Does production really weigh in?

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fivehands
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Does production really weigh in?

Post by fivehands » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:01 pm

OK, this question has been with me since I started checking out the forum last year and I actually started requesting critiques of my submissions. There is a section of a critique which pertains to the production of the submission. And I've often wondered how much the production really influences the reviewer in forwarding or rejecting your song. I've checked out the Tech forum section and there are obviously people who know what they are talking about. But there are also other people who are confused about where to start with home recording outfits, so that could indicate that there demo production may not be up to scratch, yet.Just so there is no confusion, I am talking about submissions to listings where they are looking for a song and are not indicating that they are going to use your master. So I guess my question is, how important is production in submitting to these type of listings?Myself, I work on the production as best as I can because it's fun for me. Like it's what I do. I keep up with the DAW upgrades and I've got Guitar Rig, Battery, Acoustic Legends, Melodyne, Halion, and the list goes on. "Honest hon, just this one piece of software is all I need and then that's it." But this stuff takes time to do also. Imagine the scenario, if you haven't lived it yet, where you see a listing and you've got the song but you haven't produced the demo yet but there is no time to do the kind of production you want to do. So what do you do? Guitar and voice? Do you lose points in the ears of the reviewer because you didn't produce a huge demo? Isn't songwriting about the song? So how much does production weigh in?Sorry if this is the wrong section to ask this and I hope the moderators can move it to its proper spot if it isn't. Thanks for reading. Fivehands

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sgs4u
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Re: Does production really weigh in?

Post by sgs4u » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:12 pm

this comes up a lot on the forums. Do the best production you can, and of course submit. I would always err towards getting the best singer for the song you can get your hands on. If your production skills suck(I bet they don't), then do just guitar & voice. I am of the opinion that production matters a great deal. People (reviewers/critiquers) are listening, to your song. For just a song listing, you can hope that iproduction doesn't matter, but you won't get to find out if it might have made the difference. So I would say to you- do the best you possibly can. What's the point of competing against full-blown productions of really great songs, with half-finished demos? And, you have to take into account what other delicious hooks, riffs and pleasing sounds & instruments you can make part of your production. those matter a great deal, IMHO. learn to go fast, and write lots. There are many other members who will not agree with me, but I say, you take your chances. steve

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Re: Does production really weigh in?

Post by gitarrero » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:57 am

i'd rather would suggest a good sounding (meaning: good performance, clean recording) guitar/voice demo before a weak but full arranged track with some mixing issues like wrong kind of reverb, no transparency etc.as you said this is meant for the listings which don't ask to use the master.I think it also depends on the style of music: country songs are a complete diffrent cup of tea than rocksongs or even electronica - some styles need the production because that is an important part of the style itself.
production, composition & stringed instruments

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Re: Does production really weigh in?

Post by matto » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:29 am

I agree with Martin: it depends on the style of music and type of song. A "simple" demo (guitar/vocal or piano/vocal) can sound a lot more professional and therefore sell a song a lot more effectively than a "fully produced" demo with lots of issues (and is a lot easier to produce/record well). But of course you'll have a hard time getting forwarded if you pitch a guitar/vocal to a hip hop or electronica listing .So, it's important to make a stylistically appropriate demo and to make sure that whatever is there is of as high a quality as possible.And Steve is right that this question comes up all the time, so if you search the forum you'll find a lot of additional useful informationon the topic...matto

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Re: Does production really weigh in?

Post by fivehands » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:37 am

Thanks for the input from all of you. I've read about this over the years in trade mags and there always has seemed to be two camps on the subject. One is that the simple demo should suffice and the production ideas should be left to whoever may record it, and the other is that production should be applied right from the start to get the best representation of the tune possible. I will do a search but I am wondering if any of you know where I could get Michael Laskow's thoughts on it, if you know a magazine article where he touched on the subject.I guess I was thinking more in a pop and country vein when I was framing the question. I agree that the best possible vocal is most important along with clarity of any other tracks. Listening to today's music sometimes I get the impression that production has been used to mask what is not really a great song. I guess that has been going on for a long time in a producers market where the hook of a song can really be a production hook. But I should have framed my original question as "How much does production weigh in when a reviewer in trying to determine whether a song should be forwarded or not?" Myself I write a song and I start recording it so there is always an element of production that comes out in the end.Thanks again for the replies.

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