. If you have band mates, you to see what somebody reaches out to like myself, for something like that, I'm trying to check all those boxes for my own sake.
So they end up having to have these conversations with me, but in the self recording band situation, it's just you. So you have to kind of make a roadmap for yourself and go through it and make sure all of these questions are answered.
Benedikt: [00:12:29] Yeah, sure. Because that's what I was saying. What I always say to people that you have to be the musician, the engineer, and the producer at the same time, which is pretty tricky.
And, um, so that would be what the producer would do. I think like the one who is, who has the. The big picture and the objective perspective and who comes up with a strategy and a plan to achieve the goals and stuff. And if you have to do that yourself, it's, it's pretty hard. We've already talked about that, but yeah, that's just part of it and think if there's no outcome to help you, you have to do so.
[00:13:00] Yeah. Yeah. So you got that down once, you know, and are very clear about what you want to achieve. Once you have a sound in your head that you're going for, and you have come up with a strategy on how to achieve that. Um, what's like, what's the next step? Um,
Malcom: [00:13:17] we making the assumption that songs have already been written or not yet,
Benedikt: [00:13:22] I guess in most cases there will be at least that idea or like demos when people plan to make a record.
But that can change after you, have you had the skulls conversation? Probably. So I would definitely say that songwriting and arrangement is also part of the foundation. It can be before the goals thing, but usually. I think you should be clear about what you're trying to do and why you're doing this. And then you can write and arrange accordingly.
And to me, the writing and arranging part is kind of almost the first step of the whole record making process of the production because. A record can only sound or [00:14:00] song can only sound as good as like the song is. Yeah. If it's a bad song, you can do whatever you want with production and mixing and stuff.
It will still not be a great song in the end. So that's just so important. And I, other podcasts, I had an interview lately with Brian maternity. He's a producer and kind of a hero of mine needed some of my favorite records and the punk rock. And I had
Malcom: [00:14:24] him on your podcast. Sorry. People need to know the name of your
Benedikt: [00:14:27] pockets.
Of course, it's the art back recordings podcast is the name of my, of my studio. And it's the same name for the podcast, the Outback recordings podcast. And this interview will come out like mid August, I think, early, early, mid August. And, um, so he's one of my heroes. I was really stoked to have him on and he said something that stuck with me and that was good songs better.
And that's just true. So yeah. Yeah. It's very big on that and I'm I'm as well. So. Um, yeah. If you have the production in mind while you're arranging and writing, it's a good thing, I guess.
Malcom: [00:14:57] Yeah. One idea that's kind of [00:15:00] came to mind while you were talking. There is this band I recorded. I think I've given them a show down here before actually shed monkeys, killer band.
Uh, they came to me for their last DP with a handful of songs and we listened and I think there was like one that I was, I felt really strongly about. And then I told them to go write more, um, because. They say, okay, this one's totally yet, but we need more ammo kind of thing. And, but we have now through this writing process, they done making a bunch of songs.
It was like, okay, now we have a direction based on this one song. And they went and wrote a bunch more songs, kind of knowing where to be aiming, I think. And, and then, you know, so what you think might be the album could actually just turn into an entirely different album. Um, so yeah, the, the writing the goal and the vision is told the related to the right.
Benedikt: [00:15:46] Yes, I agree. And then the writing could just be, which is what you do a lot, as far as I understand, it's could be just an acoustic guitar and a vocal and just getting core progressions, melodies, harmonies. And basically you could [00:16:00] have a whole song written just with a guitar and a vocal or some melody.
And then once you have that, you got to arrange it. If it's for a full band, you got to add layers to it and other instruments to it. And, um, it's not something that do a lot because the bands that I work with are like writing as a band. Most of the time. But especially if you are, um, like solo artists or, um, that there are bands who write with an acoustic and then built the songs from there.
That's where, um, yeah. You like the arrangement is also a really big, big part of it that can make or break you. Right?
Malcom: [00:16:36] Definitely. Definitely. So, I guess from there, the next thing to tick off, once you have your songs is, is doing the preproduction and demoing and getting scratch tracks and all that done.
So actually recording some stuff, um, probably beyond the single cell phone in the room demo level. This is where you want to actually get some multi-track stuff happening. Um, and, and try and see what works with the song. And you can go [00:17:00] in preproduction. You can really go as far as you want and start adding all of these new layers that never existed before.
Try of harmonies experiment with tempo. You know, we had a whole per week production. Uh, episode before and the best bands in the world are literally making preproduction records. That sound better than some people's records. Oh yeah. You know, so there's no limit on how far you can go with this. It's all gonna pay off.
Benedikt: [00:17:24] Uh, actually it can be kind of intimidating as a mixer. I had it sometimes where people would send me, like they would ask me to mix a record or a song and they'd send me their demo. They pre-pro, and it already sounds so good that I, that it's really a challenge to like, beat that. So when that happens, I'm really stoked because that means they did the work and it's, it's going to be a great record.
But at the same time, it's kind of a challenge because you obviously want to beat the rough mix or the demo or the preproduction. And sometimes, especially these days with like samples and amp Sims and everything, depending on how savvy someone is and how much work they put into it, those pre productions can sound pretty finished sometimes.
Malcom: [00:17:59] yeah, [00:18:00] it can be really killer. Definitely. Um, and yeah, I love that this is kind of a side tangent, but I always request the rough mix. Uh, Before I do a mix now, because I want to hear what they like just had come up with in the room. And sometimes there's like little weird things that I would never thought of in there.
Even though if I change everything other than like the delay they use on the vocal, it's like, Oh, that's a really cool idea. You know, it captures a vibe, whatever they do.
Benedikt: [00:18:27] Yeah, totally. And we, we touched on that in this other episode that you said, like the, the preproduction episode, but you should do multiple rounds of that.
So you probably start with the cell phones, phone demo with one mic in the room and basically jamming together live. And then you want to refine that and do like two, three rounds of pre-pro. Um, where we focus on different things until you are at a point where the song is basically finished and you just need to capture it in a great way.
So these multiple steps and also the feedback loops in between those so that you [00:19:00] just do a step and then like ask someone. Who's never heard it before what they think about it and then refine and do it again and do it again until you are at the point where you can actually produce it. That's that's like that's big.
I think so. Yeah. It's multiple rounds of that probably. And
Malcom: [00:19:17] as we always say recorded as if you're going to keep it, you know, often these scratch tracks turned into keep tracks in the process. So, uh, you're not wasting your time by doing it really well.
Benedikt: [00:19:28] Yeah. Well, talking about the scratch tracks, do you use the scratch wrecks from the preproduction most of the time, or do you record them while doing preproduction or do you do a separate session where you like capture scratch tracks for recording?
Malcom: [00:19:44] almost always request that, uh, they have scratch tracks recorded by the time we get into the studio together. Um, and, and if that's like a full pre-pro session, that's awesome. But if, if it's just a guitar and a vocal, that's fine too. Yeah. It goes, it goes both [00:20:00] ways.
Benedikt: [00:20:00] Yeah. You really got to think about it.
If you do it yourself, what everybody in the band needs to hear. So. Um, it might be different for every, for every band. So like you just need to have a conversation about that and, and make sure you record those things in a way that, that sounds as good as possible, um, that are really important. So you might not need an extra mic on a, I dunno, a tambourine or something.
That's, that's not important, but you might where we will. Need, um, Mike on the guitar cab, or do you want to die the bass or do you want to have a kick and snare mic or whatever? Like depending on what the, what everyone in the band needs to hear while they're actually tracking the record, you should make sure to capture those as good as you can.
And then give them that as a, as a scratch track, as a guide track during the recording process. And then there might be other things like a guitar solo or whatever. That's not really important. And you can just ignore that until you go. Um,
Malcom: [00:20:53] yeah. Yeah. I think people that record without a scratch vocal are just absolutely crazy.
[00:21:00] I think it's so important to have that vocal there to remind you to not get in the way of it. Um, so I'm, I'm always requesting a vocal, uh, and then generally a guitar, but there's definitely been times where. You know, it's just, again, more is better because like, sometimes they've got ideas for keys that I've never heard because they didn't have a key player in the jam space with them or something.
So by the time we get to keys, I'm like, there's no room for that. We, you know, we could have left the room if I had known about it. So get it, those ideas down and, uh, Yeah. All like every decision affects the next decision. So essentially what I'm getting at.
Benedikt: [00:21:33] Yeah. True. Absolutely. Yeah. So, okay. So let's assume you have like, you know, your goals, you have the songs written, you arrange them, you did pre-pro demos.
Do you have the scratch tracks? Now when you are a DIY band, self recording artists, we've already talked about that. One of your biggest advantages is that you can do all of that in the room. You're going to be recording, which would be crazy expensive if you would do that in a big studio. Um, but you can do that.
So you, [00:22:00] why you are doing this, you should pay close attention to how your room sounds. What your gear does, how everything reacts, how everything works together, where the sweet spots are, all those things. So you should always make notes and document the whole process and learn your room gear and instruments and everything along the way.
And, um, because then when you start to record, you already know a lot of the things and you don't have to make as many decisions anymore, and it's not like walking into complete, um, new room that you have to learn the day you start recording. So that's a big advantage and you should definitely use that.
And pay attention to those things while you're doing pre-pro because you might think you might, I noticed that there is a spot in the room where the drum kit sounds especially awesome. Or I find the opposite. You might find a spot where you should definitely not put your vocals Mike or whatever, and yeah, just keep track of that.
Make notes and learn all the gear. Also the instruments shoot out different guitars and everything. There's no time [00:23:00] pressure. You can just experiment and. All of that I think should be done prior to the actual recording session when there is a lot of pressure to actually like nail the takes.
Malcom: [00:23:10] Yes. Yeah.
It's, that's a great point. You might discover you don't have a guitar that can really record in tune through this process or something like that. You might find out that your vocal mic sounds pretty terrible on your vocal. So you now you've got a scratch with it and it's terrible sounding, but it's there.
And you now have, until you actually record to fix that problem and figure out a solution renting or borrowing or something, you know, whatever you need to do. But, uh, you know, by running through a thorough preproduction process, rather than just recording a diag guitar in a vocalist, you're going to have to kind of touch every part of it and make sure that you're ready for all of those parts.
Benedikt: [00:23:45] Yeah, totally. And what you also going to notice is that there might be some parts of the process that you just can't or don't want to do yourself. So. The classic example is mixing and mastering. Like most people who do it [00:24:00] as a hobby, or do it for themselves who are not like experienced engineers, just don't know how to mix.
And they, how, I mean, they can't know because it requires a lot of experience and everything. So that's the classic example that you outsource the mixing, but it also, it could also be that you'll find. That like you should hire, I don't know, a vocal coach or something you should, or you should, um, get something, somebody in the room that knows how to tune drums, or you might just might discover some, um, weak, um, some weakness.
And where you need it, where you should get help. And, um, so you should also pay attention to that and do whatever you can by yourself. But also be honest to yourself. If there's just something you can't get, right. And then just seek out people who can do it, make connections, look for the right partners for the project, schedule everything plan for that early so that you don't need to come up with a, with a solution last minute, basically.
Um, so choosing the right people and partner for the project, [00:25:00] um, can be very relevant as well. And yeah.
Malcom: [00:25:03] Yeah. Uh, you know, it's just kind of the same thing that you might find out your vocal mic sucks, or you might find out that your, your vocalists, so yeah, yeah. Either way problems gotta be solved, um, and, and figure it out.
So it, nothing bad will come from pre-production.
Benedikt: [00:25:21] Exactly. Exactly. And you should get in touch with those people. If you already know that you're going to hire someone for some part of the process, you should get in touch with the, with them pretty early, because you never know how busy people are. You might have a deadline or a schedule in mind, and it might not fit the schedule of the person you want to work with.
So, You just want to have a conversation early on and figure all that out and make a plan so that everything will go smoothly. And you're not like stressing and having to cut corners to make a deadline or whatever. So. Yeah, it's part of the planning. It's just part of the whole process and you should totally, totally do [00:26:00] that early.
And yeah. And then like the last step before it goes to the recording process is analyzing what you did in this first, um, step, like we've already said the multiple rounds of pre-pro and stuff, but I think there should be a small pass between. Pre-pro and the actual recording, just to digest everything that you'll learn to practice, prepare.
So, what is the process there for you, Malcolm? Do you give bands time to implement what they learned in the process and to practice and prepare for the actual session?
Malcom: [00:26:36] Yeah, I mean, I would encourage that anyways. I think a lot of that is done just. By virtue of doing the preproduction, you know, you find out what you need to work on and you have to work on it to even get it done.
Um, and then I think the biggest benefit though, is just time, you know, just taking time away from it again and coming back with fresh ears on it for the first time and be like, okay, I have more ideas. Or, you [00:27:00] know, that is really not working. We've got to change that. And even if they just come in, like, even if they don't manage to change those before we start.
The actual recording process. They know that this has to be solved. So it's in the back of their head and they're kind of stewing on it. Turning ideas around, you know, um, good. Every guitarist who's had to record a solo, knows what I'm talking about. Demo the guitar solo and realized I don't have a solo.
So they are there. They're thinking about it right up until they actually sit down and write, share ideas and tones and whatever. So, yeah. Uh, you know, even though you're not actively working on something, I think you're passively thinking about stuff in that period.
Benedikt: [00:27:37] Oh, yeah, totally. I think I also think that, that it's, it's, it's a good idea to let that sink in a little bit.
And, um, also I think getting used to a set up that works for recording can require some time because especially for like drummers who are not used to having their hats and symbols, um, our pies so that you have. Less bleed in the close makes [00:28:00] something like that. Or like guitar player. You're just getting used to a string gauge.
That actually sounds great for what they're going to do or to like a different action on the guitar or whatever. Like there could be changes in your setup. That require a bit of getting used to it. And, um, if you're recording on your own and with your own schedule, you have the luxury to take a week or two to get used to that and practice that.
And once you actually start recording, doesn't feel weird anymore. At least in my experience, it can be quite different. Like some people are just not used to typical recording setups that just work. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:28:36] definitely though. It's a process. I mean, you get good at recording. Um, just like the mindset alone of just sitting there and focusing on exactly what you're doing and how you're attacking the string down to the little tiny details like that.
So, um, That, that all comes in there. And, and like I said, that time that we, if you're taking a break, just stop and think about what could have been better, [00:29:00] you know, nothing bad can come from that. It'll be a good result for sure.
Benedikt: [00:29:04] Yes. And the goal here is that after this first part of the process, actually, you should be.
The whole production should be pretty far not the actual production, but the whole process, like the songs should be pretty finished. You should know what to do. You should be very confident in that you can play all the parts, right. That you don't have to think about that, that it's like really about getting a perfect take and the perfect vibe and capturing a perfect moment, rather than trying to be able to play things without mistakes.
And, um, it's also your setup that your source tones and everything at this point, if that's all basically. In really good shape. The actual recording process will go very quickly and it will be fun. And, um, that's, that's like the goal here that's you don't want the actual recording process to be tedious and you don't want to have to learn a lot of things during the recording.
Um, You just want to [00:30:00] go and keep the flow up, have a great vibe. And the bulk of the work is actually done before that. And then it's just about capturing it and perform it, at least in my opinion. Like, and, and again, that's a big advantage for self recording bands because you have the luxury of putting in all that time.
You could never probably afford to do that in a professional studio, but you can put in all the time. And then once you feel like we're good enough to record, now you can record and it's going to be a breeze basically.
Malcom: [00:30:30] Right. Definitely. So I guess we're onto the recording process.
Benedikt: [00:30:35] Yes. Go ahead. What's how does that
Malcom: [00:30:37] start?
Uh, well now you're going to apply that analyzing part of your brain. So you've analyzed your demos, your pre-pro, and you've learned how about your room and pretty much discovered everything you need to know through this preproduction process. So you need to make those changes. So, you know, that might be setting up your drums in a certain way, because.
You had too much belief the first time or [00:31:00] whatever, um, you know, making up your ample up differently, you know, getting new strings cause and internet and your guitar. Cause it wasn't really doing what you needed it to do all that kind of stuff. Um, and, and getting tones and you are now getting set up to record and now Benny.
Correct me if I'm wrong, you like to actually get tones for like pretty well every instrument set up in advance, don't you?
Benedikt: [00:31:21] If it's possible. Well, yes. Um, I liked that way of working just because it allows me, if somebody just doesn't feel it right now, or it gets exhausted or it has like, sometimes you just have this something's blocking.
You're like productivity, creativity, whatever. Then you can just move on to the next person and do whatever they need to do. And then go back to what you were doing before. So in an ideal situation, I would have a drum kit set up. I would do that first set up the drum kit, tune it, put on new heads, um, position the mikes, do a sound check, start with the drums, of course, but if I have enough microphones or if, uh, if, uh, even better, if you're using Sims or whatever, you don't have to worry about the microphones.
I [00:32:00] would also like. Get a guitar already. Um, get a dye box, set up, make it a track in the doll with an Epsom on it. Um, do the same for the, for the base and set up a vocal mic somewhere. And then, um, yeah, and then I just start with the drums I usually do, or basically every time do all the drums. That's the only thing that I really batch and do all of it.
Then I edit the drums and then. From there. I might switch between guitars, bass, vocals, whatever. I just liked that way of working because I feel that not everybody has that. Some people just get tired earlier. Some. Can do longer sessions, something personal can come up where somebody has just has a bad day.
And if they have to perform that day, it's not going to be the best result necessarily. So I just like having different setups ready to work with whoever is like the best person to work with right now.
Malcom: [00:32:55] Right. Yeah. I I'm pretty similar. I think that implies having a certain amount [00:33:00] of channels available.
Yeah. And gear obviously. So that might not be possible for everyone, but if it is, it's a great system. I generally do that on multi song projects. Um, Where I don't want to have somebody just totally tired out by the end of tracking them. If they're just sitting there recording song after song. So I'll alternate members kind of thing, a similar, similar setup.
But if it's a single, I normally just burn through in order and when it's your turn, you better be ready.
Benedikt: [00:33:27] Yeah. I agree. I agree. I agree. It's mostly for longer projects and I think we both agree that. We, if, if at all possible we do the drums completely do the drums. And then after that you can like switch it up a little bit, but I try to get through all the drums in, um, first, before I do anything else, basically.
Malcom: [00:33:46] Yes. And that's for quite a few reasons. There's because channels are a lot of channels get taken up from drums. So having leftover gear after with the drum set up is, is, can be tricky. Uh, [00:34:00] and. It's kind of like a different mindset. It's like a very consuming mindset where you just have to be so focused.
The drummer end, whoever's running the computer just need to be entirely on it. Um, and the editing process alone is its own kind of chapter in this. So, so I think most, most cases, it just makes sense to get that done. And everybody's working towards getting drums finished for each song. Um, and then I think this is similar for both of us as well.
We record all the drums and then we edit all the drums before we move on.
Benedikt: [00:34:30] Yes. And that is because, um, and I, I didn't do that in the beginning. Actually. It took me awhile to learn that that's a good idea. And like, the idea is if you have recorded the drums and you edit them, everyone else has a reference and complete to something that is just in time.
It's just the drums become the click sort of, and yeah. If you don't do that, it can still work and I've made entire records that way. But then the amount of editing you need to do can be much more because then you [00:35:00] not only have to edit the drums, but everyone else will basically make the same mistakes that the drummer made.
So if the drummer rushes a bit or drags a little bit, everyone else will kind of. Do that as well to some degree. And then all of a sudden you have to add it, the bass and the guitar and everything, because they adapt to whatever the drummer the drummer did. So to me, I like the drums to be pretty. Pretty pretty spot on and then everything else can move around that a bit usually.
So the guitars and bass don't need to be that tight depending on the Sean rib. But to me, like the drums are definitely pretty tight and everything else depends on the genre, but I definitely added before we move on, even with bands that I mixed that record remotely and there that's, again, something.
That you should think about when you're planning your project, that you actually plan in time for that. Because when I record, I, when I work with bands remotely and I mix stuff that they record themselves, I say to them that they should record the drums, sent me the [00:36:00] tracks so that we can edit them here.
I sent them the editor tracks back, and then they move on with the rest. Right? Yeah. That's
Malcom: [00:36:06] great.
Benedikt: [00:36:07] Because if they can't do it themselves, so you have to, you need to plan for that because people might schedule a week or two to record the record and not plan for that. And then we have a problem. And like you should, you should plan a day or two off, depending on how long the record is, how, how many days you need to do that, to get the drum editing in.
Malcom: [00:36:26] I'm realizing that. Not editing the drums before recording other instruments might be like the most common mistake that self recording bands make it actually easily could be it either that or not recording drums as like the foundation instrument, like recording drums last or something like that. That rarely goes well as well.
Um, I mean, you can like, like we've said, you can get away with not doing drums first and not doing editing before you do other stuff, but it almost always is a better result.
Benedikt: [00:36:56] Yeah, totally. Um, there's one thing to say, [00:37:00] um, to that whole having multiple setups and switching between tasks. I mean, we agree on doing the drums first, editing the drums first and then do everything else.
But in generally the general, there's one thing that that's a downside of that approach. And that's a plus for like batching everything. And that is there's something called setup cost where. If you, for some reason, need to meet a deadline, or if you don't have as much time I'm available or whatever it is.
It, it's definitely quicker usually to batch things and not switch between tasks, just because every time you switch your brain takes a while to get like, to really be focused on whatever task is at hand now. And, uh, you have to check everything again. You have to, it's just, as you say, at a different mindset.
And, um, so that's definitely gonna be a little slower. And the setup cost is that time that you, that extra time, you need to get used to the new task. Every time you switch. So, [00:38:00] if you are need to get it done quicker, the batching, it all is, it's probably the better approach. But yeah, I just wanted to say that that just, um, that it always depends on your, on your situation and it's kind of a luxury to do it that way, but I, if you can, I as adjusted to that, but definitely batched the drums.
Can I ask
Malcom: [00:38:21] a how into depth your course goes with drum editing?
Benedikt: [00:38:25] Um, not S not as much because, I mean, I touched basic camping, consolidating stuff like that, and basic editing. But I feel like the bands that I've asked and that I've worked with a lot, they really don't want to do it themselves. They just, it's a tedious process.
It requires you to be fast and your door. It requires they are afraid of making mistakes also. And I received a lot of tracks with bad addicts. Um, if they try to do it themselves, actually more often than not like the tracks are not edited well, and I wish they would have just outsourced it. So, but I asked [00:39:00] people before I made the course, if that would be irrelevant for them, but most of them said either they haven't even thought about the editing step at all.
So they needed, they would need to completely learn it from scratch. Or they just say, okay, we'll get it that we needed, but we really don't want to do it ourselves. So it's in the course, I say that it's necessary. But my, really my advice here is if you're not savvy and not experienced, and if you're not having fun, Doing these things it's really better to outsource it because it's also not so expensive.
Malcom: [00:39:31] Um, it's not so expensive and it's like, some people are professionals at it, you know, like that's their specialty. Yeah. So I don't think people realize that it's, that I know engineers that have gone made a career at recording bands that don't edit drums because they're not good at it because they never got good at it.
Cause it's not an easy thing to get good at. So don't expect that it's this thing that you can just figure it out on the fly because you'll probably end up. Butchering yourself and you should try and learn for sure and understand how it [00:40:00] works. But, um, like I can edit drums really well, but I choose to outsource because it's time consuming thing.
And I know people that can do it better than me. So whenever I can, I will have somebody else do it and just keep the project flowing in another way with my skills and, uh, So, yeah, don't be afraid of that. Um, and you also need to figure that out in advance, um, because like Danny said, if you don't put aside time for that, And they could say, you thought you would do it yourself.
And then you try for the first time and realized that you're in over your head. Now you have to find somebody to do it and find somebody that's good. And you don't really have any time to vet them. And, you know, so look into this in advance,
Benedikt: [00:40:37] same thing. If you're using MIDI drums, by the way, I mean, there is a part in my course as well, where it's all about programming drums.
Well, so you can do that yourself, but it's the same thing. If you are unsure or just. Unexperienced or if you just don't want to do it, if it's not fun and you just find yourself cutting corners, because you really don't want to do it. Well then, um, there are specialists for that as well. There are [00:41:00] people, there are people who program drums like every single day and that's what they do and what they really great at.
And so if you send them your many drums and. Like have them go through it and make them sound natural or just better than that's a very good investment as well. It's not as, as expensive it's and the drums will come out much, much better. And I've gotten a lot of like programmed drums to make where you can really tell that it's programmed.
And it's just because people don't know what they're doing. And there are specialists for that as Malcolm said, and it was kind of game changer for me when I first hired people to either program or edit drums. And as you said, I, I, Oh, I also can. Uh, and it rums pretty well, I guess, but I got drums back from editing and also in programming where I was like, dude, I have no idea how they made that in that short amount of time.
Like I had people work for me, like other engineers who specialize in drum editing who are just visits at this. They, they have, they return an entire album in a day or two and it's just perfect. And I would like, it would [00:42:00] take me, I don't know, three, four or five days to get it to that level sometimes. So, um, yeah, they are.
There are really, really awesome people out there who are incredibly fast. A great, and you should consider.
Malcom: [00:42:11] Yeah. One more thing that I don't think we've ever mentioned on this podcast is that there's also people that you can send a recording of your drum. So say you record yourself playing the drums, um, with like a cell phone or something, hopefully better than that.
You can then send that to somebody who will program, uh, like studio version. That's good and gritted it and humanized and, uh, Ready to go, you know, so you can, even if you don't know how to program, but you can't get a good drum recording, you've got that solution to cover you
Benedikt: [00:42:40] that or a session drummer.
It's the other option. Also people we have like setups ready to go every day. All they do is play drums all day and record. And they get demos of people, or as you said, raw recordings and they do a real professional version of that and send you back the multitracks and there you have your professional recorded real drums.
If you don't want to use programmed drums.
Malcom: [00:42:59] Yeah. [00:43:00] Quick little blurb on that. Cause people don't realize this. You can hire the best musicians in the world online. So you need a banjo or a fiddle or something from the guy that just played the. Last 10 hits in Nashville. You can do that. Like for a hundred bucks, probably that's insane.
It's totally insane. Um, so be aware that those people are out there ready to work with you.
Benedikt: [00:43:23] Exactly. Alright. So yeah. Drum recording, editing drums, or programming, whatever you do. So the goal is to have a very solid foundation, a very solid drum track. And then, um, you go on with whatever else you need. To record.
So then we come to a point where, um, Malcolm and I had a little discussion about it before the episode, because also there are different approaches. I usually record everything till I get to the end and then I'll batch added the rest. So I'll edit the guitarist, bass vocals and everything. When it, when everything's done.
And [00:44:00] how much editing you need always depends on the performance and the genre. Of course, some Sean was will barely need anything. Other genres need to be very, very tight. So that's not, there's not one right thing to do it. And some things need to be very organic. Others need to be very, very accurate, but I usually batch the recording and then batch all the editing, um, except for a little bit.
Things that just need to be done before you can move on. But there's something to be said about being able to edit on the fly and do it during the session. And we had a little discussion on that and I think Malcolm you, because you are very fast and can do it on the fly. You prefer editing as you go during the recording process, right?
Malcom: [00:44:39] Yeah. Generally like we're the same. We'll do record all our drums, edit all our drums, but then from that point, I am editing as I go. So leisurely, the part that we're working on, say we're recording the intro of a song on guitar until we, we won't move on to the verse until I finished with that. And now I'll never be touching it again, essentially.
Hopefully. Um, so I'm like, I'm very [00:45:00] much, now that we're moving on, that part is done. It's in the past, it's edited and locked and we're good. Uh, and like you said though, that's that's because I've got. Mad ProTools shops that I've honed over a decade. Yeah. I've just been crushing shortcuts like nobody's business.
And, uh, if you are a self recording band, that's not to say that you can't become proficient at it, but you're probably not wizard fast. So trying to edit on the go, probably isn't a good idea for you and I, if I'm in a situation where I'm recording a band and I am stressed about time, I will prioritize recording over editing.
And just try and get everything down and then I will then go into it later and batch edit, like, like Ben he does. Um, and, and yeah, it's something to be said about that, for sure. Because clients don't like waiting for edits to happen. So I have to move really, really quick. And if you're a band that's not wizard fast at this.
That's definitely the way to go because your band doesn't understand what you're doing. Um, and if you're not moving quick enough, it's really taking them out of the moment [00:46:00] they get in the flow and then they have to stop and wait 10 minutes while you try and fill it with something and try and figure out how to do it a quick edit.
It's just not a good, good strategy. I don't think so. I would, I would say the same thing just focused on recording, really take takes, and then be aware that you can go in after the fact. And tidy things up that little, extra bit.
Benedikt: [00:46:18] Yeah. And I've talked to, I've been talking to some bands lately that had where this has become a true problem because they found their band members, like there's always this one or two people in the band who are like into all the technical details and who actually liked the, the part of like editing and recording and all the technical stuff.
So it's not a problem for them to do that on the fly. But they find themselves in situations where other band members just get really tired throughout the recording process and kind of lose the fun aspect of it. And, um, yeah. And when that happens, yeah. I will always advise people to, to just batch things and to do everything they can to keep the [00:47:00] vibe up and keep everyone motivated just as you said, and because that can become a real problem, he can drag out a project.
For a very long period of time, because it's just, especially if you're not a professional and if you're not as experienced, it can just take super long. If you do like a take and then you add it or you try, you see if you, if it's enough so you can edit it, then you find, okay, it's not tight enough. So we do it again.
Then you try again and edit it and like you go back and forth and only do one take at a time and then have a break again. So that's a very tedious and time consuming. Process. That's not very fun. And, um, yeah, I, I would always try to keep the flow, uh, up and you'd need to be confident in that you can actually fix things later.
You need to take some risks. At times, because there's always the chance that you think you can fix something, but you then find out that you can't fix it. But I guess that's just part of it. You need to take [00:48:00] a risk and you need to be confident enough in your skills to just say, okay, let's move on. I can fix that later.
And you need to find out where the line is for you. And, um, yeah. Totally.
Malcom: [00:48:10] Yeah. Um, and now at that point, I think we've pretty much finished recording your album. Um, but I've want to add in one little step two things, kind of actually people struggle with knowing when they're done. Even after they've recorded all their primary instruments, they're like, well, like, is it good enough?
Like, are we done or should we keep just working on it for no reason? I really recommend the studio board where you just have like a little grid that you can fill in each square with whatever instruments been finished. And then that gives you like a visual reference of what is actually finished. Fill in the whole board you're done.
Um, and the other thing I recommend and really, really love doing is taking a quick breather. Um, so like we did with the preproduction, you take a break and then you kind of analyze what you've done. And so this can be as short as like a day or two or a week or two or a month, even. It depends how much time you [00:49:00] have and when you need to get your album finished, but you finished recording and then you take, let's say a week, a week without listening to anything you've done.
Just like put the project away. Back it up, uh, have it safe somewhere and then don't listen to it and then come back and listen to it. I like to do it as a group. So have like a band member or two with me and we go through and we listen and we just make notes and we're like, okay. You know, that sounds a little weird.
Like we didn't actually nail that part. We'd maybe, maybe we can edit that a little tighter or, you know, this is really lacking in this section. Let's add a tambourine, you know, it could be anything like that, but it's like one more production lesson. And you're just looking for things that are standing out to you and you just give her that little final Polish.
She normally takes a day for like the whole record and, uh, then you're done, you know, everybody's feeling good about it. They just listened to it and they're like, okay, we, we we've done it. Production is over.
Benedikt: [00:49:50] Yeah. Yeah, it takes away the stress of like heavy really of everything. Is there, like, can there's something, will there something, will that come up something later [00:50:00] in the process where we can't fix it anymore or where it's like a big hassle to fix it.
And so totally takes away the stress and also. I mean, it can mean that you need to do additional work just because you haven't thought of things. And then you take a break. You'll listen again. And then you find, okay, we should invest some more time into that, but it can also have the opposite effect where.
You just stop the recording process at a point where you are not really sure. I mean, it's done, but you, you may not feel as good about certain songs because you would just so it all the time and you just lost the objective perspective and you're not, yeah. You're not sure how you feel about the record and then you take a break and you listen, and then you're like, Oh, that's actually pretty good.
I don't know what we were so, so stressed out about like, this is cool and yeah. And if you don't stop there, if you try to get it perfect, the first time you can find yourself like. Chasing your tail best basically. And you, you, you do [00:51:00] things that you end up undoing and redoing, and then you you're, you're just not sure what you're doing anymore.
And you just keep adding things without knowing if it actually makes the record better. There's just this point where you should just stop because it doesn't get better from there. And like perfect. Is the enemy of them. That's what they say. So, yes. Um, just get it done at some point. And, uh, even if you don't really know if it's really done, just stop, take a break and then you'll, you'll find that it's actually pretty cool.
What you did. So,
Malcom: [00:51:30] yeah. I even make a point of scheduling this final day as like the finishing up session. So everybody goes into it, knowing that the goal is to finish and call this thing done and give it the stamp of okay. It's over. Um, so that, yeah, that's important. This actually happens also at the mixing stage.
So it's kind of funny. It's just something you should do to kind of finalize each step along the way. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:51:53] I put something recently on my do not do list that I, that I have where I kind of forced myself now [00:52:00] to never listen to my own mixes after I've sent them off to mastering. And until the record is finished, basically.
So once everyone's signed off on the mixes, I'm happy. The mastering engineer has it. It's like almost done. I stop listening to these mixes because every time I do that, it's like, Oh, I think the vocal is a little loud or I don't know, maybe the Snowdrop should come up a bit and then I'm tempted to write the mastering engineer.
Hey, wait, I, I'm going to send you a new version because I think the voltage is not loud enough or whatever, and it never ends like every time I opened like my phone or whatever, listen to what I've done. I find something I could have improved and it's just never ends. So I need to get comfortable with the fact that it's over.
Everybody loves the mix. I love the mix it's done. It's getting mastered. And I will only start listening again when I can't do anything about it anymore, you know? So yeah. Yeah. It's just, there's always something you can do. It never stops. Like there's no project that's never finished that you just, you just [00:53:00] quit eventually.
Malcom: [00:53:02] Yeah. It's totally true. They're like you could tweak until you die and yeah. That's why I use offline bounce whenever possible, because. It like takes, I can't twist a knob as it's happening. It's like the computer's busy, you know? So I have to just like trust that it's, I've clicked finished essentially when I click bounce.
Um, yeah. I'm with you.
Benedikt: [00:53:22] You have to commit at some point you just have to, so yeah, that's a great one. Take a break and assess what you've done. So like the bulk of the work is done at that point, but now. You're not done yet. So what comes now is post production. So everything after the production and, um, a lot of technical steps that just need to get done that people are often not really aware of or do not like plan for and set aside enough time for it, because there are some time consuming things to be done right now.
And that is depending on if you do that during production, or if it's a separate step, it all starts with like the post pro things. So. [00:54:00] You might have finished the recording, but you want to add some extra gimmicks or samples or effects or whatever to it. So if you haven't done that during production, you might hire a post pro specialist.
There are also specialists for that who do that very well, who are like very good at adding synth layers or sound effects, samples, whatever, into the production, to just put a little ear candy in there and make it a little more exciting or modern. So that can be a step that you can either outsource or try and do yourself.
Um, I don't know what your experience is with that depends on the Shandra, I think, but
Malcom: [00:54:34] yeah, I think in, in my case, cause I'm normally editing on the, on the fly, like, uh, number three here kind of starts at mixing kind of thing for me. So like all of the, that post stuff and your candy and stuff, that's all been taken care of.
By this point for me. But again, it depends how you do things for sure.
Benedikt: [00:54:52] Yeah. But then before mixing, also, as you said, it starts with mixing for you, but if you are a self recording band, [00:55:00] which you probably are, if you're listening to this and you are working with a mix engineer, or even if you mix it yourself, there's one step you need to do.
And that is cleaning up your project, consolidating the files. If you haven't done it on the fly. Organizing labeling everything because at the end of a production process, the session can be a mess. Like it really can, depending on how fast you are and how experienced you are, you can end up with a session with a lot of different, like tracks of different audio events on each track and overlapping, lapping things and missing cross fades or.
Like all sorts of things. So you probably, there's probably some cleanup work you need to do. You need to consolidate things that just belong together. You need to make sure you only have things on separate tracks that actually overlap and like not have five different tracks for the same guitar. Sound basically.
And, um, yeah, all sorts of things like that. You need to make sure all the tracks align. And I would also, I don't know that that's, I'd be [00:56:00] curious to hear your opinion on that. Even if you're mixing yourself, I would advise you to like consolidate everything, export the way files and start the mix in a new session.
I. Typically prefer that over just working in the, in the production session and do the mixed from there. It's just a different mindset. It might be a different template. It, um, and we've talked about in the last episode, how important templates can be. So for me, I want to get rid of the production session, export everything I need, and then start over with a fresh session for the mix.
Malcom: [00:56:33] Yeah. I'm, I'm almost always doing that. Not always, sometimes I'm just like, you know what? This is so close already sounding that I'm just gonna work from here. But, uh, generally I do like to consolidate all my edits, so that's committing them into one file, export them out and then bring them into my baseline mixed template.
Um, which almost always ends up being a good idea that I did that. Yeah. Um, yeah, whenever I don't, it's like, ah, you know what, I'm halfway through and I'm like, should have done that because I [00:57:00] need this like reverb. I have sitting in my template, you know, stuff like that. Uh, but definitely do that if you're mixing it or not.
Um, whatever, whenever you make a new track in your door, whatever that is in pro tools, it automatically calls it audio one in pro tools. I'm sure it's something different than every other dog that there should be no track called that in your final session when you're, when you're mixing, if it is the default name that is not good enough, you have to actually title all of these things.
Um, and especially if you're sending it to a mixer, they, they need to know what files, what, um, so the more organized, the better you really can't overdo that.
Benedikt: [00:57:34] Yeah. And it also labeled them in a way that makes sense to a stranger. So like some. I I'd say nowadays more and more mixing engineers will give you their like specs, what they, what they want you to send them.
They will give you a checklist or whatever on how to label and export files. So that's the ideal situation and you just follow the that's. What I do. Like my clients get a pretty extensive long checklist and how to consolidate export and label [00:58:00] and transfer the files to me. And they just go through that and do it that way.
But if you don't have something like that, just make sure to label the tracks in a way that makes sense to a stranger. So maybe don't name the guitar tracks. Like don't use your personal names for the guitar tracks, because I don't know who Joe and John are. I just know like guitar, rhythm, guitar, and lead guitar or whatever should know.
So, um, that's just something you need to, you need to put yourself into the shoes of the person receiving those tracks. They need to make sense of them.
Malcom: [00:58:30] Yeah, I bet. So many times I've gotten the, like Justin S G boss zoned pedal, like, well, none of that info is useful to me. I can tell it to just start a guitar by listening to it, even by looking at the wave forms.
So it is like, that's not going to help. And then there's Justin metal zone guitar. Too. And it's like, okay, is this just a duplicate? Okay. It is just a duplicate. That's another thing don't just duplicate your guitar tracks and call it a double that doesn't work. Nope, exactly.
Benedikt: [00:58:58] Yeah, [00:59:00] I totally get it. I mean, Uh, it's not, I'm not trying to make fun of people.
I get like, you are so consumed with what you do in your, in, in your, um, in your project and everything. And you don't, you don't necessarily think about it, but you always need to think about that. Some stranger is going to receive those tracks and they have no idea what you have done during production and why you have done certain things.
So always make it as clear as possible and explain everything you can clearly to them.
Malcom: [00:59:26] Yeah. Quick, quick, little snapshot on that. Uh, instrument. And then what direction is panned? That's really all you need to have in there. You know, guitar one left guitar one, right. You know, that's a double, main rhythm guitar that would do enough.
You know, you can get more than that. I like to have like an R for rhythm or an L for lead and stuff like that. But, uh, that they could just the basic so they can see just even if it wasn't an, a doll and it was in a folder, the mixture could just tell like, okay, well that guitar goes on the left. That guitar goes on the right.
Oh, that'll answer a lot
Benedikt: [00:59:58] of the problems. No. Totally [01:00:00] agreed. A hundred percent. Yeah. And then exporting the files in the right format is of course important. So you want to export WAV files and you want to export in 24 bit minimum and I'm 44, one kilohertz minimum. But you should, if someone else is mixing the tracks or receiving the tracks, you should always ask.
If they didn't tell you, you just, just ask what they want to get. And I think most people will just ask you to export it in the same. But rate ends, um, and sample rate that you use during recording. So you don't want to up sample or down sample or change anything about it. If you record it in 24, 44, one export it that way.
If you record it in a higher sample rate and co export it that way usually, but it's always good to ask the person who gets the files, I guess.
Malcom: [01:00:45] Yeah, can't hurt. And if you're in contact with the mixer before you even start recording, you can just ask them what they would prefer. You record it.
Benedikt: [01:00:51] Yes. That's the best way as well.
Yeah. Do you think it's a good idea to send a session instead of exported wave [01:01:00] multitracks to mix? The mixing,
Malcom: [01:01:02] uh, I asked for both preferably, so I get a file with all of the exported waves, but then if they're in pro tools, send a PTX file as well. Um, and then that just, if I find like something doesn't make sense.
And again, I asked for a reference mix, like their last bounce of the song. Um, and if I can't make sense of why something doesn't sound like that, I can open that up and maybe have a look around and see what was going on there. Um, the, and that session file also lets me open it up and make sure that they sent me everything because I can just scroll through it and be like, okay.
It says in the session, there's a bunch of horn tracks, but there's no horns in the way files. So it's a little proof for me to be able to do some investigative work before I contact them again.
Benedikt: [01:01:42] Oh, that's actually pretty smart. And I've, haven't thought about
Malcom: [01:01:45] it. Every once in a while, there's somebody that has like, there's a, there's a fellow.
I, I do some mixing for, and I'm mixed right from his session every time. Cause he's got like automation written in and stuff like that, like he's just gotten so far along and I'm like, okay, [01:02:00] this is great. I'm going to, I'm going to start working from here. He's got the same plugins as me. So there's no problem there.
He's just kind of got it where he wants me to start to take it from. And that works out really well, but that's kind of a special relationship.
Benedikt: [01:02:11] Yeah, and it needs to be a special relationship because the reason I'm asking is a lot of people don't understand that, that, and they, I get a lot of requests.
People just want to send sessions. And I always like as patiently as I can explain, that is not a good idea. Oftentimes, and the reason for me at least is that as we said, we all have our different mixing stuff, files and different templates and routing and hardware or plugins or setups that we use. And.
Usually, I like it just like to drag the files into my ecosystem. So that I can work quickly and efficiently so that my assistant can prep the session so that I can make intuitive creative decisions right. From the start. And if someone sends me a session, I need to get familiar with their session. First, they might have set up things completely in a different way.
I need [01:03:00] to take some time to get, to get to know how the session is set up and how everything works. And that kind of, I don't know, that messes with my ability to make. Like intuitive creative decisions right away. And I just don't like that a lot. So unless it's necessary because someone has used plugins that need to be in there or has written automation, that's a different story, but yeah, usually
Malcom: [01:03:22] even then they can print it, you know, it's, it's just this weird relationship.
And in this case, this is how we do it and actually thinking about it. The real reason that I do it that way is because I'm always adding production. Yeah. He sends a song from mixing, but in reality, I'm going to add a bunch of guitars and stuff like that into it and then mix it. So it kind of becomes my session by the time I'm done with it.
Benedikt: [01:03:43] Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. But I think most of the time, even if they're in the same door, it makes sense to receive the multitracks and start with your, with what you're familiar with as a mixer and. Um, yeah, I at least at least. Yeah. So just in case a [01:04:00] mixer asks you to send multitracks, even though they're in the same door, there might be a good reason for it.
Malcom: [01:04:05] yeah, I'd say that's the standard approaches is starting fresh.
Benedikt: [01:04:09] Yeah. All right. So boarded it, um, it's been ended up before, uh, production is done obviously then. Yeah. Mixing and mastering. I mean, we've touched on mastering on a whole episode. I don't know what to say about mixing. I think most people have an idea of what it is.
It's like the process of getting your individual tracks to work together and create the final, um, song basically as added a couple of times. And I believe, I really believe that this is a thing that you need to be experienced to do. And I know it from my own experience because I try to do it as I have explained in the very first or second episode of this podcast.
And I failed a lot of times. And I should have outsourced it until I was at the point where I could actually mix. So if you want to learn how to mix, it's totally fine. And I did it. Malcolm did it. A lot of people did it, [01:05:00] but if you want results for your band, if you have goals, if you want to achieve something, I think it's wise to outsource the, the mixing and you can mix and make your own version at the same time, just for practice reasons.
Or you can compare your result with the professional result and you feel like you were just better. Well, okay then, I mean, chances. It could be, yeah. Chances are very slim, but if you can beat it. Yeah. You're awesome. Intake. Okay. From now on, you know, you can mix yourself, you will learn a lot from that, if you do it.
And I think that there's this ego thing and the, the part of you where you want to learn to mix versus getting actual results for your band. And if that is what you want to do, you should hire someone. That's just no way around it.
Malcom: [01:05:44] I think there's a sliding scale of how much effect mixing actually plays in the whole.
If you picture your whole song, start to finish as a pie, like engineering and mixing. I feel like our 50, 50, like the engine, the quality of engineering. [01:06:00] Is that at least 50% and mixing can be like an entire 50% worth of improvement. So you might think your thing is sounding awesome, but it can be like almost doubled better, you know, like it can be insanely changing and transformative for your, for your song.
And it's funny because the better the engineering is and the better the recordings are, the less mixing is required. Like, so a really well-produced engineered song changes less than a mix. But a bad one, like, okay, if it's a bad engineered and recorded song, a good mix can be in like a hundred percent of the results.
You know, like the worst, the mix, the, the worst engineering, the better you need, the more you need professional mixing to get a good result. Um, and unfortunately we're, we are teaching that you can get good results in a home setup doing it yourself, but it is harder and it does take more experience. So really you need this like [01:07:00] mixing piece of the pie to be done perfectly.
To pull off what you're trying to do at home.
Benedikt: [01:07:04] Yeah. And if people come with examples of like very popular, successful songs or records that have been done by the musicians themselves, almost always. And I don't want to say like, basically always there has been a professional mixer. And mastering engineering Wolf.
So if you take Billie Eilish or whatever example you, you have, they are produced in bedrooms. Of course they did it themselves, but there was an absolutely like top level, a list pro mixer involved in the end who, um, certainly had a part in how the record sounds and the it's, it can be truly magic collected.
If you haven't heard the transformation that can happen from a professor with a professional mix, you will be blown away. Like I'm, I'm still constantly, and I don't want to brag, but I'm still constantly blown away by how much I can change a shitty recording when I get something to mix. It's just the truth.
Like some sometimes. I mean, the thing that always needs [01:08:00] to be there for me is the song. If the songs just crappy, like the result will just not be good, no matter what you do, it will be sonically. Okay. Maybe, but like it's will still be a crappy song, but sometimes the songs are cool. Just, it was engineered badly and there's really so much you can do nowadays where you're just blown away by how you transformed, whatever you got into, whatever it was in the end.
So. There's a lot of magic that you can do that, that doesn't mean we don't. We are not here to say that you can, um, like be sloppy while you're engineering. You should do it. Right. But still mixing can, yeah. Can do a lot for you if you keep to professional. And that the worst thing is, or even a better reason for professional mixing is the other way around, because.
You might have a decent recording and good grit and a great song and not knowing what you do when you mix it can totally ruin that. And that's, that's also something you can improve something a lot with professional mixing, but you can also ruin. [01:09:00] Something that could have been great if you're not, if you don't know what you do, so, yeah.
Yeah. And I did that. I only say that because I did that. I ruined some pretty decent recordings when I was starting out, because I just didn't know what I'm doing while I was mixing. It's just the truth.
Malcom: [01:09:14] Yeah. Well, even if you get like good engineering doesn't mean you're a good mixer. Um, that's that's unfortunately, uncorrelated skills.
Uh, I mean, getting better at engineering will obviously help your ears and make you a little bit better at mixing, but it's really totally different. Um, so don't make an assumption that just because you managed to record some great sounding tracks, that you can then mix them to be a great sounding song.
That's a, it's a totally different skillset
Benedikt: [01:09:38] and you can still be a, become a great mixer. Um, F if you're starting out as a self recording band, and if you go list to be a mixer one day, or mix your own records, Like no one can stop you a ton of like a lot of engineers these days are self-educated ourselves included and you can totally do that.
And recording your own bank can be great starting point it's for most people actually. So this can be absolutely the starting [01:10:00] point for a production or mixing career, but. Until you're at the point, you need to be patient. And again, if you want results for your band, you should outsource it as long as like up until the point where you really are as good as the people you outsource it, outsource it to, or if you, until you, until you are at the point where you're just good enough for what you want to do.
And, um, but then if you're patient enough and you're doing it for a couple of years in a practicing, of course you can be, uh, you can become a great mixer eventually.
Malcom: [01:10:30] Yeah. And ironically, I think you'll find that if you did follow that path, like I did, uh, I would never recorded my own band or mix my own band anymore.
And they're like, this is what I do for a living, but I would way rather, like, I don't want to be the artist and the. The mixer like, and be that, you know, I need, I need to be one or the other guy that thing. So it's funny, like you'll develop these skills and realize, you'll see, once you started mixing somebody else's music, you'll see the value in being this objective third [01:11:00] party.
And you'll want that for your own music as well.
Benedikt: [01:11:03] I think you have made better sounding mixes and records at an earlier age than I have. And it's just ahead of me. Timewise, like, I always looked up to what you did at a compare, like young age. Um, because, and I think part of that is because you did that because you had the experience of watching people in a big studio of having your band.
Mixed or produced by someone else. And you've just benefited from that. Whereas I did everything on my own, made a lot of mistakes, went through a lot of trial and error and struggling. And like in the middle of nowhere, no mentor, no big studio round doing everything by myself. And it just took much, much, much longer for me to get great results.
I really feel that this is, this is part of the reason and I could have done that. Of course, it was just, I was just ignorant and I just, I just wanted to do it on my own basically. Yeah. And, um, I eventually got there, but there's really something to be sad about. Like [01:12:00] just watching people. What they like, who know what they do, do their thing.
And then a learning from that that
Malcom: [01:12:07] can only help you. Yeah, exactly. You know, it all, you can change your perspective of what's possible when somebody does what they're amazing at. So you can learn from it's, you know, you're not wasting money paying somebody else to do it. You're investing money into a better product, but also just understanding like what's possible.
Benedikt: [01:12:25] Totally. Yep. Same thing for mastering. I mean, we don't need to see anything else here basically, because it's the same thing and I'm even more of a dark art and hard to explain, but we have an entire episode on that. If you want to listen to that, what matched mastering actually is,
Malcom: [01:12:41] I mean, this will seem weird for me to say as a mastering engineer, but because our audience is self recording band.
Folk who are, hopefully are assumingly trying to save money, um, through recording themselves, probably a little bit of that. And also just this overwhelming interest in learning how to record, right? So both is great and both are fine, [01:13:00] and I am totally encouraging you to spend money on mixing. And I would say mixing is a much better place to spend your money.
Um, then mastering, if you have to choose one or the other, because if you hire a good mixing engineer, and this is based on you hiring a good mixing engineer, not doing it yourself. They will also probably be willing to master it and do a decent job at the very least. So, if you can't hire both hire your mixing engineer to also master it and like really, we just care about you, you getting good results.
So obviously best if you can do a mixing engineer and a specialist mastering engineer, but you know, that's an option. I just wanted to say that.
Benedikt: [01:13:39] I'm so glad you mentioned that because that is actually also one of the very common and biggest mistakes that I see self-reporting bands make that they will request a quote from me and they will.
Request a quote for mastering and they will send the mix. And I, all I can say to that is like, you need a mix. You don't need a master if people want [01:14:00] to save money. And they figured that mixing is too expensive. So they opt for just doing mastering. So that at least there's some part of the process is done professionally backwards.
Yeah. That's totally backwards. And you can't like, there's not as much magic that you can do in only mastering and sometimes. I'm in this situation. Whereas I often actually turn down those projects because I feel bad. Like that's also weird because maybe, maybe I should just should take on more of those projects, but sometimes I just turned down those mastering projects or at least advise them, Hey, look, if at all possible you should invest in mixing.
Instead of paying me to master this because I don't, I won't get it depending on your goals, but I won't get it to, um, to be the thing that you want it to be if it's not mixed properly. So I get it that you want to save money and mastering is cheaper than mixing, but really it's, it's going to be a waste of money because.
It will be a well mastered demo after I've mastered it. It won't sound like a record. [01:15:00] And that's a very common mistake. I get a lot of DOI productions that are, that are whose who think if they get it mastered professionally that it will, it will sound great in the end, but it's not the case.
Malcom: [01:15:10] Everyone picture your first car, you know, you you've saved up 400 bucks and bought this piece of crap.
First car here. And the paint is all rusted and stuff. Mastering is polishing that same rusted paint job. That's what mastery in that bad mix is. You are polishing a piece of crap. So, you know, it might be shinier, but it's still a piece of crap.
Benedikt: [01:15:33] Totally. Yeah. So glad you sat that. Um, yes, and I mean, Think about it.
Malcolm is a mastering engineer. So he could just say, do whatever you want, send me your stuff and I'm mastering it. But even he, as a mastering engineer says that there's no, there's no point in mastering something that's not mixed properly. So that should tell you something, if I'm specialized, mastering engineer sass, that so, but still mastering is important.
[01:16:00] Malcom: [01:16:00] Oh, yeah, you should do both. I mean, anything that's worth, I kind of think that a, a good master in jobs normally worth like 15% of the quality, you know, that's like what it can add. It's like 15, 20%. Um, sometimes less, you know, a perfect mix is just making it, you know, was already perfect, done.
But, uh, in general, it's kind of like that extra 10, 15 to 20%. Uh, and that is a pretty good chunk. You know, if you can get squeeze another 20% out of your song. That's awesome. Yeah, it's worth it.
Benedikt: [01:16:29] Totally. Yeah. Okay. So, um, once mixing and mastering is done, as I said, there's an additional step and that's revisions.
So it could be that you're totally happy with everything. So then this step is not relevant, but if there is anything you want to, um, to change about the mix or anything, you're not happy. Happy with or a hundred percent like, um, yeah, happy with, you can usually go to your engineering, mixing engineer, your mastering engineer, and tell him about that.
And they will be happy to make those changes [01:17:00] and yeah, basically every good mixing and mastering engineer will allow to do that. At least like a limited number of revisions, some do unlimited revisions, but I don't think there are people who like will not do any revisions for you.
Malcom: [01:17:13] Yeah. Yeah. Um, just communicate with your mixer or a mastering engineer, uh, in advance.
So to what their process is for revisions and what their allowances. Um, I, if I'm being honest, I shift mine based on what the hell is going on in my life. So if I'm traveling a lot and I've got so many projects on the go, then there is a limit because I can't, I just can't have too many projects on the go and still do a good job.
So, um, but if I'm. Chilling out and I'm going to be home for the next six months then. Yeah, you can pretty well take as long as you want to get me those revisions, I don't really care. Um, so you people ask and I tell them what the current situation is and that's that, but most people, I think don't have lifestyles that have them on planes as much as me.
So they usually have like a kind of a policy and just figure out what that is and understand it and then respect it. Then you'll have a good [01:18:00] result.
Benedikt: [01:18:00] Exactly. Totally depends on the setup. The workflow of the engineer as well. Because if, if it's someone who does like producing and mixing and they use Upwork year, for example, it could be that right after your session, they have like a tracking session going on for weeks and they use the same outboard that is used in your mix.
And so it's not as easy for them to just recall everything. And they, you might have to wait until the session is over or whatever, or you might, you might need to send them them the revisions within like three days or something in order for them to be able to do them. Just, yeah, just ask. Uh, follow their policy respected and yeah, you good.
Also, I want to add one more thing here that it's important for people. I think to understand the revision is not the time to do production changes. You know, like that's a very common one. Like oftentimes people come to me when the mix is over and we are on the revision phase and they are like, so we'd really love to.
Copy the lead from the last part over to the first, whatever. And then [01:19:00] would you mind like taking out the drums here and adding the sample instead or whatever, like they start messing with the arrangement and the, and everything and like basically making production decisions or something like that. And sometimes I do it because it's not a big deal and it just totally depends, but usually revisions are not the time.
To like completely redo production decisions that that's just not yeah. How it works. It takes much more time. And most mixers or mastering engineers will have certain slots in their schedule where they do revisions and they can't take a whole day to do a revision on a one song, basically. So that's just, that's just not how it works.
So be very clear and mentioned those things as early as possible. And don't save those decisions for the revision process. That's, that's very important to know. I get it though, because some people that's what Ben say to me then always is like we, as a band, we don't really know what it sounds like until we hear it when it's finished and only then we can make an informed decision and I kind of get that, but still you should come up with a way to do [01:20:00] it as early as possible, or at least let the mixer know that there is still something where you have not decided on what you're going to go with, but don't surprise them with like, Big changes that know what no one could expect in the revision process
Malcom: [01:20:14] with each step, it becomes more unacceptable, like getting the mixing and sr done, and then he mixes it and needs to change.
It's like, okay, we've got the multitracks no problem. And then when it happens in the mastering stage, it's like, okay, okay. You know, we have a, now you're just kind of causing problems. Um, and it can still get done, but, you know, I think you should be. Willing and prepared to pay for the hassle that you're causing these people.
Cause like, like Benny just said, there's time that's putting aside, um, for these tasks and you're, you're taking up more than your share at that point.
Benedikt: [01:20:48] Yeah, totally. And then after this is done, um, it's time to explore the mixer to export over for the mastering engineer, but, uh, basically to export the final files for you in that [01:21:00] usually that is the like different file versions for depending on where.
The record goes. So you get one for streaming and download. You'll get maybe a high Rez master for platforms like title or whatever, or for video use, you might get MP3. Some people give you MP3, so you don't have to convert them yourself. If you need them, you will, you might get a vinyl master or a DDP image for CD manufacturing, depending on what you're planning to do.
And it's important that you let the master engineer know. Before they start the session, like when you book it, what you actually need, because they have to plan for that. Some will just give you everything. They do like a flat rate and you get any like format. Others will have like additional fees for each format.
So in any, like, you should always. Have a conversation about that, let them know what you need in the end and yes. Yes. And, and you should always also let them know even like before the mixing, if you need like something like a radio added or instrumental a or something like that, [01:22:00] because if you mentioned that when everything's done.
It can be either impossible or very hard to do so a master engine, you can not like remove the vocal or something. No. So you need to see, you have a conversation about that. And usually it will cost a little extra, but the early in the process, you mentioned those things, the cheaper it will be, or sometimes it might not, not even cost anything, but certainly if the project is done and then you get to the mix and say, Hey, by the way, I need an instrumental or I need stems or whatever, then the mix.
So it has to open up the session again. Maybe do a recall. Uh, and invest time into the project that was not like scheduled for, and this will almost always cost you more than if you would just have said it in the beginning.
Malcom: [01:22:41] Yeah. And I think people have a hard time visualizing why this ends up costing them money because it's just like, Oh, well this just like open up the computer, click a button, but it's, it's not that at all.
Like, cause it can mean really changing the routing around in the session and stuff like that. And like, especially the big one that happens to me is, uh, people want backing tracks. For other [01:23:00] songs I'm like, well, okay, this can be. Like this, we could spend a week together tweaking these to be what you need.
Like, you know, like this is not what you think it is. And if you want these trucks as a sound like the album, that's a, that's a whole nother conversation. Um, so these things can be really big deal, bigger deals than you would imagine. And if they had known in advance that you were going to need this, they could have routed the mix a certain way so that it was all prepped so that the next steps could have been printed in a certain way that you needed with your mix.
And your master, you know, would have saved everybody a lot of time. So you're being essentially, you're paying for their time when you come back to them, needing these things and in the backend.
Benedikt: [01:23:39] Yeah, totally. I'd even I'd haven't even thought about there, but yeah, of course, like if different tracks in the sessions share the same compressor, you can't just export the different tracks or, or groups, because it will sound different.
Like you have to figure out a way to, to make it work and tweak it. Um, and if, you know, before you just set it up a different way, do you don't use as much parallel stuff or [01:24:00] whatever. So. Yeah. Totally. Exactly. Okay. And then, um, you basically have it. You have your masters, you have the stems, whatever you want it, you have your additional versions, everything labeled properly, everything downloaded.
So the production is done. What is now what's next is like, whatever you want to do with the record shopping for labels. Looking for promo, um, people to help you promote, promote the release, come up with the touring schedule, promo schedule. You probably have done some of it during the process or even before the process.
But, um, a wise thing is it's always good to do things early, of course, and to plan things out. But a very wise thing is to only book. Like release shows and stuff like that. When you have the files or even better the record in your hand. Yeah. Like there's nothing worse almost then bands to book the recording or mixing or whatever.
[01:25:00] And they already know when they're going to play the release show. That just puts unnecessary pressure on everybody in Wolf. And it's usually most deadlines are BS, to be honest, most deadlines are just self made. Nobody's waiting for the record to come out on that specific day. Most of the time it's like, yeah, just be patient and book those things.
When you really know when you're going to have the records in your hands, it's so much less stress and it's. Everything will be so much better. Everything just, just don't do that.
Malcom: [01:25:28] And, uh, if you are working with a professional mixing and mastering or mastering engineer and or mastering engineer, uh, That pretty much means that they are swamped with like 10 plus clients on the go at any given time.
You know? So if you Facebook message lemons, say August 31st exclamation Mark, like then that's it. You know, it's like, okay, well, they're not going to remember that. They're not going to even assume that's the record. There's going to be like, what? So like that, I mean, that happens, you know, stuff like that, where they're just like, [01:26:00] okay, this guy is part of the team and they are part of your team.
But you can't make the assumption that they're constantly thinking about this release date that you've made up and failed to tell them about. And even if you have told them about it, you know, they've got so many other projects on the go and that's like, that's just par for the course because you're hiring a professional who does this for a living.
Um, so if you do have a date in advance, make it so, so clear, remind them because they're not just going back and reading old emails to see when that date was. And, uh, and then have how the mixing and mastering scheduled on a calendar. So you have to communicate with your mixing and mastering engineer as to when that process is, this is actually happening.
Benedikt: [01:26:38] Yeah. Or at least get a deadline on when to expect the final files. Like,
Malcom: [01:26:42] yes, totally. Yeah, but again, even doing that, it's still about idea. To have, have a deadline, like a public deadline, uh, out there because like, it might not even be them, you know, the mixing and mastering engineer might have something come up or something, but it might be the band, you [01:27:00] know, like all of a sudden you hire some company from China to make you new CDs and they never show up or they get lost in the ocean or someone.
Benedikt: [01:27:09] Yeah. Someone might get sick or like some stuff can just stuff can happen. And also
Malcom: [01:27:14] all the tracks get lost.
Benedikt: [01:27:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. They also, you can cause yourself. Uh, additional costs basically because many mixing engineers will accommodate and we'll say, okay, we can do it by that date, but like, it will be a rush project and they will cost more than compared to if you give them enough time to do their job properly.
And, um, some will tell you, others will just quote you hire. If they have a form of something and you put a deadline in there that's really close. They might just give you a higher price because it's a rush project. They have to do like extra hours or whatever. So you might get a better deal. If you just have a realistic deadline and not put it out publicly.
Um, so that's also something to think about if you, if money's an issue and you really want to have a good deal, give the people you work with enough time to do the chop properly without [01:28:00] getting into trouble. So, yes. Yeah.
Malcom: [01:28:02] Now some of you might know that I have a business podcast for musicians. It's called your band sucks at business.
And I want to chime into this topic from that point of view, because the whole idea of. Posting a release date before you have your finished mixes is so dumb anyways, because you can't even like have a teaser clip of your song to show, show people what's coming, you know, like, so you want to, like, people are excited about your music, not the date that it's coming out on.
So if you wait until you have your finished product, Lynn, you can release the date with a teaser clip. I mean, there's just no reason to do it before you have that stuff. That's so idiotic.
Benedikt: [01:28:37] Oh yeah. Like I, like, I love that. Yeah, totally. Like, I love that. What'd you just have, nobody's excited for the date.
They're excited for the music. Yeah. Like the typical. Local band post is the big things coming post where like, you can't see anything, you can't hear anything. You just, it's just some band announcing that something big is going to happen on Sunday. And like, yes. You
Malcom: [01:28:59] know, [01:29:00] the biggest thing is just the capital letters.
They, yeah, exactly.
Benedikt: [01:29:04] Nobody cares about that. Just leave that. Um, Keep them for yourself. Keep it to yourself. Put up interesting teasers pictures behind the scenes footage, whatever you can, but only announced the date when you can actually stick to that. And when you have actually something that people can look forward to, and that's the best thing to do, and yet totally check out Malcolm's podcast because that's the perfect transition here because there's a hope.
Podcasts on this topic. So we don't, we won't touch any of those things in the process right now in this episode, because the production part is over at this point, just know that there is a whole lot of work to do now in order to achieve your goals, production is over, but you still want to have achieved the goals that you set out to achieve in the beginning.
And, um, yeah. Yeah, there are people who know what they're talking about to give you advice on that. And Malcolm and his cohost co-hosts happened to be such people. And if you want to know about more about this and you probably do then [01:30:00] go to McCombs other show your band sucks at business. Pretty simple to find.
I think you can remember that name. Yeah. And listen to that podcast. They have, um, their usual episodes. They have great guests on the podcast, like spirit box, for example. Um, they talk about all the business things that you need to know, uh, as a, as a band and, um, yeah, take that pilot seriously as well because good sending record is one thing and it's important and the songs are always the most important thing, but.
It's only really music when it comes out of speakers. Because before that, it's just a file on the hard drive or on Spotify, wherever. And only if people really listen to it, it becomes music and it becomes relevant and you don't want to spend all the money and effort and time. For making something that nobody will hear in the end.
So take that part seriously and educate yourself. And you will event. You might even find that business can be fun and that seeing your business, your band as a small business can [01:31:00] be fun and a totally different way to look at it. So, yeah, check that show out. It's great. Yeah.
Malcom: [01:31:07] If anybody's looking for one more reason to hire professional mix engineer.
Uh, it's this because like you, it's way harder to find good people to hire, to promote your album. And that's something that's much easier done internally. Um, especially at an indie level, because you're the only one that knows what's going on in the band. You're the only one that's there, or I mean, you and your band members are the only ones that there to capture content of you recording and stuff like that.
So by hiring somebody else to do the mixing, the stuff you've now opened up this window of time for you to start promo, getting assets created, um, to help with the promote, the release of your music, you know, create an, a strategy and, and content is now your job rather than. Figuring learning how to mix.
Benedikt: [01:31:50] Oh yeah, totally. Yeah. That's that's uh, yeah, again, something I haven't thought of, but totally should totally invest the time and that there and there is a lot you can do while the [01:32:00] record has been mixed and bands do that all the time when I'm working with them. So when, when I work on a, on an album mix, it takes awhile.
The band will do everything else. In the meantime they will. And they are usually, they are busy and there are a lot of things that they still need to take care of. So it's not that they're bored. They work on the, on the cover art, they do video shoots, they do photo shootings. They get in contact and have meetings with labels or whatever.
So there's a lot that you can do. Where are your time is much better spent than trying to mix your songs? Yeah, totally, absolutely. You're right. Okay. So, um, that's basically the process, I think.
Malcom: [01:32:37] Yeah, that is also thank you for listening. That's our longest episode ever for sure.
We're almost at a hundred minutes here. Oh, wow. Yeah. This
Benedikt: [01:32:48] is going to be long. Thomas is gonna hate me because he has to edit this. He has to edit this last minute as we're recording this two days before it airs.
Malcom: [01:32:55] Sorry, we love you Thomas,
[01:33:00] Benedikt: [01:33:00] but I hope to get a lot of value out of this. I hope you have now a clear picture of what the recording making process actually is like and how much goes into it.
And, um, Yeah. Great. That's all I have to say. Thank you. See you next week. Bye.
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Malcom's and Benedikt's websites:
Outback Recordings (Benedikt's Mixing Studio and personal website)
Outback Recordings Podcast - Benedikt's other podcast
Stone Mastering (Malcom's Mastering Company)
Your Band Sucks (at business) - Malcom's other podcast
Gimme The Beat (The Netflix Documentary Malcom is involved with)
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