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Topic: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Out in left field

    Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    Hi All,

    Thanks to GG and Co., I now have at my disposal sonic representations that I never dreamed possible for someone with my limited access and resources, as well as a whole new understanding of what might be possible in terms of home music creation.

    But it occurs to me that to do what I wish to do: Create, compose, and handle everything involved with putting a quality finished work of "art" onto CD- autonomously and at home- I really have to be 3 people at once:

    1) Composer/musician
    2) Editor/Producer
    3) Studio Engineer

    If even (I would opine) a first-rank musical genius like Miles Davis needed a Gil Evans for editing/mixing etc., is it possible, you think, for anyone to really pull this off? Or am I just kidding myself?

    I'd be more than interested in hearing anecdotes about both the frustrations/limitations as well as the successes from folks who've been doing this for a while, if anyone cares to comment.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    NW Illinois

    Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?


    I feel the same frustration. But there are many people posting on this forum that were all three hats and do a great job. I'm hoping some of it can rub off on me.


  3. #3

    Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    There are some things (like mastering) that I will probably never do well. Time is simply too limited for me. So, in my case, when I have enough music to warrant a master, I'll cough up the cash to get someone to do it.

    I am a hobbyinst and for now I realize that my music will not be anywhere near professional standards and that is just fine with me. (Ok, saying it is just fine with me is definitly an overstatement. Lets just say I can somehow live with it.) To expect anything more would be both endlessly frustrating and futile and would ruin something that I really love to do. So, I recognize my limitations and learn to deal with them.

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  4. #4

    Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    I wear like seventeen hats and that's why I never get anything done, let's see:

    Web Designer
    Forum Moderator
    Tutorial Writer
    Day Job
    Currently trying my hand at 3d design

    Well, make that 9 hats. I'm not very good at any of them, but I try.

  5. #5

    Exclamation Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    LOL - JB - I'm sure glad you didn't add "counter" to your list.

    As far as the original post goes - I think it's entirely possible to do all three jobs well. I also think it's easy to transition into one aspect of those jobs for other people and do a good job - notice I said a "good" job. The trick is that it will take longer to reach the requisite level of mastery - at least in my experience. I went from a conservatory to an audio engineering program - to building synthesizers with one of the masters to going out on my own to work in recording studios and such. More than ten years later, I've finally put myself in a technological and technical position to be able to do all of the things I've wanted to do. It all culminated in "The Confession", where I got to do everything from dialog editing to sound effects and underscore. In many ways it was both a dream and nightmare project - but I'm still quite proud of the result.

    One of the things I've learned in the professional world is that many folks are capable of doing several of the jobs around them, but prefer not to in order to spread the risk and decision-making responsiblity. It also pays (in the audio world) to have another set of well-trained ears (and in particular a set of ears that come from a different background - but with the same immediate goal as yours). This tends to eliminate the "blind spots" we develop as a project is nursed from end to end.

    So, in essence, it is entirely possible to take a project from cradle to grave (or from cradle to graduation, as it were) but you've got to be aware of the risks.

    P.S. You can check out my comments on creating the sound for "The Confession" in my FW-1884 review I just completed for audioMIDI.com ==>>HERE
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  6. #6

    Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    I have been wearing the three hats, fairly successfully, for a good while now.

    But I would like to underline Houston Hayes' point about needing a second pair of well-trained ears. Fortunately I have good musical friends I can call on for a second opinion.

    Terry Dwyer

  7. #7

    Re: Is it Realistic to Wear Three Hats?

    I tried wearing three hats once, but the top one kept falling off! The key is: go see Cirque Du Soleil - watch the balancing acts - then go home and practice one of those things you need to be till you'ree much better at it. Then focus on the next one. Then the next. And so on.

    Don't try to mix while your composing - just compose, and set 'engineer mix' levels for your instruments. When the notes are right, now replay the tracks ome at a time along with the reference tracks, and PLAY the music, with all the emotion you can muster. THEN put on your mixing hat, and get it as good as you can make it sound.

    Then go back to the composition stage and loop...

    Eventually you'll get better at all three things.

    But mastering is still a mystery - or mystering is still a mastery - or Master Ring is still a Mr. Rhee ("Ah, sweet Mr. Rhee, of Life, at last I've found you," a quote attributed to the publisher of Life magazine when Syngman Rhee worked there as a reporter in 1912 or so...)
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

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