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Pre-Production - BPM

Lesson 5 from: Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

Pre-Production - BPM

Lesson 5 from: Studio Pass with Joey Sturgis

Joey Sturgis

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Lesson Info

5. Pre-Production - BPM

Lesson Info

Pre-Production - BPM

let's talk about BP every quick. Um, I'm basically just trying to demonstrate why I made some of the changes that I did. Um, so if we look at the demo of the song, I'm going to play from the pre course to the chorus. Let me just show you this section here. Okay, So the build up into the chorus is a bunch of 16th notes. And then when you hit that chorus, the drums basically almost completely drop out and just play like, very simple beats. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to make that more exciting. So as as the drums air building up, this is this is the section right here. This is the pre pre chorus section, and then this is the course. So going into the course, the pre courses is playing at two of six BPM, uh, 16th notes. And then when we get into the chorus, we jump up one bpm because the drums, as far as how many beats they play in a bar, the drums actually slow down. So I wanted to kind of make that transition more smooth and make that part more connected to the one befo...

re it by increasing the tempo and when you increase the tempo. Basically, what you're doing is you're making making the Beats closer together, even though they're they're more. Ah, they're more spread apart and they're more far apart By increasing the temple. You you've put them a little bit closer together and make it more interesting. So let's go to the next one. And this is Ah Jin general thing you want to do when you're listening to a song for the first time. Does it feel like it's dragging? Uh, does it feel like it's rushing is a too fast? Is it too slow? What do you think in general? And once you've kind of determined, um, what you think you want to do with the song? The great thing about computers is that you can speed and speed up songs and slow them down without having to re record them. And that's one thing that I like to experiment with. When I hear a song for the first time, I'll bring it into Q base, and I'll actually go in and change the tempo. I'll show you how you can do that right now. So, like Here's the enter of the demo and I could just cut out a section and I'm gonna click right here, and I'm gonna go to, um, process Time Stretch, and then it helps to know the original tempo. So if you know, like the original tempos two of three, you can type it in here and then the temple You want to try, you can type in, you know, two of six, right? And then I'm gonna change the algorithm to be elastic, which sounds the best. And then you can hit preview, and it will show you what that sounds like. So here's what the intro would sound like if I have made it to a six sound a little bit weird, but that's that's what you get for the preview. Um, so here's the two of three version you know. Let's try. Try to a seven. To me that starts to sound like it's going too fast. So that's just a demonstration of when you're listening to the song. And as a producer, it's hopeful that have it in a doll so that you have tools that you can access. You can go in, and you can. You know if you like. I wonder what that part would sound like. A little faster, A little slower. You can try instantly and kind of know if it feels right. The other thing. I wanted to tell you guys that sound quality can actually affect the perception of tempo. So if you have a song that sounds kind of low fi and a little bit muddy, it might sound slower than if you were. If you actually record it really good quality and make it all hi fi and do it professionally. Now the song is going to sound a little bit faster. Um, so it's important to know what you're listening to and what you're listening for. Okay, One or two BPM could make a big difference. So as like I demonstrated, the chorus bumps up one DB, and that's simply to make it more exciting. Um, some of the parts I felt like were kind of fast, and that's why slowed them down. I think the original tempo this song was was two of five, and it's funny because we don't land on at 205 anywhere in the song starts, a two of four goes up to two of six and then bounces back between two of six and to a seven throughout the rest of the song. Um, pay close attention to the transitions between the busy and the non busy parts, and that has a lot to do with BPM. Like I said before, if you're doing a build up, that's all 16th notes and you're going into something that's slower hits. You might want to see if it makes sense to change the BPM between those two parts. All right, so next big thing that you're gonna look at when you're working with a song for the first time is the boring sections. I felt like when I heard this song for the first time. There were a thana, boring sections, one of the most. I think the one of the most boring parts of the whole song is after the first chorus. So let me let me see. Where is that or after the breakdown? That's right. Let me make sure I got the right part. Okay, so that's just the intro riff again. Um, and we've already heard the intro riff by itself, and so I felt like that. That's actually pretty boring. So what I decided to do with that part Waas add some sense and I'll show you what I added here. So I'm gonna display that section. So a lot of stuff added there. Um, first thing we did is we added a little bit of, ah, vocal. I always like to bring the vocalist in tow as many parts as possible, even even instrumental parts, because he is the voice of the song and the song is pointless without vocal. So I always like to Ah, even if it's just like a come on or a yeah or something. Just toe, uh, make it interesting. Trying to find my reverse vocals somewhere in here. Um, but basically, I started by adding, um, this vocal part here echoes out. And then the next thing I did is I took that and I reversed the vocals for it. So that kind of makes the vocals transition into the part a little bit better. Um, the other thing you notice is that if you just play just the drums and the guitars, it's not very interesting because it's just a riff. So this is what you get. So the thing about that is it's a cool riff and the cool part, but the listeners already heard it, so they're they're gonna be bored by it, so you have to make it a little bit more interesting. And I decided Teoh put the intro sense back in as well. But one change that I made to the interests and to make it more interesting was to change it to a major note. I also added some of my own sense that I played here. You can see if I open the MIDI. Here's the performance right here. I'll show you what that sounds like, so that pretty much sounds like a broken keyboard. But that's actually what I was going for. And, uh, it goes along with this this other sense that that combined with thing when you plan together, it sounds like this. Um, I got that idea from I'm like a huge nine inch Nails fan, and I love everything that Trent resident does, and I don't know why, but I just decided to add that, uh, kind of vibe to this part, and I want to play all the sense together so you can hear what it ends up sounding like also added, this pad right here that provides the chord structure. So here's all the sense together. Um, one thing I want to know that's really important understand about this is that this is the session that started that we started with eso. Even this is the session from pre production. We always build our entire session in just one thing. There's always one master session that has it starts with the demo, and it literally is just one track with the demo. And then we go in and we put these note tracks and I come in and I draw sections where I want to remind myself, Oh, I want to put it impact here So I'll actually go in and draw like a little note like this, and then I'll change. The name will say, Put impact here and now I've reminded myself to do that. The reason why I do that is because the first time you listen to a song, you're going to have ideas that you'll never think of again because you've heard the song once before so that that first time is really a golden moment where you need to maximize on what you're going to do with the song. And since it would take time to actually do each idea, you would gradually have less creative ideas because you wouldn't be ableto do them fast enough. So that's one thing that I like to do during preproduction when I'm listening to the song is I'll have thes thes midi tracks set up to where I could just draw blank events and type in little things to remind myself what to do. Now this sent idea that we're looking at right now was actually added to the song afterwards. So during pre pro, I didn't have this idea. You can see in my notes that I put I want to impact here and I said, Turntable riser. But I ended up abandoning that idea and just went with the same thing instead. And I will show you the impact to this is what the impact sounds like. That's basically a rifle. Um, so that's that's a gunshot that we added there, and that's how I ended up making it the transition and that part more interesting. So I just play it one more time. Cool. Did you guys have any questions I think you had a question, right? Yeah. Um, I was just wondering, Ah, at what point did you really start like experimenting with some of the, um, obscure subtleties, like the whole backwards vocal track leading into the section. And, you know, like the gunshot for impact and stuff like that. When did you really want to start, um, improvising with that sort of stuff? That's a good question. I think, honestly, it just came from being so interested in doing this kind of stuff and just doing it over a long period of time. You get to a point where some of the more simple effects become boring, Just like adding delayed toe a lead after you've added, delayed to lead a 1,000,000,000 times, you're like, That's kind of boring. How can I be even more interesting than that? Then you add a stereo delay or than you do a reverse lay, and then you get into printing the delay and then running it through a distortion pedal and then bringing it back in and chopping it up. So it's just a natural evolution. I think of exploring sound modification. Um, I think everything everyone that that starts messing around with recording has probably done the telephone effect at some point in their life. But once you really get into it, that becomes boring. And you want to continually evolve and progress and learn how to do more interesting things. Do you have any questions so far? We do, Yeah. This one actually got nine votes. Um, I would like to know how a band, or especially the songwriter, reacts to your improvements and changes to the arrangement of a song. And how do you communicate that? And is there often trouble about it? So if you're making value judgments about arrangement, you know, and the songwriter gets that back, is it usually positive? Is it sometimes negative? And how do you handle that as a producer? Yeah. Um, that's actually a really great question because it's obviously going to be a little different for everyone. Some people trust you so much that they agree with everything you say, and some people don't trust you at all in and hate most of your ideas. Or or maybe they like some of them, but there kind of upset that they didn't think of it or something like that. There's all kinds of different dynamics that go on and really just have to get to know your clients and and have good communication skills. Um, one of the most important things I do. When I first worked with the band for the first time, as I try to figure out, you know, what kind of stuff do they think? It's stupid. Do they think blast beats air? Stupid? Do they think, um, you know, guitar leads are more background things. Do they think guitar leads there, stuff that should be up front? You just want to get a feel for who you're working with and so that you'll know how to make the right suggestions to get them toe where they're trying to go. Um, that's just a communication thing entirely. You just have to get to know your client. Um, you know, sometimes I won't be very direct. I won't say like, Hey, do you guys think last pizza done? I'll just be like, what kind of bands do you like? And if they name a bunch of bands that play a lot of blast beats, chances are they probably like blast beats. So is a little bit of ah, mental thing in psychology thing going on there

Class Materials

bonus material with enrollment

What is Vocal Production
Autotune Pitch Correction Modes and Tools
Understanding Pitch Graphing
Timing and Quantization
Vocal Mixing
Separating Lead & Background in Mixing
Mixing Harmonies & Adv Production Technique

Ratings and Reviews


I have been following Joey's work since the early Prada days... This is one of the best discussions any producer has ever contributed to digital audio. I love the amount of transparency. He simply reveals everything and guides you on a very wise path on how to become a in-the-box producer like him! Turns out, the answer is -- a ton of hard work! Plus, this has to be the best use-case on his own awesome and super-affordable plugins. I have watched almost every popular producer/engineer workshops and have also sat-in on Eddie Kramer, Alan Parsons and Quincy Jones producer workshops and believe it or not... This is the best one yet.

Adam Train

I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of the bands Joey records. The only reason I bought this class was because I enjoyed the Periphery one so much. Joey takes modern production techniques to the absolutely extreme. He takes punch-ins and editing to a level where it's not even funny any more. If you're looking for tips on recording and mixing in general, this class is not for you. If you're looking for editing tips to see how far you can possibly push the strive for perfection, this is pretty spot on. If you're a beginner, don't take this class to heart - Joey's workflow is borderline psychopathic - go and get the Periphery session instead. If you've been recording for a while and you're looking to see how far editing can take you, it's worth a look.

a Creativelive Student

Easily one of the best investments I've made. There is so much information here that you'll have to watch it multiple times to really catch everything. Looked up to Joey Sturgis for a long time and this is literally a dream come true to get a behind the scenes look into his talent. He delivered the material in a very understandable fashion and was extremely clear with all his examples. I love creative live =)

Student Work