Daw Fest, Maiden Edition

Does it not feel good to be part of the maiden edition of any initiative? Well, in my opinion, it does feel good to be part of something that gives back to its community. I believe this was one of the reasons DJCorner put together such a fantastic event and I really hope that this won’t be the last.

It felt good to be reminded that there is an array of DAWs at the disposal of any intending audio engineer or producer out there. Especially if you are just thinking of taking your production more seriously. I have to point out here that your choice of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is totally up to you, but it is good practice to kind of sample a couple to get a good feel of it before going ahead to purchase the one that best suits your needs and seats well with you. However, note that the most important thing is to understand the technicalities behind audio engineering or production. Once that is settled, you can always adapt to any DAW of your choice.

At this DAW Fest, there were 5 DAW brands that came to showcase what their DAWs can do and they all looked interesting.

Pro Tools – Pro Tools is considered the industry standard. And it is now up to its 12th version. Some of my take away from the Avid session by Sreejesh Nair includes; i). When mixing, spend less time on the rough mix and more time on the actual mix. ii). When using a filter set to the highest dB, it might result in a phasing issue, so be careful. iii). Sends should be set at zero and control over the level of effect that goes into the mix should be from the fader on the Aux track. iv). When using plugins with graphics, e.g. EQ, don’t be overly concerned about the graph. In other words use your ears, rather than your eyes.

(Avid, 2015).

Studio One

I fell in love with the looks and feels of this one. I would really love to explore using this DAW soon, even if just to satisfy my curiosity. Some of its features are:

  • Flexible with third-party plugins
  • Drag & Drop features
  • Sounds Warm
  • Works well with time stretch
  • It allows you to use a different interface for input and output

Cubase

The last version of Cubase I used was Cubase 5 and it’s now up to version 10. One of the features that pulled me to this DAW during the presentation was how you can get to pitch correct audio in Cubase 10 by simply double-clicking on the Wav. I thought that was really cool.

Ableton

Ableton Live is that DAW that you can easily capture your ideas with on the go. Plus you can work with it in real-time as well as a performer on stage. Flexible and easy to use.

Fruity Loops

In the words of Mokhtar Doughan (personal communication, October 26, 2019), working on Fruity Loops is like painting your idea to life. I was fascinated by the way Mokhtar navigated Fruity Loops, it was clear that he had spent years working on it and become a master at it. I am not a big fan of this DAW but I appreciate the creative works that it users produce out of it.

Choosing a DAW for yourself might seem like a daunting task, but it really is not. The good thing about these DAWs is that they either have trial versions or free versions that you can work with to help you make informed decisions on which of them you want. And like I mentioned earlier, as long as you understand the principles of production, you can create the magic in your head with any of these DAWs. It’s just a matter of which workflow you are more comfortable with or that suits your personality or style of music.

The highlight of this event for me was of course when I was announced as the winner of a one year Pro Tools subscription courtesy of NMK Electronics.

A photo with staff of NMK Electronics and Avid Protools

It was a great event and I look forward to subsequent editions and more exposure to industry experts.

Me and my Avid Mug
The session by Sreejesh Nair from Avid Protools


References

Avid. (2015, January 22). Introducing Pro Tools 12 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqdNygQB38

Ableton. (2017, November 2). Ableton Live 10: what’s new [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Ku5ptjzKw

Cubase. (2018, November 14). What is new in Cubase 10| promo video [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSZ8yX1viV8

FL Studio by Imagine-Line Software. (2018, May 23). FL Studio 20 | Launch video [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuqqiuaLYJA

PreSonus Audio Electronics. (2019, May 21). Introducing Studio One [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrALp5dWv7A

Audio Industry; Learning and Opportunities- My reflection

SUMMARY:

The audio or music industry is one with various positions that students in the audio creative media class can look forward to. Some of these include the following:

  • Artiste:  Responsible for giving life to all the creative work put together by every other member of the production team.
  • Producer:  The producer is often responsible for the coordination of the whole process of recording from the start till finish. He ensures that the end product is of top quality.
  • Engineer:  He/she ensures that the recording is done in the best possible way and with the best quality. They make sure the idea of the artist and the producer is well portrayed.

There are more positions, some of which are shown in the diagram below.

(Huber & Runstein, 2013, pp. 17-23). Diagram created with Gliffy https://go.gliffy.com

One of the primary aspects of audio is recording, whether it be a song, or soundtrack for a movie, or jingle for an advert. There is a process involved in recording, and these are represented in the diagram below:

(Huber & Runstein, 2013, pp. 24-29).

As with every other career path, being in the audio or music industry or developing a career path in this field, requires a high level of motivation and an excellent networking skill (Huber & Runstein, 2013, p. 23).

Kopplin (2016) carried out research on some best practices in Music Industry Studies (MIS). The research sought to answer the question of what the most experiential learning method is for MIS students among other questions (p. 74). In answer to this question, his research found that one of the most effective experiential learning methods was an internship in the music industry. Based on the opinion of his interviewees, it is difficult to create real-life situations in classrooms (Kopplin, 2016, p. 86).

To have a basic understanding of what experiential learning is, watch the video below.

REFLECTION:

I have seen several funny expressions from people when they ask me what I am studying, and I say “Audio”. They often go; “I’ve never heard that before” and then I start to explain to them some of the various opportunities in the audio industry. However, I got more insight myself after reading an excerpt from Modern Recording Techniques by Huber & Runstein. If there is one important lesson for me after the reading, it is that fact that to develop my career in this field I need a high level of motivation and an excellent networking skill which I am already working on.

I have always known this quote by Penelope Douglas “Experience is the best teacher.” And I couldn’t agree more. However, I think it’s great that Kopplin took up this research to establish the fact that there is not enough hard evidence that this statement is true for students of MIS (music industry studies). In his concluding statement, he wrote that schools offering MIS should have more classes that allow students to learn by doing (Kopplin, 2016, p. 90). I am glad that at SAE Institute this is the model that is being followed as students are made to learn by experience, creating a well-equipped and conducive environment to learn from and sharing internship opportunity with their students. Another interesting part of the Kopplin’s recommendation is that schools should follow up on the student’s success after graduating in other to acquire more data that supports the already firm belief that experiential learning is an effective way to learn.

REFERENCES:

Family Board Meetings (2015, June 15). The 6 Pillars of Experiential Education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/pAlCHO_kDr0

Huber, D. M., & Runstein, R. E. (2013). Modern Recording Techniques (8th ed.). Burlington: Focal Press.

Kopplin, D. (2016). Best practices in music industry education. MEIEA Journal, 16(1), 73-96. Retrieved from http://p2048ezproxy.saeaustralia.edu.au.saeezproxy.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.saeezproxy.idm.oclc.org/docview/1882382176?accountid=145504