Making an album, or even just one song/project can be a huge undertaking. Just like building a house, we can help you lay healthy foundations to ensure your walls and decorations wouldn’t crumble before putting the lot on display.

Pre-Production drafts blueprints from which your project can arise. ‘Winging it’ in the studio can at times be good enough, yet greatness is easily reachable when putting the horse before the carriage.

Pre-Prod Goals

  • Wish List of instruments, moods, etc.
  • Blueprint as per budget and availability.
  • Charts, structures, lyrics finalized.
  • Track backbones (Loop/Click, accompaniment, Vocal).
Production - Tracking

This is the part most are familiar with. A microphone with all the attention in the world. Ideally, we’d first we track the basics, ensure tight rhythm sections, proper anticipated dynamics, lay the skeleton of the work, bearing LOUD vs BIG in mind.

Music is food best appreciated when shared.

Pre-production is now underwhelmed, digging in tracks to a click, loop, and/or scratch tracks. Bands perhaps wouldn’t need pre-recorded material, being rehearsed enough to avoid a metronome ‘keeping them honest’.

For pop/rock formations, capturing the rhythm section is primordial. At E.L.M. we like everyone to play live, but only let mics loose on drums & bass, and maybe something more, to ensure natural dynamics and pushing/dragging.

All the prep and the hard work is paying off, the tracks are starting to flesh in the animal music is. Texture and shape begin to take form, guitars and keys are stacking up nicely, background vocals find their place effortlessly. Soon, music shall exhibit a will of its own, and your job as an artist will be to ‘let it roam’ within the corals of intended delivery.

Clean edits as you go, populate the sound-stage, and you’re almost ready for the sculpting phase of this process.



Space is the place, as you may have read. More often than not, tracks will agglutinate like noodles in a salad bowl. Time to dish out the scalpel, before going crazy at mix-down. Arrangement by vacuity earned the nickname ‘Swiss cheesing’, from the holes of sound left in tape/waveforms post-operation. (includes some fades, and structural edits like dropping drums or percussive ramps). As amusing as it sounds, this step defines your song’s direction to a greater degree than a mix itself. Remember, most of your sound comes from arrangements, and how sounds work together; mixing is only balance, contrast, and color correction.


This is the part most get excited about. Watching geeks twirl knobs on sexy mysterious gear is always an experience. So exciting in fact, that it can phagocytize the mission’s true focus. Mixing serves a purpose: providing clear interpretation. Each interaction on sound is an inherent degradation, even when \’pumping\’ harmonics within signal. The better engineers find way to do more with less; patching in every box in sight isn’t a method. Listening critically is.




The art of mixing involves asking pertinent questions regarding material. What is the endeavor’s primary message? How is it supported? Is it being cluttered? How efficient is/are the climax(es)? Re-iterate processes for each object descending observational arborescence, until  ready to sum the multi-track composition to a stereo (or multichannel) Pre-master.

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