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Old 3rd May 2007
Originally Posted by doog View Post
To conclusion of this session I would like to hear the three main points you would say to your kid like, "okay kid, these three things you should remember while doing this job!"
this was great Q&A! Thank you Russell! Karri
hello karri,

if you really want to do this, then you have to commit yourself and live it, breathe it. you have to sacrifice and give everything for your craft. this is the only way to become a master and a true original. set your goals and do it. believe in yourself and strive to be the best...

train your ears and educate yourself. listen to as much music as you can. record and mix as much as possible. i used to stay at the studio for 4 days at a time and sleep 3 hours and sometimes not at all, between gigs just to work on my own stuff. i was absolutely consumed with engineering and music (i still am!). listen to your favorite albums and study them. look for other music and listen to how it's recorded. listen to the room sound on the drums or the subtle breath of the vocalist before they sing. listen to the ambience of a room or a hall in your everyday life. you can train your ears to hear different ambience and natural reverb and apply it when you're working. listen...

experiment your ass off! i remember when was about 21 years old, i did my first recording. i was only an intern at the time and i had sat in on some recording sessions but i still had no clue to getting a sound. i brought my 2 friends in one night and just had a blast being in a professional studio recording my friends. it was drums and bass and i played guitar. i later put in wierd sounds from a moog and some more guitar parts. that was the only song i had to work on for months so i must have mixed that song over 30 times. my drums sounded like crap but who cared at the time! i tried so many different approaches and used all kinds of gear and just experiemnted like crazy. and i remember how much of a treat it was to have a new song to work on. even if you're mixing for a client, try to set aside some time to experiment. try something completely different everyday or even a few times a week. remember that there are no rules and that's the beauty of music production. everyday can be a total surprise and you can learn something new just by trying reverb on the hi hat or distortion on the horns, etc. you hear different textures and also the nature of a particular instrument when you process it in different ways. twist the knobs until it sounds good to you. use your imagination and have fun.

never give up. keep going for what you're hearing. it's possible to achieve it, if you keep at it. if you're frustrated with something, leave it alone for awhile, but revisit it and attack it again. you'll eventually get it or come up with something better. at the very least you'd have tried it and you can use what you've learned and apply it another time. that information gets stored in your brain and it comes back to you at the right moments.

understand the song. see what the song is saying and what kind of vibe it's trying to be. what emotion does it have? what can you do to enhance it and give it more emotion or convey an emotion? don't lose sight of the key elements in the song. what is driving the song? vocals or the lead instrument have the spotlight, then there's the rhythm and then the arrangement. the rest is colors and backdrop. all elements are important but each one plays a different role for the song.

all the best