Finished Is BETTER Than Perfect

“Lifes a dance, you learn as you go”

Recording, like any process that is both technical and creative, is a state-of-mind thing. Any single aspect of the process has the capability of being either a launch-ing pad or a stumbling block to better records. Experience brings a sense of pro- portion and circumspect “big picture” awareness that is hard to get from reading web forums and eq recipes.

It is important to work fast. Finished is always better than perfect. Always. In more ways than one. For one thing, you will change your mind about things as the recording develops. There are a thousand steps along the way, and if you get too stuck on one, you lose your inspiration and sense of proportion, you’ll get frustrated and your ears will start to burn out, and you will start to hate the song and the sound.

Recording Preparation and Studio Organization

It is really important to have an organized studio. Set aside a day for this, and it will save you weeks in the coming year, not to mention immeasurable inspiration killing frustration. You need to make it easy for yourself to be creative, and hard for yourself to get distracted.

Recording Preparation and Studio Organization

Organized is a different thing from appearing tidy. Scoop up all your cables and tuners and notes and headphones and stuff them in a drawer and the room will appear tidy. And you will spend an hour of your next session untangling everything and finding what you need. Hide all your patch cables and tie them up in bundles behind the desk and things will appear tidy, and it will take you an hour to get behind there and patch in a “B” set of speakers or a new midi controller.

Pre Mastering Tips

Mastering is a completely, completely different animal, and I’m not sure how much I have to contribute to a general discussion of mastering other than to say don’t master your own mixes. If they don’t sound right, fix the mix. There is nothing that a home recordist can do in the way of self-mastering that they can’t do better by re-mixing.

The point of “mastering” (in the sense that most recording forum-goers think of it) is to fix the stuff that’s wrong with the mix. Which, if you can hear it in your own mix, should be fixed in the mix. That way the mastering engineer (even if it’s you) doesn’t have to worry about anything other than duplication. What nerd-factormax is doing is not actually “mastering.” It is “making a two-track mix sound better.” Which is something that mastering engineers frequently do, because they often get flawed mixes that they can improve, but that process is a sort of “pre- mastering” (in fact, pre-mastering is exactly what it is called).

What is Wrong With American Idol?

Guest Post: Bob Baker

It’s one of the most popular TV shows of recent years, drawing tens of millions of viewers every week. Even I admit, American Idol is fun to watch. The show provides all the elements of good pop culture entertainment: passion, emotion, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, dreams attained and lost …

So, what’s wrong with American Idol?

Considering it’s lumped into the “reality” TV category, the show is doing a great disservice to aspiring musicians (and the public at large) by distorting perceptions of how the music business really works. It sends an outdated message of “dependence” on the industry vs. the more realistic “independence” that artists have today to control their own careers.

Acoustic Treatment and Design Resource

Acoustic treatment is an art and a science. Their is much ground to cover once we meander a bit deeper than the basics of treating your home or project recording studio to record a decent vocal take, or isolate an acoustic guitar.

From diffusors to absorbers and bass traps to room modes, there are few authorities, if ANY that boast a deeper knowledge, experience, and respect as Ethan Winer.

Here is one of the best, and most comprehensive articles on acoustic treatment principles and theory for the home and pro studio.

Keep Your Mind on Your Goals

One of the hardest parts of working online AS WELL AS being a singer songwriter producer in the new music business is the management of all the moving pieces, multiple hats, and thus multiplied responsibilities…

Update your social media properties, post to your blog regularly, keep all the music hosting channels up to date, work on your crafts, work on your crafts, write the music, develop your music, record your songs, update the website…AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

One thing i’m beginning to notice and wonder if this really is a fundamental change we must embrace to be successful in this day and age. The notion is that we CANNOT sacrifice doing these things, i mean we could…
But the prize will go to the those who do, and find a way to manage, until they can systemize, workshift, and the with a new found excitement – be allowed to recharge and refocus on ONLY the things he/she NEEDS and wants to do.

How Audio Compression Works

So how does a compressor actually work? I’m going to start out by talking about a conventional four-control compressor, which is pretty much the norm. The four standard controls are THRESHOLD, RATIO, ATTACK, and RELEASE, or occasion- ally variants thereof. Makeup gain, included on virtually all compressors, is just a simple gain (volume) control that comes after the compressor and that is completely independent of the action of the compressor. I will also refer to things like “circuits,” pretending that we are still in the analog realm, but the principles apply to plugins as well.

How Audio Compression Works

How To ‘Unleash’ Your Talents?

Guest Blog: By Bob Baker

Let’s talk about artist empowerment — one of my favorite topics lately …

Not long ago I presented one of my first Unleash the Artist Within workshops. While promoting the event, I discovered that different people have different interpretations of what it means to “unleash” themselves as an artist.

Many people assumed at first that the workshop was about developing your creativity, along the lines of Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.” Some of what I talk about does relate to giving yourself permission to create and feeling worthy to do so, but my definition of “unleash” is more far-reaching than that.

What do I mean by “Unleash the Artist Within”? Well, I believe that to be a successful musician, you must be willing to …

Setting Reverb Parameters

In normal, everyday life, you almost never “hear” reverb, unless you’re in a parking garage or a stairwell. But it’s everywhere, and it affects everything you hear on a subconscious level. Even outdoors, the sound is not the same as a close miked instrument.

Here is an experiment to try. Put on a pair of headphones and listen to the radio. Now, keeping the headphones on and playing, tune a another radio with actual speakers to the same station and turn it on. Turn it off, and then on again. Listen

The Secret To Being Productive Online

The whole trick to working productively isn’t really a trick at all. The big trick, the big secret to being productive online is this… Work on ONE thing until you are DONE with that ONE thing. Regardless of distractions, how you feel, how many competing “BETTER THINGS/WAYS” there are to do it, all the way through to completion.

This is not to say that choosing the right thing to do, and creating a plan for how you will get it done, INCLUDING A TIMEFRAME, is not important… You can spend all day on organizing your file folders with the best category system or line up the MOST tidy box of paperclips, and STILL HAVE missed the biggest point, and not really have accomplished anything.