Reminding myself

Hey readers,

I feel the need to write about my recent lack of content lately.

One reason, but not the most significant reason, is the lack of new ideas, and motivation. Ever since competing my mixing course, I’ve been completely derailed from production, and moved into mixing. This is bad since trying to build a mixing portfolio proves more difficult than I expected. I’m also trying not to get caught in the new trap style rap instrumentals as I believe they’ve been milked enough. I want to present something fresh.

Fresh!

Speaking of fresh, I actually have a few entries drafted but reading them back to myself, it feels like it lacks personality. It really does. I’ve not posted them because I was trying to find “myself” in what I have to offer. It’s true that moving into the digital era of music has concentrated the market with people taking on similar roles however, I still feel it necessary to offer something different from those who already dominate the niche.

Breaking the meta

I’ve been known to constantly “breaking the meta” with the things I do but I would not like solely go around disagreeing with what everyone says just because I see it differently. Some of those people are the reason I’m here today! I’ve tailored my craft around a mixture of their teachings and other opinions/practices of other engineers alike.

In the meantime, I’ll be finding myself, refining my perception of who I am as an engineer.

JasonM

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In with the Categories…and what not.

Hello readers!

I’ve been thinking about categorizing my posts for a while, because I never had a clear idea on how exactly I should sort them out.

I’ve decided to make my categories some kind of series, which should be motivational to keep writing, since there will be a clearer path on where things are heading. Some of you may prefer a particular series over another and decide to follow that instead…works out both ways.

I’ve come up with the following:

Let me explain

This series aims to share knowledge on certain topics, whether it is mixing or production.

Behind the scenes

This will be the place to find everything behind the scenes of mixing, production and whatever else.

Press play.

Here you’ll find finished (or pre final) mixes and instrumentals.

Quick share

This is where I will take a pause to share something I think is interesting or worth checking out. These will typically be very short, sweet and to the point.

Review

Depending on the audience I attract, I won’t mind getting into product reviews, whether it be hardware or software.

…and what not

This is where I share other stuff, like opinions, point of view, general tips, advice etc…or if I decide to bleed my emotions into an article. Who knows! To be quite honest, this was ‘inspired’ by Rachel ‘N Stuff, with the creative use of ” ‘n stuff” after each title. Unlike hers, mine may not necessarily appear in every title.

The categories are guides and one may overlap another etc, but my tags may be a bit more exotic…so to speak.

Until next time!

JasonM

In what creative way have you used your categories? It would be great to discover other creative ways people are using theirs.

Who am I, and why am I here

Hello readers!

If you’ve been following my previous articles, you may have wondered why the vague reference to music. You may also have thought that this person simply likes listening to music. Although not entirely false, it does not accurately represent the truth.

For way too many years now I’ve been a very rocky journey into music production. I won’t go into full details right now, but the short version is summarized on my about me page. Coupled with that story, there have been many ‘demotivating’ factors which include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Guardian advise (mainly my dad)

In this case, I’ll give Jack his jacket. The guy is a good keyboard player, and on some few occasions, played for the church. He started off playing the guitar before moving to the keyboard. Two of his brothers (my uncles) play the keyboard as well. My cousins…okay I’m just realizing how lengthy this is getting. A large part of the family is somewhat skilled when it comes to music.

From him, I constantly have to hear how similar his venture was, spending countless hours with his guitar and then the keyboard and got no tangible value from it later in life. That time spent in music could have been put elsewhere and could have been more successful in a day job. His concern is that I may end up the same way.

As much as I understand and appreciate the concern, the fundamental factor in this is that, his lack of success doesn’t necessarily need to be mine. But in acceptance of the advice, I’ve stretched myself thin, unable to commit to one thing. As much as I want to grow musically, I don’t want to commit to it fully to arrive at a dead end, and at the same time, not wanting to have to focus so much on a degree that I neglect my music. I want to do both, just in case the music fails.

There is this one story I tell to those closest to me, and although it’s already internally forgiven with no hard feelings residing, I’ll mention anyway. When I told him that I was doing an online certification in music, the first words he said were “was that the right decision”…or something along those lines. Basically, there was no question about my future and intention before presenting his doubt. I played this scenario over and over in my head, and I would have wished for a more positive outlook. But it is what it is.

  • Friends (they can be destructive supporters)

Since the release of my previous instrumental album, I’ve stopped relying on the opinions of friends. Sad but true. Friends will always try to support you, but at the same time, blind support can hurt. They’re always giving you this “I like it”, “it is good” or “you did that!” type of comments. Yes these are really motivating to hear, but sometimes we need the truth in order to grow. If what you’re hearing isn’t pleasing, express that with reason, and for the lack of reason, say you’re unsure why that is. I know you’re not knowledgeable about a compressor or reverb, so am not looking for a technical review. Does what you’re listening to sound good? Is it something you’d listen to? If not, do you know what’s missing? It’s also fine if you’re unsure what’s missing. So, be honest.

In light of this, I try instead to get views of people I don’t know, or people who don’t know me and care less about hurting feelings. They dish out the truth with no remorse. With my producer page, I invited most of my friends to like the page, got it up to an acceptable amount of likes and the engagement was far lower than its potential. My new page I intend to have an all organic engagement to see whether there’s a difference. It has not been up long, but there has been none as yet.

So why am I here?

I have a talent I wish to expand on. The end result is unclear at the moment, but I wish to get to a place here I can shake hands with the person handing me a Grammy for mix engineer of the year! Just dreaming big, but you get the idea. I would like to be recognized and known for my talent eventually.

I started with WordPress as a way to get clouding thoughts out of my head before spear heading into full blown music related topics. After my first entry, I went to select a theme and stumbled on static pages, a feature I was not aware of at all. I played around with it and realized it could appear to be a website or a blog. Digging deeper I found that you could have the best of both. With the content I had scattered around the internet, I consolidated here and turned into a website. Going deeper into the options, I noticed you could purchase a domain for the WordPress site and I was stunned, instability taken back in fact, because for a TINY fraction of the cost of web hosting and domain registration, you can have your own website and domain. I made my purchase. I’m now the proud owner of www.honeypeadigital.com. I always believe one link is easier to share than one for Facebook, YouTube, twitter, SoundCloud etc each.

I intend to go deeper into music related topics, both technical and not. This could range from the behind the scenes of songs to how a song makes one feel. I would also like to connect with likeminded people in the field as well; other producers, engineers, artists and of course fans!

My current goal is to extend my skill in mixing, mastering and production (in order of preference) to the public in order to fund the growth I so desire, to bring forth a new, or different,  content and perspective in music.

JasonM

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Why not leave a comment.

Pomodoro Pt 2

Hello readers!

If you followed my previous Pomodoro entry, you’d be aware of the personal challenge I set aside for myself, as well as anyone interested, to follow. It has been a week and few days, at the time of writing, since I’ve written and am here to report.

 So what happened!?

The first day during the first week went pretty well. I’d done my Pomodoro exercise and gotten back into my producing “mojo”. It was fun and inspiring, but had not turned out quite how I expected.

The second, day after playing some basketball, I got home with a finger sprain, which initially hindered my progress. A reasonable excuse…or so I’d like to believe. By the fourth day however, I went back to my regular non motivating routine.

That’s unfortunate.

It extended well into days 5 and 6, with a struggle on the sixth day. I did at least attempt though, but the procrastination did not end there. I even completely missed my entry which would have been this one….If I wrote it in time.

None the less, closer to the end of the second week I decided to dig into an ‘old bag’ and found a site which hosts remix competitions. I used this as a tool to get me working and keep a bit of interest.

Back on the horse!

This week has been one of those weeks full of motivation. I completed my remix, full story here, and over the weekend, managed to make this site look and function even better. www.honeypeadigital.com Check it out! It’s a work in progress, but progress in huge steps. I will continue my challenge for July too see what more I can accomplish.

Until next time.

JasonM

Did any of you attempt it? How did it go for you? If you haven’t and you are looking for that bit of motivation, why not give it a shot. Let me know what you think in the comments area.

Pomodoro timer

Pomodoro Pt 1: ‘What it all boils down to’…and what not.

Hello readers! I recently read a blog entry by Lydia Ravenhall, stating the difficulties with staying focused on doing what she loves. Basically put, I felt like this had been a very isolating issue for me, especially looking around and seeing my friends who seemed “less fortunate” than I, moving forward with their lives. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not comparing their lives to mine, but my progress to my goals based on my capabilities.

What does this mean?

I will be starting back from step one into my music production, due to the major lack of motivation, and developing my skills and self discipline through the use of “pomodoro”.

Pomodoro Technique

“The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.”

-Wikipedia

I first heard of this term late last year during a training called ”Learning how to learn” which I participated in. It seemed very interesting at the time but I haven’t really put it into use with my music.

 …and action!

During the next week, I will be using this technique and I will provide an update on how it goes. Maybe by then I’ll at least have an incomplete piece of music to share.

JasonM

You can also join me on this quest. Share your progress and let us know how it goes.

Music & My Troubled History

Hello readers! I realize for my first entry this one is long winded, but I hope if you read to the end, you’ll get a clearer picture.

Childhood.

I’m kicking off this blog today, as title hints, with my history of music. When I was a young child, I was not a big fan of music. Like many children growing up in the 90s, of course there were songs to enjoy, such as the TMNT, thundercats and power rangers theme songs, just to name a few.

TV shows aside, there are very few songs I can point out from my childhood that I remember. One which sticks out is “Kiss by a rose” performed by Seal. Well to be honest, one of the main reasons I got to like this song is because it was featured in a batman film back then. I guess I can’t exactly escape the tv shows huh.

 Moving On…

Not to jump on the band wagon here but I used to love Michel Jackson. Not that it has come to an end. I always wished I had long hair like him. I even wanted to change my middle name to Jacksonn, but yes with 2ns, that would be my variation. The second reason for wanting that name is that I didn’t like my Middle name “McCartney”, even though my parents gave me that name after Paul McCartney, an artist I never took interest in researching. I loved the few songs of Michael that I was exposed to, with my favorite being “What about us”. I loved the song and even more so, the music video. My parents did not have cable TV at the time, so keeping up with his music proved difficult.

 Let’s Get You Started.

I was enrolled in music school at a young age to learn the piano. Being naive at that age, all I wanted to do was run around outside and play with my toys. I don’t remember enjoying playing the piano much, but then again I’ve always had this constant battle with my memory. I eventually dropped out of music class and departed from music!

Not until my mid teen years, when I was told about this program to make music called fruity loops, did I ever have anything to do with music. I went ahead and got a copy from a friend and started making noise with it. I didn’t know how to use the program, nor did I have any assistance with it. Eventually I gave up. I went through many years of starting and quitting before I began finding tutorials on how to use it.

 Breakthrough.

Eventually I figured it out, made some music (finally) and realized how much I missed out on by not staying in music school. None the less, in 2010 I made by purchase of Fruity Loops (name had changed to FL Studio), and thus sprung forth my unintended journey.

In 2011 I made my first instrumental compilation album dubbed “Unspoken Identity” which featured 19 tracks and 2 bonus tracks constructed around acapellas. Around the same time of its launch, I purchased my first domain and built, designed and hosted my very own website, which acted as a hub for all my music content across different platforms.

 Murphy’s Law.

In 2013 I left my parents house and moved in on my own. At that exact point my website expired, and with the lack of sufficient finance to renew, all motivation I had came to a sudden halt. I just felt lost as I had been derailed from my path to where I was heading, regardless it being unintentional.

Eventually, to kick start my motivation, I participated in an online course in mixing, a topic I enjoyed based on previous readings and lectures. I took it a step further by taking a course in Induction to Music Production, Songwriting and Developing Your Musicianship (basic introduction to music theory and piano practical), for which I’ve received certificates. With the newly applied knowledge, I witnessed an exponential leap in the quality of my music.

honeypea digital

Now I’ve decided to share my skills and/or knowledge with anyone who is interested, and grow more with each step I take, no matter how small.

JasonM

Do you blog? If you have a story of yours to share, why not leave it in the comments area!