The process

To all aspiring artists.

This article is to, in brief, shed some light on the music production proces so that you (less or un-experienced) music makers can decide on whats best for your project. If you are an experienced musician or producer already well familiar with the proces don’t bother reading on. Give us a call or skip to our prices section to see what we have in store.

There are bookshelves written on these topics and there are many in’s en outs. This is roughly how I see it.

6 Steps.

1: Composing / Songwriting.

This is your free phase. You are still collecting material, recording some stuff with your crappy phone mic and scribbling in your lyric book etc. Writing stuff with whoever you feel inspired by. Making a demo with so and so.  Overall just having fun gathering strong material or concepts for your new album or EP.
KEM studio is perfect for doing exactly this in a relaxed setting. As a writer I often had inspired sessions with various artists. And the great thing: doing some ‘on the fly’ pre-recording is just one click away.

2: Rehearsing and arranging.

Your songs are done for the most part and your concepts are gaining ground. Now you are making sure your are well rehearsed before you hit the record button. Making choices on instrumentation, sound, arrangement, form etc. Will you be writing out arrangements the classic way or just doing head arrangements with your band while rehearsing? Anything that works for you.
In this phase it’s very nice to do a test recording only with just a few overhead mic’s just to get used to the studio feeling? Our engineers can offer you that at a discount.

3: Recording.

Ready steady go, now you are set to record. The whole band at once or layer by layer? There are many options. At KEM we have one liveroom where we can minimalize feedback but there is also the option of a separate booth too where you could, for example, record vocals separately.

4: Editing / Dubbing / ‘Post’ production

Some may consider it cheating but now that you’ve recorded you may wanna edit a vocal here or there or combine some takes. For instance the intro on take 2 was good but the rest of take 3 was better. Some minor editing can be done on the spot, but should you wanna go further down that road you may be talking serious production stuff, keep in mind this takes time and effort. Oh and by the way: the better you prepare for a recording the less you usually have to fix. At KEM we can also help you out with editing and post production.

5: Mixing

Now that everything is recorded, selected and edited your tracks are ready for mixing, This is were you decide on so much: sound, intensity, dynamics, balance, equalisation etc. At KEM we have mix-engineer Ralph Verdult and Timo Duin ready to help you. Should you want to mix yourself you will receive all the separate tracks. Prices for mixing depend on how complex the job is.

6: Mastering.

Its a bit technical but it means getting your tracks ready for consumer stereo, your mom’s car radio or a nightclub sound system. At KEM we don’t offer mastering however we know quite some people who do.

To conclude: the above is not sacred nor linear, record production it is a fun creative process with many variations. Some of the phases have a lot of overlap or even influence each other. For example: how you are going to do a mix may influence your writing or arranging or how well you arranged and wrote may simplify your mixing process. And some producers don’t record a band at all in the classic sense, they simply add layers of overdubs, midi and do a lot of editing and arranging digitally.

It’s all good. In the land of creativity there are no limits.

Well, I hope this was helpful. If all off this is too much for you to manage it might be the best to hire a producer to help out. managing a proces like this is their job. At KEM we can also help you with this.

Daan Herweg

Pianist | Composer | Producer
Owner Key Element Music.