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The Music Production Guide E-Zine, Issue #002 -- Personality Issues
August 03, 2012

The Music Production Guide

Issue# 002
Date: 8/3/12


The mission of The Music Production Guide E-Zine is a monthly (sometimes more often…) newsletter to discuss music production and engineering tips and techniques as well as career building advice to help you establish or enhance your music production career!

If you like what you see, forward it to a friend. If this e-zine was forwarded to you, sign up by clicking HERE and adding your name to the mailing list located in the top right column…

In This Issue...

1. What's New at
2. Music Production Tip: Personality Issues in the Studio
3. Engineering Tip: get Out of the Way...
4. Career Building Tip: Dreams, Goals and Tasks

1. What's New !!!

1. Live Online Call-in Music Production Classes:

Classes start August 15th. Classes will be held every other Wednesday. August classes are FREE, so make sure to fill out the REGISTRATION FORM to claim your seat. The class is limited to only 50 online participants first come first served. Classes are more or less informal (no homework) but discuss a wide range of music production, engineering and career development topics with live Q&A for each topic.

2. Coming Soon: Master Mixing Workshop:

This is an 8 week intensive course including weekly live Online Classes, eBooks, Videos and supplementary materials. This course will completely transform your mixing skills and the way you look at audio. This is a beginning to end approach for mixing that has been used by professional engineers for decades since the development of multitrack recording.

3. Summer Specials Ending Soon:

If you are interested in private instruction, consulting services for career development and studio design, or have need for mastering services, now is the time to order those services before the Summer Specials end. Have a small budget for your project? Ask, you never know…

2. Music Production Tip: Personality Issues in the Studio

Inevitably, working in recording studios with artists will lead you to the altar of the crazy or certifiably insane client. How you manage these situations will go a long way to telling you just how evolved you are as a music producer or engineer.

Dealing with artists in the studio can be very stressful, to say the least. Remember that the artist always has the most to lose in any recording situation. It is their face that goes on the cover not yours. If you engineer a record that fails miserably, nobody bought the record, so nobody really sees your name on the credits anyway. You collect your check and move on to the next project.

The producer has more to lose because they are responsible for getting the most out of the artist and creating a product that people are interested in. Because most record company releases fail to make back what they cost to produce, the producer may have a few shots at it with a record label before the calls stop coming.

The artist has by far the most to lose. One bad record can end an artist's career. Moreover, the record company (major labels especially) usually have the right to more than one record and will try to prevent the artist from signing with another label. Why? Because if the artist moves to another label and succeeds, it will reflect very poorly on the first label that was not able to produce a successful product.

Put in that perspective, it is important that you ALWAYS work with the artists best interests at heart regardless of their personal issues. Through your actions, extra efforts, friendship and support, you will let them know that you have their back at every turn. Eventually they will see your sincere efforts and start to work with you, trust you and become supportive.

When confronted by an artist or client, never be defensive or blame others for the problems. Own it, and present solutions to the problems with assurance that they will be corrected and not be repeated. If the claims are completely unfounded or delusional, allow the situation to settle and invite the artist or client to investigate what the real source of the problem is so a solution can be found.

3. Music Engineering Tip: Get Out of the Way…

One of the most valuable lessons I learned through years of engineering experience was to get out of the way of the music. Remember that it is not about you, it's all about the artist. The best way to capture great recordings has less to do with the equipment and miking techniques used and everything to do with quality of the musicians, their instruments and the song.

As an engineer, these are the aspects of recording that are generally out of your control. What is in your control is putting the artist in the best possible place to succeed within the confines of the recording environment. Because the recording studio is not a natural performance environment for most artists, you must consider how best to minimize these affects so that the artist feels comfortable, focussed and confident that everything is going to sound great.

Here is a simple checklist of things you should consider:

1. Find the best recording possible recording environment.
2. Make sure the instruments are tuned and tempered properly.
3. Create good sight lines between musicians.
4. Adjust yourself set up around the artist's needs, not your needs.
5. Make sure the artist is comfortable.
6. Make a great headphone headphone mixes.
7. Keep the lines of communication open between takes.
8. Constantly catered to artists needs and pay careful attention to see that they are comfortable with everything.

Your job is to make the record sound great from a sonic perspective. However, if the best "sounding" setup puts the artist in a compromised or uncomfortable position, you will never get a performance that anyone will want to listen to. Remember that the quality of the sound source is the biggest determining factor in sound quality through your mic setup.

If you spend most of your time tuning in the instrument, the setup and making the artist comfortable, you will find that the quality of your sounds as an engineer will increase tremendously. The artist must feel catered to and 100% confident you're capable of handling the job so they can focus 100% of their energy into their performance.

4. Career Development Tip: Dreams, Goals and Tasks

We have all heard how important it is to set goals in our lives to achieve the things we desire. But nobody has ever really told you how to do so. As a result very few people ever achieve the goals they desire because they cannot define what they want.

The real key to achieving your dreams of working in the music industry is to separate your goals from your dreams. A dream is something you'd love to achieve but cannot see how it is possible given your current situation. A goal is something you believe that you can achieve but also must challenge you to change your current situation. A task is something that requires effort but is not necessarily challenging.

The way to realize your dreams is to set goals that lead to the achievement of your dream. For Example, you may have a dream of recording for producing a record for Jay-Z. A series of goals that would help you to realize this dream might be to:

1. Graduate from a recording school
2. Get a job in a recording studio that Jay-Z likes to work in.
3. Become a full-time music producer or engineer.
4. Achieve the level of success necessary to work with the artists of Jay-Z's caliber.
5. Establish the connections necessary to work with Jay-Z.

Each of these goals will require a series of tasks in order to be completed. Most of these tasks may be relatively simple or easy to perform. If your goal is to get a job in a particular recording studio. A list of tasks might be:

1. Create a good resume.
2. Research the studio online to find out as much as you can about it.
3. Make phone calls to find out how the hiring process works.
4. Check in regularly to show genuine interest without being a pain.
5. Reach out to everyone you know to see if you can find a connection inside the studio.
6. Visit the studio to drop off your resume.
7. Be prepared for your interview.

It is important that you pursue your goal with determination. Do not be disheartened if early efforts are rejected. Don't be afraid to ask the studio how the process works so that you are better prepared the next time around. Keep a positive attitude and find creative ways to approach your next attempt.

So what is the most important key to your success? Define your dream as clearly as you can and relentlessly pursue it by focusing on the individual goals and tasks that are necessary to achieve that dream.

Remember, nobody is just going to hand you the keys to the kingdom. You have to earn that. The way that you learn how is by relentlessly pursuing your goals and doing the best possible job you can do regardless of the circumstances. Your dedication, effort and attitude will set you apart from those around you who are aimlessly pursuing vague dreams they do not define or believe in.

Thanks for reading The Music Production Guide E-Zine! I look forward to hearing any comments or questions you may have regarding the content of this E-Zine and what you would like to see more of in future publications.

All The Best,

Michael White

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