Don't complain, Seriously, Stop complaining
Please don't complain that your gear isn't good enough, or that you're not good enough. Seriously, Stop complaining. Recording is one part artform and one part physics. You as an artist should be learning to trust yourself. That's right, not every project is going to be perfect. Get over it, It doesn't actually matter as much as you might think.
Here are 3 considerations to make your recording sound 'good'
1: quality on the input
This comes down to your performance, and your overall sound. It's like this, if you practice your song. You will get better results.
It also ties into the quality of your gear. Is your guitar set up properly? does it stay in tune? do you need fresh strings? do you have clean pre-amps for your microphones?
2: Put things in balance
When you have your tracks, lets say you took 3 guitar takes, put them together in a way that blends smoothly. Lets say you've added some soft-synths? and some midi drums. Do they blend? did you put on your engineering hat and use your mixing tricks to make space so that everything sounds good?
3 Finishing touches.
Adding embelleshments, automation, Final adjustments for dynamics, keeping the song interesting from start to finish.
how you get there doesn't matter
Here at Gene Media, we don't care how you get there. We recognize that everyone is unique in their own approach, or as a smart author once said, "we each have our own game." The whole point is putting trust in yourself, trust in your ears, trust in your process, and trust your ability.
Today's video is another sit-down and do it style practice. I didn't really have much of a plan going in - its nice to have a structure - so it ended up being a bit of Melodic Development over one of my favorite chord structures. - Daily Gratitude - When your reality isn’t what you imagined: In fact its so much better. Be open to the possibilities and receive your blessings of unlimited potential.
Get a free song download - Join Cody Gene's Music mailing List
A song can be four chords. That's not wrong, but if your chord progression is simple, then consider the Principles of contrast to make your song POP.
where do you put contrast in your song?
Where do you put contrast in your song? What are your song's elements?
Have you thought about how your song is laid out while the concept is fresh? I recommend as good practice to outline a few basic song-structures for the style of music you write. it could look like one of these examples:
Helps with efficiency to simply put things into a place where you dont have to worry about structure. Why use this approach? because it takes the struggle out of putting the songs together because that part is already done. Just build the pieces to fit and stick them in. Songwriting En-masse, just remember your Contrast considerations.
how can you switch it up without being abrasive?
So now that we're fitting the pieces in, I guess you'll need pieces first. This is where creativity and imagination come into play. During your daily (and i hope it's daily) practice, noodle around until you come up with something. Some folks like to play from scales or books for inspiration. others simply jam. The point is to come up with something that sounds good to you. Remember it's music. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to this stuff.
how can you switch it up without being abrasive
Abrupt transitions are not always bad. To me it depends on the characteristics of the genre, some being friendlier to rule-breaking than others.
Practice vlog. I tend to not talk much. That's part of this whole experiment. Get over any nervousness around playing music on camera. At the end of the day, it's not so bad. In fact, It's a lot like those first couple times you go out to play your songs in public. It's a little nerve-wracking at first but eventually, you start to warm up to the feeling of putting yourself out there... Have courage to take the action and learn from your mistakes. Here's my Intentional vocal practice. Question. What did you notice about what and how I'm improvising? if you were practicing music in this way, what would you do differently? Comments here (or on youtube)
Thanks for being awesome.
Hey everyone, Thought I'd share another video practice session of some original music, written with the help of some friends here at Gene Media Productions.
These were songs created in collaboration with friends.
Setlist 1- Check Engine (lyrics by Levente) Levente Is Creating some Videos too. Stay tuned because I'll definitely be sharing his music once it's ready
2- The Wind and the Whistle - (@the way out)
3- Weekend At Jerry's - (@the way out)
The Way Out is a Canadian, Classic Rock / Folk Rock and domestic beer-inspired project with Ol'brother Paul. The band is on break, with no plans to reunite at this moment; however, there are two albums available for digital download (links below)
4- Today - (@Harley) Short and sweet Punk song originally written by Harley while we were teenagers in "A Band In America" -----
If you like this video content, Please show some love by hitting that like button or sharing it with someone who needs to hear it. If you Loved this video, and have the means to contribute to future projects, you can visit www.genemediacreativestudio.com/codygenemusic to find my full discography for 50% off.
Would you like to work together? Gene Media is now accepting applications for independent songwriters who are looking to take their music to the next level, whether that's getting help with Your Recording and Audio Production, or getting some feedback on your launch-strategy for a more cohesive presentation for your music. Visit the website and Ask how We can help. Cheers!
Should you consolidate your online presence?
Short answer yes, but why? As a musician who aims to become more professional, it's important to make yourself visible. Now, we all have our own launch strategies, y'know, those things we feel comfortable doing to get our music in front of our new potential fans. If you're using the internet to reach these ends, how easy is it for your audience to discover you and your work?
How many places online are you posting to on the regular?
This comes down to the workload you can handle, again if social media is your game, How many sites are you using? do you need to be on every single one? I have the best results using facebook and Instagram. Maybe I'm wierd that way, but even though I sometimes splash things out to Twitter, tik-tok, or youtube. I simply don't get the same results.
The true purpose of online presence as an artist.
I'd like to take a second to explain the purpose behind the content. Content is used for discovery, but theres more to it than just that. It's also used to create a personal connection, whether you've got an avante-garde orchestral thing with a band, or you're an indie-solo-singer/songwriter. The end goal is the same. Your online presence is akin your exposure, IE, It's the same as playing that open mic and burning gas to get there. The difference is that It costs next to nothing. It's another way you can get discovered by the people who are going to care about your craft and appreciate the music. So how can you connect with your new potential fans? If you are connecting with them and they want to learn more, then how can you make it easy for them to learn all about you and the thing you're doing.
This is where having a consolidated online presence comes in...
where can people learn more about you?
Case Study: Joey has an instagram account. He posts great content, and is starting to grow a little bit of a following by posting great content every day. The link in his bio sends people to a single landing page with the links to his Youtube channel, His Bandcamp page, and each service where his single is available for streaming. His new social-media friends look at his link, and they can easily learn more about him by clicking through to their favorite place to consume the music. sounds simple right?
Compare that to Billy: Billy has an instagram account with a similar size following, but it points to his soundcloud page. He's got a youtube channel with no link to where people can learn more. His new fans want to learn more so they click the link to the soundcloud profile. There's nothing other than his song. Are people really going to take the time to listen to the song? Maybe they will listen to about 20 seconds, then move on, but most people will visit this link one time, and probably won't even listen to the song. He didn't tell his people what they're getting, and he didn't make it easy to learn all about him and his music.
how easy is it for fans to find your stuff?
Have you ever googled your band/artist name to see what pops up? this is called a Google audit. If you're making art, and you have your own website, and you want to use it to reach new fans, It can be helpful to dial things in so that you show up in the right places (ie. the front page of the search engines.)
do they have to dig deep to find you
Let's go back to the example of Billy (above) Billy also has a website. His potential new fans like the music on soundcloud (guess he's doing something right) but they can't find a link to where they can get more..., so they punch his name into google. Nothing to be found, so they try again on facebook, a personal profile that's private. Did Billy earn a new fan from this? Nope!
make a lasting impression
leave a lasting impression - get return viewers - add value to your audience - bring them back for more - Gain a Die-hard Cult Following.
The easier it is for your audience to discover you, the lower the friction of building that connection, the more audience retention you'll have, and the easier your journey becomes.
Here are some resources for ways you can consolidate your online presence. Simply gather all the links to where you can be found online, and put them somewhere together, so that you can be found. So that you can make it easier for your new audience to discover everything about you. Remember, If this process is difficult then nobody's going to bother. If it's easy, It causes less friction and more attention retention, so you can connect with more people who will LOVE YOUR MUSIC, and you can keep them coming back for more.
Links & resources
Introduction to the subjective nature of music methodology
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Music is an artform, Audio is a science. The two joined together create the magic that is a great record. Certain things are subjective, others are concrete. There are principles behind audio production that can help you to get a better sound on your recording, but the application of these principles will almost never be a 'one size fits all' approach.
project goals - the ideal sound
So your song is structured out. You've got your go-to tone. that's great. You've imagined your ideal sound and that's probably the hardest part. Now we get into the tricky bit... Laying it down in such a way that the end product matches your initial vision.
I remember my first dozens of songs. I would set out with the intention to make a Punk song or a Dub song, but somehow it didn't turn out the way I planned it to. Why? was it lack of experience? Was it lack of the correct tools or my inability to use them? I may never know. Sometimes the unexpected can be a real treat, sometimes it's just a disappointment.
a myriad of tools
In our modern digital age, we've got a nearly unlimited variety of tools to choose from. For example, what kind of microphone is best for a male vocal? answer, It depends on the singer, his pitch, his Timbre (the tone of voice,) the positioning, and the room.
how do I get a thick-heavy tone from my guitar? it depends on a lot of things, what kind of pickups are in your guitar? what amplifier are you using? settings on a pedal-board? are you using a DI (direct signal?) are you prepared to re-amp your guitar later? do you have the ability to add thickening in the mix?
The same applies to EQ settings. A lot of time, there will be a range that you can approximate where an instrument falls, assuming you're mixing a rock band. Is it the same for classical music? jazz? the answer is it depends.
Gene Media Productions
Cody Gene is an Independent Record Producer from BC
Music Methodology & Creative Lifestyle