The process of recording music: Like baking, and eating a cake!
There is big difference between the traditional recording process and performing live.
A way to look at it is recording and performing is much like baking and eating a mouth-watering cake.
As you make quick and passing compliment to the decorations then quickly devour a piece, it is easy to overlook the fact that it is a culmination of a mind or minds that started with an idea and a list of ingredients.
In the kitchen, it is a relentless process of creating, testing, breaking it down, changing it, and building it up until the final product is ready to be served and eaten.
Recording is much the same way. The artist walks into the studio with a framework for a new song [the ingredients]. The artist (and sometimes producer) start with recording a "scratch" track; which includes a basic "click" track to set the rhythm and the beat. In most cases, the next step is laying down the main instrument to frame up the melody. A scratch vocal is then added as a guide as the song enters the "preparation and test" phases.
From here, the rhythm section (bass/drums/beat) are crafted. Then begins the build up, breakdown, build up process in which scratch tracks are often dumped, or set aside, for keeper tracks. Once acceptable, main tracks are laid down. Once complete, the process of adding "layers/textures"; often created by multiple instruments and/or plugins begins. These are essentially the icing on the cake.
Before a slice is served up, the artist and/or producer will often create various versions of the song based on the original song concept and/or discovery made during the recording process. Once a final mix is selected, BREAK OUT THE PLATES! Time to taste a serving of a lot of love and passion for your ears!
Now, let's move from basic recording education to what's happening in my own studio.
For my latest recording, I did a complete remake of the song Believe from the David Bruce & Funkestra album "Collide". My Co-Producer James (Jamie) Stoffa, JLS Audio and I agreed, "We must have a cello on this song". Jamie noted he had cello plugins we could use however, they can’t easily emulate the beauty and depth of the real deal.
So, where in all @#$%! does one find a great cellist in a short amount of time? Well, after a few Google searches, I found GigSalad; a musician for hire site where you can book a musician at competitive rates. They provide you multiple bids and profiles, performance clips for review. I listened to a few (all were good) however, one stood out; Yamilet Trujillo.
Yamilet and I probably had two text exchanges. I sent her the rough track and a few words of direction. She arrived early and was ready to go to work. Jamie and I did the normal powering up however, after that, it was all Yamilet. She added pure icing on the cake with a cello performance that left us in awe.
You can hear her beautiful talent on the track Believe.