are you too busy for beats

Are you too Busy to Make Beats?

“A mind too active is no mind at all.” (Theodore Roethke)

Being constantly on the go, doing ‘stuff’, or leaving no room for playtime ‘makes Johnny a dull boy’…It also leaves no time for making beats or writing songs… Your mind needs time to absorb everything it experiences in order to keep growing musically…

I don’t know about you but I am DEFINITELY too busy to make beats. However, I make time and plan for  making beats and writing songs. I prioritize them according to the current goals and fit them into my current business schedule. We all do this to some extent – the challenge is following through and holding yourself accountable.

Tutorial: If you find yourself too busy to Make Beats:
1) Go back to the drawing board, climb out of your current busy schedule and take a couple days off. Re-focus your end result or project (finish an album, write 10 songs, whatever your goals may be). What is it that you ‘clearly’ want to accomlish?
How much of your free time is getting spent to achieve this project? How much is spent on ‘stuff’ that will not lead you to your goals?
Re-adjust your efforts: Now that you have had some time to reflect, take note of what is interfering with your time and see what you need to ditch in order to get back on track of reaching your long term goals. Also read 3 Ways to fit Music Production into your Busy Schedule

Like a car on the road, eventually it will veer to the left or to the right. There is never a road that is perfectly straight without any bumps, turns or detours.  By constantly paying attention to the road of your schedule, you’ll get the chance to see the Obstacles in your Path before they hinder your productivity.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

mac vs pc

Mac Vs PC for Music Production and Audio Recording? The Debate is Finally Over

This debate has been going on for decades. There are pages and pages of content, mac vs pc pros and cons, opinions, pc vs mac, opinions and school’s of thought that can waste hours of time you would rather be spending on making music…

This music article is about getting to the root of your decision: The Results, Budget, Learning Curve, Use and Compatibility. Your decision is also based on if you are just beginning music production, been using computers for a while or you are a seasoned professional.

Choosing whether to go PC vs Mac is an entirely personal decision. When asking questions and getting ‘the facts’, make sure to stay away from subjective advice. Subjective advice is strictly personal opinion and has no factual evidence. Everyone who gives you advice WILL NOT be paying your bill. While opinions are VERY influential more than we would like, they cannot be the ultimate decision maker especially when choosing the foundation of your music studio and what you will be using for music creation for the next 5-10 years.

Here are three perspectives to consider before buying or upgrading to a new music production computer:

1) Getting Started: If you are just getting started with music production and are choosing between pc vs mac, here are the main focuses:

A. Learning Curve: What have you used all your life? You do not have time to waste on a learning curve. Whether PC or Mac they are both computers. Both have bugs, glitches, quirks, are both equally powerful with their own personal pros and cons.

What’s important is staying on what you already know.  I have seen students waste 6 months to 1 year stuck just on computer issues before really getting into their music production equipment. All because someone said ‘you need this system to create professional music’. Those days are over with. Go with the option that you have already been working with.  Your computer is the foundation of your music and there is too much to learn after choosing your computer to get hung up in this debate.

B. Budget: Computers are powerful unlike never before. If you have a minimum system of 2Ghz Dual Core or Quad Core processor, 2GB to 4GB of ram you’ll be able to do what music producers and recording engineers could never have dreamed of 10 years ago! You can get a laptop system of this power from $400-$600. This is ideal as you’ll be investing in the rest of your recording studio equipment. Your goal is to get a complete studio at a minimal price so you stay focused working on your craft and creativity.

C. Compatibility: Before choosing your system you’ll want to make sure that all the equipment and software you choose for your studio is compatible with the operating system. If you can only afford one computer, it is important to also research the music business software you’ll need to make sure it is compatible and in your price range.

2) Been using Computers for Awhile: The learning curve and budget are still a factor but what does your studio need help with? Do you need a server, remote recording options, a small music production workstation, full blown system for recording live bands? At this stage, chances are you’re familiar with both PC and MAC and your budget is bigger.

A. Computers for different tasks: One great option to consider choosing between a Mac or PC is if your workload has increased and you need more CPU processing power. Make beats and record vocals on one system while checking email, working on graphics or uploading content to your website on another system.

B. Networking and Integration: Make sure that both your Mac and PC systems can integrate together. Research according to networking compatibility and different uses; email, graphics, web, production only systems, recording only systems, mastering only systems, etc. Just research like you already have the computers and you’ll run into the needed information to help make informed decisions.

3) Seasoned Computer Professional: At this stage, you finally get a chance to show off a bit.. buying computers is a combination of getting something new, to simplify your life or to have another toy to learn for new inspiration purposes. Usually budget is of no concern so the sky is the limit for the ultimate music computer system.

More power + more capabilities does not = better. Quality time with your equipment to utilize all its features is the best thing you can give yourself when choosing a music system. Even though its an expense for fun and inspiration, it is still highly important to make sure that each computer you have has its unique purpose and is compatible with the rest of your computer studio network. There is nothing worse than having a bunch of computers and equipment that collect dust from not being used.

The Purpose of your Music Production and Audio Recording Solution:
As a music professional in the 21st Century it is not enough to just be a music producer, artist, engineer, etc. It is important to consider the other ‘hats’ of the music business you will wear and make sure your computer system delivers according to your budget and where you see yourself in the next 5-10 years.

Your Music business is going to require you to do the following:

  1. Music Production, Recording, Mixing, Mastering
  2. Email management, File Management and Organization
  3. Accounting, Budgeting, Expense Management
  4. Graphics and Web Software Solutions
  5. Smart Phone and Business Phone Integration

Whether these tasks are enjoyable are not, this has become apart of our music business. It’s going to be awhile before your music business revenue can hire that ‘dream staff’ of people who will do these jobs for you. My suggestion would be to start planning now while investing in your computer system so you can save time, save money and learn these skills to get ahead in the music business.

In summary, the Mac Vs Pc Music Production Computer debate is finally over. Choosing computer systems is the beginning of your music dream into a life long journey of creating music. If you cannot get past this debate, you will have a hard time moving on to your creativity. The goal is to get back to the basics. Choose a system according to your budget, what you already know how to use, have fun doing what you love, stay inspired and make great music that inspires the masses.

Tutorial: MAC vs. PC for Music Production and Recording:
1) Stick with what you grew up on. If a PC, stay on a PC, if a MAC, stay on a MAC. We have seen students who ‘jump ship’ push back getting results for 6 months to 2 years because of a switch.
2) Get the fastest processor, most available RAM and hard drive space you can afford. If you are just getting started, consider a re-certified system. These give you double the power for half the price and will help decrease the budget expense.
3) When purchasing, check your firewire card specs with the specifications of your audio interface to make sure there are no issues or incompatibilities. Look on the product’s support/forum page or search for any known issues.

Our All-in-One Complete 7 Lesson Course teaches you how to integrate and simplify all of these tasks so you can create more music and do less technical work. Let us help you get your music off the ground – Speak with an Adviser and Get a Free Training Consultation

Does The Mac Vs PC Ad Song Sound Like Baby Music? | Gizmodo Australia – You know that Mac vs PC music in EVERY ad? Do you think it sounds like baby music? Because everyone at Gizmodo just got into a huge debate over it and are not talking to each other now. Tiebreaker please? …

The Mac vs PC Battle : ICT 10 – O’Bannon, Isaac M. “The Mac vs. PC Battle (And Why It Almost Doesn’t Matter Anymore).” Http://www.cpatechnologyadvisor.com/publication/article.jsp?pubId=1&id=2615&pageNum=1. The CPA Technology Advisor, Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. …

sound design training

Sound Design Training and Daily Ear Training Exercises

When you hear of ear training in music schools you may get images of classical orchestra music compositions or trying to guess what note an electronic beep is.. at least that’s what I used to think ear training was.

However, ear training has become almost as exciting for me as music production. I firmly believe we have ear training exercises and sound design training opportunities around us in every moment that will take your music production to the next level. The challenge is recognizing them and then learning how to put them into action.

Here are 3 unique ear training exercises and sound design training assignments to grow your ears and ultimately take your sound design and music production to the next level.

1) Listen to Pandora 
Pick a style and get a feel for how long the songs are, analyze the arrangement, listen to the patterns of melody, drum patterns, tempo, seasoning and all other details that give that style its name. The goal is to listen and develop a running tab of tricks in the back of your mind to experiment on in each new music production. This is a conscious way to develop your unique style.

How do you develop your music production style?
-Blend your own version of everything you enjoy listening to into a technically sound and professionally expressed ‘radio master’.
-Study the greats and everyone in between until the subtleties of your style naturally emerge. You’ll learn by hearing what details make your favorites, great. It could be a signature drum sound, vocal sound or anything in between.

2) Listen to Classical Music:
Bach, Mozart or any of the classical music greats provide an immense source for melodies and instrumentation composition. One classical music composition probably contains 20+ pop song melody ideas and bass lines.

There are two types of music listening:
1) Enjoyment, relaxing times, set the mood whatever that may be.
2) ‘Feed your creative artist ear candy’ that makes you want to lock yourself in the studio for 24 hours.

When you feed on classical music, moments later new ideas naturally brew when you show up to create music.

3) Listen to BT (Brian Transeau):
BT is considered the Beethoven, Bach and Mozart of Electronic Music in our day. His sound design, music production, melodies and mixture with organic instrumentation will blow your producer mind and get you inspired to vibe. Words don’t do his music justice. BT was playing piano by age 2, studying composition at the Washington Conservatory of Music by age 7 and going to Berklee School of Music by 15.

He has also built a company that has developed an iPhone application, Sonifi™, which is the first application for a mobile device that users can create, collaborate, effect and save remixes of a song in real time. Sonifi is the environment to release artists songs for end users to create their own audio and visual mixes (His numerous other achievements listed below).

My point?
He is a mad scientist music producer, sound designer, composition and technology genius..

The ultimate ear training exercise and sound design training is listening to music that changes your perspective to give you a freedom and an awareness of the many possibilities you have laid out before you every day to create music.

Your 3 Sound Design Training and Ear Training Exercises:
1) Once a day or week, spend 10-15 minutes on focused listening on music outside of your ‘comfort zone’. When you get to the studio, experiment with what you heard. Go for sounds, options you wouldn’t normally reach for.
2) Study the length, melodies, drums and sound choices. If a song is a hit, why? Is the song ‘Really’ that good, was it good marketing or both..why?
3) Put it in action. At some point you need to take a break from study and apply what you learn. Try emulating sounds. The goal isn’t to emulate or copy but instead to experiment and push through to new sound possibilities.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

More on BT (Brian Transeau):

He is considered the Pioneer of Trance Music and also created the common ‘glitch’ music production effect widely used today. His music ranges from Trance to Hip Hop/Breakbeats. BT has produced and written for artists such as Peter Gabriel, N_Sync, Sting, Blake Lewis, Tori Amos and Tiesto. As a film composer he has worked on films such as The Fast and the Furious and Monster. He has also performed his Laptop Symphony where he does live remixing on the fly to hundreds of thousands around the world.

He from my understanding is also one of the first artists to release an album in 5:1 surround, on cd, on dvd and in movie theaters around the U.S. (this binary universe).

BT – These Hopeful Machines

This is his newest work. 2 CD set, 12 songs.
Great example of an eb and flow of creation, buildups, breakdowns, letting music breathe amongst ‘I don’t know where to start explaning’ programming and sound design.

BT – This Binary Universe

“In a hundred years, it could well be studied
as the first major electronic work of the new millennium. It’s that good….”

I am still learning new things after listening to this for 4 years! 🙂

the secret to music production deadlines

The Secret to Music Production Deadlines

Are you in a place of your life where you feel stuck? Do you find yourself bored, nothing to look forward to and it seems like nothing changes? Chances are there are things that need to be finished so you can move to the ‘next level’ of where you’re at. By setting deadlines, you’ll start to see change and movement towards the direction of where you want to go.

Music Production deadlines are a musician’s secret weapon. It’s a catalyst that will bring out the untouched and dusty talent in you. Deadlines bring focus, momentum, and a teeth-gritting ambition for reaching beyond what you may think is possible. A deadline is hope, in the deepest sense. It’s optimism and faith rolled all into one.

If taken seriously and with dignity to vows made with one’s self and others, deadlines are a force to be reckoned with. If you ever need a nice butt-kicking way to get yourself motivated to start a project or finish it, a music production deadline is just the thing you need.

Tutorial: The Secret to Music Production Deadlines
1) Figure out the most important thing you would like to see completed. Then start with this project only. You’ll notice how many unimportant details you don’t need to do, especially when seeing new results from your deadlines.
2) Each project has many tasks to complete before the project can be completed. Pre-think the obstacles you may face with each task and give yourself time to solve them. I have found thinking through items saves me time and completes the project in half the time.
3) Work hard, give yourself breaks, have fun and most importantly, follow through. If you’re tired, discouraged or can’t see the end in site, go have some fun! Take yourself out on a ‘date’ – do something you would normally say ‘I don’t have time for this’.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.