Album Sequencing: Getting Started
Before you even consider mixing and mastering your album you should think about your album sequencing. How the album is laid out will define the audience and their listening experience. A loud, up beat song followed by a melancholy ballad might not mesh well. In fact, it may drive fans away from certain songs. If the listening session doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable to the vibe and the ears it may cause listeners to only listen to the well-known songs. However, album sequencing that is well thought out can create a story like adventure for fans. This creates higher engagement and interest and also helps your success on streaming platforms. It is known that charts monitor “streaming equivalent albums” and the right sequence can assure you’ll be on the right path.
Album Sequencing: The Basics
First and foremost, you want to plan ahead. If you are releasing an album’s worth of material, you should absolutely have the track list ahead of time. Unfortunately, not everybody has this luxury as project deadlines come up or perhaps a song that is added late might fit the project better. However, ideally you want your songs to flow as well as possible within their arrangement. Additionally, often times on albums, during the mixing and mastering process, songs can bleed into each other to give a smooth listening experience.
Unless you are a well-known artist is probably best to start your album off with your best song. Your most popular song will catch ears and eyes and draw listeners in. Avoid skits to start the album, only certain artists can get away with this and until you’re at that point in your career it is best to avoid gimmicks.
Spend some time and go through your favorite albums. What makes the album sequencing on them a great listening experience? Take notes and apply them to your own project. Drawing a chart based on intensity or dynamics might help you creating a visual flow so you can figure out what your best approach is. Ultimately, this all comes down to preference and you should want to make your album as enjoyable for your fans as possible.