Tips & Tutorials | May 11, 2016
As I look out the window on the eve of the release of iZotope’s Pro Audio Essentials, I’m surprised to see that it’s raining buckets. “What?! When did that start?” Then I realize that, as music producers, we spend lots of time pursuing our passion in rooms without windows. And that’s OK by me -- recording music really happens in its own time and place, outside of the constraints of our usual day-to-day lives (including the weather!)
In addition to being denizens of windowless rooms, we music producers are consummate learners. And that’s why I’m glad to share with you iZotope’s new free Pro Audio Essentials, a game-based course to help you practice and improve your audio skills, whether you’re a seasoned music producer, or just getting started with music production.
Home studio owners often ask me: “How can I improve the quality of my recordings to sound more professional?” What I tell them is, “It’s really all about listening and training your ear/brain system.” And it’s about being able to identify what you hear so that you can then apply different techniques to get the sound to be the way you want it.
The Pro Audio Essentials course is designed to help you improve your audio knowledge and listening skills so you can make better-sounding mixes and masters and do so more quickly. The course provides video instruction around basic concepts of audio production: EQ, Compression, and Digital Audio Basics. However, the real power of the Pro Audio Essentials is the focused practice and game-based challenges which will hone your ear/brain system.
Ear training is the first step in learning to make good recorded music. It’s helpful to get good at hearing and describing sound ‘by the numbers’....but the learning can’t stop there. It’s only useful to learn to hear a .5 dB change at 16kHz if it helps you DO something you want to do. In other words it’s a cool skill but….so what? We’ve tried to give you a so what here!
In my own work, my goal is always to always listen first, monitor my reaction to what I hear, think about what I WANT to hear, and then try to come up with a way to achieve what I can imagine. It involves a lot of experimentation... and a lot of practice.
The better you get at using these tools, the more time you’ll have to experiment with your music in that happy windowless space of creativity.