In the Works

When putting out a song for you on Soundcloud or Bandcamp, there's a ton of work that goes into the final 3-5 minute track blasting out your earbuds.  This post is to share a little bit of what goes into the tracking and production of my songs.  Of course, it's different in a large studio, but my bedroom is one of my favorite places to make a record anyway!

I'm currently working on a song called "Take In All You Can" and I'm letting you in after about fifteen hours worth of work.  At this point, I've done a demo that has most of the production elements that I want, tracked the main guitar and vocals (as well as some harmonies), and edited the main vocals and guitars.  Here's what my layout looks like currently:

Pro Tools

That's the workstation right there!  The main editing window in Pro Tools.  The topmost track is guitar, followed by the main vocals and a bunch of harmonies below that.  In terms of the process of tracking, I typically work in playlists, which you can see better here:

Guitar Playlist

Those are all of my guitar takes, spread into one easy dropdown.  This easily allows me to demo various sections and choose which goes into my "Comp" track, which will end up on the final product.  

A better example of how chopped up things can get is my main vocal track:

Vocal Playlist

There you can see the various different takes that ended up in the final comp.  Sometimes it can be edited down to a single word or syllable.  On average it takes me about three hours to get enough vocal takes that I'm happy with, and then about four to six hours to edit it all together (not including pitch correction, which I promise you there is a fair amount of).

Those of you with keener eyes could probably tell that I was editing some of the vocal harmonies up in the top photo.  It's important to get the main vocal sussed out before tracking and editing harmonies so that they have a "base" to build on, or a target to aim for rather.   

After editing those vocal harmonies, I'll probably continue recording more layers such as guitar, percussion, more harmonies and any other instruments that may seem suiting.  It's difficult to say now what will and won't end up in the final version before mixing.  Until then, let the music continue!

Thanks for reading and much love,

- Ian