Dealing with a music pre-production as a project can be like anything from a walk in the park on a spring day to handling a row-less boat through a storm in the Pacific Ocean.
And if there’s anything that can be decisive in defining how smoothly your project will flow is the pre-production stage.
I already wrote a post about the pre-production stage, so I will not delve into specifics here. Just make sure to read that post if you haven’t: Pre-Production – How to Start a Music Project.
And I made quite a point in keeping notes and making lists throughout the pre-production process.
The Importance of Keeping Earnest Lists
In music production, a good list is much like the compass for the traveler: a tool that points you towards your goal – all you have to do is follow.
Except for that thanks to the internet, we can create really sophisticated lists that dynamically respond to our progress.
If you don’t know what I mean, maybe you haven’t been introduced to Trello just yet.
It’s a kind of ultimate online whiteboard we can use to create amazing lists that can be shared with co-workers so as to keep track of assignments, jobs, and projects, among many others.
So if it’s such an amazing tool, why don’t we incorporate it into our productions?
The Music Production Checklist
First of all, we must give credit when it’s due, so I’d like to thank Sam Lowe for coming up with this incredible checklist and sharing it with me.
Let’s see what it looks like and how it works:
The Pre-production Checklist
On the leftmost column, you have the pre-production checklist.
This section is specially designed to deal with bands. Of course, if you don’t have a drummer involved in the project, you can simply remove the drum-related items.
At the same time, if someone is playing a fiddle or a bagpipe, you can add the necessary items to the list.
Tip: if you are scheduling multiple recording sessions, you can duplicate this card as many times as necessary, adding dates and other relevant info, as well as editing each card to suit those specific dates.
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This section of the board by default has 10 cards, each supposed to be renamed after each song.
As you and the band discuss the arrangement, you can add, change and remove items from the list on each card.
Again, feel free to make it suit whatever needs you have.
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Editing, Mixing and Mastering Checklists
Both the Editing and Mix-prep Checklist and the Mixing Checklist follow suit from the Recording Checklist. Initially there are 10 cards by default, and you can rename them after each song.
They’re really useful reminders of things like cleaning up tracks or applying some specific effects the band has asked you to.
In the Mastering Checklist we’re back to a single card for the whole process. Add here whatever formats the project is going to be mastered for, notes on revisions, and any other information. This is really helpful for keeping everyone on top of the game in the final stages of the project.
So why don’t you give it a spin and let us know what you think of it? Has it helped your overall process? Write us a comment and let us know!