Curatorial Composing by Ed McKeonGuest Editor
A few days before my book on Curatorial Composing was announced by Cambridge University Press, a composer friend had asked…
How Electronic Music Production Courses help Sound Engineers Develop Critical Listening Skills?Jake
You attend live concerts regularly. You also spend scores of money in purchasing new music CDs. It may happen that after spending substantial time on your hobby, you have decided to turn into a sound engineering professional. Nowadays, when you surf the internet, you can find lots of sound mixing tutorials. In addition, you can download scores of sound mixing apps. These software tools definitely contribute for producing final work. However, it is you who has to exploit the creative skills and come up with what listeners expect. For that you have to develop your critical listening skills.
The First Step
Developing critical listening is an art. It takes some time to master upon this skill. However, you should not compromise on this issue. Enroll to effective electronic music production courses that are offered by reputed institutes like Beatpro. This kind of institute teaches the basics of sound engineering along with case studies of experts. The sound engineering experts have formulated few tips of critical listening that are based on their past experiences.
Each Element of Music is Unique
Identifying bits of music is the characteristics of a critical listener. First, you have to spend time in listening and then make arrangements for producing music. Through years of practice, you can definitely distinguish the vocal renditions of James Whitefield of Metallica fame and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. Through your sharp ears, you can also differentiate between vibrato and Tremolo.
Critical listening depends on sound engineer. When you sit in front of the graphic equalizer, you are listening to physical details of music comprising of dynamic range, frequency response, tone, imaging and blending of instruments.
In order to develop the critical listening skills, you have to build the analytical thinking abilities. In case of analytical listening, understanding the emotional intention of a musical performance is important.
Electronic Music Production Courses Help in Improving Mixes
When you undergo an electronic music production course, you would be taught some fundamentals which would allow you to boost your critical listening skills.
Focusing on Panorama
When a recording session is going on, you would be taught how different instruments performance in a stereo field. You have to determine how the point of interest shifts within the stereo field.
When a musical performance is taking place, you have to ensure that each instrument should have equal output. If they are overpowered, the overall output would be soothing to ears. However, at some occasions, weights of instruments are varied based on the mood of the audience.
Look at Frequency Range
During a recording session or a live performance, you have to take care that vocals and instruments have same frequency. Sometimes, frequencies might get suppressed due to the excitement that has been built among the audience. In order to create special effects, the frequency of the instrument is altered.
Concentrate on Dynamics
Sometimes the duration of a song changes while recording. In general, dynamics is referred as change in volume. However, you have to note other dynamic changes like key, time signature, tempo, minor or major tonality, etc.
Some instruments may sound farther or closer than others. Therefore, you have to note the sense of movement and create the desired balance.
Work on Interest
There are two crucial factors of interest. First, you have to focus on the hook. Hook is a factor that makes sound mixing appreciable and memorable. Hook can be of various forms like memorable tonality, melodic hook, etc. Then, you have to think how you can fill the gap in the song when the lead instrument stops playing.
Critical listening involves paying attention to every bit of music. With regular practice of taking care of various factors, this skill can be developed and you can produce music in natural manner.