As I write this blog I’m listening to the new Rush album, Clockwork Angels. I’m a huge Rush fan . . . but who isn’t? In my teens it was nothing short of idolatry and an endless quest to look and sound like Lifeson. It turned me into even more of a geek/loser in high school, but hey, I found a way to express my identity . . . through another person’s persona . . . hmmm, OK, moving on to the positive part of my addiction . . .
A knowledgable musician is a good musician, and a good musician never stops learning.
I was at a family birthday party recently and a relative asked me how the lesson scene was going. I explained that things were not as good as last year, but it’s still early September. His reason for asking was that he heard about the closing down of the biggest music store in the area, citing low numbers of student sign-ups as a big factor.
I’m not sure if this is what other music schools and instructors are experiencing, but I certainly am. In the decade I’ve been teaching there has never been a shortage of students, until now.
Is it the economy? High gas prices? Low wages or wage freezes? Joblessness? I don’t know.
But that’s not the reason for this blog. I want to talk about students’ attitude and perception. Who knows, maybe that’s also a factor in the low turn-out, too.
I know, it’s supposed to be the other way around, right?
If you’re like most other musicians you’ve had to do some teaching to supplement your gigging income. Maybe you hate it and view it as a necessary evil. I certainly did, until the lightbulb went off . . .
I proceeded to play the riff from ‘Show Don’t Tell’ by Rush, thinking, of course, I was all that and more . . . except Perm had the little solid state Peavey practice amp with the distortion set “on eleven”. You couldn’t even tell what I was playing because the sound was so distorted. Great for metal, bad for early-90’s Rush which should be clean to slightly overdriven, a touch of chorus and highly sophisticated sounding.
“Cool, man! Let me give you a scale to work on,” Mr. Perm said.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”, John Dewey
Welcome to the final part of the Attending Audio School series: the reward. As promised, this will be
the happiest part of this blog series. I started with the bad news, so let me tell you the good news.
Here are just some of the rewards of attending audio school:
You’re the kind of person who loves audio, recording, mixing, producing, sound, gear, technology, staying up late and eating pizza, etc. So based on your skills and passion, you’ve decided to attend audio school. You’re stoked, you’re ready, and you can already feel the wind blowing through you hair. The thought of recording big-named artists and bands is giving you enough tissue-aliveness to power a city!
But, before you hand over your credit card, student loans or hard earned cash for audio school tuition, have you asked these three questions?
In this three-part series, I’m going to answer these questions, beginning today with:
“I’m looking to have a mix done, and I don’t have a huge budget. But it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, cause I need by tomorrow. An agent is asking for it. Oh, and he needs it to be really great quality. Are you cool with that?”
If anyone has ever said this to you, you'll love this video:
Recently I had the opportunity to help out a friend with a recording he and a couple of friends did. These are your average amateur musicians who love music, know a little about recording, and have consumer grade gear. My friend uploaded his mix for me to listen to and I could tell it needed a lot of help to get it up to snuff. I offered to help him out by mixing it for him and then show him what I did.
I received the files from him and loaded them into Pro Tools and got to work . . .
Oh . . . .
Yikes . . . .
Let me tell you what was wrong. No it wasn’t the mic., it wasn’t the preamp, and wasn’t even the DAW; surprisingly enough. It was the source.
Jeremy is a freelance music educator, producer, engineer and musician in Toronto. You can also visit him at Propeller Worship and Propeller Life.
Propeller Sound's mission is to foster the development of the musician as a total person, to coach guitarists with their playing, recording and teaching and to guide people considering a music career.