Go from making music alone to making music together
Every day we are all confronted and astounded by new technology. Anything from tablets, smartphones, self-driving cars, drones or even hover boards can leave us dumbfounded and exhilarated by the possibilities of what can be developed. Equally exciting to audio professionals is the ability to create high quality music anywhere. In fact, Mix Medics has been made possible due to recent advances in software streaming technology and DAW-based music production. It is possible, with a developed ear, an educated understanding of recording principles and knowledge of music production, to create music that in another era could only be possible in an expensive purpose-built commercial studio. On the other hand, because we can all work at home, it’s easy to lose connection with the most fundamental aspect of music:
Music is made together.
Making music on our own for too long can lead to feeling stale, uninspired and even worse, can obscure the realization that our music matters to others. How can we ‘get out of the box‘ of our own insular production environment and feel connected with rich tapestry of music being created around the world every day?
1. MUSIC LIVES IN A LIVE ENVIRONMENT
Performing or watching music live will always make you feel more connected with your craft. Make it a regular practice to see bands live, in your own city. Even better, perform or DJ live when possible. It’s easy to feel jaded about your music if all you’re exposed to is big name Top 40 artists who mainly cater to mass appeal and spend huge swathes of money to expose themselves to you online. Watching live music is always an exciting visceral experience, and inspiring to know what forms of music are active today. It’s easy to connect with musicians off-stage, who will enjoy praise of their work. In addition, you’ll build connections in the community, and may find yourself in a great artistic cohort in your own neighborhood. Also, look for opportunities to volunteer or work in live sound for venues or festivals in your area. If you want to get good at music production, this is an exciting, on-your-toes way to do it.
2. COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ARTISTS
“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” — Charles Darwin
Think of artists such as Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Daft Punk, Disclosure, The Chemical Brothers, and pretty much every band you’ve heard of – they did not make music alone. Music is an experience to be shared, so get connected with other musicians and producers in your area. Find a jam session at a local venue, or even set one up with some musicians you’ve met at open mic nights, or shows around town. You’ll likely come up with some new song ideas and you’ll also improve your craft. Many bands come up with their best ideas in a jam session, and many electronic producers can get more inspired to create when collaborating. Chocolate is great, and peanut butter is amazing, but put them both together, and you have the stuff of legend.
3. ENTER A CONTEST
Building connections in the industry often meant schmoozing at the right parties, living in the right city and talking the talk. Entering online contests will be a clear path to exposing your talent to the world. The online world is about being honest and genuine, and if you’re honestly talented, people will find out very quickly.
Check out sites like Indaba.com, remixcomps.com, findremix.com , and many others. Recently a friend and fellow producer, well into his 50’s, won a rap remix contest and was flown to New York to meet with the VP of Atlantic Records to show him his work. How would this be possible in any other era? Talent shows, irrespective of geography or age.
4. CONNECT ONLINE
Think for a moment about how connected you are to the world. Think of your facebook friends who live in different cities or countries, and how easy it is to send them a note, live chat or Skype at a moments notice. If you want to see a certain part of the world you can access webcams or take a walk down a strange street on Google Earth. Connectivity is at the core of our era, and we can share thoughts, ideas and art irrespective of where we are. That’s the reason we started Mix Medics, realizing that instead of just working in the studios of our home cities, we can work with artists anywhere in the world, at any time. It’s a fair estimate to say that 80% of my current mixing, mastering and other productions are from artists and creators in other cities.
If you’d like to dip your toes into a greater world, there are many ways to start. If you love a song you hear on Soundcloud, Youtube, Bandcamp or other online source, contact the artist and ask if you can do a remix of their music. If you’re a session musician, and have a means to record, offer a service by which you can add your unique playing by creating a simple website with demos of your work.
The world is waiting for you!