Sometimes it’s more important to analyze the questions being asked than the answers they elicit
It’s too easy to think that because we have answers, we’ve asked the right questions. For example, we have lots of answers to questions like which DAW is best, what’s our favorite guitar, whose synthesizer is best, and so on. But what are the questions that led to those answers?
With your DAW, was the question “Am I satisfied with the DAW that I’m using?” or was it “Why am I using this DAW?” Of course, you’re satisfied with your current DAW, or you wouldn’t be using it—so you’ve answered the first question. But consider the second question, and you’ll get a more revealing answer. It might be “because I’ve used it for the past five years,” or “because I have so many projects in its format it would be a hassle to convert over to a different DAW,” or even “because I really haven’t tried any other DAWs.” So maybe the first question should really be “would I find that a different DAW satisfies my needs better?” If the answer is “I don’t know,” then you really don’t have an answer as to whether you’re satisfied with the DAW you’re using.
But that’s just one example of making sure you ask the right question—and this applies to a whole lot of other musical concepts. For example, you might think the correct answer to the question “Based on what else is happening in this song, which chord should I play after the D major”? is “G major.” And that’s probably an acceptable answer. But what if the question was “What chord should I play after the D major if I want to shake up the listener and take the song in a new direction?” The answer might not be G major at all—maybe an F major is the way to go.
When you mix, you ask yourself a zillion questions: “Where should I place instruments in the stereo field? How loud should the drums be? How much reverb does the voice need to have?” But shouldn’t the questions really be “What’s going to cause people to want to hear this song again? What can I do that hasn’t been done before? Why am adding reverb if it’s not really essential?” Those questions just might elicit answers that take your music to a different, and more exciting, space.
Self-analysis is good, and probing your assumptions is also good. But it’s all too easy to let yourself off the hook by asking yourself the easy questions that lead to the predictable answers.
There used to be a popular bumper sticker that said “Question Authority.” While I certainly agree with that sentiment, perhaps an even more applicable sentiment is “Question Your Assumptions—But Choose the Right Questions.”
by Jon Chappell
Here's a neat trick for applying delay or reverb to an overdubbed guitar part
by Phil O'Keefe
Sure, you can do a lot of great stereo imaging with a panpot—but it's not the only way to conjure up some stereo mojo
by Craig Anderton
Sidechained processors can give a wide variety of effects, including some dance mix favorites
|The Future of Speakers?
Recent research into new high-tech materials may soon lead to dramatic improvements in speaker performance and capabilities. What kind of improvements can we expect? Click on the link, and find out.
|SG vs. Les Paul
Many of us have found ourselves facing this difficult decision. You have two classic guitars, but your circumstances dictate that you can keep only one. Which one do you pick, and how do you decide? Well, you can always start by asking your friends on the forums for their input…
|Using Session Musicians on Your Recording
A lot of home studio projects are DIY, or done with friends, but what about hired guns? This thread gives advice on what to expect when using session musicians on your project, what paperwork you should have filled out, and what you can do to help the session go smoothly.
|Which Guitar Is the Most Versatile?
For those who need a variety of different sounds and who don't want to be swapping guitars every other song, the more versatile the guitar, the better—but which models are the versatility champs? You might be surprised by some of the suggestions in this thread.
|Dealing with Phase Issues when Miking Drums
Are your recorded drum kit sounds weak and thin? Do the kick and toms lack punch and bottom end? Want to know what the likely culprits are, and how to fix things? Sure you do—so click on the link and check out this discussion. Your drum recordings will be the better for it.
|Class D Bass Amp Heads
Class D or “switching” amps have a lot of things going for them, such as low weight, small size, and very high efficiency—which means lots of power. Best of all, they can be very affordable. Check out this thread for the latest info on cool Class D bass heads.
|Fender, Gibson, Martin and Guitar Center Introduce the New Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Series
At this year’s Crossroads Festival, which features some of the world’s top guitar talent, Clapton will introduce the new Eric Clapton Crossroads Series of guitars, created through an extraordinary collaboration between the guitarist and Fender, Gibson and Martin Guitars.
|Native Instruments Introduces HELIOS RAY
The new Helios Ray provides sounds and beats for Maschine and Maschine Mikro, as well as the iMaschine.
|Rob Papen Presents Two Limited-edition Soft Synth Bundles
These limited-edition bundles, EDM Synth Bundle and Urban Synth Bundle, offer diverse sounds at a discount price.
|Electro-Harmonix Reissues Rare Random Tone Generator in Nano Form
The range of tones created by this pocket-sized pedal will take you back to a ’50s sci-fi movie.
|iZotope Releases New Nectar Elements
iZotope's Nectar Elements gives you affordable tools to produce professional-sounding vocals.
|Behringer Introduces the Europort iP40PRO
This portable PA system provides fast set-up and high audio performance through a rechargeable internal battery..
Find a post that you think someone would enjoy? You can email a link to any specific post you find in any forum.
Click on Options in the post's upper right-hand corner, and chose Email to a Friend. You'll be taken to a screen where you can enter the friend's email address, and you can also include a personal note as to why you're sending it. Then, simply click on Send Email, and the link will show up in your friend's inbox. It's simple, and it's also a great way to get people to join in on discussions.
At Harmony Central, we are committed to protecting the privacy
© 1995—2013 Harmony Central®.
Advertise with HC
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.