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 Music Producer
          For Hire

 

Music Production Services

Whether you need voice-over work, sound tracks, lyrics, or full-fledged songs, Jeff McCullough can assist you in completing any combination of the following production steps. Click on a step below for more information about that step, including examples of what you can expect:

1 - Song Write

Song Writing

Step 1:  A song is a built on three basic elements: Lyrics, Melody and Harmony.

  • Lyrics – Lir’ik, n. The words of a song suitable to be set to music or sung.
  • Melody – Mel’o-di, n. A succession of tones produced by a single voice or instrument, and so arranged as to please the ear or to express some kind of sentiment.
  • Harmony – Här’mo-ni, n, the study of the structure, progression and relationships of chords.
2 - Arrange

Arrange

Step 2:  The process of expanding the melody and harmony of a song to include multiple instruments.

Much of the songs final character will be exposed in this step of the production process. An arrangement can require writing parts for any type or number of instruments - from a single acoustic guitar player to a one-hundred and twenty-piece orchestra. In a modern production environment much, if not all, of song arrangement is done with the aid of computer sequencing software and good old-fashioned paper and pen.

Note: Arranging a band requires an audio roadmap charting the flow, chord changes and exactly who plays what in the song.

3 - Play

Play

Step 3:  Once the arrangement is complete, rehearsal begins. This step is critical for bands to assure that all aspects of their arrangement run smoothly. Additional changes can be made at this point to best suit the tune and instrumentation.

4 - Record

Record

Step 4:  Literally means to capture a moment in time. This process is both static and dynamic at the same time. This step involves the commitment of arrangement by the musicians and singers to a recording medium. Whether the target is tape or non-linear media, this process is magical. The result is the content of our audio product ready to be distributed.

5 - Over-dub

Over-dub

Step 5:  The process of adding “tracks” or additional performances to an existing recording. For example, we have recorded the band already, incorporating bass, drum keys and rhythm guitar. Our next might be to overdub lead and background vocals, guitar solos and a string section. Overdubbing is used to add new material or replace weak elements of a recording.

Overdubbing allows and requires the full attention of the soloist, engineer and producer to be placed on the part being recorded. This process provides more time for experimenting and polishing which would otherwise be impractical while a band sits around watching!

6 - Mix

Mix

Step 6:  The process of musically blending the separate elements of a song to give them maximum quality and emotional impact. Balancing levels, adjusting equalization, adding effects such as reverb, delay and modulation effects are extremely important steps in mixing. Each part of the arrangement must be made clear and distinct while clearly part of a whole. For example, imagine you were to bake a cake. If any ingredient is out of proportion, the recipe will be ruined. However, when all elements are balanced perfectly and added in the right order, you have a delicious meal!

After a song is mixed, any single element cannot be removed or changed without affecting all other elements. This brings us back to the cake analogy: Try removing just the eggs from a baked cake…

7 - Re-Mix

Re-Mix

Step 7:  This step can be as simple as revisiting a previous mix of a song and, after listening to it on other sound systems, making final adjustments. Re-mixing can also refer to an artistic re-arrangement of a song that can include replacing some or all elements of the song to achieve a different emotional impact. Often re-mix artists (DJ’s, producers and programmers) start with a lead vocal and build a new song from the melody up.

8 - Master

Master

Step 8:  In this step, a song (and album) is polished to make it sound the best it can. Mastering includes balancing the frequencies, volume and dynamics of each song to match the others. There is nothing worse than trying to listen to a CD of songs that get louder and softer from song to song. Worse yet is when one song has ten times more bass than the song immediately before it! The person listening will adjust the bass much higher for the first song... then blow out the speakers when the second song plays! Time to shop for a new set of speakers!

9 - Duplicate

Duplicate

Step 9:  Duplication is the process of making copies of an album, usually on Compact Disc. The next step is to distribute them!