Preparing the Perfect Pre-production Files for Studio ProsFriday, January 14th, 2011
So, you’ve decided to start your first project with Studio Pros. Great! You’ll notice that the first step after placing your order is the upload page. This is where you get to upload a scratch version of your song for our musicians to work from, plus any other files you might want to include. Here are some important things to keep in mind to help you prepare to make your Studio Pros project go smoothly.
Record to a Click Track
One of the most helpful things to provide our studio musicians is a song recorded to a click track. The click track is like a metronome; it keeps the beat steady and even. Recording to a click allows our players to know exactly where they are in the song while recording their parts. If you’ve never recorded to a click before, you might try using an online metronome to determine your song’s tempo. Then, download a free audio recording program such as Audacity and set up a click track. Record to the click, then upload your rough recording to our website.
Take note of the tempo (measured in “beats per minute,” or BPM) so you can tell the Studio Pros musicians what they’re recording over. This will help to ensure that our session players are laying down the right parts for your song.
Upload a Text File With Instructions
Although you get a chance to write some instructions during the ordering process, you may want to get into more detail for your song (or you may have forgotten something when you first ordered). Write instructions for your song in a text file, and be as detailed as you’d like. The more direction you can give the musicians, the better. Save your directions to a convenient file format—TXT, RTF, and DOC are usually good choices—and upload them at the same time as you upload your scratch recording to make sure our players don’t start recording before you tell them everything they need to know!
Use Reference Tracks
Reference tracks help our players understand the musical context of your song. Because music can be described in vague and subjective language, having solid examples of what you’re looking for can help immensely. See our post on reference tracks for more information on this.
Include Chords and Song Structure If You Can
Whenever possible, it’s good to provide the musicians with the chord progression and the structure of your song. For example, you could write:
INTRO (4 bars)
[Em ] [Am ] [Em ] [G Am]
VERSE (8 bars)
[Em ] [Em ] [Am ] [Am ] (x2)
This, along with the click track and instructions, will help make sure our musicians know the correct structure for your song.
When you’re recording a project with Studio Pros, the more you information you can provide our musicians with before you start, the easier it will be to get the song you’ve envisioned to become a reality!