Lesson 1: Music Overview- Recording/Producing- Can I Do it Myself??

Do you like music?

Copyright: Rotweiler – This is a photo of James Michael Thompson playing his one-of-a-kind 8 string baritone tricone resonator guitar.

    Music comes in many forms.  Some musicians choose to write their songs very simple and easy, while others choose to make complex compilations of many different instruments.  Some make beautiful sounds; some make terrible sounds.  Some are technical, and for lack of a better word, some are not so technical.  The great thing about music is there is no right or wrong answer.  You can be a terrible musician, not know a thing about music, sing songs, feel great about yourself, and thats great.  Music is an art.  Whatever you want to do with your canvas, you can do.

This short class (5 lessons) will not focus on the different notes, chords, nodes, harmonics, keys, intervals, scales, and music theory which apply to every single type of music.  Think of music as mathematics- 1+1 will always = 2.  1 note above B will always be a C.  While this is a simple rendition of how music works, this is all we will cover.   We will focus on the recording process.  How to get set up, what it takes to get set up, how to utilize and edit multi-tracking software, and why you want to do it!

Pretend that YOU are a painter.  With a blank canvas to paint on.  Now pretend that instead of a paint brush you have a guitar or piano.  Your canvas is actually your computer.  And your various tools to create your “painting” or song (which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now).



Copyright: Paul White

In the music industry there are 1000s of producers.  Virtually everyone with a studio is a producer.  Virtually every artist has their own studio at home.  So in an essence, every artist is a producer.  What is a producer?  The producer is the person (guy or girl) responsible for taking a song and turning it into a product, a CD, an mp3, just basically making the song available for others to listen to instead of a live performance.
These are the technicians and engineers that take the technicalities of music and combine them with current technology!  Every week it seems like a new product for recording gets released.  Whether it be a new microphone, a new keyboard, a whole new digital studio interface (software), or just a new guitar that is being sold (with NEW sounds and probably something crazy cool in the wood to make it sound completely different than anything else for sale).  The whole recording and producing industry is vast- because there are sooo many people who do it!  Basically every musician!

Can I do it myself??

Why does the musician need someone else to “produce” their album if every musician is a producer? 

A great question.  Look at it this way.  Musicians are primarily just that- Musicians.  Some musicians however, take it a step further and learn about the hardware and equipment it takes to make songs sound great and put them on a CD.  The producer is the one who undertakes majority of the editing.  This entails basically sitting behind a computer and listening to segments of songs and listening for “blips” mis-hits (for drums for example) and anything that doesn’t follow our original basic “math” principle.  Remember 1+ 1 = 2.  In music, if your song starts with 4 beats per measure you cannot just change it to 3 beats per measure.  No, like math, you have to use fractions and rational decrements.  So if you have 4 beats per measure, you can gladly change it to 2, 8, 16, 32 beats per measure.  This is perfect math!  Well you get the idea, this is basically how music works.  Again, we are not going to cover this type of music learning.  Ours will be technical and about the software.
Using tons and tons of technical information, math and music theory- producers/sound engineers fuse together the artists creative talent as well as the tech aspects of music.  Seeing a producers studio is unreal to say the least.  See image below to see what a studio looks like.  You will notice all the tech equipment, various instruments, and elaborate computer set up.  Welcome to the life of a Music Producer.  Hours upon hours are spent in this room editing the sounds of a musician, or multiple musicians in order to successfully create what we hear on the radio everyday!


Copyright: Opal Studios


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