No matter what it is that you do, it is always good to be well prepared. Although there are many benefits and uses for the pre-production process, the following are four benefits that will save you time and money when the time comes for you to record.
As a songwriter you spend a lot of time creating and thinking about your songs. So much so that you can form strong opinions, both good and bad, about certain parts. In pre-production you subject your songs to the unbiased opinions of others. By subjecting your songs to a feedback process you are allowing your audience to express what they like and dislike about your songs. Giving you the opportunity to shape your songs into something that you know your audience will love.
Efficiency is the main benefit in the recording process. By the time you step into the recording studio, you have songs that are well arranged and have gone through a thorough feedback process. You may even also have potential scratch tracks from the pre-production recordings which can be used as guides. Having these would allow the engineer to make better microphone selection and processing choices which will in turn give you a better recording and speed up the mixing process. More on that later.
All depending on how well your pre-production was executed, this is a step that could be virtually eliminated. Pre-pro. is in essence practice that is specifically focused on the recording. So it makes perfect sense that if you are well rehearsed, you make fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes means less editing. Simple right?
As an engineer, I am always thinking about the finished mix or the end result. I have often told my students that the best place to manipulate the sound is at the source. By having scratch tracks the engineer is able to focus on how the tonality of the instruments fit together, which microphone compliments the instrument and the overall mix. This allows him to make better processing decisions prior to mixing. With this being done, the engineer can focus more on creating an interesting mix as opposed to fixing things in the mix.
There are many more benefits to a thorough pre-production process, these are just the more immediate benefits that you will see on your budget and in your recordings.