May Music production challenge

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IA's picture
IA

Is there interest for a music production challenge?

I've been wanting to have a fun group of people who are all spending a concise amount of time like one month to produce something proper out of all these songs we write in the rest of these challenges.

Q: How it would be different from rpmchallenge.com?
A: I don't like the idea that you have to produce a giant load of music like 10 songs! I would rather even keep the amount low, such as 1 to 4 songs, and concentrate on really getting the most quality out of them.

Q: What then would be the challenge?
A: You have to post a version of your music every week. So, if you are working on 4 songs, you have to post an updated version of all 4 tracks every week. That is 5 different version total, so 20 files.

Q: What's the point in that?
A: Production is an iterative process. You listen to what you have, write down issues, work them out, take a break, rinse, repeat. If you post the tracks every week, that gives others a chance to hear them and make suggestions based on what your goals are.

Q: FAWM and 50/90 aren't about critiquing others' work. . .
A1: Don't think of them as critique, but rather suggestions. Something to try out.
A2: Songwriting is very personal and there's not really any wrong answers. Production is a different beast. If something is muffled, or doesn't sound similar to thing in the reference track, there's a fix for that.
A3: It's sometimes hard to hear what the fix could be. Different perspective is a lot more valuable than in songwriting.

Q: Why not make it 4 songs for everybody?
A: A restriction is important for a challenge. But here I feel the more important restriction is making participants to work on the music and post different versions every week. That alone is hard enough. Personally, I wouldn't work on more than 4 tracks if I only had a month. So, think of it as an EP production challenge.

Q: Why May?
A: March is too soon after FAWM. You don't have to use the same year's FAWM tracks, but I probably would often do that. I need time to get some distance to the music to give them more critical thought.

Q: Why just one month?
A: That's good for me, because I lose interest and get overwhelmed if I have to spread work over a longer period of time. I can really get down to business and keep the momentum going for one month. That's ok. Anything more is too much. Anything less just isn't enough time for me to get anything proper started.

Q: Where and how?
A: Perhaps at first just here on the forums, if that's ok for the admins, and just using soundcloud or something similar.

How I would do a month of production?

Four tracks isn't insane, so first, maybe a week or so of. . .
- planning
- listening
- taking notes
- coming up with improvements
- changing strings/heads/etc for the instruments
- re-recording bad stuff and additional stuff as needed

After that I would start the mixing and most likely try to do little improvements every day.

My schedule would be something like. . .
- 7 days of prep
- 21 days of mixing
- 3 days of mastering

If you're required to post a version of every song every week, then you get
- version 1 that is just unmixed with all the stuff there
- v2 mixed
- v3 mixed
- v4 mixed
- and probably at the end v5 mastered

I would be interested in hearing how people's tracks evolve, the difference between unmixed and v4, and difference between final mix and mastered!

Let me know what you think about this. Would you participate? Anything you would change?

I would be interested in trying it out. This would be a new work flow for me and if it works as well as it seems it might then it could be a go to plan to *finish more songs.

*Finish as in produce. I'm pretty happy with finishing my writing. It's the production that could be improved.

IA's picture
IA

I'm hesitant to make something like commenting mandatory because I don't want to limit the experience too much.

However, commenting and making suggestions is probably the best way (besides just doing) to learn about production. So, that would help absolutely everybody!

I would love to have a list of reference tracks to use for various styles etc., That would probably help me the most. Although I don't even use the ones I've identified very often, so.... *shrug*

IA's picture
IA

Yes, but the important thing in those is to use references that you think sound good. I've often posted tracks that I think are insanely well produced only to find out that people think they're over compressed or something.

Have a list or library of tracks where the production really makes the thing shine and reference those when you're mixing your own thing.

I love this idea. Though I always have areas to be improved upon, I feel pretty confident about my writing style. It's production where I feel like I'm throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. I especially need help with knowing what to listen for. I'm not always sure I can hear when something is compressed too much or too little. I know almost nothing about how to effectively tweak EQ. Then when you start getting into tools like oscillators and such I'm completely lost. I don't do FAWM, but a month to work on the production end with feedback would be brilliant.

IA's picture
IA

@katpiercemusic Yea, that's how I feel about my stuff, too.

I say we do it, even if it's just the three of us. Haha.

Also, I had an idea that maybe we could just create a subreddit for this on http://reddit.com and post everything there.

Wink

IA's picture
IA

Sorry, I didn't really understand large portions of that post. Sorry.

I definitely wouldn't use audacity as daw tho. It's like using ms paint for photo editing. Heh.

IA's picture
IA

The challenge is now taking place on Slack. If you're already on Fawm slack (https://join.slack.com/t/fawm/shared_invite/zt-d5dpn5yd-vFGFyvqWFZ7AuE4xSqKq5g), follow this link to join the mixing challenge channel:
https://fawm.slack.com/archives/C0124UARUQM

Hi! I'm interested in participating in this challenge since I'm planning on releasing an EP on July, but the invite link is no longer active. Can you post an updated version? :D?

EDIT: Nevermind I've just joined the FAWM Slack Wink see you there!

IA's picture
IA

Ah, right right. Great that you found a way in! Here's another FAWM invite for people who would like to join. Smile

https://join.slack.com/t/fawm/shared_invite/zt-dyj0dy78-_iuijFaGYmNoVeo4aRdZrg

IA's picture
IA

I also started to write a little journal about my progress this month. Biggrin
http://ia-music.com/MayMixing/log.htm