Music Production course (and hello!)

Music Production course (and hello!)
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Hey folks, it’s been a while! Honestly I’ve just been bummed out about music and haven’t wanted to do much with it for the past few months. Basically just feeling discouraged. Very “what’s the point?” :frowning_face: I can’t say I’ve found the point, but I haven’t given up looking for it. I know that I want to keep making music, but I’m trying to find a new purpose for it (other than external validation,) and it’s just been hard. I’ve been reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life as well, and working on improving my diet… some shuffling of priorities I guess.

Anyway, I came across this Monthly class taught by Andrew Huang about music production, and decided to take it. I like Andrew, I think it’ll be fun and I’m sure I’ll learn something. (Hopefully a lot!) I’m trying to use it as a small bridge back into making music in a low pressure situation with other people who are excited to learn. I’m going to start the course on my laptop too, with a minimal setup and only a small slice of my plugins/instruments. I think it’ll help me approach it from a slightly different place.

I know at least a couple of people here have expressed an interest in electronic music production, so I thought I’d drop a link. (We both get $20 off if you use it, and will get put into the same group.) https://learnmonthly.com/andrew-huang-music?friend=riley-hawke

Anyway, I hope everybody’s been well!

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I’ve been wondering how you were. Glad to see you here again. I completely understand your “what’s the point” feeling. I feel it too.

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I hear you in some ways. I fortunately/unfortunately (i am not sure which) am just so driven to create music. I can’t stop myself no matter how much it costs and how depressing it can be sometimes. i really hope that, since you to see pretty driven to create, find a way to make it more of a boost than a bummer.
I am also interested in the Andrews production class, I just don’t have the time at the moment but thank you for sharing the link.

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I really like him, and the book is good. I didn’t let my kids skateboard much though, but they grew up okay anyway. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey there Cristina,
Great to hear from you and yeah, the ‘what’s-the-point’ virus is a stinker and seems to be an inevitable part of the musical journey. Would love to hear some more sounds from you.
I’ve somehow been co-opted into musical organiser of local production ‘Under Milkwood’, the Dylan Thomas extraordinary play and my role continues to grow. Am now doing a fully live keyboard backing plus sound effects and coordinating chorus and solo stuff for the actors, which is a bit of a change and highly challenging but heaps of fun. The words of the play are stunning and very musical to work with. Live stuff is a bit scary… :wink: but keeps you on your toes…
It’s all to do with feeding that muse and seeing where she takes you…
Have electronic fun!!

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W all get fed up and depressed at times and a little time away from creating music can do you good .I will have a few weeks away from it soon i always do every few months because i find i start loosing focus and trying to hard .Hope you enjoy your course and are all refreshed and ready to rock again

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Hey @Cristina

I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote. I think we all go through the “what’s the point” phase with a hobby, or a job or even a relationship. I had a period in my life where I was literally “what’s the point” about each and everything apart from my family. I packed up the family, travelled to the other side of the work to get a job, all in the name of finding myself. My guitar travelled with me, but I don’t think I picked it up for a year and a half. I didn’t write, play or think about music for the longest time.

Then a couple of things happened. The school I was working at decided they wanted to build a music / recording studio. I also met a great jazz guitarist in Malaysia who became a close friend. And then I discovered a few bands who completely changed my outlook on music. I didn’t really jump back into music, but I did make a few decisions at that time. I decided I’d build myself a studio as soon as I got the chance. And I promised myself I’d practice the piano and guitar.

But the biggest decision that I made, and the one that made the most impact on me was the decision that I was not going to be a professional mixer or musician. So I had to cut myself some slack in that department. My grandma and auntie were two of the greatest knitters I’ve ever known. I mean on a level that is seldom seen. Neither of them has ever sold a single piece of knitwear that they produced. But why would I see their art as anything other than beautiful? And I think that’s the mistake I was making with myself. I’d taken a hobby, a passion and turned it into something that it wasn’t. Too much pressure and expectation. Now I spend some time in my studio. Not as much as I want, but I’ve taken the pressure off my own shoulders and turned it back into the hobby it was always supposed to be. I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself about every song I’m currently writing or mixing. I have way too many ideas for songs that I will be able to write or record, but I take that as a sign that my brain isn’t fatigued or over worked. And that makes me happy. Maybe someday I’ll make the EP or the LP I’ve always wanted to make. Or not. For me it’s become about what making music represents rather than the actual recordings I put down.

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I made a similar decision years ago and enjoy making music more than ever.
@ Christina: you seemed pretty serious about making a living out of your music and you certainly have loads of talent. What depresses me about the professional music scene is that most musicians that do make a living from making music play in a coverband. Original songwriters tend to get paid shit until you have a big hit. I know there are other way’s of earning a living from music these days. Question is is that what you want? Anyway, great to have you back on the forum :smiley:

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That’s a really interesting thought actually… I’m going to think more about that one. I know I’m missing something about art, and what it fundamentally is, and why people create it. I think it’s something more important than just a pastime, but it’s not productive like cooking or earning money. I think it’s something special, but I am just not sure exactly what.

You’re right, I was serious about it! I’m sort of like that about things… I’ll go all in, and then might later decide to just stop. I guess I just realized once and for all that it’s not the game I want to play. I don’t even think I would like the prize. (Unless the prize is a lot of money, but there are easier ways to make a lot of money haha.) I’m glad I walked down that road far enough to know that it’s not for me. Better than having it call to me, and wondering “what if?”

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I think it’s different for everybody, and the more you think about it, the more it seems pointless. I think the trick is to not think too much and just do stuff that seems interesting. I think we are hardwired to make stuff.

For me personally (even though I didn’t know it), making music has always been about proving to myself that I can do something that seems like only “special” people can do. Overtime, I have changed that focus from playing instruments to recording songs to making plugins to starting a business to cooking food (cooking is my current outlet).

The thing that always bothers me about making music is that I know no matter how great a song is, 90% of people will hear it and not care. How many amazing songs have I listened to and thought “Meh, not my thing,” and moved on never to listen to it again. Most people don’t even care about good songs, and I’m over here trying to muster up a mediocre song. At the end of the day, it’s the challenge that keeps it fun.

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YO!

I hit that point a few months ago when Natalie moved to Dallas (and took a ton of my high end clients with her - but all completely on good terms though). I gave up and might not try to rebuild the studio until I move out of South Carolina. I’ll keep working with the couple ongoing broadcast post production clients, (and I still have my orchestra job) but I had to join a band and go play for a living again. I got out of the ‘what’s the point’ of recording by (out of necessity) having to move back into music, but I’m having fun with it for now.

I looked at the course and watched his youtube videos. That guy is a frickin bad ass. That dude is a SERIOUS producer. He ain’t famous and doesn’t seem to have any big hits, but OMG holy shit - HE HAS SKILLS!!!

And he’s good at making videos.

The class looks like it moves fast…really fast. It progresses quicker than most online college stuff does even. But if you have time it looks great.

That guy seems like he’s almost exclusively an Ableton user. I couldn’t watch the tools and equipment video - is it open to all DAW users? Or do you use Ableton a lot?

I’d consider doing it but I’m really really tied with college (and working a full time job with the band). Totally let us know how it goes!

If you need any help with Ableton or subtractive synth stuff, feel free to tag me :wink:

Good to hear from ya!

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I had a period of about 8 years when I developed a skin problem on my hands (a specific type of psoriasis), to the extent I couldn’t hold down a guitar string any more and stopped playing. I took up painting, even became somewhat good at it (at least selling a couple of paintings for up to 800 euro’s each and having a couple of expositions at professional art galleries). But when the skin disease backed down I knew I had to get back to making music. I learnt that there are different ways of letting your creativity flow, but music for me is where its way down deep inside. Can’t explain it, it just is. Actually I sometimes think this whole mixing and producing thing is just an excuse not to go down into the deep. I love it too, but maybe I should just be playing more.

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Yeah the course applies to any DAW. Andrew uses Ableton, but the material isn’t DAW specific. I’ll be using good ole’ Reaper. The more I use it for electronic music, the more I realize how awesome it is. I feel like, whenever I wonder to myself, “can I do that in Reaper?” the answer is almost always yes. I can’t imagine that’s the case in most other DAWs.

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Hey there, Cristina. Really nice hearing from you again. I actually have thought about you and missed your presence here.! Seriously, it’s nice having you back. Hope to hear more from you.

Thanks for sharing about what you’re going thru.

I dunno if this fits or not for you, but for me, I’ve seen an evolution. Years ago I dreamt (dreamed?) of success and stardom and recognition. I wanted to be admired for my work. I can be such a narcissist. I’m not saying that about you or anyone else. That’s just me. My evolution has been that I am learning to let go of all that and recognize that none of that’s gonna happen. And that’s okay! But (this sounds odd, maybe), I mean that in a good way, cuz it’s allowed me to enjoy my music more. Somehow all that other stuff has become not so important to me anymore.

I have so many things in my life I am thankful for. Feels like I’m not expressing myself well here, but I guess that for me personally it’s been very freeing to let all that go and I’m finding myself enjoying my music more and playing and especially mixing more, just cuz, well, it’s challenging and fun, and rewarding. And that’s all it is.

TBH, this site has been helpful for me in that regard. I write a lot of stuff and really do want to eventually actually finish some of it, in terms of getting it recorded and mixed reasonably well. But I’m beginning to just plain experience how fun it is to learn new things and experience new things as I grow in my skills. Not going anywhere with it. Not prolly gonna do anything with it. Heck, I’ve got my career, and am hoping to be moving more into retirement in the coming years. About to become a grandpa (in February!).

For me the change has been just learning to have fun with my music. For me. Cuz it’s cool.

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Hi Cristina! Good to hear from you, and I’ve also been pretty scarce myself while I changed jobs and homes this past summer. I have in fact finally recorded the tracks for a cover tune to get me back in the groove after a long time away, and yes, there is an “activation energy” to get back in the saddle.

I’m firmly in the camp that we can derive pleasure from our music making purely for ourselves, as others have described… Gonna try to be around here more myself!

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Hey Cristina, good to hear from you. You were missed! Your post really resonates with a lot of us because I think musicians have some similar “wiring”. Speaking for myself, just in the last few years, I’ve just finally gotten back to dabbling in music after a very long hiatus. Lately, I’ve been mixing much more than creating, and am really missing that aspect of music. For me, there’s nothing like it. Many of us wish we had a song the caliber of “Wasteland” in our personal catalogs. :wink:

But these days there’s a lot less self-imposed pressure. It can be very frustrating because of the lack of time, but it is also freeing to not have to try and make a living off of this pursuit. (At least for me.) Of course we all want people to hear and appreciate our music, that’s a form of validation. But in the end, it’s really about self-expression.

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Hey Cristina, I wish you the best in this venture.

I took an online course named “The Art of Music Production” with Berklee Online. I earned a certificate I can show off but besides that I barely learned anything I didn’t already knew. I’d be curious to have your feedback once you complete this one!

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Another book I’m reading is called “Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad - And Surprising Good - About Feeling Special” by Dr Craig Malkin. I think it’s natural to want to think we’re special and achieve great things. But maybe there’s a difference between wanting it and believing it’s true. :wink: Or believing it too much, perhaps. While narcissists (a label) and narcissism have gotten a somewhat deservedly bad name, the good news is that it’s actually normal to have a degree of “healthy narcissism” … or what I like to call self-interest. If we don’t advocate for ourselves, probably nobody else will. Where it gets unhealthy is believing that we’re better than others or deserve more than others etc. Or manipulating other people to achieve the ‘wants’. I find it helps to think in terms of “narcissistic tendencies” rather than label ourselves or someone else a ‘narcissist’. We’re all very complex beings, with virtues and flaws.

As always, playground rules apply: Have as much fun as you want, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or others. :slightly_smiling_face:

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