BLOG #3 - INTERVIEW WITH LadyMzmoss
A music Journey with the multi-talented Artist Shawn Kingsberry
I had a fantastic interview with Brenda Moss. We talk about my past, where I am now, and my future plans. Check out the conversation and tell me what you think.
Blog #02 - Room Treatment
My room treatment is essential to achieving a quality mix. If you invest in a good computer and quality audio interface, it is equally important to treat your room and purchase quality mixing speakers. This blog will focus on acoustic tyles I use to treat my ream, software used to collaborate my speakers and headphones, and the monitor speakers I use for mixing.
I chose Auralax for my acoustic foam for my wall for two reasons, 1) In my previous life as a commercial studio owner, Auralax worked well 2) the texture I use has a velvet look which adds to the aesthetics of the room. In addition, Auralax had tools to help me with placement, which supported installation. Finally, each tile comes with adhesive, making it simple to adhere to the walls.
Auralax Acoustic Foam
Hearing what I record through the speakers is equally important as creating music. So I researched several collaboration solutions but landed on Sonarworks. Sonarworks is the only market solution providing ultimate accuracy for consistent reference sound between speakers and headphones. Unfortunately, I periodically have glitches in the software resulting in force closing the app and restarting. Sonarworks has settings for various headphones to streamline collaborating. The initial setup of Sonar works takes about 20 minutes as it uses sonic pulses using either the shipped collaboration mic or your mic. The software guided me to move around to complete the collaboration process.
Sonarworks - https://www.sonarworks.com/
Studio Mixing Monitors
Hearing my sounds clear is equally as important as the song creation process. I create music based on what I hear vs. theory, so my mixing monitors are vital. I used several mixing monitors over the years but settled on the KRK RPC5 5 G4 Professional Powered Studio Monitors. The quality of the KRK's is the best that I have owned, and I am delighted with the results. The KRK's have collaboration technology built inside each speaker, providing a similar capability as Sonorworks. I'm pleased with Sonarworks, so I haven't experimented with their solution. However, based on my research, the KRK collaboration software also gets the job done.
KRK RP5 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black - https://www.krkmusic.com/Classic?gclid=CjwKCAiA-9uNBhBTEiwAN3IlNPTntVf1DMnOXpH09tx6UX-8WHgY5NzFfxpYAzEw-crXqo5USZsARxoC9-kQAvD_BwE
blog #01 - basic studio setup
I started writing music with my brother Michael in 1984 using a variety of four-track, eight-track, then twelve-track tape machines. I felt we were stepping up the game when we purchased our first digital hard disc four-track AKAI DR4. Writing music in those days was fun and rewarding. Still, it took a lot of work to create quality recordings as it required a strong understanding of MIDI and synchronizing your computer with external recording devices through SMPTE Time Code.
Over the years, the game has changed drastically as the advances in music moved to non-linear editing, bridging the gap between MIDI and hard disc recording into a single application removing the need for external syncing devices. Since I came from the old school but kept up with the advances and innovations of music production over the past thirty years, "the creation of music is now made simple." However, I also understand that simple is a variable as we see things today based on our understanding over time.
This blog post is the first of a series of music production tips, tricks, and recommendations that I learned over the years to save you time, money and hopefully decrease frustration. The key takeaway from this blog series is that there is no need for expensive pro studios to release high-quality professional music today.
I will first-level set the lens of this blog post. I do not plan to talk about all options in music production. Instead, I will describe the process I use to create, my music, my studio setup, the tools I use, and how I release music. I learn something new with every project and with every release as you can tell based on the year my music was released. My way of thinking is, it's not that serious. I write music for an audience of one, me. Creating music provides me a creative outlet to express myself and leave a piece of myself that will live on long after I leave. If anyone wants to join me on my creative journey, I am excited to join you in my family.
The Digital Audio Workstation "DAW"
I view the Digital Audio Workstation "DAW" you choose to create your music as the canvas artists use for painting. I do not feel there is a right or wrong when choosing a DAW, but I decided on Logic X. Why, I have been using Logic for over 20 years before Apple acquired it. The beauty in Logic is, Logic is probably the best in the game regarding the quality of MIDI and hard disc recording all in one tool. Also, the stock libraries in Logic are quality to the point you can release music without purchasing more Audio Units "AUs" to get started. Also, Logic comes standard with tons of searchable loops that you can also change the key to match your project.
Logic Pro - https://www.apple.com/logic-pro/
I use the Mac Mini 6-Core Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM. I'm thrilled with the Mac Mini as it provides the speed, needed ports, and the ability to add the extra-wide 4k screen.
I went through several MIDI controllers, but I settled on the Novation 61SL MkIII. The feel of the keys are smooth to the touch. It has a lot of bells and whistles that I don't use, such as the control surface. Unfortunately, I have a Roland TD50, so the pads are useless to me. Maybe one day, I will explore the assignable faders.
Novation 61SL MKIII Review - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0GnE3GyxkaU
Over the years, I was fortunate enough to tinker with very high-end audio interfaces and consumer-grade interfaces. I purchased the Universal Audio Apollo 8 and Twin and found heaven. These devices' digital to audio conversion is unmatched compared to my old audio interfaces. I immediately heard the sound quality playing any audio through my system. The beauty of using the Apollo 8 and the Twin is that they work together as a single interface providing ten inputs and ten processors.
Universal Audio 8 - https://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/apollo-8.html
Universal Audio Twin II - https://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/apollo-twin-mkii.html
The Apollo line of audio interfaces allows me to work with the base interface AUs installed with the console software. Still, Universal Audio also provides hundreds of AUs for purchase for future use. In addition, the Apollo line of interfaces supports up to 192 kHz resulting in high-quality recordings.
I record, mix, and master all of my music in my studio, which I call "MAN CAVE STUDIO." My next blog posting will cover how room treatment, microphone, AUs, release process checklist, digital distributors of choice that I use, and many, many more. If there is anything you would like me to add, feel free to post a question.