Recording - October 2015 - 56

Separations

That's not all. Let's say a big movie
needs a song about being crazy, and
your song is actually called "I'm Crazy"?
It's perfect, but it has a horn solo, and the
movie wants a bridge, no solo. No problem, if you've done another edit or performed a version that has a bridge and
no solo. You may also want an acoustic
version.
Breakdowns
One of my favorite deliverables for any
song in any genre is a bunch of ready-touse breakdowns. Save versions of the
songs with just the drums and bass, just
the drums, a drumless mix... use your
imagination. Remember to pay attention
when you're editing breakdowns to keep
things sensible-a fade in may have
worked in the full mix, but not with the
drums alone, or maybe there's a 4-bar
drum solo which will turn into inexplicable
silence in a drumless mix. Track wisely in
anticipation of this. If your drums bleed
into your vocals, you can't use that track
for your drum-free mix. You might have to
actually track multiple versions to have
multiple versions available later. (For more
flexibility and responsiveness, see the
sidebar where I talk about separations.)
When it comes to alternative mixes and
breakdowns, the point is to leave the studio with a lot of material in hand, so you
can respond to industry needs quickly.
You don't want to be stuck waiting for studio time to reprint an instrumental if
you're asked for it. Not only is that inefficient, it's not as cost-effective as leaving
the session with what you need.
Other deliverables
The point is to maximize the amount of
valuable material that comes out of what
you were doing anyway. To that end,
there are a couple of other things to consider-things you may not need to spend
costly studio time on, but could prove
valuable.
Lead sheets, tabs and sheet music: It
took me a long time to see any value in
having written music as part of the package of material that goes with a release,
but this can be crucial. If you're a solo
artist who needs musicians for live settings, lead sheets or sheet music are critical for efficient learning. Tabs and sheet
music are also publishable, giving you a
possible new revenue stream, and if
you're submitting demos to publishing
companies, they often require lead sheets
and lyric sheets. It's very valuable to have
proper musical documentation. For natural improvisers, this can be tedious, but I
highly recommend putting in the effort.
56

RECORDING October 2015

Since I work in various DAWs, I'm a
huge fan of separations. When I'm the
client, I leave the studio with full separations
of a mix, so I can call it up and deliver
breakdowns or alternate edits at will in any
software, without going back to the original
tracking studio. I also sometimes send full
separations to the mastering engineer, so
he has better control (although many mastering engineers dislike what they perceive
as being asked to remix and master at
once... ask first). When I'm the engineer, I
offer full separations as an option for a reasonable added fee and explain to my
clients why they might find them useful.
Full separations means every track is separated; kick, snare, guitar, vocal, etc. These
tracks can import into a DAW, set at zero
with no processing, and the mix sounds
exactly like the finished stereo mix. It's easy
to mute a few tracks and create a breakdown, or edit an new version. You can also
take the separations to a totally different studio to do surround versions later.
With separations, even if you don't have
the same rig as the studio, you can do
breakdowns and re-edits to your heart's
content without having to go back. This is
a great way to be able to quickly deliver
what's needed to a client without having to
own a full-fledged studio yourself.
Exporting full separations, however, can
be a long process. Some software (and
tape) can only mix down in real time,
which means you have to mute all but one
track and mix down over and over to
achieve full separations. 24 tracks equals
24 passes, which for a 3-minute song is
72 minutes-over an hour of studio time.
(This is why the addition of faster-than-realtime Bounce To Disc in Avid Pro Tools 11
was such a big deal!)
Also, if you've got processing like EQ or
compression on the final stereo buss, running just one track through that processing
will hit differently than the whole mix, so
your final set of separations may not be
what you thought. Some software like
Cakewalk SONAR will allow you to export
all busses at once, so strategic buss assignment can speed things up, but you still need
to be careful about overall processing.
If you have a home setup but you do
certain kinds of tracking at a larger facility, you might want to consider buying and
installing your own copy of the software
and relevant plug-ins found in your
favorite studio, so you can call up projects
as is and deliver new edits. You don't
need the whole studio to do this, only the
same software. That can still be pretty
expensive, but may well pay for itself after
a few sessions.
It's best to proceed with caution so you
get what you need without spending (or
having to charge) a fortune, but consider
whether full separations represent a good
value for your particular project.-AT

Video and photos: Behind the scenes
footage or footage of performances in
the studio may not always be directly
monetizable, but it's well known by now
that YouTube is a critical part of a musician's promotional arsenal, and there is
some possibility of revenue from YouTube
advertising. Besides, pictures and video
clips are a huge value-add for band and
label websites and other promotional
material. Heck, you might as well shoot
your next 8x10 glossy with a cool mix
desk in the background while you wait
for the engineer to set up mics... or if
you're the engineer, suggest that the
band do it while they're waiting for you!
Surround: I'd be remiss not to mention
surround sound. It would be false to claim
that surround mixes are a necessary part
of a production's deliverables, because
for the most part they're not asked for,
and there's virtually no consumer market.
However, if you happen to be in a studio
that has the capability, doing another
"save as" and creating a 5.1 version of a
mix could be a cool addition to what you
offer. I highly recommend starting with the
finished stereo mix and enhancing from
there (although one could argue in favor
of other methods), since you want to create the same basic musical experience.
Especially if you're going after movies,
5.1 versions could be valuable, but consider your potential cost/benefit ratio
before moving ahead.
Documentation and project files
Last but not least, never leave the studio without copies of ALL your project
files, raw tracks and any notes or documentation. Copy the folder the DAW
project is in, and make notes of the software version, hardware, and especially
the plugins used. You need this material
in your hands, not just stored at the studio. You never know if the studio will
lose your stuff, or if you may be halfway
around the world needing to fix something at the last minute. Unless it's
owned by a label (in which case this
advice is for them), you put yourself in a
much better place by keeping your material on hand.
Hopefully now you can see how much
more value you can pull from your studio
time. If you're efficient, it won't cost
much more to get everything you need.
Then your living needn't be tied to your
fame, and that, in my humble opinion, is
a huge relief! Happy monetizing!
Aaron Trumm (trumm@recordingmag
.com) was once the 10th-ranked slam poet
in the world, created NQuit Music and
techno/classical/poetry fusion act Third
Option, and is now the front man of the
imaginatively named Aaron Trumm Trio.
Visit aarontrumm.nquit.com to learn more.


http://aarontrumm.nquit.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2015

Contents
Recording - October 2015 - Intro
Recording - October 2015 - Cover1
Recording - October 2015 - Cover2
Recording - October 2015 - 1
Recording - October 2015 - 2
Recording - October 2015 - 3
Recording - October 2015 - 4
Recording - October 2015 - 5
Recording - October 2015 - Contents
Recording - October 2015 - 7
Recording - October 2015 - 8
Recording - October 2015 - 9
Recording - October 2015 - 10
Recording - October 2015 - 11
Recording - October 2015 - 12
Recording - October 2015 - 13
Recording - October 2015 - 14
Recording - October 2015 - 15
Recording - October 2015 - 16
Recording - October 2015 - 17
Recording - October 2015 - 18
Recording - October 2015 - 19
Recording - October 2015 - 20
Recording - October 2015 - 21
Recording - October 2015 - 22
Recording - October 2015 - 23
Recording - October 2015 - 24
Recording - October 2015 - 25
Recording - October 2015 - 26
Recording - October 2015 - 27
Recording - October 2015 - 28
Recording - October 2015 - 29
Recording - October 2015 - 30
Recording - October 2015 - 31
Recording - October 2015 - 32
Recording - October 2015 - 33
Recording - October 2015 - 34
Recording - October 2015 - 35
Recording - October 2015 - 36
Recording - October 2015 - 37
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Recording - October 2015 - Cover3
Recording - October 2015 - Cover4
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