Some Distance Has Been Travelled, A Reflection Blog

Over the past 13 weeks I have travelled an extreme amount in terms of my knowledge of music production and audio as a whole. This blog will aim to explain the things that I have learned in order to provide an outlook onto my current skillset and to provide insight into how, why and when I have learnt specific things.

Coming into this amount of work, I knew only very basic things in recording and mixing audio. I knew basic signal flow of the Audient and MIDI studios and no real knowledge of how to produce electronic music. This was evidenced when I created a blog at the start of this Trimester outlining my skillset at the time. In this blog, I stated that I wanted to learn a lot more about electronic production as I felt the large amount of focus of my previous Uni work had been on recording acoustic sources. In this area, I wanted to learn how to sequence drums and be able to produce electronic elements for artists. I also wanted to learn a lot about MIDI, as I originally thought MIDI controllers were the only way in which MIDI could be manipulated. I also wanted to increase my signal flow skills, my time management skills and my project work experience. I have improved an extreme amount in all of these areas and there are various aspects of my work that prove this. I will now try to outline this in this post.

In terms of electronic music, my understanding and ability to create an electronic sequence has not just increased, but actually come to fruition. Coming into this block of work I thought I understood how an electronic song was produced, however I really had no idea at all. From paying attention to Riley Guerin and Carter Kraaijmaat I have successfully learnt how to produce electronic music. This is evidenced through my work and aide in the creation of the tracks ‘Citrus‘ and ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee‘. Creating these tracks enabled me to understand how to create a drum-line, a bass-line, synthesised keys, chords, arps and leads as well as various other electronic elements. Not only has this allowed me to understand electronic production more, but my understanding of programming MIDI has increased ten-fold, as I have evidenced in various previous blogs where I show images and explanations of my MIDI drawings and creations. Some of these include my blog about multi-sampling in Ableton and my blog about creating a synth-lead using a wavetable synthesiser.

My signal flow skills were also greatly increased these last few weeks. Not only did I increase my signal flow skills by doing a distortion work in the Audient 8024 desk room, but I learnt how to use the Neve console and significantly increased my workflow in the MIDI studio. I evidenced this in my presentation where I outlined how I aided Riley Guerin in his own understand of the Neve desk. As well as this, my constant evidencing of working in the MIDI studio to complete projects has evidenced my obvious increased knowledge in studio signal flow. In terms of digital signal flow, these past few weeks I have made the switch from using predominantly Pro Tools as my DAW of choice, to self-teaching myself Ableton and using it for the vast majority of my project work. This has allowed me to create some great electronic sounds and also shows that I have travelled an extreme distance in the past 13 weeks, considering teaching oneself a DAW to a competent level within 13 weeks is a massive feat.

My time management skills have also increased significantly as I have evidenced in my transferable skills update blog. I have gone from never creating calendars or plans of attack to constantly updating and maintaining a google calendar, and physical calendar. On these, I include any plans to go into studios so I can make sure I am free for the booking, any time I have to do blogs and when I plan to do these, as well as assessment due dates and various other significant events that I must work towards or around.

The last point I wish to make is that my project working skills and knowledge have increased ten-fold. These last 13 weeks, I have been able to effectively work in a group to create tracks, sample packs and group plans, as well as to present and showcase my work to peers and superiors. This has increased from previous work as group plans have fallen through and plans have had to be made after certain deadlines to achieve the original goals.

Overall, I feel like my distance travelled in the last 13 weeks has been incredible. I have been able to not only identify the areas of audio that I want to improve, but have been able to successfully achieve these goals also.

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