By: Khaliq Glover
In a moment I am going to share with you some concepts and techniques that I've observed from almost 25 years of working with many Grammy winning Artists and Producers.
I'm going to take you INSIDE the thought processes that go on in the recording studio so that you can dramatically SKYROCKET the quality of your Next Hit Song.
These are NOT just engineering tips, instead these are HOW TO THINK tips to GUARANTEE that your music ends up sounding just like it did in your head.
This will save years of trial and error and guesswork for the average musician, songwriter, singer, producer, and artist trying to find a competitive edge that will get your songs noticed.
Whether you're trying to get signed by a Record Label, sell your own CD independently, or post your music on MySpace, you need to have your music EXPLODE out of the speakers to give you an advantage.
Before you start to do anything, the first thing you should do is to listen to a few reference CDs of several different types of songs that are similar to what you're trying to work on.
Then listen to your music and immediately go back and listen to some more CDs so that you form a mental picture in your "mind's ear" of what you want your sound to be like? What is your intention?
Why is this important to do? Well, it will help you familiarize yourself with what the speaker system REALLY sounds like that you're listening to, even if it's your own. Our ears quickly adapt to the listening environment and our mind will make us think that we are hearing things accurately when in fact we have simply "filled in the blanks".
If the CDs that you just listened to sound powerful and clear and your song sounds darker and kinda weak in comparison, then you'll get an idea of what you need to work on to improve your quality.
You want to get used to it so that you'll have a point of reference and that way you'll know exactly what it is that you are trying to do, before you start doing anything. As you continue working, take periodic 15 minute breaks and then listen to your reference again. This is crucial because our sonic memory is very short and our ears WILL ADAPT and we can be fooled.
One question that I'm always asked is "What's the best way to start polishing and mixing the new song that I just wrote, so that it ends up having the same impact and quality as the CDs that I buy?"
My advice is - after listening to a few refs, listen to your song and get a mental picture in your mind of how it really sounds compared to it. What is the actual sound quality - and then imagine what you want it to sound like. What was missing compared to the reference?
Always start with a vision. Always know your destination before starting. A big mistake that many people make is to just dive in without having a clue what it is they are really trying to do.
You've got to form a mental image so that it becomes clear to you, then make it happen. If you don't happen to have a clear vision, you'll only have a 50/50 chance that the result might or might not work. Then you probably won't know how to fix it if things start to go wrong because you didn't know exactly what it was you were trying to do from the very beginning. Always know your destination before starting on any journey.
You have to build the impact into your song like building a house one brick at a time. The trick is to identify the main elements and make sure that they NEVER get lost.
If you add something new and suddenly a main part of the groove that you heard before is not quite as clear, get rid of it or pull it down or mute it in and out. Don't fall in love with any part. Get rid of it if needed.
One article is not enough to distill 25 years of information so I will share many more tips and tricks with the musical community in the future. Music is not some mystical secret process available to only a select few. I want to do what I can to help anyone interested in uplifting music quality in general.