• How did you get your knowledge in music production
  • Started by Katze Konigsberg
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« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:00:42 by Katze Konigsberg »
Hello :)

As some of you know, I am a Singer Songwriter who just started recording my own songs. (especially with the help of this forum!  :D) I think I am getting there, even when it seems a far way to go   ;D
I have been interested in music production a long time and my interest is getting bigger and bigger. I want to learn a lot more about it. But the more youtube videos i watch, the more i wonder, how do people become really good in this field? If you try to teach yourself in music producion via videos, it can be confusing and unclear.

So I want to ask you guys: How did you get your knowledge in music production? Did you teach yourself? Did you visit courses? Did you have people around you helping you? etc...I am curious about different ways and maybe your anwers can help me in my own process and find a way. I am looking forward to your answers. ::headphone:: ::)  :D

Katze Königsberg  ::heart::


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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 21:10:34
I recorded my first song on a cheap cassette recorder around 1976 and I have just kept at it since then from 4-tracking through to protools. Repetition will always lead to improvement but some instruction might have made things go faster. There are forums that specialize in the engineering side and I have been active that way....but that path is fraught with confusion and misdirection.

The most radical improvement that I experienced was when I partnered up with someone with much more experience than me for a couple of years. I learned many tracking and mixing tricks from him but I also learned that what I had discovered on my own through trial and error was solid.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 22:18:51
thanks @Leonard Scaper, that is such a cool story!! thanks for sharing. yeah, very good when you have somebody by your side who can show you how things work!!  :) 8)


Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 20:01:47
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 20:03:31 by Vince »
I wish you'd get more replies to your thread @Katze Konigsberg, there does seem to be a lot of audiophiles on tap in this forum.

I think it really depends on what your going for, in other words I believe you play live, so I would think you would need a CD to provide to venues as a sample of what you do. An over produced sound could lead to problems when you show up with your guitar and the boss is wondering where the rest of your band is. :)

I'm not sure what music publishers are looking for, if your trying to sell a song.  I believe though it would have to be something more than a general idea and would have to grab their attention in the first few seconds.  Kind of like what business marketing calls an "Elevator Speech" (or lift for my English friends)

I think sampling and EDM would be very hard, but for a basic decent recording a good mic would seem to me to be important.

All of my recordings are just what I would call vanity recordings - something I just like to do for my own enjoyment.  If I was younger and believed or was told I had real talent, I think I would save my money and invest in a real studio time and at least some B team musicians. I would chose someone who specialized in my type of music (not a Hip-Hop producer for a Folk Singer)

When I record a song, I play it through some $20 (American) plug in speakers because if it sounds good through them it probably sounds OK through better stuff.

I know it doesn't really answer your question, but your not really alone learning technology,

Vince




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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 20:50:07
Ummmm that's an interesting question @Katze Konigsberg.

It was only relatively recently with the advent of DAW's on computers that all the ideas that I've knocked about for years whilst children were growing up etc. could start to be recorded at all. So although I've been doing music since the late 70's it's only really in the last 8-9 years that I've been messing around with trying to produce anything that I thought was half decent. I'm with @Vince, and no doubt others,  in that I'm doing it for the joy of creating something for my own enjoyment.

If you are familiar with technology (computers, audio stuff) then you have a real advantage nowadays I think. One of my best learning times is right now creating my 16.5 minute prog rock monster. I've learned so much about Cubase (my DAW) from just doing a really big project like this. I'm even talking to another guy on SoundCloud, who is a prog guy,  who is giving me pointers in the mixing stage. So really I think putting in the hours and trial and error are really important to understand your equipment and what you can get out of it.  Also if you can find somebody doing a similar thing to you then it helps to share your knowledge with others.

Many great albums in the past was created on quite crude equipment so I think it's important you don't get discouraged if you haven't got the biggest and the best.  It seems obvious that a proper course in music production would give you a solid grounding in the field. Having said that, I watch lots of stuff on YouTube and there are several channels that have brought me up to speed quite quickly.

I think it really depends upon what sort of learner you are. You might like the structure of a formal course or you might be somebody who likes pottering about, learning stuff in a more organic way.
Trying to find another musician, songwriter who lives locally to you might also be an option. As well as collaboration, they might have production skills they are willing to share.




 






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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 00:54:43
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 01:06:07 by Mar T. »
Hello :)

As some of you know, I am a Singer Songwriter who just started recording my own songs. (especially with the help of this forum!  :D) I think I am getting there, even when it seems a far way to go   ;D
I have been interested in music production a long time and my interest is getting bigger and bigger. I want to learn a lot more about it. But the more youtube videos i watch, the more i wonder, how do people become really good in this field? If you try to teach yourself in music producion via videos, it can be confusing and unclear.

So I want to ask you guys: How did you get your knowledge in music production? Did you teach yourself? Did you visit courses? Did you have people around you helping you? etc...I am curious about different ways and maybe your anwers can help me in my own process and find a way. I am looking forward to your answers. ::headphone:: ::)  :D

Katze Königsberg  ::heart::

Hey that's a great question @Katze Konigsberg , thanks for asking! I'll tell you a bit about my journey:
I started recording my own songs in my teenage years on a double cassette deck that had the possibility to 'add' sound while playing cassette A and recording the sound of A + for example a mic input on cassette B.
I had a small handheld drumcomputer from sony (this one: https://www.catawiki.com/catalog/miscellaneous/manufacturers-publishers/sony/3212727-sony-drum-pad-drp-2) .
So first I recorded the drum.. Then the keyboard (I had a cheap yamaha PSS-270 keyboard (haha now I'm typing and I searched, here it is:

), that kind of sound AND I remember the demo song 'Just the way you are' so well haha.
So that's already 2 dub sessions for the music.
Then I recorded a a harmony vocal and finally the leadvocal. Everytime you used the output of the previous session as input for the next, the tape hiss/noise got worse, that's why I did the leadvocals at the last step.
Ajusting the volume of the individual tracks after recording was impossible, the last version was always the end mix.
It forced to think before recording though, and I developed a basic feeling for how loud parts/tracks should be. The results were horrible. Unfortunately I don't have any material on cassette left (let alone a cassette player), would have loved to play that back now, yeeaaars later.

Around my 20's a friend of mine had an Atari ST homecomputer with Cubase (loaded from floppy) that could be used as a sequencer for MIDI parts and a Korg sound module (The O5RW: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Korg_05RW_front.jpg ) that produced way better sound than the keyboard I talked about above. And I could create full instrumental tracks (incl drums/bass, synths, piano, orchestration etc ) . I still used the dubble cassette deck for adding the vocals, but I only needed 2 record cycles:
Record instrumental + harmony voice , and finally use that recording to add the leadvocal. The results dramatically improved, mostly because I could control the volumes of all individual 'parts' of the instrumental and I made sure they were 'right' before starting to record the vocals.
I remember that gave some 'okay' results (and less tape noise as well).

Then later in my 20's I bought a PC with an audio interface that came with a light version of Cubase and the bigger brother of that Korg sound module. AND I used the computer to record the audio with a sennheiser dynamic mic. Well I have an example of one of these songs (it's in dutch, and rerecorded years later (when I'd learned to play guitar as well), and still has the MIDI notes in the piano and bass, I played (recorded) in my 20's). Here it is: https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/droomik

In my late 30's (I'd been in bands in my late 20's/30's) I built the attic 'music room' I have now. With Reaper as DAW, a midi piano, a few guitars, a midi drum kit, good VSTi plugins and a few good mics (large diaphragm condenser for vocals and 2 small diaphragm condenser mics for stereo recording my acoustic guitar). I'm in ICT for a living, so operating the DAW was no problem for me (and I had some experience in my 20's on the atari and the pc). And it's heaven haha. Everything is possible, the sky is the limit. So that's how I got where I am.

Now the important part imo is what you want to achieve. If you want to 'create' natural sounding production imo there's no need to go a lot furter than learning the basics. That would be:
-Think about how you're going to record and use the mics that best suit your vocal/guitar playing style (THE most important step imo).
Btw: Be absolutely sure the tracks don't 'clip' when you record.
-Try to choose a room to record in that doesn't reflect the sound (or at least doesn't reflect much sound). Avoid concrete cellars and bathrooms (unless you want that effect of course).
Better would be a room with a lot of curtains, and carpet.
-Creating a good balanced mix with the track faders
-Enhancing the stereo image by panning
-Using high pass filters on almost every track but the kick and bass track to filter out low-end 'rumble' that muddy up the mix otherwise
-EQ-ing frequencies that 'fight' with each other and clash in the frequency spectrum (you have to develop an ear for that)
-Enhancing the depth (room) by using reverb (sparingly)
-Compressing every track to just get rid of the 'really high peaks'
-Running the whole mix through a limiter to get the overall mix sound a bit louder (not toooo loud).

If you want to get mad and work with all crazy kind of effects to process tracks to make them sound completely different there's endless possibilities. But I'd stay out of that (in your case) and try to focus on the steps I just summed up to get the basics.
Even better: if you're working on a mix, you're always welcome to post the intermediate results here in the kitchen (in 'Songs for Review') and then ask for mixing/production advice (and of course try to be clear about what kind of sound are you trying to achieve, eg: a natural sounding record, an edm sound, a rock sound etc)..
I hope that helps a bit and that you had fun reading my (probably waaaaaay to enthousiastic, thus resulting in a lot of words) story..

I think it really depends on what your going for, in other words I believe you play live, so I would think you would need a CD to provide to venues as a sample of what you do. An over produced sound could lead to problems when you show up with your guitar and the boss is wondering where the rest of your band is. :)
;D ;D ;D @Vince haha

The most radical improvement that I experienced was when I partnered up with someone with much more experience than me for a couple of years. I learned many tracking and mixing tricks from him but I also learned that what I had discovered on my own through trial and error was solid.
A very useful tip from @Leonard Scaper as well imo @Katze Konigsberg ..

I think it really depends upon what sort of learner you are. You might like the structure of a formal course or you might be somebody who likes pottering about, learning stuff in a more organic way.
Trying to find another musician, songwriter who lives locally to you might also be an option. As well as collaboration, they might have production skills they are willing to share.
Ow yes, definately @MrBouzouki , good point!

Thanks all for helping @Katze Konigsberg out!
Cheers!
:mart:


Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 03:47:58
@Mar T.  A very interesting read  - those floppy disks seem like the stone age and yet not that long ago. You also reminded me about something I read - that a good mix starts with a good performance.

I've been using Studio One Artist - which has been very easy for me to use. My new MIDI came with Ableton Light which I can't seem to make heads or tails out of (an American expression indicating I am totally lost).

In the mean time I am learning patience and not to panic when things go wrong as they so often do,

Vince
 


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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 14:08:25
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 20:03:19 by Leonard Scaper »
@Mar T. ....excellent read about your journey.

Anybody who is just getting started recording and mixing their music should copy this and put it somewhere prominent in the studio for reference:

Now the important part imo is what you want to achieve. If you want to 'create' natural sounding production imo there's no need to go a lot furter than learning the basics. That would be:
-Think about how you're going to record and use the mics that best suit your vocal/guitar playing style (THE most important step imo).
Btw: Be absolutely sure the tracks don't 'clip' when you record.
-Try to choose a room to record in that doesn't reflect the sound (or at least doesn't reflect much sound). Avoid concrete cellars and bathrooms (unless you want that effect of course).
Better would be a room with a lot of curtains, and carpet.
-Creating a good balanced mix with the track faders
-Enhancing the stereo image by panning
-Using high pass filters on almost every track but the kick and bass track to filter out low-end 'rumble' that muddy up the mix otherwise
-EQ-ing frequencies that 'fight' with each other and clash in the frequency spectrum (you have to develop an ear for that)
-Enhancing the depth (room) by using reverb (sparingly)
-Compressing every track to just get rid of the 'really high peaks'
-Running the whole mix through a limiter to get the overall mix sound a bit louder (not toooo loud).



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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 18:03:17
fun thread this.... ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb:: @Leonard Scaper sounds like you may be relapsing into your excessive compression and limiter habits.....

and @Mar T. your journey is very similar to mine.....also started with the two taperecorders mixing back and fourth thing (i had one of those Philips Soundmixers...we two casette decks....you could speed up and slow down the tape somewhat..... ;D ;D ;D ;D, so the end step for me was speeding up the final mix a bit.....i thought that made it sound cooler, because faster, but it made the voices sound like singer was on helium  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

and then INDEED....@Mar. T...the ATARI ST!!!!!! multitrack syntheszizer recording!!!!...first Steinberg 24 (24 MIDI tracks!!!!) and then.....INDEED CUBASE!!! 48 tracks midi recording, pitching..delaying, copying...pasting...the songwriting addiction was complete, a full blown chronic addiction... 8) 8) 8) 8)

but back @Katze Konigsberg 's question, how did i learn to use this, and the current DAW etc.....i am a slow learner...but just had so much fun with the hobby i just kept trying things....and more importantly i had someone who showed me all of this and learned me his tricks......slowly... :P :P :P ...one by one.....and the good thing is.....he is still dong that  ;D ;D ;D ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::, thank you @budhabuilding  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::

so i agree with @MrBouzouki ....if you find someone who doesn't live too far away from you, who is really into the technology and software of recording....go and record something with him or her......look at what they do during the recording (and mixing) process, and when you hear something good or interesting happening, ask what it is they are doing.....really ...that way you understand and get all kinds of tips and new insights...

again...i take the opportunity here to say once more: THANKS @budhabuilding !!!!!!

me, myself, and Pie


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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 20:04:10
fun thread this.... ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb:: @Leonard Scaper sounds like you may be relapsing into your excessive compression and limiter habits.....

Who.....me??

 ;D


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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 23:20:58
Compression - a cautionary tale  ;)



Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #11 on: August 02, 2017, 10:35:53
this is how I learned and still learn

I get inspired by listing to music or watch concerts.
I make and create music a lot!!.
I search for inspiring sounds to make music.
I compare my own mix with other tracks i mixed and notice the differences.
I make from every mix I did a bounce so I can check it later
I compare my tracks to others tracks (but i make sure that if the other track is a mastered track to set this level lower)
If i want to compose loud oke but i never should mix loud (learned the hard way)
If I use a lot of plugins on a track, i reconsider every one of them if they are doing the job.
When i use extreme settings in plugins for subtle results, I reconsider.
I listen in between the sounds to listen to the silence...(more silence is more dynamics)
I make small subtle adjthe makes  should make the mix of the song work.
(Watch pensados place in the lair to ;D

It's all about leaning to listen.
Just set all my solo  music free at https://budhabuilding.bandcamp.com


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Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #12 on: August 02, 2017, 11:00:45
@budhabuilding

what do you mean by this, how does this work?

"I make from every mix I did a bounce so I can check it later"


Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #13 on: August 02, 2017, 21:10:55
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 21:17:42 by Katze Konigsberg »
Hello :)

Thanks so much for your answers!! @Mar T. : if someday you have enough of music, you should become an author and write novels or so  ;D
thanks for that long reply!! it was super interesting with the tapes.....wow, this sounds so awesome, even when the result was not satisfying in the end. And yeah, staying with the basics sounds like a plan!! Very good advice! hahaha and i think about getting some nice carpets hehe!!!

I loved cassettes  ::heart::

I guess @Leonard Scaper is right by saying, it would be good to have someone next to you who is into that stuff and who can show you bit by bit. @Dutchbeat s answer showed me, that i definately can take my own time with everything....that i do not have to stress out over it.... It is defiantely more inspiring when there is somebody who can help you.......i recognise that here too. When there is somebody who cares, like here in this forum, it is often much easier! the trial and error thing.....i will definately have to go with that too!!

@budhabuilding it is so great that you help dutchbeat!! often i recognize that people dont want to spread their knowledge or are too busy. this is really great of you. And thanks for the link! already watching!!

@Vince haha, good idea with the speakers!! So funny  :D and yeah, being authentic could be important. I was thinking about having a CD a lot. It would be really cool to have one.....but at the same time I think, I want to learn to produce my own sound. But I am always glad when producers like @Siobhan Dakay came along and helped me producing my songs. what a blessing. I also love to collaborate here!

@MrBouzouki: I have to admit, I dont like learning by myself....maybe that kept me away from courses and stuff.....so I guess this is the way: Finding people who can show me in person and explaining to me! This is also the way with the most fun I think!

Always great advice here!!! thanks everybody! ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
Katze  :D



Re: How did you get your knowledge in music production
Reply #14 on: August 02, 2017, 21:55:33
Hi @Dutchbeat

You don't have to start up thr daw to check and compare versions of your mix. Also to check the sketches..

Starting up the daw can take sometime if you use a lot kontakt librariess and east west libraries..

Hope this helps.
Greetings Hans aka Budha Building