Academy Dashboard Forum Production Production Techniques Where do you start? Reply To: Where do you start?

James Gorman

    Another one for the no-template.

    I start off more or less the same as Sergey - including balancing drums and vocals first (maybe it's because they stick out the most in almost any track?). I've I've also taken to chopping things up by part (verse, chorus, etc) when there is a large tonal variation (especially vocals - I stole this from a Tony Maserati video). I find it helps both for ease of using different plugin settings, and also to organise my thinking. All this organising stuff is pretty easy in Reaper, but one thing I've been looking at is creating/modding some scripts to do boring things like normalising everything correctly, grouping stereo tracks, and shortcuts to group things quickly.

    Then it's mix buss effects, then colour on all tracks that warrant it to set the tone (eg tape emulation, console emulation). Then an 80% mix on most the important tracks/groups (with faders up) - used to always be drums, bass, vocals in that order. Trying now to branch out and just did one that was vocals first, then guitar.

    I've organised all my plugins so I don't spend a lot of time um-ing and ah-ing over what I want - it usually feels like a straightforward path between deciding what I want to do and dropping in what I want. Feels like a good balance between the speed of a template and the freedom of starting from scratch. I'm still building my chops up after a long hiatus, so I'll probably reorganise things a few times over in the coming months.