Production Tips: What’s The Best Way To Produce A Track?

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Production is a weird animal. There are lots of ways to do it, and no real “right” or “wrong” way to make the magic happen. So how do you know if you’re doing it the best way possible? I’ve been producing records for 10 years now, but still feel like I’m learning every day. Nonetheless, I wanted to begin to share some of the things I’ve learned and hopefully help you avoid the mistakes I made.

Figure Out The Song First

Everyone’s different, you’ll need to accept that. Some artists will come in with a killer song that you’ve got jack-squat to change and when that happens – consider yourself to be lucky. It won’t happen often, at least on the indie level. Unless you’re working with bands, most individual artists will have half-finished ideas that need to be completed. Do this first. Help them figure out when the song needs to do, what needs to change or be added or – send them home to do it first if you’re not a songwriter. Hell, don’t even schedule the session if you’re not a songwriter and adept enough at helping artists hone the song. It’s totally ok if you’re not – there are plenty of producers who don’t write but are wizards at ProTools, making sounds, beats, engineering, etc. But get the song nailed down first. Don’t even create a click track unless that song is done, and ready to be produced. You will find yourself in a world of uncomfortable situations and will potentially tick off a lot of clients if the song isn’t done. You will mess things up if the song is not done first. Finish the song first. Period.

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Review: “Got To Have It” by Larry Gee

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Larry Gee is a Dallas-based soul and funk artist who puts on a tremendous live show and who has been carefully crafting new tunes for his new record. “Got To Have It” is his new single, produced by the also ever-talented Beau Bedford.

The song opens with a classic and hypnotic sounding bass and drum, groove. Nice, smooth, and addictive. I love his dry vocals up until 0:35 – that was a great call. The female background vocals by The Affections are by far the catchiest part of the song, and I love them. Throughout the song Larry’s high melodies give me a Prince vibe, and it’s very effective. He’s got a strong falsetto, and it sounds great in this song.
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Keys today for legendary drummer Charles Collins!

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Had a blast today working for Mr. Soul himself, Charles Collins! Charles is a legendary drummer from the 70’s, and he played on TONS of hit records including Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, The Temptations, and tons more of those old school pop and dance tunes. You can check out his credits here. It’s pretty insane. Thankfully for me, he moved to Dallas years ago, and now I’m his official “Pro Tools Bitch.” LOL…I help him realize his visions by bridging the gap between his old school techniques and flavors and the new school way of recording. And don’t get me wrong – Charles is a very hip musician who uses lots of new techniques to craft his records these days: it’s just easier with a guy like me to help him get it done faster. I’m very lucky to be working with him (thank you Bradley) and am thankful I can call him a friend and mentor in the business. We had the pleasure of working with Will Foraker today, who KILLED it on keys using his amazing Nord Stage2. I’m also producing Will’s first solo project, which should be done by the winter of this year.

Charles will be done with his upcoming EP when he’s damn good and ready. Hahahaha, but seriously when it’s done…watch out!!

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.

Session Player Spotlight: Curt Bisquera

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Well, when it comes to drummers – I’ve been a lucky guy. I’ve played and recorded some of the best, but there are few that can compare to Curt Bisquera.

I first met Curt on the first record I did with Bradley Prakope (Plee – Heirloom). We were introduced by a good friend (the equally legendary) Bob Parr. Bob knows just about everybody in the business, and was able to hook us up with Curt’s number. Since he loves doing cool indie records, and Bob was already hired to be on bass – Curt was in.

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Robot Arms Depot – also known RAWWWWK!!!

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Check it out! New music from one of my favorite Dallas bands, Robot Arms Depot!! R.A.D. is a duo – which is crazy given how much noise they make – but also very cool. Jack sings and plays guitar, and Zack beats the shit out of some drums. They do all of their music with intensely detailed backing tracks, so their sound is still very, very full. When I met up with them to talk about recording, they played me their set (in it’s *entirety*, since all the songs are carefully crafted to seamlessly go together) and I was blown away! SO. MUCH . ROCK. I do a lot of pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects so it was a real treat to work with them on their music. We did three songs together, and it was a pleasure to work with them. We worked on recording the songs backwards (backing tracks first, then went into a big room studio to do the drums and guitars and it worked perfectly! Also, it made it easier for them to give their best performances, as they could perform like they do live, with all of the newly composed backing tracks ready to go for them. They both gave great energy, and did some fantastic work. I helped pick out the three songs we recorded, and loved the process of working with them. So go check out the songs NOW on my SoundCloud, and better yet – go support some great artists, and BUY their work!! It’s only $3 for music that you can enjoy a lifetime. So DO IT NOW! 🙂

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas music producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.