These Penn Musicians Show You How To Record an Album (VIDEO)

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A year ago, last August, we started a new exclusive DT monthly Vlog series documenting the life of 2 Penn graduates who are embarking on a music career, so that others can learn from their experiences.

In this 9th episode (and after living in Austin now for about a year), Ben Naecker (C’09, Water Polo) and Blake West (W’09, Jazz Combos) explain what it takes to record an album and actually show us by bringing us into the studio as they record an album for a great singer named Jessy Dorsett.

If you’re a musician wanting to go professional, get their advice and guidance after the jump!

As you’ll see in the video below, Ben and Blake explain

  • Preproduction (writing the songs)
  • Recording
  • Mixing
  • Mastering

Then watch them go into the studio to record Jessy Dorsett:

  • see the control room
  • find out what took 7 hours to record on day 1
  • what they did on day 2 and how awesome Jessy sounds just from the few words we hear her sing
  • how much it cost to produce 5 songs (for players, recording, mixing, mastering, and pressing

What does it mean for Blake and Ben to be “producing” this album for Jessy?

Per Blake,

“Producing can be a nebulous term in music, and means different things depending on who you talk to. For us, on this album… you can think of it like being the director of a movie, except with music. We were guiding the overall artistic direction. It meant we will be credited with writing, arranging, and playing on the album for each song. I played keys, and Ben played guitar. We were NOT recording engineers, or mixing engineers. We also took care of organization stuff, as in, it was me who called all the session players, and wrote out charts for each song, and organized the rehearsal we had, and I was calling the studio to buy time, etc.”

Next month check back when Blake and Ben share what the recording sounds like raw versus their final mixed and mastered track.

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