I often receive emails from creators or "Yet-To-Be" creators asking for advice or lessons on how to start producing music. I thought my reply would be helpful to more than just this young high school student, so I'd like to share it here. I hope you find it useful.
To the high school student, I wrote:
It’s really great that you want to help out your mom through music. Not something people tend to talk about all that often. If you have her in mind as you go through this industry, you’ll find a lot of the hard work doesn’t seem so hard.
I actually teach a course on music production through a school down in L.A., and I’d be happy to introduce you to them. It’s a pretty expensive program, though, so in the mean time I thought I’d give you some resources to look into.
I often work closely with students learning the skills and more of the audio engineering world. This was an email I recently shared with a student I felt would be useful to more than just them. Hope it helps. :)
To a student I wrote:
"Sounds good. :) Did you hand in the mix already?
Automation is a valuable tool to use. Often the difference between a Semi-Pro mix and a PRO mix is automation in a variety of ways. I use a medium amount of automation and most mixes I do will have at least 30-40 different automation moments throughout one of my mixes. All I’m saying is don’t discount the value of automation. It is such a useful tool in a mix.
Here are some examples of automations I would use in a mix.
I recently had a text conversation with a home studio guy on vacation, and he was surprised that he'd never recorded a vocal and acoustic guitar at the same time. He asked my advice, and this is what I sent him. :) Thought it was a worthwhile share.
"First, I hope the performer is decent at controlling their own dynamics, better at singing, and a good guitar player. It’s a useless endeavour unless you can check off those boxes.
Sometimes I answer emails in a way that explains exactly what I want it to so easily, I want to share it. Here is a recent email to a new home recording artist about trying to solve hi hats being too loud in overheads.
"... here are a number of things you can try. (in order of what I would try based on what I hear…)