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An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

Exploring the MASSIVE headroom in your DAW

The professional way to make sure your mics are connected correctly

Clipping and compressing a drum recording to achieve an exciting sound texture

"There is background noise in my studio. Should I use a noise-reduction plug-in?"

A great-sounding live vocal mic that you might never have heard of [with video]

Recordings of acoustic guitar by Audio Masterclass students

New monitors? Now you need to tune in your ears.

New vs. old guitar strings: Part 2 - The case for used guitar strings

Even the best sound engineers in the world can't be trusted - apparently

Visualizing stereo information using Lissajous figures

Creating, recording and selling your music - how to get started now!

How do you get started in music and recording? Amazingly, the right way to start is a path you could set out on today. Record-Producer.com publisher David Mellor explains how...


The very best way to get started in music is to start with your dream.

Where is your dream going to take you?

Hopefully to the very top of the music industry, working alongside the top names in your chosen style of music.

But even the top people in the business had to start somewhere. So where did they start?

Often, people think that to become successful, you have to be 'discovered', or perhaps know someone in the industry already.

Yes, it is true that some pretty talentless people have made it big starting from there. I'm sure you could write your own shortlist.

But that's not what we're doing here. At Audio Masterclass we are interested in developing real skill and ability in music production.

Having talent is a good start. But talent isn't something you have or you don't have. Talent can be developed and grown. Small acorns into large oaks and all that.

Some people seem to have 'natural talent'. A singer for instance may just seem to be a 'good singer' without any need for training nor practice.

The reality is that they have almost certainly sung from an early age, and more importantly they somehow instinctively learned the trick of actually listening to the sounds they produced. Most people don't do that - they sing without listening, and sing badly.

But even a mediocre singer can improve literally 1000% by taking voice lessons, learning how to produce the sounds well, and more importantly listen carefully to every note they sing. Even just a couple of months of lessons can produce a result that isn't just noticeable - it's amazing!

The same applies to recording and production skills.

There is a simple way to learn how to record (once you have the right equipment) - simply take an existing track that you like and try to copy it in every detail.

Sounds too easy to be true? Not at all - that's how every successful musician gets started, by copying the playing of already successful musicians they admire. Even the great classical composers used to learn by copying out other composers' written-down music. That way they learned how the notes were put together.

Your first attempt at making a recording that sounds like the track you admire will probably be pretty poor. But listen carefully to the differences. If you listen closely and carefully and start to hear what the differences are, guess what...?

You are listening like a producer. It's the exact same skill.

Next time, pick another track and try to go one better. When you feel you are getting close to the original - you'll never get it identical - start working on your own music. Or work on your own music in parallel to your learning.

One of the people who I consider to be among the greats of record production once told me in confidence that the best way to learn how to record was simply to record. And record and record and record... just keep on doing it, aiming for that little bit better standard every time.

Of course you will need help. In particular you'll need to be sure that you have a studio set up that will work well for you. Unfortunately many would-be producers fail here by buying equipment that is too difficult to set up, hard to use, and prone to failure.

So I have put together some advice in an e-book that you can see here. If you follow this advice to the letter you will quickly, and inexpensively if you like, build up a studio that is capable of professional results. And you won't have to keep on upgrading or changing equipment.

Also, you need to think like a professional recording engineer. I have researched carefully how pro engineers work and the kinds of things they need to know and think about (and of course I have done much engineering and production myself - I think my best moment was getting one of my tracks played on the Oprah Winfrey show and heard by literally tens of millions of people around the world. But that wasn't my best paying track... :-)

I have fine-tuned and distilled the most essential knowledge in my e-book, Pro Engineer School, which you can see here. When you really understand this basic knowledge, you will truly be thinking like a pro recording engineer.

So that's it for now. My best advice is simply to get started. There's no point in wasting time, or thinking that there is just that 'little bit' of extra preparation to do. Get started today, and get recording tomorrow. That will be the shortest, surest path to success.

Good luck!

David Mellor
Publisher of Audio Masterclass

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By David Mellor Wednesday August 24, 2005
Online courses from Audio Masterclass