Dec 30 2017 0 Comments Tags: audio engineer, Brian Eno, DAW recording, Find Your Sound, Internet music, laptop music, music producer, online music, record production, Recording, Recording Studio, Recording Tips, streaming, studio advice, tips and tricks
Today’s music-makers have access to more creative recording effects than the Beatles enjoyed during their entire career at Abbey Road; portable and available anytime from within their phone.
A laptop can be a personal recording studio that's as capable of delivering finished recordings as multi-million dollar industry-leading facilities; many recordings are produced without their makers ever setting foot in a recording studio.
Sales of professional-level audio recording equipment and software have never been greater and - with direct access to their market via social media and streaming - musically-inclined individuals can now find themselves recording, producing and releasing music from their bedroom to the world.
Brian Eno is upbeat about the myriad new forms of music emerging from this democratisation of music-making and rise of the indie internet artist. While there's a whole other discussion about how sustainable this is long term given the parlous state of streaming revenue afforded to lesser-known acts by Spotify, YouTube et al, there is no doubt that more people than ever are recording and producing music.
In a world where everyone has access to the same software, and every phone/laptop offers the same effects and vintage synth emulations, how do you stop your music sounding the same as everyone else? When recording has become so democratised, and the tools used so ubiquitous, standing out from the noise of the digital crowd has never been more vital for the artist wishing to make music their life rather than mere hobby.
A recording studio is far more than just a place to record music: it is a creative space inhabited by people who know how to get ‘that’ sound using the bewildering array of classic and vintage recording effects and techniques at their disposal. A good recording engineer or producer can be a maverick muse who instinctively knows when to rip up the rulebook and take risks. They quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) guide or goad their artists into delivering exceptional performances, thus creating true sonic alchemy that elevates their music above the mainstream.
This is what Apple have yet to bundle within their music software: an experienced sonic innovator and collaborator guiding you through the recording process, helping you decide which effect to use and when, how and why. It's all very well having emulations of every classic instrument, effect and recording console at our fingertips, but how do you use them to create your unique sound?
Find your sound is a new series of blog posts aiming to demystify the process of creating your own distinctive sound and make your music stand out from the crowd.
Among the ideas, techniques and tips we'll cover in the coming months are:
- Dogma & Discipline: set limits to lessen distracting decision-making and speed up workflow. This applies to time, recording parameters and gear too: too much choice can destroy the creative process - define your set-up before you start recording and stick to it.
- Effects. Why we love them, which ones to use and when. Sound Expensive On The Cheap.
- Make Mistakes And Learn - record jams, experiment with signal chains - this is where the magic is, don’t be afraid to Do It Wrong. Many of our favourite sounds came as a result of 'happy accidents'
- Random is good. Get Your Wonk On. Introduce the unexpected.
- Physical Space - whether bedroom, tour bus or studio - arrange your working environment for maximum creative results
- Out Of Your Box - liven up DAW recordings - spice up soft synths - add weight to plug in effects. More Analogue For Less.
- Mods and Sods. Why Broken Can Be Better. Simple Circuit Bending and taking gear out of its comfort zone.
- Beatboxes - drums on demand - keeping time, make odder noises, swimming against the mainstream.
- Headspace - switch off distractions so you can be more creative, feed your mind, get in the zone faster.