Do you know them all?!
Mixing is an art. Mixing is technical. A mix can be objectively good or bad. A mix can be subjectively good or bad. This episode of the Music Production Podcast contains some of the general guidelines that have helped me find the sound I'm looking for and improve the technical quality of my mixes.
Thanks for listening and please pardon the clickbait title; I'm running some experiments in naming.
As you work and toil over your music, there comes a point when a song is finished. But how do you KNOW your track is finished? You can always add or change things. You can try new sounds or alter the arrangement. But how do you know where to stop?
In this episode, we explore the topic from both a philosophical and practical purpose. We ask questions about what makes a song complete and then go through specific techniques and approaches you can use to finish your music.
As you are making music it can help to consider what your listeners will be doing as they listen. You can also think about the 13 musical emotions and which ones you want to evoke with your music.
All of this can help us finish and release an album, EP, or single this month in the Finish February Challenge!
Jamuary is over! And if you participated, you probably have lots of ideas to work off of. Even if you didn't participate, I'm sure you have a lot of unfinished ideas anyway. Finish February is a challenge to finish some of that music and release it. It can be a single, EP, or full album. The point is to finish some music and get it out to the world!
Derek Sivers is a musician, writer, and entrepreneur. He started CDBaby in 1998, offering independent musicians (including me!) a way to sell their music online. Derek wrote "Anything You Want" explaining lessons he learned from the adventure.
Derek is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and in this episode he shares some of his insight about making music and the creative process. It was a great conversation that makes meaningful connections between life, business, and creativity.
By participating in the #Jamuary2020 challenge to make and share a new piece of music each day, it's become extremely clear how important it is to find ways to focus while working.
In this episode, I talk about some important lessons I'm learning and offer some practical ways you can find focus while working on your music.
You will inevitably come across days that you just don't feel like making music. The thing that differentiates a professional from an amateur is the amateur does it when he/she feels like it; the professional does it no matter what. If you can make music on the days you are tired, uninspired, and lacking motivation, you can do it any time!
Roger Linn is a Grammy award winning electronic musical instrument designer, whose instruments have had a major influence on the music industry. He designed the first drum machine with samples. His MPC60 revolutionized the sampling and hip hop community. Today, his LinnStrument is ushering in a new generation of expressive electronic musicianship.
Jamuary is a challenge to make a piece of music every day for the month of January, and to share it online.
In this episode, I talk about the Jamuary Challenge, what it takes to participate (not much), and what the benefits will be.
Producing music is essentially a series of making decisions. It's important to make commitments to our decisions in order to move forward.
In this episode, I argue that in order to move forward with your music, you must commit early and often. Looking back and questioning our decisions is sure to lead to dissatisfaction in our music.
John Ivers is a composer, sound designer, and works as head of sound design for BandLab. BandLab is a free social music creation platform.
John and I had a great conversation covering a range of topics. We discuss his role at BandLad and how the platform can bring in first time producers and offer helpful services to more experienced users. John talks in detail about sound design and how interface design changes how we perceive the product.
Like it or not, artificial intelligence and machine learning is changing the music industry. It could threaten jobs and eliminate the need for humans in the music making process. So what can we do? Double down on our humanity. After a few episode with people using AI and machine learning in the music industry, I have some thoughts on what we can do to avoid becoming obsolete in a changing world.
Happy Thanksgiving! Today's show is all about gratitude. We talk about how being thankful for what we have and feeling satisfied in decisions we make can help us make better music and live better lives. The conversation is based on a few books and mediations I've come across recently, as well as some real life experiences that have affected the way I see things. We talk about how those experiences can help us with our music making.
Jonathan Bailey is Izotope's Chief Technology Officer. Izotope is known for their high quality audio plug-ins that make use of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and plug-in that communicate.
Jonathan goes into what the future of music production might look like and how technologies like artificial intelligence are changing the way we work.
Kristoffer Lislegaard is an electronic musician, producer, and sound artist from Norway, and one half of the duo, Sgrow. Sgrow's music contains beautiful soundscapes, beats, and vocals. They've just released a new album called Circumstance II.
Kristoffer has some really helpful ideas on completing music, working within limitations, and live performance. Kristoffer surprised me with a little demonstration of his live performance setup. His way of working is inspiring and the new music is excellent.
Paul Zgordan works for Mubert, a company that develops tools for making music created by artificial intelligence. Mubert creates algorithmically generated music using samples uploaded by users. Mubert's generative music is targeted towards businesses that need music for their products (apps, spas, video games).
We explore whether artificial intelligence will endanger the jobs of musicians. Paul also shares ideas on how musicians can use AI to further their artistic vision.
Hazel Savage is the CEO and co-founder of Musiio, a company that uses artificial intelligence to automatically analyze and tag music to make it more discoverable. Hazel is a life-long musician and music technologist, working for companies like Shazaam, Pandora, and Universal.
Hazel and I talked at length about Musiio and its potential to influence the music industry. We also get into what makes music human and why she isn't afraid that artificial intelligence will replace artists.
David Marston and Phil Celeste are musicians, producers, and long-time collaborators who just finished a new track called "Airwaves." Phil (aka Life on Planets) and David have managed to make their partnership work over barriers of time and distance, and have had successful releases both together and separately.
We talked about how they both help guide each other in the studio, and how they also know when to work on certain aspects of a project separately.
Julie Covello, aka DJ Shakey, is a DJ, producer, performer, and founder of Warper Party. It's hard to overstate how important Julie's role in the shaping of live electronic music has been. Warper Party is a monthly live electronic music event that has been running since 2005. So much of what modern live electronic music has become has roots in the community Julie has helped build.
William Kage is a video game programmer and music producer, who produces music in the style of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System sound card. William built SixEngine, a web-based 16-bit video game engine. William releases music in the style of the SNES and is working on a new 16-bit RPG called Otosan.
William and I had a great conversation about his work and the challenges of writing within restrictions of the Super Nintendo's sound card.
It's very exciting when a new update comes out for your computer. There are new features and tools that may make things much easier, smoother, and faster. However, if you rely on your computer to make music, an update can break that system. Instead of enjoying new features and workflows, you will be stuck trying to figure out why nothing works.
Ben Burnes is a producer, live streamer, and game programmer. He releases unique sample packs and is very active in the music production community. Ben is known for not only sharing his work and projects, but also creating projects and collaborating with the community to make them come to life.
Ben shared wisdom and lessons he's learned from completing nearly 200 2-hour track challenges.
Drew Vespers is a musician, producer, and founder of Warp Academy, an Ableton Certified Trainer Center in Canada. Warp Academy is one of the leading producers of high quality online music production education. His tutorials have helped thousands of musicians (including myself!) grow and develop into successful artists. Drew's music combines elements of rock, jazz, hip hop, and electronic bass music, and been released on a variety of record labels.
Jörgen Kjellgren is a prolific ambient producer from Sweden. Since May 2018, Jörgen has release 9 EPs. He has developed a working method that uses restrictions to encourage creativity.
In this episode, Jörgen shares how discipline and restrictions has allowed him to become a prolific producer. Jörgen shares his thoughts on progressing ideas into finished piece of music and how the Japanese concept of "Wabi-Sabi" has allowed him to silent the internal critic.
I recently had a hard drive fail and I have lost years of music, photos, and other stuff. It might be gone forever.
This episode is a public service announcement and reminder to back up your files and back up your back ups! Your digital work is irreplaceable. I share a few ideas on how to back up your work, and also think about how to handle this loss on a psychological level.
Emre Yilmaz is a guitarist and singer songwriter from Istanbul Turkey, living in New York. He's done work for film and commercials. Emre is an avid meditator and yoga practitioner, and often produces music for those environments.
We explored the idea of self and the artist. We discussed how the mind works and how that affects our music production. Emre shared his wisdom from years of yoga and meditation, and showed how that can be applied to not only our music production but our everyday life.
Remute is a techno artist who is bringing new meaning to "minimalism." Revolting against our maximalist culture, Denis Karimani (aka Remute) programmed and released his latest album on the Sega MegDrive 16-bit video game system of the 1990's (known as "Sega Genesis" in the USA).
On this episode of the Music Production Podcast, Denis Karimani (aka Remute) discusses his work as an artist and how he started his own record label to pursue his artistic vision.
Dani DiCiaccio produces experimental electronic music with a hint of pop as KYOSi. She just released a new EP Negative Space. Dani has produced music for film, theatre, and podcasts.
In this episode, Dani shares her thoughts on experimental music and live performance. We talked about how saying yes to a variety of different projects can help expand one's artistic horizon.
David Abravanel has worked with some of the most important companies in music production. He has done marketing work for Ableton, Eventide, and Sensel. He writes for Ableton's blog, Create Digital Music, and many more.
David shares his experience working for various music production companies. As a confessed plug-in hoarder, he shares some of his favorite plug-ins. David shares his knowledge about live performance with a DAW and/or modular synthesizers.
Drew Mayhills is a musician, producer, and Ableton Certified Trainer in Australia. He releases music as Mayhills. Drew creates visceral and emotive music, ranging from energetic and angry to soft and soothing. His work moves people on the dance floor and in yoga and meditation studios. Drew has committed himself to a new release every month.
Drew and I talked about staying disciplined and focused around making music. Drew shared his wisdom as both a prolific producer and as an educational coach.
Tommy Zee runs Tommy Zee and Co., a music production company that makes music for some of the world's largest brands, such as Nike, Adidas, Google, Sony, and more.
In this episode, Tommy Zee talks about creating music and sound for brands. He discusses his path and what it took for him to take a leap of faith and make music his full time career. We had a great discussion about being productive, making connections with people, and working fast in order to be successful as a commercial craftsman.
I've been accumulating some field recordings over the last few months, and on today's episode we do something with them.
I used recordings of the checkout line at Costco, my dogs eating ice cubes, and crickets in the rain. After about 30 minutes of experimentation, I wound up with a textured synth pad, a beepy pluck instrument, some interesting transitional noises and risers, and a Drum Rack of my dogs eating ice cubes.
Quality comes from quantity, so make as much music as you can. The more you do anything the better you get at it.
In this episode, I talk about a few things that have inspired me lately, and they all have to do with being prolific.
Abid Hussain is an electronic and alternative rock music producer, Ableton Certified Trainer, and licensed attorney. Abid gave a helpful speech on sampling and copyrights at last year's Loop conference. He produces music under the name Nebulae.
In this episode, Abid gives some unofficial legal advice on sampling and copyrighting your music. We also discuss dealing with and overcoming creative blocks.
They Owe Us is an electronic, rock, alternative (my words not theirs) duo from Sweden. They have an affinity towards vintage analog gear and homemade drum kits. They've just released their debut album "Broken English and Sad Serenades."
I got to speak with Rane and Kris about their creative process, the new album, and live performance. They shared their approach to writing and recording, which they described as a little backwards. We also get into the imperfections that make music special.
We all have the same 24 hour days. No one is more successful than you because they have more time. The most productive people make time. In today's episode of the Music Production Podcast, we discuss 10 things you can do to make the most of your time and get more done.
Ben Mendoza is the founder of Beatchain, a powerful new data science and digital marketing platform that helps artists connect with and grow their fanbase. Beatchain allows musicians to target new and existing fans by collecting data and using machine learning. Artists can use this information to learn what posts are most effective, target people in specific geographical locations with specific interests, and learn what campaigns are being engaged with the most.
URSA is a new music streaming service that allows artists to share bios, album liner notes, pictures, lyrics, photos, videos, and more with their fans. It promises to make deeper and more meaningful connections between artists, fans, and the music.
In this episode of the Music Production Podcast, I sit down to talk with URSA's founders Christopher Jones and Chad Royce.
I've decided to drop the name AfroDJMac and move forward using my actual name, Brian Funk. I've wrestled with artist names for a while and decided to just drop it. The result has been surprisingly liberating.
In this episode, we talk about artist names, why we have, and if we even need them. I'll go over why I adopted one in the first place and why I've now let it go.
Matty Harris is a mixing and mastering engineer who has worked with Kelly Clarkson, Sammy Adams, Lil Yachty, A$AP Rocky, Cousin Stizz, Cam Meekins, and many more. He runs the online mixing and mastering site MixandMasterMySong.com.
Matty and I had a great conversation about some best practices in mixing and mastering. Matty shared some of his favorite tools and offered some practical advice that can help producers of all levels.
Musicians and artists are often thought of as creatives. We build, construct, and create out of thin air. In this episode, I explore the benefits of changing our thinking as that of a creator to that of an observer. By becoming an observer, we are noticing and curating the art and music. It can take the pressure out of the creative process and teach us to be more openminded.
It’s impossible to live in a constant state of inspiration. Truth is, inspiration is quite rare. And when it comes, it is hard to hold on to. So what can we do when we don’t feel like getting to work or you don’t have any ideas? This is a struggle I am currently feeling, so I made a list of things I can do to regain some inspiration and find new ideas. This episode of the podcast is really a pep talk to myself. I hope it can help you next time you are struggling to find ideas and inspiration.
David Frangioni is a drummer, music technologist, studio designer, and author of the book Crash, which is an illustrative chronicle of rock and roll's legendary drum kits. He has worked with a who's who of rock legends like Aerosmith, Sting, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr, and KISS. His company Audio One builds and installs the most high-end luxury studios. David just released the book Crash! The World's Greatest Drum Kits.
Mark Cawley is a hit song writer, with credits to his name for artists like Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, and many more. His new book, Song Journey: A Hit Songwriter’s Guide Through the Process, the Perils, and the Payoff of Writing Songs for a Living, offers practical steps and advice for songwriters. It's currently the #1 new release in the Music Composition category on Amazon. Mark also offers one on one coaching to song writers at his website IDoCoach.com.
If one thing is for sure, you will run into problems while producing music. Maybe it's a technical issue, a creative issue, or a personal issue, either way, you are sure to have them. So what do you do?
In this episode, I offer some ways of rethinking problems from something bad to something good and productive.
GARDNSOUND is the work of Gardner Beson, a musician, producer, and YouTuber known for his helpful tutorials. Gardner generously shares his production techniques and skills with his audience. He runs Gardnsound Studios, which caters to artists that excel at breaking through the barriers that contain conventional EDM.
As I've been working on my live performance set, I've found two simple things helping quite a lot: to-do lists and done lists. In this episode, I share how I am using simple lists to help with my productivity and motivation.
Jason Timothy Ward runs the site MusicSoftwareTraining.com, where he teaches you how to produce music by not just showing you the tools, but also addressing the mental side. What I love about Jason's work is his ability to deal with the philosophical side of his art. Jason has tremendous insight on how our mind often gets in the way of our work, and offers practical solutions we can all use.
The kitchen of a restaurant can be one of the more hectic workplaces. In order to make delicious dinners in all of the chaos, chefs need to be extremely disciplined.
As music producers, we can learn a lot about our craft by observing how chefs manage to complete their art in the "heat" of the moment (couldn't resist the pun :).
Eshan Khadaroo has performed with Grammy award winning artists such as Cirque Du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Imogen Heap, and many more. In recent years, Eshan has been releasing some of the finest tutorials and video courses for Ableton Push under the name Push4Life. Eshan just released a new video course called Getting to Know (and love) Chromatic Mode on Ableton Push 2.
Nate Beaudry makes music as Chef Elf. He is an incredible example of discipline and hard work. Nate has released a new track every day since January 1, 2018; that's over 400 tracks!
Nate and I had a great conversation about making music, staying productive, and finding ways to show up every day and get to work.
Tom Frampton is the creator of Mastering the Mix, a site dedicated to teaching producers how to get the best mixes of their music possible. He recently released a new service called Bounce Boss that simplifies and streamlines the collaboration process. Tom also has a host of plug-ins that can help you create the best mix possible.
It's episode 100! I felt a lot of pressure to make episode 100 something special. Soon the anticipation grew into anxiety and worry. It's common for us to build things up so big in our minds that they seem insurmountable. In this episode, I retreat back to the same approach that got this podcast started in the first place and discuss how we can apply that to making music.
Mark Mosher is a Synthesist, Composer, Performer, Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup, and hosts the Sonic Encounters Podcast. He has run his music production blog, Modulate This! (now merged with his MarkMosherMusic.com website) for about 15 years. Mark plays in a number of ensembles and has produced music and visuals for the stage, planetariums, and picture.
It's time for another NAMM show! This weekend, manufacturers from around the world gather in Los Angeles to showcase their latest gear. It's one of the most exciting times of the year for music makers. Perhaps there will be the announcement of that magic piece of gear that will finally enable you to release all that music locked up inside you.
In this episode, I try to offer some ideas and thoughts on how we can fight the inevitable gear lust NAMM brings us. Stay strong and fight off the NAMM gear lust!
Zaak Kerstetter is an Ableton Certified Trainer, producer and performer. He makes music as Zenotope, combining elements of glitch, ambient, downtempo, and bass with doses of classical and sci-fi. Zaak has worked at many different music production schools and is currently working and teaching at KMGLife.
Sahil Lavingia is a designer, writer, painter, and creator of Gumroad. Gumroad is a platform designed for artists to sell and share their work; it’s what I use to distribute all of my own products. While still a teenager, Sahil was the first designer for Pinterest.
Sahil and I had an awesome conversation about art, music, and the creative process. We discussed simplicity and productivity. I was immediately struck by the depth of his focus and his ability to see connections between so many seemingly diff
Cuckoo is well-known for his playful personality, fun music, and deep music-gear tutorials with the little circular mirror. Music Radar just voted him the best music tech personality in the world. I first came across Cuckoo in 2011 when he started producing some of the best OP-1 tutorials, which showed me creative ways to use the OP-1. Since then, he has consistently stepped up his game, providing ever more useful tutorials, sound packs, and inspiring jams.
After months of discussion, Cuckoo and I finally
Margaret Harmer is a trained percussionist and electronic music producer. She runs a professional recording and production studio called Shifting Waves. Margaret just finished work on Voices From Eris, a collaborative album featuring female electronic artists from around the world. Voices From Eris brings together women of all different backgrounds, and is made up of all different styles of electronic music.
I first met Margaret through my work with Berklee Online, while facilitating the Ableton Live sampl
Huston Singletary is the lead sound designer for preset creation at Ableton. He heads a team of sound designers that create the “sound” of Live. Over the years, Huston has done sound design and preset creation for numerous instruments, including Omnisphere, Novation Peak, Prophet X, and so many more. He documents a lot of his work and experiments on his Instagram page. Today, Ableton has released a free gift created by Huston called Singularities. Singularities is a collection of 40 Instrument Racks Hus
Claire Marie Lim is a music technologist, interdisciplinary artist, and live performance designer. A recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, Claire is a multi-instrumentalist who produces music as dolltr!ck. Claire has played an important role in planning and developing Berklee’s new Electronic Digital Instrument program, which welcomes modern technologies such as drum pads, MIDI controllers, and laptops as instruments of study. Claire’s work is paving the way for the future of music education.
Evan Chandler produces music as Slynk. He’s known for his unique blend of funk and EDM, and has an amazing collection of YouTube tutorials that dive deep into music production. Evan’s work has a unique character and originality that has brought him much success as an artist.
Evan and I had a pretty wide ranging conversation. I was excited to learn how he makes his music move with so much groove; he shared some great tips. We spoke about his work and touring, as well as how teaching can often be the bes
Dan Giffin is a musician, producer, and engineer, who runs the site Live Producers Online, which is a social membership site for learning Ableton Live. Dan’s podcast, Ableton Live Music Producers Podcast, centers around learning Ableton Live, and features many exciting guests who share their own personal stories and experience. Philia is the name of Dan’s musical project, and he just released a new album, Miracles Happen All The Time Vol. 1.
I’ve been a fan of Dan’s podcast for a while now, and aft
ince Cimo is the creator of DataLooper, a hardware guitar-pedal-style controller, that makes live looping with Ableton Live quick and easy. We were joined by Vir McCoy, who was jamming with Vince to discover ways he could incorporate DataLooper into his workflow. DataLooper was created to simplify live looping, and Vince is actively seeking suggestions from his user base to make DataLooper the ultimate device for live looping.
It was exciting to speak with Vince and Vir. We spoke about the creation of Data
Neil “Nail” Alexander is a multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist from the Hudson Valley in New York. Neil’s work spans just about every genre from jazz and classical to modern EDM and ambient. He is an avid live performer who incorporates both acoustic and electronic elements into his performances, and combines jazz sensibilities to electronic composition. Neil runs the Hudson Valley Ableton Live user group.
I spoke with Neil about his wide range of work and how he manages to wear multiple musical hats.
I went to Ableton Loop in Los Angeles and it was an incredibly valuable experience. There were excellent panels, discussions, meet ups, and performances. But aside from the scheduled events, some of the best moments were the moments between events. I had the chance to meet and talk to so many interesting people. I finally got to meet 3-D, real life versions of tons of people I’ve followed and interacted with through the computer screen. The spirit of the event was welcoming and inspiring.
Ableton’s Loop is a summit for music makers. It’s an incredible get together for people in the music production community to meet and share ideas. The schedule of events is amazing, and there are opportunities to talk, face to face, with so many brilliant people.
I was hanging around the Maker Zone, when Angelica from Ableton asked if I’d like to do a short presentation. Since I have a thing or two to say about making sounds, I gladly accepted.
This episode is the audio of that talk. I recorded it
We carefully budget our money, so why aren’t we as careful with our time? In this episode, we Reflect on and Apply words of wisdom from the very first guest on this podcast, Ben Burnes. Ben advocates budgeting your music production time carefully for maximum productivity. By carefully scheduling your time, you can get more important work done and avoid wasting time on insignificant tasks. You can also download a free Music Production Schedule I made to help us all be more efficient with our time.
Jakob Haq is a mobile musician from Sweden. He all of his music using either iOS or other portable devices, no computer! On his YouTube channel, haQ attaQ, Jakob shares his accumulated knowledge from over 25 years of music making. Jakob specializes in what he calls “Docu-torials” on new iOS apps and portable music making gear.
After crossing paths for years, I finally got a chance to speak with Jakob on the podcast. Jakob shares some tips on how he stays productive and avoids procrastination. He was ve
This episode is the beginning of a new type of episode on the Music Production Podcast, “Reflect and Apply.” Each episode will reflect on a lesson we learned from a guest on the show, and discuss ways to apply that lesson to our work.
Today’s lesson is about the importance of involving the body in our music production work. DiViNCi spoke about this idea in episode #33, and today we look at ways to incorporate a little more physicality into our music.
Diego Stocco is a sound designer, instrument builder, and explorer of sounds. Diego is a master at finding music in places ordinary people do not hear it. As an imaginative craftsman, Diego has created a collection of instruments made from natural and found objects, and instrument parts. He uses his otherworldly creations to score films and trailers, design sounds for Spectrasonics, and create his own unique music. His work proves that there is still so much sound to explore in our world.
I’ve wanted to
Johan Sundhage is a developer at Klevgrand. For the last few years, Klevgrand has been making a huge impression on producers with their plug-ins for DAWs and iOS. Klevgrand combines a somewhat outside-the-box approach to their devices, centered around design and usability. Many of their devices manage to take complex audio concepts and present them in beautifully intuitive interfaces.
I had the chance to speak to Johan about the creation process at Klevgrand. Johan reveals how he and a small team of devel
Jesper Nordin is a leading Swedish composer who has garnered considerable international acclaim in recent years. Jesper Nordin has also had huge success with his iOS app Gestrument that is based on his own composition technique.
I sat down with Jesper to talk about his new app Gestrument Pro, which sits somewhere between composition and instrument. It’s a beautiful app that makes excellent use of the touch screen interface. Jesper talked about his work as a composer, pushing boundaries of electro-acousti
Lynden Williams is a producer from Salt Lake City, Utah, who makes music as Divorce Court. Divorce Court is a chill wave, lo-fi project electronic project inspired by Lynden’s memories of youth and old home movies. I appreciate the consistent theme of faded memories and emotions, which the lo-fi nature of the music and his live visuals of old home videos bring to life.
Lynden and I spoke quite a lot about producing music, arrangements, and live performance. We spoke about the challenge we all face i
I just finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner. Both books contain wisdom and insight that can help us with music production.
In this episode, I discuss some of the important lessons I learned from the books, such as hard work surpasses talent and genius, we need to reframe the way we look at goals, and no one makes it alone.
Anthony Clint Jr., or just Clint, is seasoned producer and musician, creating hip hop, jazz, pop, and neo-soul. He's found quite a bit of success in music licensing. His work has been placed in film and on TV networks like MTV, VH-1, NBC, Fox Sports and more. Clint has been generously sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow producers on his site Clint Productions.
Clint and I had a nice conversation spanning many different topics relevant to making music. He has some great thoughts on maintaini
Mikas is the creator of We Make Dance Music, a site where producers can release and purchase DAW templates, sounds, and stems. He is an audio engineer and producer who founded the label Progressive Groove Records. Mikas has over 20 years of DJing and producing experience under his belt.
I enjoyed speaking with Mikas very much. He exudes a motivation and drive for making music and the community around We Make Dance Music. In the episode, we discuss how he started his business, why he rarely uses 3rd party p
Sometimes we learn our biggest lessons when things don't go right. Failure can be our best teacher, and we grow when we take risks.
Last week, I performed at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo. It's a huge event where people gather to celebrate and play their favorite retro video games. I performed on Saturday night. This episode of the podcast is all about the lessons I learned, some of them the hard way.
I decided to write all new music and design a new performance setup for the show. Unfortunately,
Ari Herstand is a musician, blogger, and author. In December 2016, he released How to Make It in the New Music Business. The book is currently high on the Amazon charts for music business books and is used in university classrooms. Ari takes his experiences, successes, and failures and turned them into one of the most informative books you can get on creating a career in today's music business.
I had a great conversation with Ari, who was full of energy and enthusiasm. Ari dispels some common myths about
Madeleine Bloom runs the site Sonic Bloom for "all things Ableton Live, Push, and Max for Live," and the site is truly a treasure trove for tutorials, downloads, and more. The site grew out of her experience as Ableton tech support, and makes for an interesting story of the unpredictable path life often gives us. Madeleine's music is a beautiful combination of the organic and the electronic. It's interesting in both emotional and technical perspectives.
I had a great and very wide ranging conversation wi
Peter Nyboer works for Sensel, a company that produces the Morph, a multi-touch, pressure sensitive USB and Bluetooth controller. The Morph is used for music producers, artists, gamers, and developers. It features easily swappable overlays for those many different applications. Peter also worked for Livid Instruments, makers of custom MIDI controllers and instruments.
Peter and I discussed the Morph and his experience with Sensel, Livid, and various music-focused tech companies. Peter lays out the challen
Cristofer Odqvist is an audio engineer, sound designer, and the author of Making Sound: Creative Music Production Tips and Philosophies. Making Sound is a valuable resource for producers because it gives actual techniques you can put to work in your projects. Behind each technique are philosophical ideas and guidelines which will further guide your work in the future.
In this episode of the Music Production Podcast, Cristofer talks about his beginnings as an engineer and how he learned to improve his c
Alessio Santini is the founder and lead developer of K-Devices. K-Devices specializes in music creation devices for Max for Live and iOS. Their slogan is "colorize your sound" and they focus on devices that have smart user interfaces, are easy to use, and have light CPU usage. Recently K-Device released their second batch of OOG, or Out of Grid, Max for Live devices. This series specializes in adding some variety and fluidity to your music and exploring rhythms that deviate from the musical time grid that s
Tim Webb has gone to great lengths to bring us the latest and greatest in iOS music making news. His site Discchord.com covers all the latest releases, updates, and relevant YouTube walkthroughs, jams, and reviews of music making software for iPhone and iPad. In a refreshing blast of honesty, Tim is not afraid to tell you what apps suck and are not worth your time. He has been a faithful supporter of developers and app users worldwide for the better part of the last decade.
Tim was kind enough to sit down
Christopher Postill runs the web site Sounds Like an Earful, where he offers music for podcasters, video makers, and anyone that needs professional quality music for their creative projects. Christopher runs a podcast editing business and works as a graphic and web designer.
Christopher's work interests me because he is taking his passion for music making and sound editing and turned it into a successful business. In this episode, Christopher discusses his work and balancing it with a day job. He talks abo
Matthew Fecher is a music software developer and part of the AudioKit Pro team. AudioKit Pro provides free and open-source audio software for developers to use in their apps and software. He and an enormous team of developers and collaborators just released Synth One, a free and open-source iOS synthesizer.
I had a chance to talk with Matthew about the release of Synth One and the entire AudioKit Pro project. Matthew discussed working on a long term project and dealing with difficult setbacks. He explai
How do we take an 8 bar loop and turn it into a finished song? It's probably the question people ask me most. As my students at Berklee are putting the finishing touches on their final project, it has been a major point of discussion. Then I received an email from a listener named Ed, who was seeking some advice on how to finish tracks.
In this episode, I discuss the issues we all face in finishing songs. This is definitely not an end all be all - there's certainly room for a part 2 and 3 and 53 - but
Do you really need that new piece of gear? The truth is, probably not. Our modern day smart phones have more music making power than state of the art studios from just a few decades ago.
In this episode, we talk about gear lust and how it gets in the way of our creative process. Plus I offer a few challenges you can give yourself to overcome the urge to buy new gear, accomplish goals, and perhaps reward yourself with a new toy when appropriate.
Vincent Musolino is a physicist and the author of How Audio Works. In the book, Vincent gives important information about how sound originates from the instrument, is recorded by the microphone, converted to digital in the DAW, and then back to analog when it leaves the speakers. It's a very musician friendly guide to a very technical subject. It's a great book for anyone interested in understanding the physics behind sound.
In this episode, Vincent gives a detailed explanation of the journey sound takes a
Dan Carr runs the site ReverbMachine, which is one my favorite new discoveries. On the site, Dan dissects and recreates the synthesizer patches used on popular songs by artists such as Tame Impala, Kanye West, Beach House, Nine Inch Nails, and more. At the end of each post you can download the presets and project files he creates. It's a powerful tool for learning how to program synthesizers and apply effects to achieve popular sounds. Like me, Dan also began his journey into music by playing guitar. I fi
Isaac Cotec is a musician, producer, and Ableton Certified Trainer. He makes music as Subaqueous and runs a website and YouTube channel about all things music production and Ableton Live. This summer he will run his 3rd Audio Grove Music Retreat.
I first met Isaac in 2013 when we were going for our Ableton certification. Since then, I've followed his work closely and collaborated with him on a few Ableton Live Packs.
This conversation with Isaac covers a lot of topics, including his Audio Grove Music Re
You might not think that telling people they suck at producing is a good way to win over fans, but Underbelly has managed to take that approach and build a community of eager producers around it. His YouTube channel, You Suck at Producing, is growing at a hyper pace thanks to his powerful lessons and hilarious sense of humor. Underbelly packages important lessons in concise videos laced with a lighthearted attitude and dry humor.
As a fan of his work, I had a great time talking with Underbelly. He's a
Recently, Dan from pATCHES asked me write a musical manifesto for his site. I was just finishing Samuel Adoquei's Origin of Inspiration: Seven Short Essays for Creative People. The book had struck me in a powerful way, so I wrote my manifesto based on 3 lessons I took from the book. This episode is my reading of that manifesto over some ambient music made from my Wind Chimes instruments and Isotonik Studios' Arcade Series Returns.
This podcast was inspired by a student question. He asked "How do I get inspired to make music?" It's a great question, but I think it contains some underlying beliefs that need to be addressed. In this episode I encourage you to hunt for inspiration. To make yourself inspired. If you wait for inspiration, you'll never get anything done.
Emilio Guarino is a bassist, music producer, and author of Make It: A Guide For Recent Music Graduates. His music ranges from orchestral to jazz and electronic. In his book, Make It, Emilio picks up where music school left off and offers practical tactics and insights one can use to begin a career as a musician.
It was really nice talking to Emilio about his experiences in the academic music world and how he has managed to bridge that world with the day to day life of a working musician. In this conversati
Ethan Hein teaches music technology NYU and Montclair State University. His blog covers all kinds of related topics on music theory and technology. Ethan's work is a must for anyone looking to go deep into studying music and the culture surrounding it.
Ethan and I had a great conversation about creating music, overcoming obstacles, and finding meaning in one's work. I really enjoy how Ethan is able to tie together concepts and illuminate new ways of understanding what music means and how it impacts us and
John Holt runs The Audio Journey, which teaches music production, especially for beginners. Though he covers some of the most basic concepts in entering music production, he also covers some more complex ideas and problems most producers face when it comes to advancing and finishing tracks.
It's pretty obvious that John and I read a lot of the same books, listen to the same podcasts, and subscribe to a lot of the same philosophies. There's a lot of "yes! I love that book too!" moments. The result is a pret
Tom Frampton is a producer, mixing and mastering engineer, author, and plugin designer. Never Get Stuck Again is his new book that gives producers a road map of the production process and practical and technical tips and techniques to navigate that map. His website Mastering the Mix, has great production tips and is where he offers his extremely helpful plugins.
Tom and I had a great conversation about problems in the production process and how to overcome them, as well as his own plugins and book. Lots