So You’re Looking to Become a Record Producer (Part 4)

4 Essential Components of Recording

If you’ve stumbled across this article, you may want to check out parts 1, 2 and 3 before you proceed. I’m sure you’ve got a million questions running through your mind. I wish I could give you a million answers, but I’m going to be honest, I don’t have the finger stamina for such a feat. But fear not! I’ve stretched out my digits, cracked a few knuckles, and I’m ready to start typing this bad boy! The key to remember here is that “The expert at anything was once a beginner”.

In fact, I was a beginner once. Before I started interning at my first studio, I knew two things:

1) How to sing.
2) How to play guitar.

THAT’S IT. So when I tell you I didn’t know the first thing about recording, I literally did not know one thing about recording. Poor past me didn’t even know what a sine wave was. Of course I knew about microphones, cables, instruments, and speakers (or their fancy name, monitors). But I didn’t know about any of the recording gear itself. If I could go back in time and tell myself about 4 essentials components of recording I’d school myself on these 4:

1) DAW

DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. This is the software you’ll be using to record your music. There are many different DAWs, including Ableton, Fruity Loops, and Pro Tools. It’s almost the same as having different means of typing your essays. You can use Google Docs, TextEdit, or Word. They’ll all do the same thing, but choosing the right one for you is just a matter of comfort, familiarity, and workflow.

2) Interface

The interface is basically your converter. When you’re playing an instrument, or singing into a microphone, your computer cannot process those sounds. The interface converts these sounds into a digital signal that the computer can interpret and understand. Chain of command (or signal flow): Instrument plugs into interface, interface plugs into computer. Voila, now when you strum your guitar, your interface turns the sound into a digital signal for your computer!

3) Preamps

(Pronounced Pre-Amp) A preamp is essentially an electronic amplifier that will boost your signal. In Layman’s terms, if instruments are coming in at too low of a volume, preamps will make them louder.

4) Plugins

Your DAW is going to come with plugins. These are basically effects you can throw onto your tracks. If you want reverb, flange, delay, or any other effect, your DAW will have a plugin for it. (There are literally thousands of different plugins.)

Now that you’ve stuck with me for this long, I hope you’ve gained at least some insight to music production. I’m a very accessible person, and very easy to talk to. If you have any questions on anything, please feel free to contact me directly or send me a message on my Producer page. I’ll help you in any way that I can. And as always, please feel free to like, share and subscribe to the post. Peace and rock on.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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2 thoughts on “So You’re Looking to Become a Record Producer (Part 4)

  1. Very true about learning to play the guitar or any other instrument in fact. I see so many wanna be producers inputting notes into their computer keyboard. You don’t need to be an expert but a least understand how basic chords work etc.

    • Thanks for the input Adrian! And you’re right. You certainly don’t need to be an expert, but having that basic knowledge can go a long way. You can help an artist fix chords that aren’t in key or even play a few cool ideas so they can hear it first hand. Even if you can’t play an instrument, mouthing your ideas to them can help as well!

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