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"Hopefully, there was no feeling of frustration or annoyance. It is almost guaranteed that if you perform with one of those negative feelings, this will carry on through the entire production process." - Jan 'Yarn' Muths

In this episode

  • Announcing the podcast schedule for the Christmas break

  • Announcing a new Give-Away

  • Jack asked how I like to listen to music and what headphones and speakers I use

  • Sandy asked if I am a musician myself

  • Jay asked how to deal with frustration in music production

...

About the 

host

With over 2 decades of recording, mixing and music production experience, Muths interviews musicians, producers and engineers from the Australian East Coast and the world. Always curious about production workflows, gear, software, techniques, and strategies. The Production Talk podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in music production from the Northern Rivers and far beyond.

Tags

The Production Talk Podcast - The modern way of producing music

Your host Yarn on the drums: A Sneak Preview






The 2021 Christmas Give Away:

  1. Share the link to this episode (mixartist.com.au/post/__025) on your social media

  2. Let your followers know why you think it is worth listening to

  3. Add the hashtag #ProductionTalkPodcast


The winner will be announced in the first episode of the 2022 season.

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Jan 'Yarn' Muths or mixartist.com.au, in the studio

Contact the podcast host Jan 'Yarn' Muths at mixartist.com.au

Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.

transcript

Transcript

(auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error)

Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn of mixartists.com.au. In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So if you produce your music at home, this is the place. Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends. This is the production talk podcast episode 25. Welcome back to another episode of the production talk podcast as always. I'm so stoked that you're here and thank you for tuning in. It's almost the end of the year and [00:01:00] Christmas is around the corner. So I just wanted to spend a short moment to talk about what I'm going to do, because I would like to ask for your permission to go on a break over the Christmas break. So what my plan is is to take a bit of time off, spend a lot of time with my family, with my kids, hopefully spend time at the beach and what that means for us here at the production talk podcast is. And that close to Christmas, I will cut back and officially go on a break to pick it up again in January, in the second half of January, um, during the Christmas break, I would like then to him, uh, really reduce it to the absolute bare minimum. Uh, I have an idea or two, maybe I will release in soda instead of an episode once in awhile, but definitely not on a weekly basis. I would also like to use the upcoming. To sort of reflect on, um, yeah, the first Herm half year of the [00:02:00] production talk podcast, the things that, um, you like, the things that, um, I got positive feedback on, I will also like to think about, um, the things that come easy to me and the things that make it a bit harder and try to optimize the podcast a little bit so that I use my time more effectively and that you get the most out of. So, what I'm trying to say is I would like to take a bit of time off to think about how to proceed or the next year and how to make it better. That means that over the next few weeks, we will change the normal production talk schedule a little bit, and episodes will come out less frequently. Um, so I hope you can give me, forgive me for that, but all of this is for the purpose to make it a better and to come back stronger next year. In the end of January, I have other things to do as well. So I took on a gig in, um, yeah, end of December, early January, um, [00:03:00] for the fit-out of two fairly large studios in the local area for which I had to, for which I drew up the wiring plans, the gear list. And, uh, then it all comes to the point where. Um, gear needs to be moved and, uh, connections need to be made. So I'll spend a, probably a couple of weeks, uh, with a soldering iron, a soldering patch base, making connections, testing, gear, calibrating speakers, things like that. So I'll be very busy and they should also give me heaps of time to think about, um, the production talk podcast and how to improve it even more so that you get the absolute maximum out of it for yourself. Yeah, I hope this is okay with you. Help. You will not be disappointed if for the next few weeks you hear a little bit less from me, but, uh, this is definitely planned and intended. A bit of a break is always good. We all know that after break, we usually come back stronger and I [00:04:00] really hope that this will be the case for our podcast as well. Good. Okay. So today in this episode, I would like to cover a couple of loose ends. I still have a few listeners questions that I would like to talk about today. Um, and I would also like to announce yet another giveaway in the Christmas spirit. There is another giveaway in this episode. Again, you have to make it to the end of the episode to find out how to. So the price, this time is a gift from me to you. The listeners, it's a free, mixed down from mix artists.com that are you. In other words, it's your music mixed by me. Um, if you are interested in that, stick around till the end of this episode, and I'll tell you how you, what you need to do to win this prize fingers crossed. Good. Okay. Let's get started with a listeners questions[00:05:00] in one of the musicians group and a user by the name of Jack asked how I personally liked to listen to music and what my consumer devices look. And I would like to of course answer that because I'm very excited about that. And it's something I take a fair bit of pride in. So when I listen to music, it's either professionally or in my studio. And, uh, for that I use. Of Sennheiser HD six 50 headphones. Um, they are definitely up market. Um, there is, they're not the most expensive ones in the world. There are a couple of hundred dollars. Um, but I'm extremely used to my headphones and I can wear them for very, very long time. So they're just the right fit for. And they're also very comfortable to wear and I'm wearing them right now. Actually, a lot of my mixing work actually happens on headphones. Interestingly, in addition, I [00:06:00] have a set of active annoyment speakers. This is Norman, like the microphone brand. They also make speakers and I love these speakers. I've had them for many, many years. So once I hear music on my Norman speakers, um, I know exactly how it will translate to, to other places. And therefore those speakers and my ears are very well calibrated to one another. So, and between my speakers and my headphones, um, I usually find that there's very little need for additional, uh, listening. This said I'm made it a personal habit of mine to. To always check, uh, client work, eh, on the way to work in the mornings in the car. So that's for more than one reason, the reality of my busy life is that I'm constantly juggling range of different jobs. In my podcasting, my mixing work, my family, I do a bit of lecturing.[00:07:00] Um, you may be surprised, but I even have a little bit of a social life and, um, yeah, between those things, I always strive, uh, juggle things. So when I do mixing. It is very likely that I do some of the work in the evenings after the kids go to bed. That's often the mixed preparation, the kind of work that doesn't require me to be creatively, fully engaged. It's more like the, you could say more boring kind of fire management work. Um, also, you know, importing tracks, color coding, organizing sessions. Those are the things that I, uh, I'm very happy to do late in the evenings. Once the kids are asleep, then most of my mixing work usually happens in the mornings. So I find that, um, the actual creative work moving the faders processing, what you're getting in order to sound great. Um, my best time of the day are the mornings. Once the kids are out of the house, I. Withdraw myself to my mixing den [00:08:00] and get cracking. And it gets so much done in a, just a few hours. Um, some very productive around this time. And then I need a bit of time to reflect. So I need a bit of time away from it. And, uh, I like to sleep things over. So the next day when I drive to work, I usually take it to the car. And, uh, listen to the sound system in my Honda, which is not a fantastic sound system by all means. But again, because I use it so much, I'm very much used to it. And, um, the car test is actually a very good test for, uh, production general to see how well it translates. Here's the thing. I know my speakers on my headphones so well that I barely get anything wrong. So tonally or creatively in the car usually sounds exactly as I expected. But what I realized is that with a night's sleep in between at a couple of hours of distance and putting myself into a new environment, I [00:09:00] can quickly identify any oversights that, that I might've overlooked. It doesn't happen too often, but every once in a while, I realized that there was a certain thing that I missed in the mix. And, um, When I'm in the middle of a mix, this might completely go unnoticed the day after when I listen again with a bit of more distance, um, I am, yeah, I'm sort of in quality control mode. I just make sure everything is exactly as intended. And if I overlooked an audible edit or. I don't know certain Becking voice being too quiet or too loud. Is it minor detail? I just go home with a couple of notes, fix it up, and then I send it to my clients. So made it a personal habit to always allow a little buffer for quality control. And that's really when my consumer playback devices come into play like my costume. And then of course we have a living room where we have a consumer, a great TV and sound bar set up. [00:10:00] That thing sounds terrible. I hated, I never listened to my mixes on those. That's not telling me anything. It sounds too crappy, but I would like to share one more listening device. You that I'm actually very impressed with. Um, just recently a couple of weeks ago, I, uh, invested, um, into a set of, uh, apple AirPods pros and, um, I'm a little bit hesitant to, to announce this officially here, but I'm literally completely blown away by just how good they are. Sound wise. Well, their consumer great advice, and I definitely wouldn't use them to mix on, but to do the quality. To listen back the day after to enjoy, to listen, to podcasts, to listen to music. Uh, these are more than sufficient and actually sound well, not spectacular, but they sound clean. There's nothing wrong with them. However, what really. [00:11:00] Uh, impressed me where the additional features that came with the airport pros and, um, I got them on a Friday and on the Saturday we actually ended up being on a flight with my families. So I got the chance to experiment with the inbuilt and noise cancellation. So the way this works is basically that there are microphones on the. They pick up the sound and they feed them back into the driver's on the inside. So what is captured by the microphone is then rerouted into my ear. However, they use very smart, um, face cancellation techniques, which effectively reduce the large degree of the noise that surrounds me. And when I tried this on the plane, it literally knocked my socks off. I couldn't believe just how good and effective at work. Um, so from a really noisy environment and turned into. Peaceful calm and [00:12:00] quiet environment. While at the same time, I could still hear the voices of my kids very clearly, no problem at all, and understanding what people said around me. So they're smart enough to somewhat distinguish, um, unwanted noise from, from desired ambience sound in this case, human voices. So in all honesty, I'm pretty much blown away by just how good these devices are. Yeah. So basically that sums up all the listening devices that I currently use. So. Yeah, my studio headphones and speakers, as well as my playback system in my car and my habits. And, uh, yeah, that's what I personally use. I'm also very curious to find out what you people recommend. So if you have a recommendation, why don't you just head over to the production talk community on Facebook and post us what you're using for your studios and for your private consumer listening. [00:13:00] Good. All right. Thank you, Jackie. For this question, I hope I answered this sufficiently Facebook user. Sandy asked about my personal music career and a film, a musician by myself. Yes, that's definitely something that I would like to talk about. Um, I started as a musician in my teenage years. Uh, I think I shared some of this, an episode of one, the welcome episode, um, and played the drums in punk rock and metal bands for many years of my early life. Uh, however, at some stage I decided that I wanted to, that I wanted to move on from being a musician, to being a record producer, a recording engineer and mixing engineer. And over the last couple of years, I've narrowed all of this down. I have niched down to being only a mixed on engineer these days, this set, I, I love playing music. I [00:14:00] still have a drum set. I don't get to play it as often as R. I wish I had more time, but in all honesty, this is one of the things where I had to apply the 80 20 principle in some ways. And, um, uh, I would say that I'm a recreational musician or drummer these days. So I love to play a jam with friends at a party, but, um, in all honesty, I cannot find the time to go to rec regular, uh, boundary rehearsals and, and play gigs on the weekends because weekends are my sacred family time with my kids. So who knows that might change later in my life. But on this note, um, I actually recently got myself into another production. Again, we could call it a studio job where a team of young producers, and I decided to, to record some music together. And I found myself being the drummer, uh, for three songs. And they're actually very, [00:15:00] very interesting songs because we decided to make a Christmas Eve. Yeah, with an interesting concept. Uh, the band has been named the Sandy Santos and, um, we basically just had a really good time playing Christmas songs in a reggae scar vibe. And, uh, it's all actually made for kids of all ages, big kids, small kids. And, um, the release date is coming up pretty soon. And, uh, just because, uh, I think it's a special mention today. I'm going to post a sneak preview of these songs into the show notes. So if you want to hear some funny Christmas music, very different Christmas music. And if you want to hear yours truly on the drums, uh, why don't you just scroll down to the show notes and inside the show notes, I'm going to hide it. Temporary sneak preview. And once the songs are hot, I'm going to replace that with a link to this streaming platform. [00:16:00] Okay. Yes. So, uh, I'm a musician by heart. I love music, I think in music. So when I drive my car, I still play the drums on the steering wheel and music just constantly bounces through my mind, but I'm actually not an active musician these days. Um, It mix engineer. That's my super power. That's what I do. That's what I'm best at. That's how I can add the most value to, to my friends. And, uh, being a musician myself is more of a hobby or a fun thing for me. And, you know, it just happens in rare occasions, like for the secret Santas. Okay, good. Let's move on. So the next question. Okay. The next question comes from a Facebook user, Jay, and the question is about frustration in music production, how something that we love so much, like music can be so annoying [00:17:00] and so time consuming and so tired. And that of course is a big problem that I believe a lot of us know to varying degrees. And, uh, that is also something that is very dear to my heart. And I'd like to answer this with the best of my ability. So. First and foremost, let me just ask you, you know, what, how did it feel to you when you perform the music? What what's Headspace, where you in what was going on in your mind? And, um, I really hope that the answer is that there was some kind of a feeling of. Joy of happiness, positive feeling of, you know, of love for the music and, uh, that when you perform, hopefully there was no feeling of frustration or annoyance or whatever. It is almost guaranteed that if, uh, if you perform with one of those negative feelings, uh, this will [00:18:00] carry on through the entire production process. That will also mean that the next following stages, let it be editing, programming, mixing, eventually mastering all of those. We'll also have some of this feeling baked in and it will carry on to the listener. They will not get the sense. No, they will not fall in love with a piece of music if the performance was done with the wrong mindset. So it all starts with the actual performance. And, um, I'd like to quote, um, an interesting little saying that I picked up some time over the years and I don't even quite know where it's from, but if somebody knows, please let me know. But the quote goes as follows. In a well-recorded piece of music, you can hear the musicians. Smile. You can hear a smile. That's the core message there. So when you listen back in a different place, in a different room with different people, [00:19:00] you can still hear the face expression of the musician. And this was one with a smile here, and I can relate to this so much. It's so true. For many things that I actually learned about music production. This moment of joy when performing needs to carry through to the end. And I would say that every other process that follows editing, mixing programming, what have you only serves the one purpose to carry this feeling through to the list? And that's how I personally, um, judge everything I do now. So does it make me feel something? That's the question that I have on my mind. And sometimes when I listen to a song at first and I don't feel it, I dig into it really deeply and, and a really good. Individual channels and try to ask myself, okay, what was going on on the basis mind? And what did the guitar player try to tell me and, and, you know, go to those places. And that's often when are [00:20:00] then discover, uh, the beauty of the music and, uh, in, in my mixing, that's what I work with. That's what I like to bring to the foreground and, and to sort of unearth now these elements or remove layers that distract from him. So. Yeah, this carries on, basically. So even if you record your performance with pure feeling of happiness and positivity, um, later down in the mix in the production, it can sort of derail. And if you've ever been in a workflow where you spend a lot of time doing something and where you've got frustrated and annoyed and ask yourself, does it really have to be so tedious? The chance is probably it doesn't have to be that way. And I would say that the best production, so often the ones that don't feel like an uphill battle, but fall into place easily without much [00:21:00] effort with our tedious, uh, uh, day long, uh, editing processes that just, you know, the disarray to frustrate you. So. In many ways, the element of joy needs to carry through. So whatever you do with your music, do it with a mindset of, of love and joy and happiness. And you will often find that if you only focus on what's really important here, what really is important for your music that will usually naturally happen. So. A couple of pointers here. Um, when it comes to production techniques, there is an abundance of things we can do, but that doesn't mean we. For example, um, after recording drums to edit all the Toms manually or a timing corrections on the drums, or even things like pitch, correction and vocals, all of these are workflows that can be [00:22:00] extremely lengthy, can be very tired. And they often lead to lead you into a workflow where you were so far out and where you don't really actually love what you're doing. You just have to soldier on and, and, and go through it. And that's not a good place to be. So in other words, try to avoid those situations wherever you can. And it all starts by capturing the performance at the source as good as you can. Hopefully not much additional work is necessary. And once on the production stage and you, you know, do any kind of post-production on these performances, always ask yourself, is it really necessary? You may want to go back to a couple of episodes. When we spoke about the 80, 20 principle, that's not a bad principle to consider at this stage. So, what I'm trying to say is, you know, don't do these tedious edits just because you've learned to [00:23:00] do that. Or somebody showed you in a YouTube video that this is how they work. Well, if they did, that's fine. But that's how they work. That doesn't mean that's how you have to work, just because we know that these things can be done. It doesn't mean they have to be done. So really focus on the music only and think about it. What is the most important thing that I need to do right now? What's the most important thing. And it might be that you decide that the vocals need pitch correction, and this might lead you down, trialing different applications, uh, learning how to use them going through extensive editing and all of this. And that can be very, very tiring. The alternative is to simply just give it a little. And to sing another take and get it right in the first place. That's the key. That's the real key. That's where the money is try to solve it all at the beginning so that there's hopefully not much else to be [00:24:00] done to it later down the track that cuts out all the tiring and exhausting, uh, uh, frustrating, uh, production procedures. So the goal always must be that everything we do has to happen from a feeling of happiness and joy. So if you mix the song down, enjoy yourself as much as you can crank it up a little bit. If you want to do things that put a smile on your dire, perform a mixed dressed like a musician, performs their. If a mix feels like an uphill battle, tedious and frustrating to you, then you're not doing it right. A good mix should make you happy. It should make you feel something because only if you feel something, your listeners and fans will hear the same thing and feel the same thing. So. In, in many ways, music production is effectively a transfer of, of emotions and feelings, and it needs [00:25:00] to come through all the way from the date was performed to the day. People listen later and have the feelings and emotions reach the listener's ear and make them feel something. Then everything is good from there. There can be no, no appeal anymore. That's it. That's effectively what it all comes down. And the real key is to keep the feeling of enjoyment and happiness or through every single production step, because one single step that is tedious, tiring and frustrating along the way of production can tear this entire house down. So what I'm also trying to say here is that. Now we spoke about production timelines and early episode. And we've now had an episode about finishing projects. And I guess we need to go back to those topics and, and, you know, summarize the core findings here and it's to find a short, [00:26:00] quick and effective production workflow. The goal must be to record a song, let's say this. Do all the work that's necessary the week after and send it out to, to mastering. And then, you know, three weeks after recording, it could be out there. That would be a great scenario because it doesn't allow much time for overthinking. It doesn't allow much time for second guessing oneself. It's an effortless workflow where there's no time to get lost in interiors, editing us things like this in, you know, the annoying workflows that lead to bad emotions and bad feelings. So that's, I believe one of the core steps with that. And that's a huge ask, you know, if, um, if. Producer, um, depending on your experience, you may find that this is something you can easily do, or it might be something that you struggle with. And if you realize that, you [00:27:00] know, some certain elements of music production work for you with, you know, a positive mindset and with a sense of happiness and, and fulfillment and so on. That's great. But if you also realize. You get stuck in other places in the production circle, then it's time to go back to another episode. Again, in this episode, we spoke about the relay race, where basically the music production workflow. It can either be done by one person doing the whole. Uh, start to finish, or you may just give it all you have in some sections of the race, and then you pass the relay onto somebody else who then starts with a fresh mind and gives it all they can. So. My point here is that if you get stuck in certain production workflows that are tedious, where you don't get good [00:28:00] results quickly and effortlessly with a feeling of happiness, maybe it's time to pass it onto somebody else to find yourself teammates on your team. And you can do the run for. So it's not all on you. It's not all on you. Some people can do everything, others can't, and that's perfectly fine. More importantly, is that, you know where your places of happiness are in music production, and also where your places of frustration are. And those are the ones you need to avoid and get help in this case. Good. Okay. So let's think about this one more time. I guess the core message is that when you perform your music, you need to perform your heart and soul aloud and put all your love for music into it, or your feelings or your emotions. And those need to carry through the entire production process. You need to keep a good spirit, a good mindset up all the time, [00:29:00] so that by the end of it, For listeners will fear the same and apply the 80 20 principle cut out everything that is frustrating and annoying to you so that you only ever focus on the positive element. That's the message here. That's the answer that I have for you, Jay. Thank you for asking this question. As you can see, this is really dear to my heart and I could keep going and going and going and going with this subject, but it's a big one. Good. Okay. So those are the questions that I wanted to answer. This brings us back to the beginning of this episode. When I spoke about the price that you can win, we have another giveaway and this time the price is it's a song mixed down by me by mixed artists had calmed out of you. And if this is something that you would like to win, please go to the show notes and follow the step. So in order to win this [00:30:00] prize, you basically need to take the link for this episode and share it in your social media and let your friends and followers know by why do you think it is worth sharing. And also please add the hashtag production talk podcast so that I can find you on. We'll keep this going for a couple of weeks. So we'll, I will remind you about this price for the next week. And the lucky winner will be drawn in the new year. So that brings us to the end of this episode. I hope you took something out for yourself today. We'll be back with one more episode before Christmas, and then I will go into Christmas break hibernation. I hope you're okay with that. There will be an occasional episode here or there, but I will basically go on a break and recharge my batteries and reflect [00:31:00] on how to make the production talk podcast. And then we'll be back with regular episodes again, then the end of January. Thank you very much for tuning in today. It's always a pleasure having you on board. Thank you so much. We'll speak to you soon. Bye. For now.
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