Starting with the easy thing or the hard thing? that's up to you to decide. I'd recommend knocking back the easiest tasks first, the ones that would take the least time to accomplish. The more difficult tasks might require some incubation time, new skillsets, or a network of friends to help you out.
Do the work
Something is better than nothing
It doesn't have to be perfect
You'll get better with time
See a door, open a door, you don't have to step through it right away. Check to see what's on the other side. If you see potential there, then start moving.
the decision to take action - It starts with a choice. Remember the words we use in our own minds carry weight.
The language we use in our internal dialoge affects our reality. No seriously. No more of this Someday i hope to ____. A better line of conversation is I am ____. These are called affirmations, and next time you catch yourself using language like hope, want, trying to, etc. Catch yourself and think about it for a moment. Are you trying to do something? or are you Doing it?
going through the motions - Consistency of effort
once you understand what you want, the next step is to follow through. How many artists I know don't do this. I was guilty of it myself. It's called Failure to launch syndrome. I get it, it's easier to just push your ambition aside and play some video games. Next thing you know it's 10 years later, and have to bust-ass to make up for lost time. If you're not doing something every day, start with 1 thing. If you're already doing something every-day, then start doing 3 things every day. It'll take dedication and preparation, but you can do it. Start Now.
when should you listen in context?
Do you solo out tracks and mix them by themselves? What does it mean to keep things in context?
The most important tools are your ears and your mind. Use them, trust them. If it sounds good it sounds good. but remember the context. From your sound in the space it's in, to the interaction of frequencies in your mix.
listening in context
Reference mixes can help you understand how your track is sounding compared to other songs. If you're listening to a playlist, and one song is drastically quieter than the one before it, thats no good. Reference mixes can help you avoid that.
using ducking. if you hear a displeasing sound in your guitar track, a useful trick (if it is supported by your hardware) is called ducking (or listening in place.) This is basically just turning down everything, and keeping the track that has your attention at the forefront. imagine it like a lens through which you can still seee what's happening in the rest of the song as you're doing surgery on that guitar track.
the mix-engineer's skill-set
Trust your ears
If it feels right, it probably is. I've seen many an indie go way overboard with mixing each individual track to perfection, only to to turn off solo and have to do it again. They end up to their necks in audio problems they barely understand.
striking a balance between tracks vs tracks, & tracks just sounding good on their own.
Solo out that track and it sounds fine alone but in the mix it sounds wrong. What is actually happening and why? Which interaction of instruments/tracks is causing that? Use solo to find that. Remember that sounds interact with other sounds. Just because one track is a vocal and another is a guitar doesn't mean frequencies are not competing for space. The sound is combined and played back through your sound system, and if you're not mixing in headphones, they're interacting with your room too.
why it matters
Saving time - repeated steps - do-overs
So how to conclude this article, and mix it right. If you're having to solo out a track, tweak it to get it sounding perfect, and then start over again to get it sounding good in context, You're doing it twice. You don't have to. Don't worry, these skills are like learning a new instrument. they come with time and practice. Luckily we live in an age where people are sharing their years of skills and experience for free on the internet. Need some tips? Let me google that for you...
insert wall of text here
I guess the first question would be how do you want to capture your ideas?
If you have a decent laptop or computer you can use a DAW with an audio interface. *Cubase/nuendo, protools, logic, studio one, reaper, are a few examples. For basic tracking they all do pretty much the same thing. The workflow and the price-point is the main consideration while you're just starting out.
For Audio interfaces, there are quite a few out there. It depends on your budget. like, the Behringer U-phoria series is probably the cheapest, and the Apollo ones are on the top-end. I'd recommend going onto amazon to browse and read reviews if that's the way you want to go. Just remember, you usually get what you pay for, so if you can afford to spend the $$$, then get the best you can.
Or you could use a built-in recorder that captures to SD card (like someone mentioned the zoom R16) I had one of those for years, they're mobile and useful, but the preamps aren't the greatest. but it gets the job done.
other considerations, will be how many channels you need. will you want to use mics (if so do you have a nice quiet room?), or a direct-in signal? I'm guessing you could probably get by with a 2 channel (for most purposes) or an 8 channel if you need to track drums, or want to go all out with lots of mics.
Sample rate and Bit Depth are another consideration. this will look like (sample rate 44,100 48,000 96,000) (bit depth 16, 24, or 32, bit) Just use the highest you can get away with. but the higher you go, the more cpu power you'll need, and the more storage space your sessions will take up
Gain staging - once you're setting up to record, set your input gain to the highest you can get without clipping. I'd recommend doing a google search for 'signal to noise ratios audio' or 'gain staging audio' to figure that part out. basically, you want the 'hottest signal you can get without clipping or introducing too much noise'
As far as sending your tracks off for mixing. Your engineer will probably ask you to consolidate your tracks. which basically means you export your tracks individually, each beginning at 0:00. This allows for the engineer to easily align them in the new mix session.
a quick and dirty guide to 'getting the bass right'
My biggest piece of advice is to use what you have, trust your ears. To get really great at mixing takes time and practice. Focus on geting the best sound you can from the tools and knowledge you've got. Trust that as you do more and more, your skillset will improve, and so will your mixes
let's say you're looking for a deep-warm tone. It sounds great on a good sound-system, but it doesn't show up on small speakers.
what do you do?
What do you do is not a question that can be directly answered yet; that is, unless you already know what your options are, and in that case, you probably already have your problem solved.
what are you trying to achieve?
let's start here instead. Okay, so lets say your genre is indie rock. It's a song that's driven by the guitars and the vocals.
great, now which instruments live in the low-end. commonly this will be drums and bass (kick, toms, Bassline, the bottom of the guitar, and the deepest part of the vocal. The bass doesn't cut through? ask yourself which instrument and why?
what is happening in the low-end?
The kick drum sounds good, the guitar/vocal sounds fine. the bassline doesn't cut. It doesn't always need to be front and center, It can act as the glue to hold the song together. When you move away from your good sound-system to your laptop/earbuds/car stereo/mobile. it seems to disappear completely.
how can you approach this
A few areas to consider.
Imagine your low-end in 3 bands. you've got sub-frequencies, Low-frequencies, and precieved low-frequencies (low-mids and above)
Check for trouble areas in the context of these three 'bands'
EQ is your most powerful tool! try to find the frequency range you're looking for using your solo function to listen for which tracks might be competing for 'space',
for example, the bass if it's most present at 80Hz, but the guitar is 'masking' the bass up between 160- 300Hz. You might also have low-frequency energy competing in tracks where it has no business being. here, a hi-pass filter would be your friend.
For example, The bass is warm and present between 60-160hz, but adds nothing above that. because it's being covered up by another instrument,
A small set of laptop/phone speakers may lack clarity at frequencies below (approximately) 200-300Hz. They have the most presence between 1-5kHz. if you can let the bass through within these ranges (again these numbers are guestimates, every mix is different) you can achieve a more consistant tone across sound-systems.
Welcome To the Blog. Today we're talking about songwriting and composition. I've been capturing ideas for an irish Jig.
banjo jigs and reels with Ol'brother Paul
We started off our run by approaching the plan with a song idea.
Three parts, we'll call them parts A B and C.
The main lick. the kind of lick that was meant for a Tenor banjo. We didn't have much else to go-on Except a sloppy old recording found in the Archives. So knowing only the root of the song was a big-ol' D chord, we set off to lay down some Banjo tracks.
An ascending lick with a change of tone-centre. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening, but if I could add an A-chord over top of this new riff, It could bring a much-needed change of energy to the song. I'll figure out the exact chord-progression during my practice session later. For now, It's a good idea, lets capture it...
This part came later. Paul got back to me with a new idea for an outro for the song. This one feels more like a slow-down after a late night celebration. He wrote the part for the mandolin... Sounds great! lets do it.
Same idea, new theme different instrument, but hear how it sounds on that banjo too. lay these down on separate tracks, to see if we can combine them in cool ways later.
i've been racking my brain how to 'internet' properly
Hey guys, so for what it's worth i've decided to split Gene Media into two 'niches' with the feeling that Songwriting is one category, and Music production fits in another. So what does that mean? better sorting of playlists on youtube, and separate analytics on the backend. Should make it easier to keep track of what's working and what's not. #systemssuccess
Here's a new video