Pre-production refers to all the steps that artists take to prepare before they go into the studio to record their song or album. At the pre-production stage, we will listen to the song and make suggestions about changing the arrangement or instrumentation (e.g., replacing an electric bass with an upright bass for a rockabilly song). In some cases, pre-production may involve recording the songs so that the producer and the band can hear how the arrangement and performance sounds. This pre-production recording may lead the band to modify the song and its arrangement.
At its core, pre-production is simply making sure that the song is as good as it can be before the artist sets foot in the studio so that they arrive prepared
Tracking is the act of recording audio to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Tracking audio is primarily the role of the Audio Engineer. This is when the our role is most important. We work side by side with the artists while they play or sing their part and coach them on how to perform it in a way that will best convey the emotion of the song and how to get the best technical accuracy (e.g., intonation). In some cases we will even provide a backup vocal or play an instrument if that’s the sound that we need to bring the song to the next level. Even within the tracking phase, the idea of constantly trying to make the song one step better is always at the forefront of their mind.