How Do Musicians and Producers Create Albums?

Quora
The best answer to any question.
April 2 2014 11:38 AM

How Do Musicians and Producers Create Albums?

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Steve Aoki, DJ, producer:

saoki

Advertisement

I always start with the music first, and then I generally have a wish list of what singers I can imagine on a particular song. I also want to try new stuff, too. For example, the song I wrote with Snoop is a Reggae-Dubstep record, which I never write. It’s totally not what you would expect, but I wanted to try it out. So, I wrote a general concept and sent it to Snoop. He sent me his vocals, I re-wrote to his vocals, and then I fleshed it out. That’s essentially the process with every singer I work with.

Sometimes, we’re more hands-on. With Empire of the Sun, I wrote a version I could play in the club, then I got Luke Steele in the studio with me. We came up with the song writing structure for the vocals and how it would fit for our worlds combined. He wrote instrumentation and analog synths, then I came back and changed it up even more, and now it’s in a place I’ve never seen or heard before. I call it our “Electronic Dance Music Rhapsody.” It’s a “Bohemian Rhapsody” for dance music. I find this process exciting because I would have never gotten the song to the point it is at without him. It’s a true collaboration. I love working with singers who have musical sense and knowledge but can also play instruments.

Though I usually write the music first, I sometimes use a different process where I’ll give a singer a raw beat and have him or her sing different lines over and over again in the booth. Then, I’ll find one loop, and I’ll focus on that eight-bar section and build a song out from just the vocals. I find that when you can work with someone from scratch, which is what I did with Control Freak, you come up with something entirely different. I wrote a beat I thought he would like, but it didn’t really work, so we started from scratch. I wrote a bare beat and a few different rhythms to it. He was getting inspired off those rhythms and started writing a song, just top lines, then I wrote the melodic structure under his vocal and started sound designing all the synths and the base and deciding which drums to use. It was awesome.

More questions on Music Industry:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.