Artist/Producer Collaboration Achieves Career-Altering Benefits
By Karla Sinclair, October 2018
As a music lover and someone newly fascinated by the music production process, I found this VoyageATL profile about Atlanta composer Marc Lawson interesting as I had recently spoken with Eric Tunison of Groove Tunes Studios in Alpharetta, GA to learn about the music recording process.
He shared with me his experiences with several of his clients as a producer and engineer. Hearing scratch tracks compared to the final mastered tracks, and the process and stories behind them, was fascinating for me. With over 30 years’ experience as producer and engineer, Eric has a wealth of knowledge and stories to share. I learned how the close collaboration and trust between the artist and producer is key to the success of the finished recording.
In the VoyageATL profile, Marc Lawson talked about his career path, and how a particular producer had opened his ears to a new path as a composer and producer of film and orchestral music. I was able to confirm that Eric was the producer Marc mentioned in the profile.
Indulging my curiosity to learn more about this particular recording project with Marc, Eric told me more. Here is what I learned.
Marc hired Eric in 2011 to work with Groove Tunes on his second EP of four new original songs. The EP Another Night Alone was subsequently released in 2012. The fateful song with a string quartet was called Give Me A Sign.
"Up to that point, Marc's songs had been primarily piano, guitar and drum-based arrangements," Eric told me. "On one particular song, however, I ‘heard’ a string quartet. I had some musicians in mind, and Marc was agreeable. I sent the musicians the lead sheets and rough tracks to assist them in writing their strings parts. Marc attended the recording session and was very pleased with the sound, and the string quartet earned a major role in the arrangement.“
As Marc described in the VoyageATL profile, the addition of the strings opened his mind to composing orchestral music and music for movie sound tracks. And he hasn’t looked back.
"I’m inspired by whatever I feel about the music,” producer Eric told me, “and I’ll suggest ideas to my clients to see if they agree. I also love classical music so I was familiar with how string quartet arrangements can work nicely within popular music productions.”
Bottom line: The contributions of a producer have a direct impact on not only the actual recording, but they can also help the artist gain a wider perspective of what is possible for them, including taking their music in a completely different direction and opening up a new future for them.