Last week I came across the pre-production demo of Alone I Walk’s Screaming from their record Wander we did together and they were kind enough to let me share this. These days I do pre-production for everything but there was definitely a time where I didn’t and I often wish I could have those projects back because I think we could have done better if we did. I think it is absolutely essential to creating a polished and professional sounding project. I should preface this by saying, this is a very mild example of how different a finished production sounds against a demo and it’s still pretty drastic. Here’s the first pass at recording this song.
This is how the song came to me. It’s pretty finished. The chorus is catchy, nothing is overly repetitive and there’s some really nice stuff going on throughout the song to keep it moving like the backups in the second verse and the lyric change in the second chorus. The singer sounds like he’s in a decent spot and the tempo feels right. Here’s the final master we recorded a few months later.
That’s a pretty big improvement to my ears. The band’s lead vocalist had his tonsil’s removed between the demo and the final, he sounds much stronger here than on the demo for sure. Obviously, there is an entire layer of electric guitars now accompanying the band. I was very reluctant to do this because the band has never featured electric guitar in their shows but from a production standpoint, it fills this song out much better without it becoming a central element. There’s a pair of reverse cymbals at the start of the track and going into the bridge. There’s a reverse snare accenting the snare pickup going into the last chorus and the line’s from the first chorus are flown into the last chorus as an extra element. Like I said, this isn’t really even that great of an example of how big of a difference pre-production can make and still the difference is quite obvious. TLDR: preproduction makes a big difference. If you’re serious about making a recording that you will be proud of for years to come pre-production is essential.
Alone I Walk’s new album Wander is out now and can be listened to here.