In this week's Audio Premium content, West Latta completes his excellent series on songwriting.
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As mentioned in Parts 1 and 2, the importance of scratch tracks can’t be underestimated. In my production work, the scratch tracks form the framework or spine of the song. Everything else must be built around the scratch tracks, because those are the elements that really need to stand out.
For this particular tune, there are two primary scratch tracks – vocals and piano. Since I can’t easily track the vocals without reference, I’ve started by sketching out the complete piano line for the tune, broken into sections.
I spent a good while listening for the right piano sample, and in the end I settled on a simple Yamaha Pop Piano setting from Logic’s EXS24 sampler. By most standards it isn’t a particularly great instrument sample, but it had the exact right feel for the type of tune I was writing, and it underscored an important point: Do the best with what you have.
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