Inside the Box with Joe Albano: The Singer/Songwriter
In the heyday of the analog recording era, music production was the domain of the traditional recording studio, with its inventory of expensive high-end recording equipment and its reliance on professional engineers to run it all. The project studio revolution changed all that. The shift to DAW-based production transformed the industry, and no one was more affected by this than the singer/songwriter. Thanks to the availability of reasonably priced high-quality tools, the lone creative can now wear all the hats and deliver pro-level recordings suitable for direct distribution. Here we’ll explore some of the specific challenges faced by the independent singer/songwriter.
The traditional singer/songwriter approach was to write songs, record simple, self-accompanied demos, and then submit these to labels for deals, or to artists for song placements. This model changed in the DAW era. Now, fresh talent comprises beat makers, arrangers, and producers as well. Instead of starting with lyrics, melodies and hooks, these artists build up songs from loops and grooves, so they’re actually shopping feels and arrangements that (often very specifically) contextualize their lyrics and melodies.