Would You Enter A Recording Studio Without Pre-Production?

By Anthony De Filippis

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A business plan will be an outline of your goals and include the practical methods you will take to achieve them.

I swear if you answered yes to that question than I am going to call bullshit!

I won’t fight you on it – I mean, each to their own! – although the point I am making here is that you as a musician already know the importance of the pre-production process. That importance being to get your arrangement locked in prior to entering the recording studio so that you don’t end up with recording costs blown out your ass.

With regards to pre-production, running your band or other creative outlet is no different from running a business.

So now that we have that established – here is the thing: you always need a fucking plan!

In this case – a business plan!

A business plan will be an outline of your goals and include the practical methods you will take to achieve them. In a very similar way to how pre-production serves as the outline of your recording, a business plan is where you take your vision in its most simple form and plan out how you will build the business around that vision over time.

Sounds simple? Well, if I am being honest, business planning takes a truck-load of effort. But business planning gets us going like a saucy riff so here are the 3 most important things your business plan must cover!

1. Decide on the Arrangement!

During pre-production, you would typically decide on which instruments come in where, what they will perform and how long they will perform for. As all musicians know, it can be these simple layers that could make or break your next hit!

Your business plan is no different! Broadly speaking your business plan will cover all aspects of your operation including outlines of:

  • Who are your key persons and what do they do day to day to ensure the success and continuity of your band (your guitarist will always ensure you are playing at max volume … no doubt)
  • Who is taking care of different functions – i.e. marketing, finances, admin – how much does it cost and how much can you actually afford?
  • Where you are at the time of writing your business plan and where you want to go. This is simply referred to as your vision.

2. Determine the Tempo!

Trying to dial in a mix for a track recorded at the wrong tempo can always be a righteous head fuck and is a common reason for artists ditching tracks altogether. Time and money wasted.

Your business plan should set the pace for your business. Something that vibes nicely so that all members of the band can really get in the groove! In this case, the perfect tempo will ensure you are progressing day to day without taking on too much to the point where you either burn yourself out or burn all your cash too quickly.

A simple timeline with some minor and major milestones will do the trick – remember this is a plan after all!

3. Create Markers!

Most recording software have a form of marker system that allows you to create reference points in a track for a variety of different reasons. Your tech would have used markers in previous sessions if you were testing backing vocals in different sections of songs.

Benchmarking your business is not that much different. Simply put, setting benchmarks determines what kind of numbers your business must hit to succeed in your market. You will then revisit these benchmark numbers periodically and compare what numbers you have achieved against those that you benchmarked which will then allow you to determine if anything needs to change – for better or worse!

Having a rock-solid plan can mean the difference between being able to make a living as a rockstar and being a weekend warrior with a day job for eternity.

Making a start on your business plan may seem tedious and daunting so we suggest taking it one step at a time! If you find this to be too overwhelming why not get in touch with us for a quick 30-minute meeting so we can help get you started today!

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