Six Picks With: Erica Glyn
“Six Tips For Self-Produced Artists”
The music industry can be an expensive place for artists, producers, studio fees, possibly bringing in additional song writers or buying songs. The bills can easily go up and up and up till breaking even from sales is a dream. New York’s own Erica Glyn has found a way to keep her recording costs down, she writes, records and produces her own music. Her 2012 release, Static, is just one example. Taking on this challenge isn’t for every artist so we asked Erica to share some of her expert advice!
1. Hire the right person for the job. You don’t go to a plumber to get a good slice of pizza, do you? When you hire a musician or engineer to do what they do best and what they love to do, you usually get greatness out of them. I love working with people who love doing what they do and who are enjoying the experience of recording and I think that energy/feeling/greatness gets captured on “tape” and becomes contagious. Inspiring the people you work with by being inspired by them creates an extremely productive and creative environment where results beyond your imagination occur.
2. Don’t settle just because you don’t have funding. Find a way to get what you want. Be generous with the musicians and engineers you work with even if it’s not in dollars and show them a tremendous amount of respect for what they do. Appreciation and creative freedom go a long way. And don’t use something if you don’t like it. Sometimes it takes a number of tries to get a part right, or the right sound of an instrument just the way you want it etc. Doing it the wrong way often leads to the right way.
3. Get creative with your limitations. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. There are so many solutions to the challenges faced with recording. And with all of the never-ending digital options these days, there is almost no way you can’t get something good to come out of a computer. It’s just a matter of getting serious about being creative. I actually don’t mind that I am limited by my lack of Pro Tools plugin options. Too many choices can clutter the creative process.
4. Know what’s important and what’s not. Often times people get fixated on moments on a track that are completely irrelevant to the overall feel and sound of the recording and end up killing a vibe by focusing on something like if the kick drum in measure 35 is a little late… My neighbor’s dog barked (in time) during a percussion take on STATIC and I left it in! See if you can find it…
5. Be bold to stand out. Make strong decisions. Find your own voice. It’s the human part of music that is most interesting, enticing and magnetic and each human is inherently unique, so putting yourself into your music as much as you can, will make the result just as unique.
6. Be a decent engineer. The more self-reliant you are, the better off you will be! Just because you can “run Pro Tools” doesn’t mean that you are an audio engineer. But just because you have never worked at Sony Studios (which no longer exists) doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great engineer. Do some research and learn about recording techniques, acoustics, mixing etc.
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