I thought I’d try and help lift the veil on the intricate and mystical process of producing music. Here’s my studio diary from last week …
6.00pm Great, arrived at Studio and set up. Need to remix these tracks for my EP, time is of the essence and I need to knuckle down and focus. Focus Focus!
6.05pm Run the first track right through, noting spikes and inconsistencies in balance, and nudge the sustain level on the kick drum. Wonder what the footy is tonight?
6.25pm Finish responding to Twitter mentions regarding pointless and unfunny earlier tweets. Focus!
6.28pm … what was I doing again? Oh look someone’s posted a funny video of a cat on Facebook!
6.35pm Right, enough of that, I need to check the gain structure of these layered kick and clap sounds. Also global reverb levels of same and check for frequency crossovers, and if problematic solve with filter tweaks. Also I’m thirsty.
6.40pm Why are there no goddamn drinks machines in this place?
6.55pm Ok well that visit to the shop down the road took a bit longer than I was expecting but no matter, now I have a sandwich and a drink to help me FOCUS!!
7.15pm That sandwich was terrible.
7.25pm Right: let’s try a different tack: hi-hats. Crank up the hi-pass filters and do some ‘creative’ panning. Nice, that’s working pretty well! Time for a break? Actually I could probably nip out and watch the first half of the footy … could do with a pint now I think about it …
7.30pm No no no, FOCUS!!
7.40pm Right … so I probably need to stop playing Angry Birds now really don’t I?
7.45pm Ok. Let’s leave the hi-hats alone for now and solo the main keyboard track, really need to nail the frequency of those deep stabs to get the right percussive knock without too much low-frequency overlap, prob … ooh look the football’s started.
7.56pm That was offside!
7.58pm Hmm, after replay maybe it wasn’t actually.
8.15pm Hang on - I don’t even support either of these teams and don’t care about the result. Switch off and FOCUS!!
8.17pm Right, so what was I doing again?
8.30pm Oh yes, keys. Well … they sound ok to me. Shall I try and fix this bass?
8.40pm Hmm, well, best leave the bass until another time really, after all it IS the hardest to get right.
8.45pm Wonder what the scores are?
8.55pm Oh yes nearly forgot - vocals. Need to equalise, sweeten and place in the mix. Need to get a lot of stuff ready for this process, so I need to begin!
9.00pm Oh hang on - 9pm - that’s my studio time up …
[Two weeks later: label rejects remixes, demands a “more focussed effort”]