Musicians Matter – Mental Health D.I.Y Production Pathways
Musicians Matter – Mental Health DIY Production Pathways, vision and production will discuss the power of self belief, ones voice and vision, pathways to self production for D.I.Y artists from recording to post production, and making music videos.
When I first began consolidating my musical vision, using software, I didn’t know a lot of stuff about DAWs, workflow, mixing methods, the proper use of tools, audio basics and pathways out into the world. I found computers intimidating. I went to lots of workshops and industry conferences. There are lots of workshops for creatives that are held periodically in different municipalities exploring business skills, industry trends and so forth. I learnt some of what I needed as I went along, gradually getting clarity on my pathway because they didn’t teach me this stuff at Uni when I returned to study mature age, which at the time I felt essential to do due to loss of confidence and self belief. I have people look up to me now and enjoy my work.
The landscape has changed a lot since 2009 with DIY production pathways. Since then, I have released 4 albums and singles and my production values have steadily gotten better, both in audio and video as have my skills and know-how. I now have a pretty standard sequential process, releasing work and in 2020 enjoyed collaborations during lockdown with LEMOM and my band Symbols in Sounds. This process may help inspire you and assist you on your journey.
The way I see it it’s a multi-step process
- work development, initial sketches, rehearsing, exploring
- artistic vision and promotional ideas
- execution which covers recording, post production, documenting and registering one’s release as well as distribution and promotion.
It’s a lot of work to do alone but it can be done, albeit a bit slower. If one has connections with other creative professionals, workflow can be sped up considerably, but one still needs to drive the ship and direct it to the desired destination gradually.
for DIY Production, Self-belief is essential, it is the un-shakeable belief in oneself and one’s sense of direction, based on inner knowing. It is common for many creatives to have to justify their passion in the eyes of the world and often we are met with great resistance. Famous artists are supported while community artists are unknown, who make work of equal or greater value as far as contribution to society. It doesn’t mean we have it all worked out, rather that we are okay with being engaged in a process, on the road, committed to our journey of Self as demonstrated in thought, word and deed.
One’s voice and vision.
One’s voice is cultivated over time, voice being more indicative of style and unique sonic identity, this is in part, (when it comes to the voice) aspects of our biology and character or for things like guitar, it might be a unique way of playing. It’s that distinction, the sonic footprint and artists develop their own over time. This comes from the inside, molded by one’s tools and technology and grounded through application. Often, we can hear infusions of our heroes, this is a largely unconscious integration.
One has to have a commitment to their voice, what they have to say; how, why, when and where. The nature of voice, especially lyrically has somewhat degraded over time, it concerns me that the youth are not being nourished by intelligent music, but rather formulaic music with lyrics that add no value to the lived experience, that is based in base level consciousness. A conversation for another day to be sure. This is not to say that I find all popular music like this, but a fair bit.
Vision is more global and holistic, it can be career based or specific work project based vision. It holds the aesthetic and ideas for ones work, it could be the studio recording, the sort of sounds one would like to explore, the mixing and production possibly (if we have that knowledge), the artwork, ideas for music videos and all other aspects that go along with releasing work, including promotion.
Vision is the long haul, the original inspiration, but to task. It is where many struggle prioritizing what to do and when, for many reasons. Get what help you can, but don’t be afraid to grow in the public eye. If one compares recordings of hits from the 60’s to now with our modern obsession of perfection and digital quanta over artistry, it can be very enlightening to listen back to production standards.
Pathways are the how of the invisible map, the changing morphing desert sands. Everyone’s path is unique, but the essence of what is involved in production is the same. I believe passionately in supporting other artists to fearlessly follow their passion. It doesn’t matter how long it takes when you realise it’s your life’s work. Pathways will be different based on skill level and what one can or can’t do by oneself. It depends on tools and resources both inner and outer aspects, technology and the necessary finance to bring the long haul vision to completion with our release.
Recording and Post-production
For Recording and Post- Production, if you have a smart phone, if you have an iPad, if you have a computer, you can make and record music! You can even make music on free online platforms such as Audacity. The important thing is to get your ideas down, once they’re externalised they become entities unto themselves enabling you to reflect on what they need, to reach completion, to allow them to be the best that you can possibly make them. So, whether you’re working at home by yourself or you’re paying an engineer or producer or working with a band, whatever the path, the recording process can be quite simple or it can be very complex. It is influenced by budget but also by expectations, but that does not mean that you can’t produce commercial quality work yourself with modest financial outlay. Tec has democratised music so much we are spoilt for choice. Youtube is such a brilliant educational tool, anything you want to learn you can find there.
Post-production is the putting the icing on the cake, the careful crafting of the mix ,adding all those subtleties that help to take it to dimensions beyond, your effects, your automation, your balances, it is panning, all that sort of stuff is done in mixing but is still post-production stuff. One thing I don’t do myself is mastering, I don’t believe I have sufficient skills yet, it is something that I need to practice more. Plus having independent ears is crucial and extremely valuable to help your growth.
In decades gone by, Music videos used to cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars they say. Now we have smart phones, Go Pros, iPads and computers. Everyone can capture vision and develop the art of the storyteller themselves. The best way to begin is to sketch out your ideas and just try film stuff, put things together, experiment with whatever software you can, there’s bound to be free and open source video editing software. I learnt to use DaVinci Resolve off YouTube. Before that I was working with Windows movie maker. My videos have gotten better over time. You can produce music videos yourself ,distribute them yourself as part of your release strategy and share your unique essence with the world.
So I invite you to connect on zoom for a free chat Sunday night to assist you in any stage of the creative production process, to see how I can help you with either.
Creative direction and production assistance
Musicians Matter Well-being services or Creativity Coaching (if it’s the inner stuff getting in the way of you completing your goals).
Join me on Zoom 7pm Melbourne time
Meeting ID: 827 9998 9825
I offer one-on-one sessions or 4 session packages to companion you to complete your artistic vision, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see beauty born in the world and in the Covid climate we need all the uplifting art and music we can get.
If you had of told me ten years ago I would fall in love with audio engineering I would of said yeh right, even though I wanted to do it back then I didn’t believe I could. I have proven otherwise so if I can do it, you can too! Choose to ‘Matter’ for you are a unique spark of the creator in form, no one can do your work but you!