With a growing interest in recording church worship albums by worship teams all over the country, we thought it would be a good idea for you to hear from a production that specializes in church music production. Treehouse has experience working with artists such as One Republic, Katy Perry, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Ben Cantelon, Audio Adrenaline, All Sons and Daughters, among many others. Here’s Jared Rich, the founder, offering his inside look.
WL mag: Tell us a little about yourself … what is your experience in church music ministry?
JR: I have been apart of music in the church for as long as I can remember. From a little kid sitting in on midweek choir practice with my mom, all the way to being a worship pastor at Mariners Church for a season.
I played bass guitar most Sunday mornings in “big church” all through Jr. high and high school. I also led worship in high school and college ministry.
I have been lucky enough to be mentored by a few great worship pastors in my early 20s such as Dr. Bill Dogterom, Carlos Fernandez, Tim Timmons, and Caleb Clements, and am honored to call them dear friends.
WL mag: What made you decide to start Treehouse and how long have you been in business?
JR: I’ve been working for the last five years as a writer, producer and engineer in Los Angeles and Orange County and have been blessed to work with many talented artists, musicians, and producers.
Recently, I have been asked by a many people in the church to play on, and or help, produce and engineer their projects. During that time, I would come along side the artist, assist them in their project, and give input to help streamline the process.
After doing this for a while, I felt the Lord was leading me to launch my own company. This company would partner with worship pastors and help them get their songs to their congregations outside of the weekend worship service.
WL mag: Why do you feel it is important for worship leaders to write songs for their communities?
JR: Each congregation experiences their own unique seasons. Worship leaders can help their community in expressing their feelings toward God through prayerful worship. It is also important because a congregation can remember and reflect back on past seasons. Songs are a great altar of remembrance to remind us of what God has done and will continue to do.
WL mag: How does the Treehouse business model differ from other studios/production services?
JR: Treehouse Productions is a team of professional producers, musicians, and worship leaders, joining together to assist the body of Christ and deliver a high quality digital product for a very low price. We don’t let quality suffer just because the price tag is affordable.
Our industry professional producers own and operate their own studios. This helps keep our costs down because our team believes very strongly in the vision of Treehouse and has agreed to special rates in order to reach one common vision. We want to do all we can to give churches new prayers to sing thus, proclaiming the kingdom of God. So rather than having everyone come to one place over the course of a few days, we spread it out. The treehouse team is in constant communication with each other and does their work at their studio and sends it back to the main studio for mixing and mastering. All of this is done with a very streamlined approach, saving time and money. This gives you the product you desire at a great price.
The video on my website does a great job of explaining what we do. Find it here.
WL Mag: When you are working on a worship project, what are the most important things to keep in mind?
JR: The most important thing is to always remember that when we are writing songs for the Church, we are giving people prayers to sing. We need to stay true to what God’s Word proclaims. Giving people clear and sound doctrine to pray and sing is the hope people need.
WL mag: Walk us through the recording process. What is a mix, master, and why are they important?
JR: Recording, first of all, is arrangement of music and performance. If those are bad, no amount of gear can save it. So, we at Treehouse focus on and capture those.
A good mix will balance the elements in a way that furthers the arrangement and caters to the song. Mixing is usually best when it either subtracts extra unnecessary information, or adds the smallest amount of enhancement. Wisdom and experience most often prevail here, and some objectivity doesn’t hurt.
Mastering is the final word, and perhaps the most important. The immediate perception of a track and its capability to function in the largest amount of environments to the most amount of people is the essence of mastering.It is definitely best left to masters of the trade.
WL mag: I have a few songs written and I want to make a recording. What should I do first?
JR: Show them to someone else. Play them on acoustic guitar or piano for someone and see how they react. If you have a good song people will react to it. Music is a very contagious and powerful thing. Someone listening to your song, even if they aren’t musical, can be a great gauge to see how your song translates to others.
After that I would do whatever I could to record a very simple version. Even if it is on your phone or just one mic into your computer. Then listen to it and show it to some of your musical friends and get some feedback.
Then, I suggest partnering with a producer. It could be someone you know or someone you don’t. It should, however, be a person who has recorded before and understands how to achieve your vision of the songs. A good producer will elevate your material to a level that you couldn’t achieve on your own.
Music will almost always be better when a couple people are involved vs a one-man band. Collaboration and bouncing ideas and creativity off one another will make the song stronger.
WL Mag: As someone who has worked in the music industry as a touring and session musician, producer, and worship leader, what advice do you have for our readers who are writing songs?
JR: The thing that I hear most often when listening to songs is a great music track but not a strong melody. Melody is everything.
Many people tend to spend more time on a “cool” track and then sing the first thing that pops in their head. Occasionally, you end up with a great end result. However, if you spend more time on the melody and hook of the song, you are more likely to have a better product. Let the chords, beat & tempo come as a result of that melody.
Creating a high-quality product is the goal of Treehouse Productions. While Treehouse is a production company, our ultimate purpose is to see God glorified through all things we create. Not only is Treehouse a professional business, we also place relationships at a high priority. We work with you and for you in order to reach your vision.