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I want to learn about music/sound - advice on what steps to take ?


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hey, I want to learn more about running sound/mixing/eqing rooms/recording and music in general. Was wondering what courses or education or what path to take.

 

I have practical experience but limited knowledge imo.

 

Ive been playing live gigs for over 10 years, Im 34 now. Im a lead singer/guitarist in a 3 piece. I own the PA and lights and have been mixing from onstage. Im decent on guitar and vox/harmonies. I know enough about music theory to improvise solos etc. Have a good ear and learn songs/harmonies quickly by ear.

 

Ive read alot on here over the years so I have an idea about stuff in general but want to learn more. I havent done much recrding but can sequence good midi tracks.

 

What do I do next? Like courses or study or what??:confused:

any advice?

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Having a good musical ear is pretty much IMO the first step. and being a musician is right up there with it. you know how you want something to sound. as far as eqing rooms. every room is different and built different. you mainly just have to use your ears for what sounds best in that particular room. a good way to start would be to run your EQ sliders In the middle ( Flat) and then fine tune it in with your ears. I would just stay on here and listen to these guy's there are years of wisdom on here to learn from. and mainly just get your knowledge from your experience. :) Hope this helps ya.

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The amount of possible stuff to learn is infinite, ranging from how to construct an ELCO connector to how to deal with a crappy bass player to how to setup a speaker processor.

 

As other folks suggest, learning is a lot easier if you have a project or at least a goal of some kind.

 

Do you want to become an install contractor? Do you want to go on tour as A2? Do you want to be a local sound provider for bands?

 

If you can figure out what you want to do, it will be a lot easier to figure out what you need to know, and thus how to find out what you know.

 

Or, short answer: quit your job and tech for a local sound co. And read the Yamaha SR handbook.

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Nothing compares to face-to-face, hands-on training. Find someone in your area and work for them or offer to pay them to train you. I read a few different books/articles on the subject but it became much more clear when I had someone show me. Just the way I learn I suppose. Set up your rig and play with it, try everything and when you run into problems, ask the folks here for solutions. I'm lucky, I've got JRBLE to bug the hell out of, he only lives about an hour away. Probably not so lucky for him!!!

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I went to college for a Music Business degree and it was a great experience. I was taught music theory along with business classes, recording, live sound and the business of music (A&R) type stuff. Not the perfect path for everyone but the days of starting by sweeping floors in the studio seemed to have faded a bit. Outside of school and a degree, get a job with a staging and sound company, keep your mouth shut, work your ass off without complaining and you will be noticed.

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The best way to learn live sound is just to do it. You can educate the snot out of yourself (recommendations: Yamaha Sound Handbook & These Forums), but unless you're in the trenches, working with people who know MORE than you do, you'll lose the real-world connection. Remember that you're always learning in this world... if someone tells you that there is a better way to do something, don't get jaded just because you've been doing it differently (unless you're spidey sense tells you that they're full of s**t)... when you work with people who are more experienced than yourself, you're going to learn something new and sometimes you're going to learn that you've been doing something wrong.

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ok Im gonna go check out The Yamaha book.

 

I think my main intention with this at the moment is to just get better at what Im doing with my own band for now, rather than running sound for other bands etc. We are playing every week and its my main source of income. Music seems to be the only thing that interests me at the moment in terms of 'career' so I thought I might persue some education and see where it leads.

 

So the two areas I want to improve are live sound production and also recording.

 

I might go to the local theatre company and ask about work/traineeship/work exp. or whatever. Studying some kind of music business degree or similar really interests me too but Im in a smallish town so I dont know about distance education with this...

 

Im gonna start sussing out some recording forums too but have in the back of my mind that a course on pro tools might be the way to go. I have cakewalk??(I think) that came with a yamaha mixer but havent used it yet... I have experience with logic as thats what I used to sequence midis on..

 

hope that makes it a bit clearer. any thoughts/advice on the above??

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what aspects of live sound and recording are you looking to improve?


please dont use pro tools. try something else first at least.

 

 

umm, kind of a hard question to answer. Like I said music is the only thing interesting me right now and I want to learn more. Basically for live sound I want to tweak our system to get the best possible sound. I need/want to start using an eq on the foh to eq for different rooms. I have a behringer dual eq that sits at home. Start using it or no?? At the moment Im using a yamaha 16 channel desk to mackie 1530s for foh, using the onboard fx for vox.

 

Recording - I want to be able to record original songs, full band. Why not pro tools?

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I think my main intention with this at the moment is to just get better at what Im doing with my own band for now, rather than running sound for other bands etc.

 

The best way is to identify what you're doing wrong, or what you could be doing better, and then find out how to improve those areas. You could enroll in some audio engineering courses, but that's a lot of money to be spending on something you just wanna get better at. If it's a career in sound that you're interested in, then maybe it'd be worth your while. I don't know what kind of accredited programs are available in Australia.

 

So, what is it that you wish to do better? Are you unhappy with how your mixes sound? What is it that you want to improve?

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The best way is to identify what you're doing wrong, or what you could be doing better, and then find out how to improve those areas. You could enroll in some audio engineering courses, but that's a lot of money to be spending on something you just wanna get better at. If it's a career in sound that you're interested in, then maybe it'd be worth your while. I don't know what kind of accredited programs are available in Australia.


So, what is it that you wish to do better? Are you unhappy with how your mixes sound? What is it that you want to improve?

 

 

i think to improve the overall sound i need to start using a 31 band eq on foh and tweak for different rooms. Also I think i want better fx for vocals

 

its quite hard being onstage to know if the mix is right out front as were only running vox thru foldback and amps for the guitars, with everything going thru the foh, we seem to get a good response.

 

I do sort of want to do it as a career.. well i am already, so i thought i might aswell get better at it./ study. As nothing else is jumping out at me in terms of a 'day job'. Im doing only music to pay the bills(just) at the moment

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If your local community college has a recording program, you could take a few courses to learn the basics, but I wouldn't advise going to a "Recording School." Overpriced and generally no accreditation, and your "degree" in general would hold no credence w/actual professionals.

 

To do full band recordings that actually sound good, you're going to have to invest several years of time and thousands of dollars, so get ready for that.

 

You basically learn recording by doing it, so get a copy of Reaper, and interface and have at it.

 

For the PA, I'd read the Yamaha book, set up your system and mess around with it at practice, so you can see what effect different things have.

 

MG

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I recommend the Yamaha SR handbook as well (it's an excellent mix of laymans advice and high end engineering and has been a staple for years in the industry).

 

Take note that electronics won't fix everything and that EQing a room isn't usualy the first/best approach. If your system is tuned properly it should sound as good as it can in any given room. The trick to bad acoustics is pattern control (trying to NOT send sound to the walls, celing, floor or what ever surfaces or parallel surfaces are most offensive). Just EQing out the room resonances is a quick fix but the least satisfactory (the audio usualy suffers the more it's manipulated). Before you start grabbing EQ sliders, try placment & aim first (this goes for feedback issues as well).

 

You've been given a lot of good advice here about mixing for other groups with other systems. I concure that this is the best way to learn about SR. There was a recent post about how being a mixer will change the way you play and visa versa. It's worth a read. You might read the sticky posts at the top of the forum to answer some of the more basic questions. Keep in mind that SR is ALWAYS about tradoffs and sometimes a bad room is fubar and can't be made good without expensive acoustic treatment (not in your perview as a visiting engineer) so you just make the best of it.

 

You will also find that what works in a studio, often doesn't work on a stage and visa versa (they each have their own set of tradoffs). This is primarily a SR forum but a few of us record as well. They are somewhat different worlds.

 

that's my .02

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In the area where I live, there is a music academy and I'm trying to get a gig in teaching to roadie and run sound. I am by no means an expert but I love teaching and have the patience for it and have learned so much just from folks in here and a sound man who has taken me under his wing and showed me a lot of tricks which I would just love to pass on. Look up Frank Doherty's books on live sound and recording. That would be a good start.

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