Many of the artists I work with are self-producing and may wonder
what the most efficient and effective approach to creating an album is.
I have evolved a process over the years that minimizes cost while optimizing results.
For mix-only or mastering clients, the process is straightforward: provide time-aligned,
consolidated 24 bit WAV audio files, well-labeled (in TitleCase, please).
I recommend bringing the original session files too if there is a problem.
Mixing/mastering is generally semi-attended—you come back in to review and
make adjustments once the candidate masters are in hand.
For recording clients, we begin with a free planning meeting.
We will go over the scope of your project and your budget
and discover the most fulfilling way to reach your goals.
In most cases, the next step is what I call the "song dump."
We get together for a simple, no-pressure recording session
where you play all your material, either solo acoustic or via your existing demos.
This gets you comfortable with the studio and gives us a roadmap of the entire project.
It can also serve as a demo or even product to sell while working on the album.
Preproduction complete, we move into basic tracking, either with a live rhythm section
or other foundational arrangements. The groove can be optimized with technologies
such as elastic audio. Click tracks can be replaced with live feel.
The emphasis is on delivering a rousing performance to build upon.
Next up are overdubs and edits. Spicemix's extensive
instrument and mic collection is put to good use layering parts.
Vocals and backing vocals are printed, comped, tuned, and treated.
Harmonies and melodic hooks are explored and developed.
Finally we are ready to mix. Extensive analog outboard gear with a pristine signal path
and comprehensive automation is applied to make the most out of every moment.
Opportunities for magic are found and realized. Contrast and impact are brought into focus.
Whether mastering at one of the world's top facilities or having it done here,
you will soon have a product in hand that does your material justice
and gives you full confidence to share with the world.