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Here is your chance to make someone's day.
Old 21st January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Here is your chance to make someone's day.

Ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, potentially animals too,

This is my first post, and I've got a lot of questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer. I have only started messing around with music production in the past year, but want to now start taking it seriously.

Something clicked in my brain a few weeks ago and since then I have been non-stop googling, youtubing, trawling through forums about the art of music and how to make it. I have absolutely no musical training, I've always loved music, but never got involved. Closest I ever did was playing the drums on Band Hero. I've just finished two degrees at university, neither of them even closely related to music, but I've decided I'd love to dedicate my life to it, and I want to make music that makes people dance, sing, evoke emotion, all of those types of things, and I'm sure all of you have experienced a moment sort of like this, so I'm hoping you'll share some of your knowledge with me.

Firstly, books, ebooks, whatever, on the basics of musical theory. Which can some of you recommend? So far, my work has been based on trial and error, and while it works eventually, it'd be great to know what would be the next best progression to take, that sort of thing.

Secondly, once I've got an idea of that, I'd love to really study and understand synthesis. I think a lot of the battle when trying to make the music you hear in your head real is being able to make the sound you want. I've been primarily using Sylenth, and I'd like some suggestions for other VSTs, or if it's worth looking to get a vintage synth. I've got a lot to learn, I understand, but I've got time and am willing to spend nearly every day on it. I've mostly been making electronic music so far, but really want to branch out into all genres, including pop, hip hop, whatever really, so any suggestions for what I'll need to do so in terms of VSTs or other things will be greatly appreciated.

Thirdly, I've begun looking up studios and producers around where I live in Brisbane, and have the contact details of a few of them. In your opinion and from your experience, how willing would they be to allow me to come in and watch them work and get an idea of how the process occurs? I understand going in with absolutely no music training and very little idea of the technical side of things works isn't the best idea, but I'm sure my enthusiasm and determination would count for something, right? Or would it be best to gain a general understanding of the theory and technical side, and then approach them? I've always felt you learn best by doing, but of course I don't want to be a hindrance or annoy them in any way.

Finally, any other tips you can give to someone starting out, who loves music but has no real idea about it? Like I've said, I've got a lot to learn, but I've got plenty of time and like most of us here, I just want to do what really makes me happy and that is making music, even though I'm essentially just throwing **** together so far and miraculously, it's sounding half decent.

If you've taken the time to read this novel, thank you, and I'd really appreciate any help and advice you could give me.
Old 21st January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
  • Learn music: take a couple months of music lessons on an instrument (piano and drums are a good start) or do an inexpensive community college music program.
  • Learn synthesis: buy this and read these from the beginning. Buy a simple analog synth like the MiniBrute.
  • Get social: Find some friends to jam around with first before you take it to the professionals. I'd bone up before contacting anyone that you do not know directly. If you don't know anything at all, you'll waste all their time with questions, which is the last thing a busy business person wants to do with their time. You'll probably want to have something useful you can contribute to their bottom line other than enthusiasm.
Have fun!
Old 22nd January 2013
  #3
Here for the gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Good luck. It is a long and winding road. Most people fail.
Old 29th January 2013
  #4
Here for the gear
 
falcon mitts's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Check out some schools in the area and see if are able to enroll/have time...if not try and audit a class. A cheap way and not too big of a commitment!
Old 30th January 2013
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'm in the exact same situation. I finished my degree and started working only to realise I'd much rather be making music.

I started here on Gearslutz basically, reading as much as I can. That alone was quite helpful already, so thank you for that guys!
Then I got myself some books, like Mastering Audio (a bit tough for beginners, but well worth the money), Mixing Audio and a few others.

Also, watch the entirety of Pensado's Place. An awesome webshow by Dave Pensado, one of the greats. Theres a bit of a backlog by now since we're at episode 100 already, but every episode is well worth the time.
Other than Dave's show, theres loads of great resources on the internet about recording, mixing, music theory and everything you'd ever want or need to know. It's just a matter of sifting through all the crap to find the gems...

After that I bought some gear (protools, a decent interface, studio monitors, a few mics, room treatment etc. Each of these is a thread on its own...) and started recording and mixing for some friends.

I also did a Sound Engineering summer course at the London School of Sound, even though I live nowhere near London It was a bit on the expensive side, but I had a blast and it was a great experience to finally be actually working in a studio. So I'd recommend finding some courses if you can spare the time and money.

Oh and before I forget: train your ears! It took me a while to actually hear things like compression and the minute differences in sound you sometimes get. So get something like the Golden Ears program or something to speed you along.

Currently I'm looking for a spot as an Engineering assistant, but unfortunately those spots are quite rare and coveted here in the Netherlands. Meanwhile I'm just experimenting with my own guitar and still recording my friend's bands.

So I can also confirm that it's really hard to get into the music business, especially when you're a bit late like me and all this effort, time and money is no guarantee at all, but it's still a lot of fun and a worthwhile passtime if nothing else.

TL; DR; The internet is your friend! If you're motivated enough you can find everything you need and more there. Just hang in there and experiment with what you have.

Other than that I'm very interested in what everyone else has to say, 'cause I would really like to earn a living doing this, but it's difficult to get anywhere...
Old 31st January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayo ➑️

I've just finished two degrees at university, neither of them even closely related to music, but I've decided I'd love to dedicate my life to it, and I want to make music that makes people dance, sing, evoke emotion, all of those types of things, and I'm sure all of you have experienced a moment sort of like this, so I'm hoping you'll share some of your knowledge with me.
Yep, a familiar moment!

Straight up, though? The most musically enabling thing I ever did was to NOT try and make a living from it.

When I was 22 or 23 (which was 30 years ago, yow... ) I was tempted to dive in, but I ended up in jobs that leveraged the degree I'd earned. One thing led to another, and after some lean years I was able to make a living, marry a great woman, and have steady, mostly engaging work.

At every step I've had a musical life - bands, solo projects, production, live recording, etc. Not full time, and sometimes only a stray hour or two here and there, but always something. And by not forcing it to be a livelihood, I've had the luxury of being able to choose what to do and who to work with based on creative considerations and not financial ones. There have even been ways to leverage my day job in service of my music.

You must have had SOME interest in the subjects you studied, right? Any way you could get yourself a decent gig in one of those areas and build your skills in parallel? It's not the right path for everyone, of course, but it's worth thinking about how to best use the assets you have!

Wishing you much success whatever route you take.
Old 31st January 2013
  #7
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayo ➑️
Firstly, books, ebooks, whatever, on the basics of musical theory. Which can some of you recommend? So far, my work has been based on trial and error, and while it works eventually, it'd be great to know what would be the next best progression to take, that sort of thing.
Just do it. No seriously, just pick up an instrument and play it.

Youtube is a great resource for a few pointers.
Quote:
Secondly, once I've got an idea of that, I'd love to really study and understand synthesis. I think a lot of the battle when trying to make the music you hear in your head real is being able to make the sound you want. I've been primarily using Sylenth, and I'd like some suggestions for other VSTs, or if it's worth looking to get a vintage synth. I've got a lot to learn, I understand, but I've got time and am willing to spend nearly every day on it. I've mostly been making electronic music so far, but really want to branch out into all genres, including pop, hip hop, whatever really, so any suggestions for what I'll need to do so in terms of VSTs or other things will be greatly appreciated.
There are plenty of free VSTs. But don't just download everything, because most of them are crap, look at this list, and figure out which ones you want then download them.

Virtual Instruments - freeware downloads

Quote:
Thirdly, I've begun looking up studios and producers around where I live in Brisbane, and have the contact details of a few of them. In your opinion and from your experience, how willing would they be to allow me to come in and watch them work and get an idea of how the process occurs? I understand going in with absolutely no music training and very little idea of the technical side of things works isn't the best idea, but I'm sure my enthusiasm and determination would count for something, right? Or would it be best to gain a general understanding of the theory and technical side, and then approach them? I've always felt you learn best by doing, but of course I don't want to be a hindrance or annoy them in any way.

Unlikely that someone will take someone who has just decided to do it. There is an australian/NZ subforum here at gearslutz found near the bottom of the main page. Perhaps ask there, you never know your luck.

Again, watch some vids on youtube to watch some people demonstrating workflow.


Quote:
Finally, any other tips you can give to someone starting out, who loves music but has no real idea about it? Like I've said, I've got a lot to learn, but I've got plenty of time and like most of us here, I just want to do what really makes me happy and that is making music, even though I'm essentially just throwing **** together so far and miraculously, it's sounding half decent.
Just do it. Find other people to do it, and do it with them too, don't just sit at home in your bedroom.

Matt
Old 31st January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
If you want to get a bit of theory under you belt, I'd recommend these:
http://books.google.co.uk/books/abou...d=_OcxGQAACAAJ

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/AB-G.../9781854724465

I'd also recommend getting some kind of basic piano - it will really help you visualise the relationship between the notes, and I speak as a guitarist!

As for hanging around studios, I'd echo what others have said - generally commercial operations are only interested in what you can do for them, not the other way round. Back when I was doing a bit of session work (15 years ago) in London, big studios used to have interns around, often confusing called 'generals' (general assistants), whose job it was to do all the dogsbody work like making sure the talent wanted for nothing, clearing up after everyone, maybe, if they showed some promise, wrapping cables. But whether they still exist in these dire economic times, I don't know - I'd be surprised if they did. So your best bet is probably to try and get to know someone with a project studio who might be willing to give you a helping hand.

Anyway, best of luck
Old 31st January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
16 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What are your two degrees in?

Might have a bearing on recommendations.

+1 on developing your music parallel to, and not in place of, your profession.
Old 1st February 2013
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
First off, thank you to all of you for your help and advice.

gehauser - My degrees are in International Business and Journalism. I'm in the process of applying to most of the agencies that bring the acts out here to Australia, and to the companies that organise the large music festivals out here during the summer. I think most of us would love to get paid to stand side of stage and watch the world's greatest artists perform.
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