A band is only as strong as its weakest link. 90% of the time, that link is production (sound and lighting). Why does it always happen that way?
Well… because it’s expensive-and… Oh yeah, it’s complicated too!
Alright, I know this seems like rocket science sometimes, but the basics are really easy to grasp as long as you don’t make one of these two mistakes:
1. Thinking it’s impossible
2. Thinking it’s too easy
Why It’s the Weakest Link for Most Bands, and What You Can Do to Fix It? Far too often I see people making music production more complicated than it actually is. Why do they do this? Well, they’re trying to give rules that apply to sound production for huge venues and concerts, as well as small shows. No wonder it gets complicated!
As a result, most bands decide that it is just out of their reach to mess with professional sound and lighting. Of course, they might get a set of speakers and a PA head, some mics and a few par cans… They may even get a mixing console and some other pretty expensive equipment. But they never really bother learning much about the stuff.
That’s too bad 🙁
For most bands, music production is their weakest link. If they would just take a little time to learn about these things, the difference would be like night and day! So why don’t they do something about it? Well lots of them try reading to learn more, but the books are written in gibberish. Unless you plan on doing a lot of consulting and installation work or running sound in an arena, the bulk of the music production information in most books is useless.
Live music production and recording techniques
Instead of a class on physics, I am going to give you all the tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts that professional companies use every day to make bands just like yours sound their best. My reasoning behind this strategy is simple. Why give you thirty pages of information on reading microphone specs, when I could just tell you which ones to buy and how to use them.
I know what you really want. You want it spelt out in black and white, without all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Many books will tell you that mic selection is based on personal taste. This is not true. There are mics that simply sound better than others. These tend to be a LOT better than their equally priced competition (by the way, they’re probably not the same ones you think I’m going to recommend). Due to advancing computer technology, music production has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. You don’t have to pay a million bucks to take advantage of this emerging technology, either.
Many of the sound manuals on the market have been around for years and are put out with very little revision to keep them up to date. Because of the vast improvements made to affordable stage microphones, any sound book more than a few years old cannot give you any good advice on selecting components because the technology changes so rapidly. This statement is also true of all the other gear that I am going to recommend (especially electronic gear!).