I spent two days down in Bognor (home of Butlins and also the Push Community Recording Studio!) in June for pre production on my album with Steve Harding and Tom Mills (who'll be producing the album).
Pre production is basically the preparation needed before you start recording the album. Imagine cooking a meal(!!) you need to get the surfaces ready, you need to buy the ingredients and you need to work out a recipe for where you are heading. It's the same for an album. We spent many hours looking at songs I'd written- working on the struture of the songs, the lyrics, the melody, the tempo and the chords. We then started putting down guide tracks for the other instruments to play to. Steve and Tom were so helpful and encouraging when it came to working on the songs. They've both got great vision for how the songs can sound!
On the first day we looked at three songs I'd recently written- "The Stream", "We are Your Church" and "My Treasure". On the second day we looked at songs we had already recorded together "Jesus' Name", "The Father's Love" and "Fountain of Goodness". I found the second day tougher than the first. Trying to re-record songs to make them sound better than the originals is hard (not because they were amazing to start off with!!) but you get used to how tracks sound so re-inventing isn't easy.
To fit in with the electronica/ ambient sound the album is heading in we found it helpful to have reference tracks to listen to and simplify the chord strcuture in some of the songs too.
These two days were hard work but incredibly fruitful. I can really hear the songs starting to take shape and I now have a month before the next day of pre-production and in that time I'm setting myself the target of writing 4 brand new songs and 2 instrumental pieces for the album! Enough blogging- I'm off to write :)