6 things you need to know before producing your first album

Producing an album can be a scary process if you don’t know what you are doing. It can also get expensive without looking at the bigger picture.

In this post, are 6 things to consider when producing your first album.

  1. How many songs are going to put on the album

The first thing you need to determine is how many songs you want on the album. This will affect the production process as well as the final song selection. This can be decided by a number of factors.
How many songs do you plan to write before picking the final set? Will it be 15, to pick 8. 10 to pick the best 6. Or 30 – 40 songs to pick 12.

Another factor is, how long you want the album to last. 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes to an hour. You can use this to break down how many songs you will need to reach this goal.  This can contribute to the overall experience for your listeners.

The final factor is how long do you plan to spend on producing the album. If your timeline is short don’t do a lot of songs. If you’re working on a longer timeline then you can do whatever you want.

  1. What style of music are you going for?

This will determine how you promote your music, and the fans you want to target. A question to ask yourself is,  what is the genre are you working with? Could it be reggae, hip-hop, pop, EDM, country music, soca, and others. This will help narrow your focus and make your writing process easier. It should also blend with your musical brand and sound.

Identifying the genre you are doing helps to narrow the focus for where you will perform live, and the types of events you will do to maximize on the promotional aspect.
You don’t want to perform at a reggae festival singing country music. Unless you blend country with reggae.

  1. Which producer(s )do  you plan to work with

Now that you know what sound you’re going for, who is the best person to help you achieve that. This is the time you where you start to look for producers to work with. Not all producers are the same. Some work with specific types of music.

The other option is working with a band. If you have a band that can play the music you want you can direct them to achieve that.

The last option is buying beats. This involves purchase premade instrumentals from producers and writing and recording your songs over them.

  1. Where do you plan to do the recording

Do you plan to record all the songs at home? That’s if you have a home studio. This will work if you get tracks premade or buy beats and have a home studio to do all the recording.

The next option is to rent studio time and do everything there. This can get expensive really quickly if not managed properly. But you’ll get access to a variety of equipment that the studio has. That’s if its a commercial facility.

The final option is to record everything at the producer’s studio. This is great because the cost for recording will be built into the cost to produce the song. In the long run, would work out cheaper.

  1. Who is going to mix and master the album

Do you plan to work with an external engineer to mix and master the album? Well, you will have to consider costs, depending on the engineer you want to work with. the end should result in high-quality mixes. The downside is that if the engineer is well booked, chances are it may delay your project. The producer should advise you on that.

Some producers mix and master as well. So when choosing your producer, ask if they mix as well as master.

The next part of the process is choosing a mastering engineer. They will put the final touches on your album before you release the entire project for sale. Choose carefully because this will make or break your album.

  1. How much money you plan to spend on producing the album

How much money do you plan to spend on the entire album? At this point, costs should be worked out.  All the details like studio time to do recording, mixing and mastering and also how much the musicians charge to play the backing tracks. Look at the producer’s cost as well.

Once you know all these costs, you can decide how you will approach the album production process. It will also help to make a budget, and you should stick to it, and see where you can save money.


Taking the time to plan out your album can make the process easier. It will also help you save time and money, hence creating a set that best represents you.

Here’s a quick way to write new songs

There is no formula to make music. But as for productivity we all need a quick way to reference ideas and jot down parts to use later down in our song arrangement. With that said creating song blocks is a sure way to do so.

Have a list of ideas

Write down a list of ideas you would want to turn into songs. This can be a great way to get stimulate the brain. If you have ideas already great you can skip to the next step.

Convert the ideas into 4 or 8 bar blocks

Why? Picture this you get an idea for a new song but have multiple concepts you want to try out. Instead of trying to pick the perfect one why not just write them all. Write concepts that can be used as a verse or chorus for that particular idea. You can mix and match them later but as long as you get your idea out in a block that can be useful. Like a four bar block that can be used as part of a verse or chorus.

How long should you spend on each block? That depends how comfortable you are with what you have. If what you have  sounds good to you have you dancing in your studio forgetting everything else around. Then you know that your complete. Keep in mind that you don’t have to overcomplicate things. Get all your ideas out as quickly as possible. After that you can spend all the time in the world putting the track together.

Can this work for producers?

Yes. Start by creating a basic drum pattern to jam to get some ideas for your track. Playing to a one bar loop is kind of uninspiring. I know for me that’s kind of boring. But what if you can create an eight bar loop, complete with different drum fills to start you on your journey.

In order to move fast while creating beats is to get all your ideas out at quickly as possible. So How do you get that done? By recording in four(4) to eight(8) bar blocks.

Why? A Basic chorus is typically eight bars long. So is verse. So to get a basic sketch of what that will look like you can use this as a starting point.

So what’s so great about doing that? If you love music like I do, I want to get that next masterpiece out of my head before I lose the vibe and worse forget totally what I wanted to do.

So how do you go about getting that done? start with one section at a time. Have a basic drum track to work with. Then build around that. If you want to play a piano or guitar first to start off the session then do so. Whatever you start with is your foundation. Having a solid foundation will give you the kick you need to get started to compete the beat.


Working in blocks is a fast way to get your ideas down as quickly as possible.  You don’t have to over complicate things just get your ideas down and edit them later into a complete song.