Tutorials

This page provides an index (and sense of order) for my music tutorials to help people find them better.

A Composer writes notes and Arranges them into Pieces (or Songs with a Lyricist). A Musician plays the parts. The Sound Engineer records what is played. The Mix Engineer mixes the final work. A Producer helps find the best balance of everything to bring that piece, performance and recording to the best possible light for the intended audience. If you can do/be all of the above then go for it. If not then hire in the right specialists.

The Indie Musician's Guidebook
The Indie Musician’s Guidebook

Much of this material has been updated, upgraded & transferred to The Indie Musician’s Guidebook. By all means read on as there are some different articles in here that didn’t cross-over. When I write more articles, they are also likely to be here as I don’t plan on re-jigging the book every few weeks.

Artist Development

  1. Artist Development – A Course
  2. Lesson 0: Soundcloud, YouTube, Landr – Why Web Band Apps are doing you more damage than good and What You Can Do Instead.
  3. Lesson 1: Who Are You & What Is Your Message?
  4. Lesson 2: Making The Pitch
  5. Lesson 3: Developing Skill & Creativity
  6. Lesson 4: Revisiting Your Instrument
  7. Lesson 5: Sacrificing Your Ego To The Song
  8. Lesson 6: Letting The Song Lead
  9. Lesson 7: Finishing & Publishing the Work
  10. Lesson 8: Answering The Call
  11. Lesson 9: Bringing It All Together
  12. Lesson 10: Interview with Iron Will

Marketing

  1. Basic Ideas in Making It in Music – building the perfect beast
  2. Marketing Indie Music – the unforgettable fire
  3. Basics of Song Promotion – space age love song
  4. The New Music Industries and How to Succeed in them – rip it up
  5. You Don’t Know Me At All – Selfish Marketing 101 – it must be love
  6. Creating an Album Release – CD or Digital – put the needle on the record
  7. How to Get It Out There – Approaching Marketing Music – I wanna be a star
  8. Build a Real World Fanbase – block rockin’ beats
  9. Making A Music Video – waiting for the gift of sound & vision
  10. Building Your Music Website – Feels like home
  11. Social Media – Your Extended Local Area – Boys in the Hood
  12. What to Post on Facebook – return to Sender
  13. Segmenting – how you should do it – Slice me nice
  14. On Being Professional – turn on the red light
  15. So Why Is Everyone Ignoring ME? – me I eat dust
  16. Gas Grooves L.O.V.E – lessons in love
  17. An Unpaid Update – Money & the Muso – let us prey
  18. Streaming Music is Destroying Music for All. All the Money is gone.
  19. Music Ownership may be on the Rise – keep running up that hill
  20. Should I Be Releasing Music More Often? – people of the blaze
  21. Music Shouldn’t Be Sold – The Dangerous Lie – working for the man
  22. Getting Ahead On Bandcamp – the windows of the world
  23. Taking the Step from making music to being an Indie Musician – my mind wants to cry out loud

Business

This is a new section about the more businessy side of things. If you come here as a business person and wonder about my style. I am a musician. I don’t expect anyone to stand on Ceremony unless of course, it is the Joy Division/New Order song, then you better be quiet.

  1. Criticism is your Friend – alas poor Yorrick I knew him well
  2. Goodbye 2020 – why do I never get sales? – it all starts here
  3. The Design Brief – how to Win with Freelancers – somewhere over the rainbow
  4. Asking for a Mentor – hang on, help is on its way
  5. Opening a Door or Closing it – a look at a pair of business pitches? – I eat cannibals
  6. Life hands you an offer – what do you do with it? – openhearted
  7. Thinking Outside the Box – or Outsourcing Your Problems – killing me softly
  8. What should I be writing? – the path of least resistance
  9. Stamina in a World focused on Moving On – mind your own business
  10. What If Everything We Though We Knew Was Wrong? – making your mind up
  11. How Rappers are their own Public Enemy – and other acts are following them – no sleep ’till bedtime
  12. All or Nothing – the dangers of an extreme mindset – killing the mercy
  13. Handling Criticism or Advice – show me the way to st louis
  14. Hiding In Plain Sight – The Lure of Safety – through the same door
  15. On Having Standards – Garbage In Garbage Out – is this the world that we created
  16. How Garbage Becomes Good – in my wildest dreams
  17. False Gods & Easy Roads – Do you follow them? Are you giving your Best?
  18. Do you do your work for FREE? Didn’t think so, so why expect it of me? – (don’t steal my) courage
  19. Upwork is for Thieves & Fools – waiting for the great leap forwards
  20. Do It Your Fucking Self – how not to establish a successful business relationship – and some “how to” as well – are “friends” electric?
  21. What is The Best? Ten Tips on Getting The Best – wide open road
  22. Professionalism – idea or upgrade? – roxanne put on the red light
  23. Communication – Building or Destroying? – how can I find a way to make you see I love you
  24. How To Reduce Credibility Really Fast? – another rainy day in new york city
  25. On Working Together – up where we belong
  26. Creators or Consumers: the New Divide – conquer on
  27. Being Told What To Do – and Tyranny – for you
  28. Adult Aspie and Work – I dub thee unforgiven
  29. Music Licensing – who owns what, where, when – put a ring on it
  30. Why breaching Copyright is so wrong – understanding Intellectual Property – every breath you take
  31. How Long Does It Take – So What Should It Cost? – working for the man

Composition

  1. Music Theory Simplified (and cheated) – making music
  2. Moving an Artist 7 Years in 3 Days – this is What I Do & How I Do it – Sevrin, Sevrin my servant
  3. Putting Flow into your piece: the missing Pro-Tip – play us a slow song
  4. Best Albums you probably don’t know – went down to Santa Fe
  5. Art Cannot be Cloned – burn on the flame
  6. Courage – like a surgeon cutting for the very first time
  7. Story – How Do I Find The Stories I Tell? – the great east broadway onion championship of 1978
  8. Imperfection is Beauty – the Dangers of Perfection – don’t kill it carol
  9. Rock Is Dead – We Killed It Ourselves – no more mr nice guy
  10. Are You Making Music, or Are You Making A Noise? – time for a cool change
  11. Virtual Singers – are they a good idea or dangerous? – we are the robots, do do de do
  12. Writing a Piece of Music – simple Theory – very basics of chord progression and chord notes
  13. Arranging a Piece of Music – simple Theory – the sense of story
  14. Turning A Loop Into A Song – complete completion theory
  15. Avoiding Avoidance – getting on with things – lay that sucker out
  16. Re-Voicing & Arranging Music – a real life example
  17. Anatomy of a Piece – Composing – lay that sucker out
  18. How Long Does it Take and Why Can’t I Do it? – time after time after time after…
  19. Good vs Bad – Fashion in Songwriting – fashion & fame; you can go your own way
  20. Good Music & How to Make It – play that funky music
  21. How do I make a song if I have the words in my head but I don’t have knowledge in music making? – where the wild roses grow
  22. Honing Your Craft – let it bleed
  23. Finish The Work – and Ship It – go forth and duplicate
  24. Critics – do you love me?
  25. Give Yourself Permission to Succeed – Rock Hard
  26. Why Better Sounds won’t help make Better Music – the Mistaken Strategy – I can see for miles
  27. The trick to making your art unique and unmistakable in a sea of sameness – emotional rescue
  28. When can I start calling myself an Artist? When am I ready to start Releasing Music?
  29. In Conversation with Didi Oviatt – an Author – she’s a love blonde

Sounds

  1. Reason Synths – a quick comparison – updated May 2019
  2. Synth Oscillator Waveforms – from simple Analog Shapes to complex Digital Synthesis – shape up
  3. Understanding Sounds for your Synth, Song Arrangement & Mix – try my love
  4. My Synths/DAW sound like crap. I need new ones that are better – get a Tonto
  5. Making Organic Instruments in a DAW – we don’t need no stinking badges
  6. Reaper vs Reason Sound Test – don’t fear the reaper
  7. Reason Sound vs VST Sound – modern love is automatic
  8. Digital Synthesis – a Rundown – fairies wear boots
  9. Signal Routing & simple Logic – if you wire it, they will dance
  10. Practicing to See – the art of making Art – I saw the light
  11. Kron the Thor of CV Devices and Why I think This Matters – Ding Dong Daddy Of The D-Car Line
  12. Being Organized – all lined up
  13. Why Making Drums Sound BIG is Difficult – basics of drum creation
  14. Compressing Drums – squishdy squidge
  15. Making & Mixing Drums – everything you need to know to make drums that Groove well – hit me with your best shot
  16. Using One Sample For EVERY Sound – we are one, we are many
  17. Synthesizing a Glass Armonica – Making Your Own Patches – sound off
  18. Sound Design – Acoustic Guitar using Grain – Strum und Drang
  19. Sound Design – re-voicing a classic – Hotel California – take a picture of this
  20. Build Your Own Reverb Unit – this is your space + Patch
  21. Creating External FM in Reason – nasty, nasty, oh you nasty boy! + Patch
  22. Korg MonoPoly RE v.s. Thor – my cloth ears + Patch
  23. Korg MS-20 Mini v.s. Reason 7 – kinda silly but hey
  24. Doepfer Dark Energy v.s. Thor – ooh to be ah + Patch
  25. Making Reason more Analog – Reason v.s. KingKORG + Patch
  26. Samplers as Synthesizers – and why it can be so good (or bad)
  27. Blamsoft Distributor in Reason 7 – maybe I oversold it but it is still cool

Mixing

  1. Why if you are trying to Mix It Yourself, you are probably doing it wrong
  2. Tone & Time – the Real Rules of Music – the world is (s)tone
  3. Mixing In Stere-erio – get the balance right
  4. Mixing in Stere-erio – conclusion – making stereo out of nothing at all
  5. Mixing in Mono – now the stereo is gone, I’m just one
  6. Compressing Drums – how to get ’em to sit in the mix and not Destroyer it
  7. Bet you didn’t know BASS is the Enemy in Mixing Music – when too much is just too much and how to fool the kids all the time
  8. Mixing Midsomer Variations – all cried out
  9. Anatomy of a Piece – Mixing – There’s not a problem that I can’t fix. Cause I can do it in the mix
  10. Mastering – Master & Servant, the Final Fantasy
  11. How to Mix Well – the Zen of being a Master
  12. Mixing with Groups in Propellerheads Reason – out of date now but still good to know
  13. Preparing a Beat + Vocal for Mixing – lay lady lay
  14. Mix Engineer Advice Stems: “Handing Out Hysteria” – pour some sugar on me
  15. What Makes a VST Plug-In High Quality and Should You Even Care? – you can ride a white horse
  16. Selig Gain 16:1 SubMixer – blend the strengths

Audio-Post

  1. How to Develop a Great Podcast or Audio Program – words fell down
  2. Tips for Setting Up for Recording  Podcast & Audio Program – that’s what friends are for
  3. Audio Restoration – Getting Recordings to Work – come on back
  4. How to transfer a Vinyl Record to Digital (CD, mp3 etc.) – get it right!
  5. How To Add Background Music To A Poem or Reading – writer, write me out a play

Others

  1. Music as a Healing Modality – you can stab it with your steely knife
  2. Social Media and the Great Divide – Healthy vs Un-Healthy Communities – the needle and the damage done
  3. neo-Tradition – a new movement in music – hop on the hayride
  4. Why Modern Music Sucks – fiddlin’ and watchin’ while Rome boins
  5. The Deconstruction of Music – possible reasons – the Sadeness enigma
  6. Living in a Post-Manners World – man eater
  7. Albums vs Shuffle All Songs – don’t do it, get away from the gun
  8. The Post-Album Slump – writer’s block and how to tear down the wall
  9. Gear Lust – don’t do it, get away from the gun
  10. Novation Bass Station – a passing folly
  11. Aspergers – Adult Living With It – do do do the funky gibbon
  12. Criticism and its Role in Alienation – run to the hills
  13. Get A Song Produced: THE OFFER – wasting love
  14. Feminism vs MGTOW – The Failure of Marriage – winning the war
  15. MGTOW and the Barrows of Boredom – is not winning at all