OT: Music production resource recommendations?

I've been playing around with and using various DAWs, both desktop and iOS for about 10 years now but I've always only felt like I've been scratching the surface of what I can do with them. A big part of that is not really knowing what certain things do or mean. I'm talking effects and different filters and other good stuff that's universal to most DAWs. Within each effect there are a ton of different parameters that can be changed and it's pretty overwhelming when I don't know what most of them even achieve. Is there a book or great online resource that breaks down what it all means? It's one thing to play around with the knobs and sliders and that's valuable hands on experience but I feel like I'm lacking the book smarts to really take things to the next level. Anyway, any suggestions would be appreciated, I'd love to learn move about something I'm so passionate about. Thanks!

Comments

  • edited October 2017

    There are a lot of things you can read
    Something like this: http://synthesizeracademy.com (just an example of many things you can find in the net).
    I myself learned a lot in watching tons of stuff in you-tube.
    There is almost a video about every tool. Especially about the most common DAW´s and synths.
    The good thing is that many things then will work similar in other tools.

  • edited October 2017

    Some great podcasts out there also. UBK Happy Funtime Hour, Sonic Talk, Hanging out with Audophiles and Gear Club Podcast are entertaining and informative.

    UBK will answer your personal question and you can win a plugin, topics range from total beginner to very advanced technical stuff... Sonic Talk is better if you watch it on Wednesday, they give away an izotope prize every week.

  • Think it depends on what you want to learn and when. If you're looking at a compressor plugin and wondering what 'Ratio' means, I'd just Google "compressor ratio". I bet Wikipedia actually has most of this sort of stuff covered on a 'what' basis. It will probably fall down when it gets into the 'why' scenarios though. Like, when/why you might set up different ratios, for instance.

    As mentioned, there seems to be a Youtube video for everything but if you don't know where you are, it can be really hard to use a map! I run into this all the time when learning something new. Wikipedia should also help to give you other words to put into the search box.

    As you google around, you'll probably find that certain sites have more relevant info than others. If you type mysearchterm site:some-site.com into the search box, you can get results for mysearchterm from that site only.

    I reckon presets are another great way to learn a particular plugin or plugin type. Especially in a DAW where they often use very generic/descriptive names like 'Bass Compressor' or 'Drum Bus Compressor'. Load those up and deconstruct them. You might even load the same source audio on two tracks and then A/B them with different presets to hear the effect.

    I learned most of the technical bits from the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook years ago. It's older so doesn't get into plugins or any of that jazz but the technical basics translate well to 'soft' versions of all of it. https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008

  • Looks fantastic from the preview pages. Thanks.

  • The next level is making music, making it for its sake.
    There are no holy grail.
    There is so much you can study on, so many tools out there, so if your quest is the eternal research of the next theory/tech brickwall where you can bang your head on, you’ll find plenty till the end of your days.
    And theory without practice is meaningless.
    Then if you prefer to study how to make music rather than just making it, go for it.
    Story of my life.

  • @mschenkel.it said:
    The next level is making music, making it for its sake.
    There are no holy grail.
    There is so much you can study on, so many tools out there, so if your quest is the eternal research of the next theory/tech brickwall where you can bang your head on, you’ll find plenty till the end of your days.
    And theory without practice is meaningless.
    Then if you prefer to study how to make music rather than just making it, go for it.
    Story of my life.

    Oh no don't get me wrong, I'm making music. I know enough to get by and record and shittily mix my songs. My lack of knowledge isn't stopping me from making the music that I enjoy. I just know that if I had a better understanding of the tools at my disposal I could take things up a level

  • @illaddin said:

    @mschenkel.it said:
    The next level is making music, making it for its sake.
    There are no holy grail.
    There is so much you can study on, so many tools out there, so if your quest is the eternal research of the next theory/tech brickwall where you can bang your head on, you’ll find plenty till the end of your days.
    And theory without practice is meaningless.
    Then if you prefer to study how to make music rather than just making it, go for it.
    Story of my life.

    Oh no don't get me wrong, I'm making music. I know enough to get by and record and shittily mix my songs. My lack of knowledge isn't stopping me from making the music that I enjoy. I just know that if I had a better understanding of the tools at my disposal I could take things up a level

    I think this is true. Lots of people seems to connect stuff and waiting for the next whatever killer (like i did too) but learning old tools inside out can end in unexpected and better results.
    I still need years to master all my current tools :o

  • I can’t remember too much about it since I read it over 6 years ago, but this book was one I found to be a great read.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Presents/dp/0240815807

    Mike Senior himself is a pretty nice guy too.

    Also, if you’re confused on something, you can always ask me and others here.

  • Also, another piece of advice I just thought of is....USE YOUR EARS! Ain’t no better monitoring system you can use than the two funny things sticking out of the sides of your head. So, how can you monitor using ears instead of eyes? Two cheats...
    1. Cut out the bass of most everything but the subbass (bass) and kick. Okay, I’m mostly an EDM artist, so this trick obviously doesn’t apply to things like mixing a piano and voice in a piano/vocal styled song. However, most things should be cut at about 120Hz with a hi-pass filter. Other things where you’ll want SOME low-end (like a gut-stomping powerful mid-bass or freaky lead synth) will be cut at around 80Hz instead. Sometimes, you may need to make a slight dip with a narrower Q on some elements at about 300Hz-400Hz if the mix is getting muddy. Very high items on the spectrum like hi-hats and crash cymbals I usually cut at around 400Hz-500Hz with a hi-pass filter, as those are meant to sit on top of a mix.

    2a. Mix in mono. Find a reference track that fits closest to the track your making, load it into your project. Put a stereo widener on your master track and sum everything down to mono. Pull all the volume faders down. Set your reference track to about -10dB. OR...

    2b. Use the pink noise method of mixing instead. This method is insanely useful for getting a great-sounding rough mix. Then you can adjust things to taste.

  • @jwmmakerofmusic
    I would say: cut anything as long as you can’t hear any difference, being it bass/highs or mids. Then use shelves to adjust balance.
    And be creative when doing this kind of stuff.
    And be careful with sources: shit in= shit out. No matter how much you process it

  • edited October 2017

    And layer stuff.
    Resample/bounce
    Rinse
    Repeat

    Edit: that pad is missing hi end? Layer a high end rich pad instead of cranking eqs or compressors

  • It might be worth getting a one month pass for somewhere like groove3 or one of the similar sites. I'm not sure which service is better but they all have a lot of content and it's structured, most have apps so you can watch anywhere.

    I find that if I have paid for something and the clock is ticking I will do my best to make full use of the service. You can learn a lot in 30 days!

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