by Dan Rudin

by Dan Rudin

Here are some questions that I am often asked with, I hope, some helpful answers….

What do you do?
As a producer, I help the artist or songwriter decide how to record a performance of a song in a way that best fits their vision of what the song should be. This ranges from helping to choose which songs to perform or in what style to do a particular song, to hiring the best musicians and studio for the particular job. I book studio time, musicians, and engineers (if not myself), rehearse the band if needed, and guide the vocalists and instrumentalists through their performances to make professional recordings.

As an engineer, I handle the technical end of recording; from choosing microphones to selecting which rooms sound best for recording each instrument. I’m also responsible for making sure that when someone is ready to perform, there are no technical obstacles in the way. When mixing, I combine technical skills (using different equipment or plug-ins for example) with a musical opinion of what sounds best.

As a composer, I do remixes (writing new music around existing songs) and write original music for television shows, commercials, and film.

I’m an artist who needs to record my songs. How do I get started?
These days, great recordings can be made just about anywhere. If you are have access to excellent musicians for your recording, then a small personal studio might do the trick for you. But if you need a little more guidance and musical muscle, working in a professional studio or with great session musicians can’t be beat. An engineer or producer who really understands the CRAFT of making records can help you make killer, professional recordings.
When contacting a studio or producer (like myself), I recommend that you:

  • Know how many songs you want to do.
  • Be able to describe what style of music you do.
  • If possible, have a ruff demo of your music. (this can be just a piano or guitar plus a scratch vocal … that’ll do the trick)
  • Ask the producer or studio for work they have done to see if it’s a good fit for you (remember … you’re hiring them!!)
    Try to be ready for your sessions. Simple things like having printed lyric sheets for the engineer, musicians and vocalist really help. (lyrics should be printed and have each chorus written out in full)

    What are your rates?
    My rates are done on a per-project basis. I usually need a few details and can quickly get an estimated budget together for a project. Please ask me.

    Will you take my project around to the major labels?
    Shopping an artist or band to “major labels” is not generally part of my job. Making great records is my job. However, I am always happy to advise my clients on some of the most effective ways to reach their career goals.

    Can you help me hire musicians for my sessions?
    Absolutely. One of the reasons that I choose to live and work in Nashville is the amazing community of musicians here. No matter what instrument or style, there is someone here that will blow your mind (often more than one someone!) I work with some of the finest players in the world and always try to fit the right player for the job. Thanks to years of experience, I can easily put together a detailed budget for any size project.

    What do I need to do to prepare for my sessions?
    Here’s a link with some great advice http://songwriter101.com/articles/33974_0_6_0_C/

    Have you done any scenes with full frontal nudity?
    No, but if it was integral to the plot and character development, I would consider it.

    What is the difference between Mixing and Mastering?
    Mixing is the process of combining all the individually recorded instruments and vocals into a final stereo track of the song. This stereo track is used to create a CD or mp3 for people to listen to.
    Mastering is a final process to make a group of mixes fit together as a whole. Because recording and mixing an album can take place over a long period of time in a number of studios, a good mastering engineer adjusts the level, loudness, and EQ of each mix to make it sound its best ALONG WITH all the other mixes.

    Have a question? Hit me with it!

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