[MUSIC] So pre-production. I happen to think that pre-production is probably the most important part of the entire production process. What do you guys think? >> I mean I think it's the most fun and also if we can get it right everything else tends to work out. Yeah, so I do agree. It's laying the foundation. I think it's super, super important. >> For me I think that clearly defining what it is that we're trying to do, that's the first step. What ways do you find it to define things like that? >> So what I'll usually do is go and search of a reference track. >> Yeah. >> And reference tracks can be really good for trying to find out what we want to achieve eventually in terms of production, song writing, mixing, vibe, any of that, even the groove. >> Yeah. >> And so I'll find something that is closely resembles when I'm looking for. >> Yeah. >> And then I'll analyze that and start my production after that. >> Yeah, great, great. >> I mean I do the same thing. I find also if you're working with other people giving them the reference and telling them what you're accomplishing or what you're pulling from it. Super useful because I have that real reference. I do a lot of analysis. I don't know if you guys do. That's just me, I just start with a really in-depth analysis of things. >> I do too. And actually, one of the tools that we want people to do this week, that is something that I've done a lot of, is an Emotional Timeline. And we have a couple examples that we're going to show here and there's others that you'll be able to see in the course itself. The first one is one actually by Stephen Lizard who is in one of my classes who's the bass player for the Dave Matthews Band. And you take a look at this and first off there's a timeline, it gives us elapse time. There's the form of the song which of course is very important too, I think kind of define. And then there is notes in terms of the arrangement which is good to be able to see that all at once. >> And then there's two lines, one for dynamics and another one for emotion. And often they're the same thing, but occasionally they're not, occasionally there is a big emotional pole when it's quiet. But having both of those lines and then also something that indicates where the climax or the climaxes are can really be helpful when you go around to produce these. And the other example I wanted to show is the one that you use. >> Yeah. >> Because you do the same thing but you do it in a DAW. [CROSSTALK] >> I did the same thing, write my DAW. I don't have the dynamics contour line but I think that's usually shown in the wave form. >> Yeah, exactly. >> Except in this track which is incredibly. >> [CROSSTALK] >> It's already mastered but that's okay. >> But I also call it emotional line and I just use any kind of automation and I chop up the reference track, and I give indicators of what's going on on each section. And I color based on emotional thing and I always use bright red for the climax. So, it seems like we're coming up with the same things even though I thought this was my idea. >> We didn't think of this at all. >> I noticed when Daniel Lengua was here a few years ago, he does the same thing. He does it with charcoal and paper. And I was first introduced to this back at the University of North Texas in a jazz band arranging course. Where the teacher traced back to Schoenberg and even all the way to Beethoven. So people have been doing this for symphonies and all sorts of stuff for ages. >> Right. >> The great thing I think about it is that it just gives you a two-dimensional thing. You can look at it all at once and it's a piece of art that works overtime. But you get to absorb it all. >> It's this kind of forced view. >> Another really important thing that producers have to do, I mean, I feel like one of our main roles is that of scheduling and casting. Can you talk a bit about that? How do you go about scheduling your projects? >> It's really important to at least for my productions, be able to schedule out absolutely every stage of the process. Not only does it make it easier to work with other musicians, in my opinion but it also makes it easier to schedule your own time and make sure that you get everything done in a timely and orderly fashion, like you expect yourself to do. And it's also really important as well when you start working with other musicians. Now, even though this course doesn't require, although it's strongly encouraged to work with other musicians, having a schedule in time set out to record them and work with them is really, really, important. >> Absolutely. I think even if I'm recording myself playing bass on my own project, I'll still put in my calendar that I'm going to do this on Saturday from 3 to 5 and I'll schedule a time before that to set up. And just having that dedicated moment, just clear it out for that one task and you find we're all putting on these different hats. But saying this is the time that I'm going to be a bass player and focus on it, it's usually powerful. And I also find, we've talked about this before, that to complete a project, I have to schedule a mastering session. >> Yes, yes. >> Because I have to [CROSSTALK] >> [LAUGH] >> You have to have a deadline. Yeah. I find the same thing. If you want to finish your project, schedule the mastering, schedule the release party. >> [LAUGH] >> Schedule the concert, then you know it's going to get done. >> Know what food you're going to have. >> Exactly, exactly, you know it's going to happen >> And I think in this course especially, it's going to be really important that you schedule things. >> Right. >> Because we're going to do a track in four weeks which is plenty of time to do a track, but at the same time we're going to be working fast and hopefully we want to come out at the end of this with something we're really proud of. >> Yeah. >> So how do you guys actually decide who you're going to hire if you're using external musicians? Obviously in my opinion, I actually feel there's much more than just skill involved here and who to choose. What do you guys think? >> I look for someone that is dependable that shows up, answers emails and that really, for me it's like someone that really is interested in the meaning and the emotion of the song and that's a lot of the conversations I have. I feel like I can even fix little technical issues, but I can't add emotion later. What do you think? >> I would much rather use someone who is easy to work with, who plays emotionally, who shows up on time, who has a great attitude. >> Yeah. >> I would choose that person over someone with twice the jobs. >> Yeah. >> Every single time. >> [LAUGH] >> Using other players, I mean we do strongly encourage people to do that because you're going to learn so much. >> And it's important to send these musicians a rough track that you've got already or any sort of lead sheet scores. Anything that you've got that's going to help them if it's a vocalist, send them lyrics ahead of time. The more that you can do ahead of time, the easier the process is going to go. >> I would say even if they're not the vocalist, if they're the bass player send them the lyrics because they need to know what the song is about. This is going to be a really fun week. Getting the pre-production going so I think we should just dig in and get started. >> Start making some demos. Yeah, let's do it.