I talked to a friend of mine yesterday, he is into making small videos for youtube and the like, he told me that he thought about quitting. At first i was a bit like, well sure bad day and all, but he did seem to mean it. I asked him why and he told me that he just couldn’t take the disappointment when he saw what all the other video guys had to work with. I gave him the old don’t compare your stuff to others speech and told him that it’s all about having fun doing it, after all if you are in it for the money, the fame or the groupies you should go for IT or something like that, not arts.
He did got me thinking though, i knew how he felt, i been there. I used to hate finishing a track, absolutely dread it. Why? well my set-up is very err let’s called limited. However i have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter, see it’s all relative. No it’s not just a line, i mean it, when we discuss possible upgrades we always starts with looking at what’s already there, so why not apply the same thinking to our music, in other word, when you look at your problems.
Let me give you an example, if you got a pair of weak monitors in an untreated room and a zero budget, then there is pretty much nothing you can do to solve the problem, but there is stuff you can do to give yourself a few advantages over the current situation. First off you need to get to know you monitors, this involved taking a track that you know really well, as well as a track that you have done. Next you need a crapload of playback systems, of any kind you can get, ipod, headphones, inears, old radios, car stereos, home stereo, home theater and anything else you can plug into. Playback both tracks on each system and take notes comparing them to your monitors, this should give you an idea of what general translations issues your monitors got.
There is a lot more to this then just what i mentions above, however i’m gonna stop here, since this isn’t really about your critical listening skills or monitor system. What i want to highlight is the mindset, instead of thinking about all the stuff you can’t do anything about look at what you can do something about.
If you approach every aspect of making music with a “i’ll do what i can do” attitude, you’ll be much happier then if you approach it with a “i can’t do anything to compete with the pros” or similar attitude, you’ll know that you went as far as you could and you should be prude that you did everything you could to ensure quality.
Okay so i found one of my old (about 3 month) verses while digging through my notes. It was about parties and one-night stands in a sort of love the life way. At first i just thought, “well damn i was stupid”, but it got me thinking about how much i grown. When text was written i was sleeping off hangovers in school, i was drinking to much and generally living bad, now i got a great girlfriend and i haven’t touched alcohol in almost a month, not because i’m trying to quit or anything, i just don’t party as much. To top all that off, i’m actually starting to enjoy being more relaxed.
It’s common knowledge that artists tend to get in close with their emotions and use life as an inspiration, but trouble is that while we with some ease tend to deal with the traditional topics of love, sex, friendship and all that, we seem to be unable to do the same with personal growth. Note that i say this based on trying to find tracks about this from different artist, in different genre, but with no luck.
Another problem that i think be based in personal growth is when you hear an artist and it doesn’t seem like they “feel” the track, i’m suspecting that this is, in some cases at least, due to the fact that they outgrown the song. I know that if i where to try and record the verse i found, i wouldn’t be able to put much emotion into it. Does this mean we should delete old ideas, well i wouldn’t, i might reach a point where it’s usable again.
I think i’m not wrong to call myself somewhat knowledge in the field of audio, i wouldn’t call me an expert or anything, just saying i’m not a complete amateur any more, and with that i want to give a little tip:
Get a good reference guide, especially for the technical stuff. I prefer a book, as you might need it while setting up cables and power lines, which probably mean sitting under the desk and keeping the computer shut off.
I recently got the SOS Smart Guide: Basics and Beyond, i got it mainly because it covered more technical stuff that aren’t covered as much in Tweak’s guide (http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm)
I was actually not aware that it was lay out as a reference guide when i brought it, but i already had use of it, the color coding and mini content index for each section is great. I actually rewired everything the same day (due to a episode of home recording show, that i wished i could forget, and found that after the rewiring was done i had a ground loop. Normally i would check Tweaks guide, then turn of the PC, so i could replug stuff and realize that i forgot everything i was suppose to check for. With the Smart guide i just found the chapter on cables and wiring looked for something about ground loops, found it read it and went under the desk to fix it, when i realized i forgotten something, i just had to grab the guide and reread it.
I don’t know of any other reference guides of this type, but if you do, then let me know.
That’s all for this time around.