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Preproduction
Old 22nd March 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Preproduction

Hi Michael

I would like to know what are the most important aspects to you during the preproduction stage.

Thank you sir!

Best

J
Old 24th March 2013
  #2
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

In pre-production, it's first important to assess the material, figure out whether there are enough songs to record and if they best represent the artist. I generally focus on the music, first as individual pieces of music and get a feel for where each piece isn't working. I'm more interested in how music doesn't work than how it does, because building on a piece of music where the structural integrity is bad is like building a stone house on a rickety frame. I try to consider every place in a song where the song flow is being impeded in some way. This can pertain to how the rhythm section is interacting, how the song builds (or doesn't) transitions, etc.

I also start addressing performance issues with the musicians if they exist.

Once this has been established, I will look at the project as a unified body of work and envision how everything fits together. Any rewrites or restructuring generally occurs prior to or during pre-production.
Old 25th March 2013
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thanks Michael!

Very interesting ;-)

Best

J
Old 26th March 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Do you ever have pushback from artists when you are strongly suggesting a restructuring to songs that they have potentially lived with for awhile?
Old 27th March 2013
  #5
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

Absolutely- in fact, it's to be expected. This is why it's very important to learn how to address people whose work you're proposing to change with as much respect as possible. Being able to take a different perspective and see someone else's point of view goes a long way in this case.

From our perspective, we know our idea will work better than what already exists. From their perspective, we are uninvited interlopers who, by critiquing their work, are telling them they have no talent. This may sound extreme but if you look at the situation from the different points of view, this is what it boils down to.

Often, it's also a matter of demonstrating how something will work- essentially proving the efficacy of the new idea and then, suggesting everyone live with it for a little while.
Old 27th March 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Your second paragraph is exactly why I asked haha.

I was just curious as to whether or not those who are recording with someone at your level will rather 'expect' some suggestions. When I am producing, it's often a title I assume rather than am given... Therefore I must tread lightly when suggesting things that have a more substantial impact.

The head games we play, for lack of a better term, are intriguing to me. I have assumed that artists at the top of their game would actually be more open to suggestions as they have already proven their talents. If you care to dive deeper into how you will suggest a rewrite, effect, structure change, please do!
Old 27th March 2013
  #7
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

Simply put, everyone has an ego- some have theirs in check, some don't.

If I have an idea that I know will help improve a piece of music, I present it and am prepared to demonstrate or explain it well enough so it makes sense. Generally speaking, if the idea is sound, it's difficult for anyone to dispute it even if this brings up insecurities in the artist. I'm always aware of how and why I'm presenting an idea- this is to help benefit the project and the artist- not to aggrandize myself or inflate my ego.
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Old 27th March 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by fexurbis View Post
Simply put, everyone has an ego- some have theirs in check, some don't.

If I have an idea that I know will help improve a piece of music, I present it and am prepared to demonstrate or explain it well enough so it makes sense. Generally speaking, if the idea is sound, it's difficult for anyone to dispute it even if this brings up insecurities in the artist. I'm always aware of how and why I'm presenting an idea- this is to help benefit the project and the artist- not to aggrandize myself or inflate my ego.
Lets not forget that musicians are almost as insecure as actors.
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