Regional Musician February 2014, West : Page 14

I often get a phone call to the studio that goes something like this: Caller: Hi, I want to make an album. What does that cost? Me: Well, that depends on a lot of issues. What genre of music? Are you a band or an individual singer/songwriter? Caller: I do hip hop and I want to make an album. Me: Ok, do you have backing music made already or do you need to create the backing tracks? Caller: I have beats. Me: Are they multitracked or mixed already? Caller: I have to do vocals and master them… The call then goes on such that I need to explain the differences among the terminology so we can discover what exactly needs to be done in order to give an accurate quote. I have this conversation about 3 to 4 times a week. I would like to share with you some of the basic lingo that producers/engineers in the studio will use to determine at what stage in the game you are in. These are things that you as an artist should also know as you can compare apples to apples when searching for a studio for your project. And knowing this going into the call will also give the studio engineer a greater sense they know they’re talking with someone who is informed. Confidence goes both ways! Making Beats This is generally only applied to rappers and hip/ hop artists. What you call the “beat,” is also known as the “backing tracks,” “session files,” “music,” etc. There are two ways you can have your beats. The first is in a multi-tracked in a program like Pro Tools, Logic, or Cakewalk SO-NAR. Multi-tracked means each instrument is on its own separate track. Kick drum, snare drums, bass lines, and each and every other sample on its own dedicated track. The second way is mixed down. Basically, all the sounds have been combined together into one stereo track. Note, that if your beats/backing tracks are already mixed, you cannot go back into it and raise or I Have Beats by: Scott Leader 14 REGIONALMUSICIAN FEBRUARY 2014

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