Quote:I'm using home studio gear (Pro Tools LE, Reason, etc) and I know that this stuff is capable of producing high quality demos or even radio ready albums. But, I'm no production guru personally. So, I'm thinking of taking a class to get better since demo quality is so important. I live in NJ and there are a couple of different programs nearby. IAR and SAE are both schools that teach audio engineering but they are very expensive and full-time.I did find this seminar which looks pretty good: http://www.producerlab.comDoes
anyone have other suggestions? Books and DVD's are OK but too abstract. The thing I like about the seminar I mentioned above is they are going to create a radio quality track from scratch and put all the techniques they teach into practice.Unfortunately there is no magic pill, if so somebody would have already made a million on the "sound like a record" plug in. This seminar looks as good as any, but there is no way you can assimilate enough information in a day or two to be able to "mix it like a record". That said, any information is good information. My advice is to read and listen to everything you can get your hands on. It may almost seem like gibberish at first, but the more you engulf yourself in the principles, the more it will begin to all make sense.There are principles and theories to learn, but the application of those principles will change for each situtation. There is no magic compression setting for vocals for instance. There are some rules of thumb and starting points, but trial and error will teach much more than any course or setting suggestion.The big thing is not to learn how to make something sound great, but to be able to know what DOESN'T sound great. What is wrong with your mixes now? What's missing, or what is there too much of? You have to be able to hear what's wrong in able to produce what's right. If you have a mix that has bass, guitar and drums then find something that sounds like you want it to sound and compare them. Mentally isolate each element. What about your mix doesn't sound as good as the example mix? Is the bass punchier in the example and yours sounds boomy and lacks definition? How can that be improved? You may pick up some tricks at that seminar, or in a mixing course, or even from a google search. The point is not to just apply things because you are "supposed" to, but to have a goal sound and use tools to get there. Some mixes might need a boomy, undefined bass tone. It's trial and error. The more you aim at something specific, the better your aim becomes in general. Find a snare sound you love and try to get that sound. I've learned more trying to copy something than I ever did trying to just make something better. Learning how to emulate certain sounds will help you be able to figure out how to get that "sound in your head" coming out of your speakers.Even though the books and DVD's are abstract, they are on hand tools you can refer to time and time again when you come across a question you didn't even to ask when you took the seminar.So, my quick tips:Learn how and why things work. Get to know how compression, EQ, and reverbs/delays and other effects work. Don't just learn what the settings are, but how they function.Listen, try and learn. This is a long road. There's no quicky course. It takes time, and the things you do right on one mix may be totally wrong for the next one. Train your ears. If something sounds good, ask why it sounds good and try to get that same kind of result.Good luck and have fun. This business is like a Rubik's cube for me. I may never get it all right, but I just can't put the thing down.