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Music For All Ages

2016/11/10, Brian Bollman - Philosophy, Production

I was recently invited to a preschool to do a little presentation on music production. I did my best to spark the kids (4 years old) curiosity and I hope at least one of them found what I did new and exciting.

Perhaps some of you will be able to learn from my experience and/or offer up some advice on what sort of things you think would be a big hit with a younger audience.

Or, if you have young children, I have discovered a few things that may be useful if you're thinking about introducing them to the sonic playground.

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Music Studio Setup

2016/10/11, Brian Bollman - Technical, Production, Mixing, Mastering

I recently had to "migrate" my studio to a new location. I figured this would be as good as time as any to talk a little about room acoustics, monitor setup, and speaker resonance. 

In most situations it's not your gear working against you it's the room. We'll talk about the challenges of working in more of a home studio environment vs a professional control room and some simple strategies you can use to find the ever elusive "sweet spot."

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Color and Character Part 2 (The Finer Things)

2016/09/06, Brian Bollman - Technical, Mastering, Mixing, Production

In part 2 we dig deeper into our effects to try and determine what "constitutes" color and character. As you'll see in the digital domain not all plugins are created equally. 

Some will attempt to model every fine detail (nonlinearities) while others will stick to the basics (filter shapes, compression curve). Accuracy doesn't always equal better so it's important that you use your ears and use whatever processor sounds best to you.

The subtlety of some of these FX is such that it may difficult for you to hear. A good rule of thumb is that if you're not hearing a difference just leave it out. Overtime you will develop a more critical ear. Whether or not that means the FX will work with your song is another matter.

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Color and Character Part 1 (Saturation)

2016/08/30, Brian Bollman - Technical, Production, Mixing, Mastering

Color and character are probably the two most difficult music production concepts to explain, explore, and hear. Luckily in this first part we will stick to one character element that is pretty easy to conceptualize and hear.

That element is virtual over drive... also known as saturation. In the digital domain we have to define the different types of over drive to know exactly the sort of saturation effect we'll be able to achieve. All plugins will distort at some point.

In certain cases what you want is something very audible (stomp box style distortion) in other cases you want something incredibly subtle (over driving the amp on an analog EQ). We'll try and demystify this topic as best as we can.

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