Production Tutorial

Singer / Songwriter Production & Arranging

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19 Videos | Length: 1hr 34min 45sec
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Chapter 1 : Building Up the Arrangement

  • The Song 8:19

    The Song

    Learn what this series is about and hear the before and after versions of the song “Sticks and Stones” by Rex Strother.

  • Finding a Direction 4:37

    Finding a Direction

    Follow along as alternate feels and tempos are explored in order to determine what best suits the song.

  • Adding Acoustic Guitars 4:54

    Adding Acoustic Guitars

    The feel of this song so far seems to lend itself to either a picking/arpeggiated guitar part or a strumming approach. Why not use both?

  • Adding Electric Guitars 6:16

    Adding Electric Guitars

    Several different ideas and parts are added for potential use in the arrangement.

  • Making Some Decisions 5:09

    Making Some Decisions

    The piano and bass are re-programmed, and the drums re-recorded, to fit a more rock oriented direction.

  • New Breakdown 3:50

    New Breakdown

    A dramatic breakdown at the top of the third chorus is created to help emphasize the protagonist’s inherent tension and conflict.

  • More is Good 5:15

    More is Good

    The arrangement is augmented with some new brass and keyboard parts, along with some revised programming and editing of the bass and guitar parts.

  • Less is Better 4:37

    Less is Better

    After reflection and sober second thought, various elements are moved and removed, and the arrangement is shortened.

Chapter 2 : Vocal Tracks

  • Working with New Vocals 7:08

    Working with New Vocals

    Melodyne is used on a newly recorded lead vocal track to clean up phrasing and pitch.

  • Vocal Doubling 4:50

    Vocal Doubling

    See how Melodyne’s random deviation functions are used to create a thickening effect on the lead vocal.

  • Creating Vocal Harmonies 4:15

    Creating Vocal Harmonies

    Selected bits of other vocal takes are used either for unison doubling, or transposed to create vocal harmonies.

  • Adding Female Vocals 3:15

    Adding Female Vocals

    A remotely recorded female vocal track is brought into the project and edited.

Chapter 3 : The Mix

  • Drums 4:43


    Take a look at the routing and plug-ins used on the multi track drum mix.

  • Bass & Keys 3:47

    Bass & Keys

    Hear how various plug-ins are used to subtly enhance these tracks.

  • Acoustic Guitars 3:51

    Acoustic Guitars

    Listen as two different EQs are compared on the acoustic guitar sub group.

  • Electric Guitars 5:32

    Electric Guitars

    Discover the unique tone shaping possibilities created by simultaneously subgrouping electric guitars to a stereo and a mono bus.

  • Vocals 5:00


    Multiple EQs, compressors, and delays are used to create a warm and rich vocal sound that cuts nicely in the mix.

  • Master Bus & Automation 3:46

    Master Bus & Automation

    See where automation is used and how some plug-ins are used to sweeten the full mix.

  • Conclusions & Final Playback 5:41

    Conclusions & Final Playback

    A quick review of some of the arrangement’s defining elements followed by playback of the finished song.

Product Overview

Are you a singer / songwriter who wants to create complete songs? Join Eli Krantzberg in this in-depth video tutorial series as he shows you how to take a song idea, arrange it, expand it into a complete band production, and mix it down to share with the world!

Eli starts by introducing you to both the raw song idea and the completed mix of “Sticks and Stones” by Rex Strother, the song that Eli uses for this series. Eli then shows you how to expand your initial idea, experimenting with feels and tempos until you find what best suits the song.

After that, Eli starts to build the arrangement by adding acoustic and electric guitar ideas, and shows you how the decisions you make with various parts can affect the entire direction of the song.

Next, Eli tackles the vocal tracks, demonstrating how to use Melodyne to clean up phrasing and pitch, as well as to thicken the lead vocal. He also shows you how to create vocal harmonies and import and edit female vocal tracks to your project.

Time to mix! Eli now begins the mix with the drums, explaining the routing and plug-ins he uses on the multi-track drum mix, and then moves onto how he enhances the bass and keyboard tracks.

Eli now demonstrates how he shapes the tone of the guitars during mix down, and shares his vocal processing secrets. Then he sweetens the entire mix with automation, and then reviews the series and plays back the completed song.

If you’re new to songwriting and arranging, or are looking for new ideas to make your productions pop, watch “Singer / Songwriter Production & Arranging” today!

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