Pre production is one of the most underestimated and most important parts of the recording process. It can be an extremely simple process or involve a lot of input and direction from the producer, but regardless of what form it takes the preparation you do in advance of recording will make one of the biggest differences to how well your session goes. For each new project, we will at very least exchange emails with the artist, asking for demos to listen to as well as playlists of songs that will directly or indirectly influence the project we are working on.
For some artists feedback on the songs structure will be important, and on others the pre-production process will involve our direct input in the songwriting, especially in the case of pop music. Where the budget allows, some of the preproduction process will be time we book in the studio be it writing/refining songs or just rehearsing. for many projects however this is something that happens more casually over e-mail and a phone call or two.
Ideally it is during this stage that we discuss what way to go about recording the songs - will we record live takes with a full band, will it mostly be the artist and the producer working together programming/playing instruments, will session players need to be hired etc.
Often the plans made at this stage are just a loose plan to start off from on the day of recording, and they can always be abandoned if another route works better for the songs in question.
Preproduction is important to us because what may work brilliantly for one artist or song may not work for another, and in doing this preparation, we can find a creative process that makes the artist comfortable and helps bring out their own identity and musical style.