Producer's Outline for
Recording Sessions, Part 3

Feb 21, 2020

Hey Everyone,

This is the third installment in a series of blogs I am writing about the process I follow to produce an artist. I am picking it up from the end of the last blog, so if you missed that one, be sure to read it too.

This section is all about raising enough money to meet the budget an artist or band will need to create a competitive professional recording project.  This part of the process can get a little (or a lot) confusing, so as an ADHD fella, I'll try to stay on track and keep it as simple as possible

I hear many people say they don't want to mess with the major record labels, and I'm telling you flat out, in my professional opinion that is a short-sighted notion.  Even if an artist/band signs only one short lived contract with a major label, they will always be able to use that label's name for promotions  This will result in boosting an artist’s image so they can make it to the big boy’s arena, and it will help raise live performance fees.  I know, because I've experienced it over the last 30 plus years. 

We all wish we had the money to fund our productions alone, but that just isn’t realistic (we are musicians, after all.) I will show the artist, step by step how to raise the funds using an Investment party.  This method allows close friends and relatives that believe in the artist to contribute to their success, without anyone having to contribute a fortune. In order to keep individual contributions affordable, it is best to gather about 15-20 people.  As part of the Investment party, I also explain to the investors the steps where they will get a return on their money, if a deal is made.

I know that there are many artists out there that have a home studio, and many have learned to use it well.  But most home studios are modest, and I promise using great studio players (for solo artists,) and a top-notch engineer will be worth the money in gold when seeking a recording contract.

There are a few genres of music that can be created in a home studio with good results,  but in my professional opinion, it is still imperative to part that product out into at least 24 or more tracks, and have a real solid engineer and producer mix it and master the final product. On one of my productions, I used Bob Ramsey, who is hands down one of the best programmers anywhere.  That project still did not truly come alive until Bob and I parted it out, to Hall of Fame engineer, Gene Eichelberger to mix and master it with me, as producer, in a major studio and mastering lab.

I hope you are enjoying these blogs-would love to hear your feedback. 

~Turley Richards That's it for this blog.  I will pick it up from here next time

Producer's Outline for
Recording Sessions, Part 2

Feb 01, 2020

Hey Everyone,

This is the second installment in a series of blogs I am writing about the process I follow to produce an artist. I am picking it up from where I left the last blog, so if you missed that one, be sure to read it too. 

Once we have the right songs for the project, we are ready to move forward. If I am working with a solo artist, my next step is to book a studio that I really like. Often more important than the studio, is to use the best recording engineer for the project. If I find an engineer that I think is perfect, and he or she has a studio they would rather work with, then we go with that. Of course, we always have to keep the budget in mind when making every choice along the way.

I've worked with great studio musicians over the years in Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta and New York. They are the top players. If you have a favorite artist, then I would bet you that some of the licks he or she is playing were written by a studio musician, because they are the artists who can create on the spot. If working with a solo artist, and our budget can support them, these are the type of musicians I will pursue for the project. If working with a band, obviously this step is not needed, unless the band wants to add additional instruments on some of their songs. 

Once in the studio, I like to assign one of the players to be in charge of putting simple charts together.  Seasoned studio musicians will take notes and work with each other to create the sound and feel for the project that the artist and I have conveyed to them. Then we get to watch the arrangements that transpire on the spot, and tweak the performance until we think it is perfect for each song. This involves going back into the control room to listen to the track, after which we make any changes that each player, the artist or I agree on. 

The final step to the recording session, includes over-dubs. Over-dubs might be the artist singing his or her vocals to the finished music, the addition of background singers and/or any outside players to add to what we already have created.

~Turley That's it for this blog.  I will pick it up from here next time

Hey Everyone!

Jan 01, 2020

It has been a long time since I have written a blog and am excited to get back to regular writing here on my website. So, I was thinking; what can I write about that people would find interesting? Because I recently spent some time back in the studio in Nashville, the process of producing a music project is at the front of my mind. So why not talk about how, as a producer, I put projects together? This is the first in a series of production blogs, giving just a brief outline of “how I do it.” So here goes:

A producer's outline for recording sessions.

First, and foremost, the producer must find out about their artist; what is their style of music, are they a songwriter, do they have a strong performance history, etc. After that, I have to talk about money. What is their budget? If the artist doesn’t have enough money, can we find a financial backer to make up the difference? I have a talent for saving money making productions, but I need to know what I’m working with up front.

It’s very important for the artist to have some strong songs.  If not, then as a producer, I need to approach the publishers to see if they have any songs that fit this artist.  I like to ask the publishers if they have songs that a major star wanted, but didn't end up recording- because that cuts down on listening to hundreds of songs to find what we want.

Once I receive the songs from the publisher, it’s time to have a meeting with the artist to go over every song. The artist and I need to agree on a song that   we both feel is great for this project.

That's it for this blog.  I will pick it up from here next time. My goal is to walk everyone through this process over the next few months. If you want more information about this process, reach out to me here or at turley@turleyrichards.com, or better yet, call me at 502-452-9011.

Turley Richards
Producer, Publisher, Songwriter and Vocal Coach.