What exactly is Music? We could say that music is a series of sounds that are organized over a period of time. You cannot have music without sounds and you cannot have the sounds without taking up time. It could also be said that music is also phrases chained together like little sentences. Some people just listen to music, while others perform, write and or record music as an avocation. Some people turn their avocation into their vocation and turn to the business of music as a professional career. When you attain “professional status” no one is better, they are just different.
Charlie Chaplin was once quoted as saying “We are all beginners. None of us lives long enough to become anything else”. Beethoven was quoted as saying “We all are just practicing until we die”. Those two quotes are both similar and are truthful. Even restricting ourselves to the single topic of the music business leaves us with more to explore and learn than can fit into a lifetime. What you know is more important than how much you know. We have all heard recorded music that is technically perfect but emotionally bankrupt. When you make a record, knowing how to operate the equipment and instrument(s) used to make it is far less important than knowing how to operate it with taste and originality.
When you make a record, your name goes on it, so you should consider questioning everything and accept nothing. It is very easy to overproduce a record and ruin it. Music is an art AND a science. Art cannot be forced, or it could end up sounding rushed. Science cannot be rushed since you run the risk of errors. Creating music is a fine line indeed. What somebody else knows can be learned. Complexity is often simplicity in a fancy suit. Confidence in your craft at all levels is paramount, remember: you know things that no one else does. Never let insecurity restrain you, but remain sincere, genuine and humble.
The artist is his or her own worst critic. Always welcome constructive criticism. Remember, the best musical instrument is your ear. When mixing a record keep in mind that over time, your ears get “tired” and lose accuracy. This is why professional music producers and engineers mix at low volume levels. The monitors are the final link in the audio chain and also the weakest link since every room varies , and every monitor varies. Even headphones, which take the room variance out of the equation due to close proximity vary in response and characteristics. A prudent way to check a mix is to play it on a boom box, then take it out to play it in a car stereo, then listen back through the small built-in speakers in a television. If it sounds good on everything, your work is complete. Creating the perfect record is like painting a 747 with Q-Tips.